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Govt in shambles over commitment to war

Max Bradford National Defence Spokesperson

12 November 2001

Govt in shambles over commitment to war

"At a time when Osama bin Laden has confirmed his organisation was responsible for the 11 September terrorism attacks, the Labour-Alliance Government is in a shambles over its support for the war against terrorism," National's Defence spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"The Alliance does not support the involvement of the New Zealand Defence Force in this war, with the exception of the soft option of low level humanitarian aid.

"The Prime Minister cannot pretend to the US, Australia or the other countries involved in the war against terrorism that the New Zealand Government stands behind them.

"Labour is alone on the left, while the parties it relies on to govern New Zealand - the Greens and the Alliance - defy public opinion and thumb their noses at the responsibility to give the unreserved support our troops deserve from the whole of Government.

"Labour will now have to rely on National and ACT to get the Parliamentary mandate to demonstrate a majority of the elected leaders of this country support our troops.

"The Alliance conference resolution is a defeat for Jim Anderton, whatever spin he wants to put on it.

"This untidy situation shows the bizarre nature of the Labour-Alliance minority government. The rule that allows one coalition party to walk away from a cabinet decision simply condemns New Zealand to poor government and great uncertainty for our friends overseas.

"We have seen Clark have to rely on National, ACT and United - her political enemies - for free trade agreements with Singapore and Hong Kong. It raises questions why the centre right in politics should continue to support the Labour party in Parliament on matters of great importance to New Zealand's international reputation," Mr Bradford said.

Ends

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