Just about all parties suspend politics for half an hour to honour Helen Clark for her appointment as United Nations Development Programme Administrator. She is given a standing ovation after John Key’s truly magnanimous speech and every leader’s speech is applauded as well – except that of Greens’ co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons who is not even applauded by her own MPs. In a piece of misjudgment, Fitzsimons lectures Clark on how she should do her job, concluding: “What we wish most for you is that in endless rounds of cocktail parties, travel, high-level meetings and negotiations to which you are no stranger, the most desperate people who rely on UNPD programmes to eat, to be housed, and healthy and educated are always top of your mind.” Does she really think cocktail parties are more important to Clark than the poorest and weakest?
No wonder Helen never let the Greens into Government, if this is how sanctimonious they get. The full lecturing speech is here.