Sir Humphrey Appleby Is Alive And Well - At MFAT
9 August 2000
SIR HUMPHREY APPLEBY IS ALIVE AND WELL AND WORKING FOR MFAT
"Yes Minister's" Sir Humphrey Appleby exists after all, and works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne.
Mr Dunne was commenting after receiving an answer to Written Question 14566.
The question asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade:
"How does the Government presently regard the Chaudhry Government from a diplomatic recognition point of view?"
The first paragraph of the Minister's reply is this gem:
"Consistent with widespread international practice, our general policy is not explicitly to confer recognition or non-recognition through formal statements of position but to leave questions of recognition to be inferred from the nature and level of our dealings with a particular administration."
"Such gobbledegook is vintage Sir Humphrey, and confirms my long-held view that the popular television series was not so much a comedy as it was a documentary."
"The worrying thing is that Phil Goff - who could never be accused of being a Jim Hacker - has been so easily rolled over by this meaningless bureaucrat-speak."
"Now we know why this Government's self-proclaimed bold, morally based foreign policy on issues like Fiji becomes weaker by the day."
"The departmental Sir Humphreys have reasserted themselves and Phil Goff has joined the long list of Foreign Ministers falling ever so meekly into line."
"Sighs of relief are being breathed and celebratory cocktails poured all round in the Ministry's offices," Mr Dunne says.