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Helen Clark refuses to move with the times

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

17 February 2004

Helen Clark refuses to move with the times

"Helen Clark's heavy handed edict to ban contemporary musicians from this year's Gallipoli celebrations is elitist and short sighted," says National Party Leader Don Brash.

He is responding to reports today that say the Prime Minister has vetoed a performance by Australian musical icon John Farnham at the 90th Anniversary of Gallipoli in Anzac Cove. She has also blocked a performance by the Finn brothers.

"These are respected musicians. Does Helen Clark seriously believe they would play music that would be offensive?

"If Helen Clark was serious about protecting the memory of Gallipoli, she would be encouraging celebrations that appeal to mainstream audiences.

"The memory of those who have fought and died for their country will only be remembered through the young and Helen Clark should recognise that.

"Why is only a classical performance considered acceptable? Would the Prime Minister also rule out a haka?

"Surely even the young soldiers who fought and died on that battlefield would have listened to contemporary music. Helen Clark should lighten up," says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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