A PM but not a leader

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, January 31st, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, bill english, human rights, leadership, useless - Tags: , , ,

Bill English has failed his first test of real leadership. As world leaders, civil rights organisations and mass protests in America push back against Trump’s Muslim ban, English’s response is meek at best:

Bill English criticises Donald Trump’s Muslim ban as ‘not the New Zealand way’

Prime Minister Bill English has for the first time criticised US President Donald Trump’s controversial Muslim ban, saying discriminating against refugees and migrants is “not the New Zealand way”.

Weak and reluctant – it took him about 36 hours to come up with that.

Asked whether he thought Trump was a bigot, English said that was “for others to decide”, while he denied the Government had been meek in addressing the issue.

Is that leadership? On the back foot, English is defensive:

‘We are not being meek’, Prime Minister Bill English says on Trump travel ban

Yeah you are, that’s why the media are pressing you about it.

English said the policy appeared to have created some chaos in the short term.

The actual quote is:

“It has caused some real chaos in implementation, that’ll probably work itself out”

So, no problems with the principal of a Muslim ban? All right then.

Compare and contrast with Andrew Little:

NZ must reject ‘poisonous prejudice’ of Donald Trump’s Muslim ban

That all makes United States President Trump’s decision to block people from certain Muslim countries and refugees from entering America all the more abhorrent. It marks a massive leap backwards for humanity.

All that we have learned and all that we have gained from developing a deeper understanding of people who act, look and sound different from ourselves has been tossed on the bonfire of populist rage.

It will do nothing to make America safer; it will make the world a more dangerous place. The targeted nations will retaliate. It will drive alienated young people into the arms of the terrorists.

Sadly, some people will follow the President’s lead and take out their anger on people for no other reason than that they are different.

New Zealand must say no to this poisonous prejudice by doing two things.

First, we can demonstrate our humanity and rejection of Trump’s policy by increasing the number of refugees we embrace each year to 1500.

Second, our Prime Minister Bill English can honour our tradition of standing up to bullies by publicly condemning Trump’s Muslim ban. He wouldn’t be sticking his neck out. Plenty of world leaders have already spoken up.

In a world of turmoil when we seem to be going backwards at an alarming speed, New Zealand must stand up and be counted amongst the mature and civilised nations who know the only way forward is tolerance.

Leadership.


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34 comments on “A PM but not a leader”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Shut up you embarrassing useless bloodsack.

    “I don’t believe it’s a racist policy… it discriminates among them by which country they come from.

    *headdesk*

  2. Wayne 2

    One Anonymous Bloke,

    I think you mean Chamberlain, not Attlee.

    On the broader issue in my view English is being prudent. He has made it clear that New Zealand would not have a policy like that of the United States. He does not need to go further than that. Neither should he spend his time on today’s phone call with Trump giving him a lecture as apparently Little and Turei would do. Though in reality would Little actually do that if he was PM?

    The New Zealand government does not spend its time berating Australia for their border protection policy, even though it is not what we would do. We don’t give China lectures on Tibet or the principles of democracy.

    NZ is still going to have to get along with the US. It will remain one of our most important relationship in a wide swath of areas. It will be self defeating for our PM to give lectures to the US.

    Even Clark did not do that over Iraq. She said the decision the US made was their decision, but it was not what we would do. She was careful not to unnecessarily antagonize the US relationship. And in fact we did send troops to Iraq, albeit once the advance to Baghdad was complete.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Ah yes, I mean Chamberlain. Thanks.

      You discussed this important relationship the other day, when you remarked about the potential for a new “Anglo” alliance. I think the more usual term is “white supremacy”.

      When it transpires that employees of the GCSB, say, have stolen information and passed it on to the US administration, and that information has been used in the perpetration of human rights abuses – such as the ones currently unfolding, what legal arguments do you think they (the GCSB employees) should use to avoid or otherwise thwart prosecution?

      Conversely, how do you think the international criminal courts will approach the issue?

    • Sacha 2.2

      “We don’t give China lectures on Tibet or the principles of democracy.”

