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Too bad nuclear spin doctor's tour so short

19 November 2003

Too bad nuclear spin doctor's tour so short

It is too bad that the visit to New Zealand of the U.S. State Department's super spin doctor or "spokesman at large," Philip Reeker, is so short, Progressive Party deputy leader Matt Robson said today.

"If Mr Reeker had more time to listen he would learn that the growing international scepticism toward the Republican Party in America has nothing to do with failings in any PR strategy and everything to do with a dispassionate consideration of the short-comings of the Bush Administration's actions and decisions," Matt Robson said.

“The scepticism has everything to do with the fact that while the Bush Administration calls for the elimination of Weapons of Mass Destruction it is engaged in a process of nuclear weapons research and rearmament. The US Senate has just approved extra funding for this purpose.”

Mr Reeker’s visit is part of a new strategy of soft diplomacy to bring recalcitrant countries like New Zealand under the nuclear umbrella. Mr Reeker has advised us that the cold war is over. We agree. Therefore the Bush Administration should not try to repackage the old Cold War wine in a new bottle.

“National and Act are willing recipients for this message. But it is not one that the New Zealand public endorses.

"The United States should and could contribute much more to improving its standing in the world. To start with, it could take a principled stand in favour of reducing its unfair trade barriers on agricultural imports. It could insist on itself and its allies consistently adhering to international law. It could consistently promote democracy and it could also invest more in the rebuilding of infrastructure and invest less in building bombs," Matt Robson said.

ENDS

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