Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Fitzsimons to PM: This is our Vietnam

Fitzsimons to PM: This is our Vietnam

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said Prime Minister Helen Clark is fooling herself if she dismisses yesterday's nationwide protests as "relatively small".

Large protest rallies were held in New Zealand cities and rural townships, drawing tens of thousands of people to speak out against a US led invasion of Iraq.

Helen Clark was reported to downplay the protests as minor because they did not draw the same numbers as the Springbok and Vietnam War protests, two actions the Prime Minister readily boasts to have took part in.

"How many people must it take before the Prime Minister takes notice?" asked Ms Fitzsimons. "The fact is thousands of New Zealanders all over the country made the effort to make themselves heard against this invasion for oil and Helen Clark seems oblivious to this."

"It is clear: New Zealanders don't want a war, we don't want to support any action against a third world country, and we don't want our troops dying on the foreign policy whims of George Bush.

"Helen Clark would do well to remember how Keith Holyoake dismissed Vietnam War protests as irrelevant. Make no mistake about it: to the people of this generation, this is our Vietnam."

Ms Fitzsimons calls on the Prime Minister to show her commitment to the will of New Zealanders by demonstrating independence in New Zealand's foreign policy.

"Diplomatic options open to Helen Clark are clear and effective: She can call in the US ambassador to convey our abhorrence of American belligerence in the face of global opinion, while instructing our UN ambassador to speak loudly in that forum of our people's desire to avoid.

"Thirdly, Helen Clark should send a strong signal to the US by immediately withdrawing our Navy and Air Force from active cooperation in the war zone. She should strongly support French and German proposals to double the numbers of inspectors and send in UN peacekeeping troops to ensure they get the access they need.

"Any inaction or unwillingness to take heed of this huge groundswell of public opinion against the war in Iraq will confirm for New Zealanders that the Prime Minster is locked in an ivory tower with a window that looks out only to US foreign policy, and not to the people that put her there."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election