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


Bill English's Right Talk - 2 September 2003

The Right Talk, The Leader's view
2 September 2003

"I'm simply the greatest"

After one of the greatest con-jobs in recent New Zealand political history over Corngate, Prime Minister Helen Clark now declares herself to be a victim of her own greatness. Without the slightest hesitation or self-doubt the Labour Leader told her Monday press conference: "I am a victim of my own success as a competent and popular Prime Minister." This was after trying to dismiss the evidence that she has been involved in yet another outrageous cover-up. If we go back to the election-time allegation of Labour turning a blind eye to GM contaminated corn, we can see evidence of New Zealand Labour adopting the identical tactics of British Labour's spin doctoring under the arch manipulator Alastair Campbell. That's not so surprising as Helen Clark sent a senior spin doctor to London to study under Campbell. Firstly there was the "heavy breathing" tactic with reporters. The scribes were told by the Prime Minister and her minders that the allegations were untrue, the subject complex, and she had been subjected to an unfair ambush. Then came the second phase, the vast "document drop" to add confusion. This was aimed at giving substance to Labour's claims of having nothing to hide. But, alas, several key documents were withheld from the drop, even though Helen Clark had pledged total openness. If these papers had been included they would have provided evidence, in mid election campaign, that Labour did indeed know about the contamination. Labour's poll rating plunged after the Corngate revelation by TV3. Confirmation could possibly have cost Labour the election. Helen Clark's denials of involvement simply don't stand up now. More will come out about this in Parliament.

The good Doctor's reward

Dr Mark Prebble, Head of the Prime Minister's Department, has taken the rap for withholding the missing documents from the election campaign drop. Helen Clark has tried to give the impression that she did not know about the missing papers or the decision to withhold them. But one of the missing papers shows that the damaging nature of the papers was realised and that the release had been discussed with the Prime Minister, who was prepared to have the sensitive papers released if necessary. The "if necessary" gives the clue. Dr Prebble took the hint and withheld the papers. For all his efforts to save his boss he is now being told he made a mistake. Either the good doctor or the spin doctor may follow the ousted Alastair Campbell down the road after all this, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Helen Clark won't 'fess up.

The sequel to Paintergate

Corngate might be the latest of Helen Clark's cover-ups, but there have been plenty of others. In the Paintergate saga it was discovered that Helen Clark had signed a painting by someone else, which then went to auction. When the Police began inquiries after a forgery complaint, Helen Clark refused to co-operate and answer Police questions. The evidence itself had been destroyed beforehand by a Clark staff member. More recently Helen Clark denied knowing about the politically correct "ancestral landscape" clauses in the Resource Management Act. National produced the documents. These proved that not only did the clauses come from Helen Clark's own Department of Culture and Heritage, but also that they were personally approved by the Prime Minister. She had to apologise to Parliament for misleading the House on that one. Keep watching this space.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Dealing Crackdown, Addiction Support: Government Action On Synthetics

The NZ Drug Foundation has welcomed the Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths. The response strikes a balance between giving law enforcement the tools they need to target criminal networks and changing drug law to make it easier for people to access help when they need it...

“The terrible deaths our families and communities have suffered tragically prove our drug laws are not fit-for-purpose: Too much emphasis has been given to law enforcement and prisons, with little support to communities for prevention, harm reduction, treatment and social interventions.” More>>


Strategy Committee Unanimous: Wellington To Forge Ahead With Convention Centre

The three-storey Cable Street building, with around 18,000-square metres of floor space, will comfortably be able to host 1500 people for conventions. It includes a 1651sq m exhibition area that will attract international exhibitions too big for nearby Te Papa and provide an always-changing visitor attraction. More>>


Surveying The Surveillance: First IGIS Review Of Warrants Under New Act

The report sets out the Inspector-General’s interpretation of the new warrant provisions under the ISA and her expectations of the GCSB and NZSIS when they prepare warrant applications. More>>

SSC: 2018 Public Service Workforce Data Published

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has published the 2018 Our People, Public Service Workforce Data , which shows the Public Service is making significant progress in important areas. More>>


Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>

Science Advisors: Stopping Family Violence – The Evidence

A new report “Every 4 minutes: A discussion paper on preventing family violence in New Zealand” by Justice sector Chief Science Advisor, Dr Ian Lambie, discusses the evidence and asks us, as a community, to get involved. More>>


Misuse Of Drugs Act: Medicinal Cannabis Legislation Passes

“Ultimately, this legislation will greatly increase availability of quality medicinal cannabis products, and will allow for their domestic manufacture. It will help people ease their suffering by making a wider range of quality medicinal cannabis products available over time." More>>


Conflicts, Inadequacies: IPCA Finds Police Investigation Flawed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police investigation into inappropriate contact between a teacher and a student in Gisborne in 2014 was deficient in several respects. More>>





InfoPages News Channels