After calling Don Brash “corrosive and cancerous” Helen Clark then tried to claim this was not a personal attack because she did not mean Don personally, but the “Don Brash brand”.
She has obviously been spending too much time with Alistair Campbell.
This did not impress The Press, their editorial quoted below:
The personalised attack by the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, on the Leader of the Opposition, Don Brash, is something quite extraordinary in New Zealand politics.
For a serving Prime Minister to attack her chief political adversary as a “corrosive and cancerous” person and as “not fit to be a leader in New Zealand” is probably unprecedented. Not even in the rancid days of Robert Muldoon was such bitter, venomous language used by a politician in public discourse. That it should be possible to make a comparison with Muldoon – a model in personalised politics no-one should wish to follow – shows how lamentable the Prime Minister’s attack is. Despite Clark’s promises to raise the tone after the descent into the gutter in the last couple of weeks, she has regrettably only succeeded in lowering it.
caucus, and ultimately, voters to decide. By wading in with her two-cents worth, Clark clearly hopes to divert attention from herself and her own party’s misdeeds.
In the end, it all comes back to Labour’s profound discomfiture over its election mis-spending. In addition to assailing Brash, Clark this week again launched into the Auditor-General, Kevin Brady. It is very hard to see how this can be anything but an attempt to put public pressure on the Auditor-General at a time when he is considering his final report on the matter, with the aim of discrediting it in advance. It is a disquieting manoeuvre and further evidence of how far Clark has become unnerved.