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


President Bush Downplays Tensions

President Bush Downplays Tensions

Thursday 16 Oct 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

In desperation, Labour is reading too much into US President George Bush's off-the-cuff comments before the APEC summit. A seasoned politician would never say anything inflammatory while on his way to an international forum, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"President Bush was caught on the spot, button-holed on his way into the summit - of course he was going to make conciliatory and assuaging comments. What Labour should be heeding is US Ambassador Swindell's speech - a carefully constructed statement, with clear messages approved by Washington," Mr Shirley said.

"Prime Minister Helen Clark, however, will dismiss Ambassador Swindell's speech out of hand, and use President Bush's comments to try to convince the public that our ban on nuclear-powered ships is not damaging to our strategic and economic interests.

"What Labour doesn't seem to realise is that President Bush did not contradict Ambassador Swindell - who clearly stated that, while New Zealand and the US were friends, `friends and allies are not the same thing'. He also stated that, on the topic of our nuclear policy, `the United States is not going to just get over it'.

"President Bush's comments, no doubt, have Ms Clark giggling like a schoolgirl. I'm sure she can't wait to corner him during the Apec morning break. She will take his comments to mean that everything is all right, and ignore Mr Swindell's firm message from the US executive administration.

"Labour must stop viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses. Ms Clark should weigh up the evidence. We are our own worst enemy on US-NZ relations - Labour says the US will not even consider negotiating an FTA with New Zealand in the foreseeable future.

"Australia, however, is advancing rapidly and, when complete, CER will be nothing more than a minor irritant from an Australian perspective. New Zealanders should be greatly alarmed by the course we are on," Mr Shirley said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news