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Forget the Wave, It's Helen's way or the highway

Bill English MP National Party Leader

21 February 2003

Forget the Knowledge Wave, it's Helen's way or the highway

National Party Leader Bill English is accusing Helen Clark of failing to respond to the challenges of the taxpayer backed Knowledge Wave, by dismissing its recommendations before they're even finalised.

"In signalling that she's likely to ignore recommendations coming out of the conference in Auckland, the Prime Minister's baring her teeth over old arguments.

"She's essentially written off the suggestions of anyone who doesn't precisely agree with her Government's policy agenda," Mr English says.

"She's slammed the views from some of this country's - and the world's - top thinkers, accusing them of being part of some far right conspiracy.

"Her Knowledge Wave comments come straight off the back of a left leaning rant, delivered to Australian Trade Unionists earlier this week," says Mr English.

"It's now clear Helen Clark's dividing people into two categories, those who support her and those who don't.

"There is no centre ground in the Prime Minister's mind," he says.

"I've heard from, and spoken to, a large number of thoughtful people during my time at the conference.

"They have put behind them the battles of the 80's and 90's.

"Where they are looking forward Helen Clark remains stuck in the past," says Mr English.

"Add to that her attempts to reign in the criticism from her own MP's at the Knowledge Wave, and you've got a Prime Minister who refuses to accept any disagreement.

"Most concerning for all New Zealanders, is that it now appears Labour is giving up on its growth targets - targets which the National Party has questioned for quite some time," says Mr English.


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