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Hard News 05/05/03 - Helen's Travels

HARD NEWS 05/05/03 - Helen's Travels

Junglist |May 05, 2003 09:08
Russell Brown's Hard News

So, according to the Dominion Post and One News Helen Clark has told Britain and America they might live to regret unleashing the "law of the jungle" through their war in Iraq. But, oddly enough, she didn't. She didn't even tell the Guardian that.

My first thought on reading the Guardian story after it made the TV news last night was that she didn't appear to actually have said "law of the jungle", even though it appeared in the headline in quote marks and subsequently created all the fuss. She confirmed such to journalists this morning. So what she actually said was:

"New Zealand has always argued for the rights of small states," she said - one of her predecessors, the wartime Labour prime minister Peter Fraser, helped to write the UN's founding charter.

"We saw the UN as a fresh start for a world trying to work out its problems together rather than a return to a 19th world where the great powers carved it up ... Who wants to go back to the jungle?"

This is, of course, the same argument for multilateralism that Clark and her government have been making for more than a year, although the bit about China was arguably a bit risqué. The Guardian, a notably Clark-friendly paper, describes her "one of Tony Blair's closest foreign political allies."

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