A return to Muldoonism

A number of commentators over the years have suggested that the tactics and style of government practised by Helen Clark has started to resemble Muldoonism at its worse.

This view is now shared by former Labour Party Leader Mike Moore.  And this is an unprecedented attack on Clark by her predecessor.  While Clark and Moore have never been friendly since she rolled him in 1993, they made up in 1996, he had her support to become WTO Director-General,  and since he has been back in NZ, he has not criticised her directly, he has more commented on policy.  One can only conclude the mud smearing of the last week was too much for him to stomach, having endured it himself from Muldoon.

Moore writes:

In the 1980s, a cruelly funny cartoon appeared of David Lange. It had four panels – the first displayed a smiling picture of David, then slowly, over the next two panels, David’s face morphed into a picture of Roger Douglas.

I’m expecting a cartoon of Helen Clark to appear, morphing into an angry Robert Muldoon. He used SIS files on opponents, perfected the nasty technique of personally destroying opponents, intimidating the media (not that you have to muzzle sheep), and used the levers of Government to create stunts, diversions, and buy votes in marginal seats.

This politics of personal destruction is fearful. Why is Labour so good at it? Because we practise on each other.

Helen Clark is superb at it, she’s destroyed more National leaders than any other Labour leader. Come to think about it, she’s dispatched more Labour leaders than anyone else too.

Muldoon’s circle of close mates got smaller and weaker as he got older too. Exactly what does the “consort” Judith Tizard and the legion of Ministers outside Cabinet actually do?

Perhaps it’s good they don’t do much. They manage the remarkable feat of being self-important, expensive, trivial and irrelevant at the same time.

In case one thinks Moore only bags Labour:

John Key just has to keep his head down, and is happy to campaign as “Labour with tax cuts”, sort of like playing a vacuous political air guitar. As for Winston Peters, our Foreign Minister still seems to hate foreigners.

He can’t speak about hospitals without talking of Third World diseases and Third World people, the Central Bank policies are about, he claims, promoting speculation and money-lenders (code word), Dubai investment in New Zealand is naturally bad, but at least the anti-Asian and Muslim stuff has been shelved for a while.

Rodney Hide seems to have rejected capitalism for narcissism and is destined to be a talk-back celebrity. The Greens and the Maori Party have locked up their small market niche and go unquestioned by the media.

The major political parties don’t scrutinise them or test them in Parliament because they will decide who forms the Government. Labour could still form the next Government, even if we get fewer votes than National. Under MMP, a silver and a bronze trumps a gold medal.

A Foreign Minister who hates foreigners!!

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