      So why do our politicians claim to have done so every time they meet a Chinese govt delegation?

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.1

        Good point there Sacha…and why are protests against the Chinese invasion of Tibet and/or the suppression of human rights for Chinese citizens simply not allowed when Chinese official visit? Why the closure of a state highway by automatic rifle toting police and security personnel when a Chinese VP is simply visiting the neighbour’s dairy farm?

        But of course, in Wayne’s world these things are a normal part of being part of the international ‘community’.

        Too close to the Powers That Be to smell the rot?

    • DoublePlusGood 2.3

      Perhaps if we had quality politicians, instead of gutless ones, we would in fact criticise Australia and China for their human rights record. Unfortunately, people have voted for gutless politicians for quite a long time.

    • bwaghorn 2.4

      must be the boarding schools all you nats went to a wayne , always on you knees in front of the bigger boys

  3. jcuknz 3

    It is ironic that we have a fire branding PM of wartime being heralded by somebody with no responsibility of the country over a mature leader fending off stupid questions [ I heard the RNZ i/v ].
    It is easy for the opposition to shoot their mouths off when they have no responsibility.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Why is it difficult for the Prime Minister to condemn human rights abuses?

      I can think of a few reasons – trade money, being scorned by bigots at Cabinet Club, etc etc.

      That’s the thing about principles though – they don’t mean much until holding onto them becomes difficult (cf: Springbok tour, nuclear ship ban). Then your mettle is tested. Bill English hasn’t got any.

  4. Farrar has not got the polling to his new boss yet. English will be more confident when he knows what’s OK to say.

  5. English is a gutless loser. He is even shallower than his predecessor. His Waitangi and Ratana rubbish – as if he’s know about protocol – and his comments on this – show deep-seated bigotry imo.

    I really thought he was a decent, though dull, bloke but no he’s much worse than that.

    • Nick 5.1

      PM = Plantation Manager. That’s how he has always come across to me.

      • weka 5.1.1

        ‘Nice’ Plantation Manager, which makes him a bigger risk because there will be people that will cut him more slack for longer because of the decent but dull bloke thing. I don’t mean that he is nice, I mean the perception of him.

        • Chris 5.1.1.1

          People are quickly being reminded of the difference between English as a leader and as finance minister. He was popular as finance minister because “dull but decent” fits the role. And he also had the Key phenomenon right there next to him. Now he’s leader again it’s 2002 all over again. All this talk of English being “a different person” to the one he was back then is complete nonsense. Key’s resignation was a triple whammy. Key gone, replaced with hopeless leader, and a clown for a deputy. Might even be enough to lose the election.

  6. Observer Tokoroa 6

    Preservation of the Club

    The Republican Party of The USA is treasured by National Party of New Zealand. Trump as you know is President by decree of the Republicans.

    So there is no way Bill English is going disagree with any Oligarchy or Conservative Party, let alone the Republican Party of the USA.

    National has only one single aim. That is to make sure that more wealth goes to fewer and fewer people. Cuts in Housing, Rises in Rental Rates, Cuts in Infrastructure, Cuts in Health Budgets, Education, Policing, Arts, Conservation and Welfare are normal for USA and National.

    They are there to make the wealthy Great.

  7. mosa 8

    Not one comment on One News at 6 pm regarding Bill English and his silence on this muslim issue that has erupted with Trumps manic lunacy with this policy and other world leaders with fortitude protest most strongly at this decision.

    English should be under pressure to make a strong stand but as usual they are never held accountable in the National party or by the MSM which has failed yet again to demand answers.

    Surely he needs to address this and rebuke Trump in the strongest possible terms after all they are always ready to sing Americas praises when it suits them.

    Keys intense boot licking for the last 8 years must have given us a right to speak up when we don’t agree or is English still waiting for permission to do so.

    What a decline since the days when once this country has a truly independent foreign policy and one hell of a loud voice articulating that independence and when we did not go to Washington to grovel.

    Prime ministers may change with this National government but the bullshit stays the same.

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