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Rudd v Clark

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, December 28th, 2015 - 99 comments
Categories: helen clark - Tags: , , , ,

Helen Clark David Rudd

There is an interesting battle ahead for the head of the United Nations.  Current Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is due to stand down at the end of his second term on December 31, 2016.  Helen Clark who has performed outstandingly in her role as head of the United Nations Development Programme is said to be sounding out support for a campaign to secure the role.

Her prospects must be pretty good.  Her commitment and credentials are impeccable.  And the organisation has suggested that it is time for the next leader to be the first to be a woman.

Others are also rumoured to be seeking the position. Bulgarian head of UNESCO Irina Bokova is expected to be a strong candidate. And she fulfils two desirable characteristics, she is a woman and she is from the Eastern Block. It is thought it is time for this region to supply a secretary general so she appears to have the inside running at this stage.

But wait there is another candidate who hopes to continue at the UN what he started at the Australian Labor Party. Yes Kevin Rudd of Kevin 07 fame wants to be the next UNDP. What could go wrong with him at the helm?

Well lots unfortunately.

If you want to get a flavour of how spectacularly appalling Kevin’s reign as Aussie PM was then ex Midnight Oil singer and Labor frontbencher and former Rudd supporter Peter Garrett provides it. A recent Guardian article contains the following passage:

Garrett says in the book that supporting Rudd in light of his “trail of destruction and abandoned policy” was his biggest mistake in nearly 10 years in parliament.

“I’ve been particularly strong in this book about leadership and Rudd’s leadership and I think it needed to be said,” Garrett told the program.

“Rudd wasn’t someone who was easy to work with in that way, and his vanity and his exercise of power as prime minister was contrary ultimately, to me, to what good leadership is.”

Rudd was not fit to be Prime Minister and his removal as PM was because of this.  Did he then choose to accept the wisdom of the majority of caucus and work for the common good?  Nope, he set out to destabilise and destroy Julia Gillard’s tenure as PM and the Labor Government with the fantasist thought that he could do this, regain the leadership and again lead Labor to victory even though his actions so hopelessly compromised Labor that defeat was inevitable.

Regular Radio New Zealand commentator and former Labor staffer and Ministerial Public Relations advisor Kerry-Anne Walsh has written a book, the stalking of Julia Gillard, on what then happened.  She has this no holds barred acerbic style of writing which must have been rigorously checked by the lawyers because it is so condemning of Rudd it must have tiptoed up to the edge of what is safe.

She starts off by talking about “Team Rudd’s slow-death destabilisation campaign against Gillard” and highlights Team Rudd’s use of the media by “unnamed sources” to continuously present Gillard in a negative way.  Rudd’s use of the media as a pliant assassination tool is detailed in excruciating passage after excruciating passage.  Like this one:

The Herald-Sun’s Gillard hater-in-residence, Andrew Bolt, kicks off the media sledge-fest with a column on 15 June declaring her the weakest and most incompetent prime minister since ‘at least WWII, with not a single achievement to boast of in a junkyard of failure’. Hers is a ‘shameful record of deceits’ that ‘makes her unelectable’ and, just to make sure we get the message, he finishes: ‘What’s killed Gillard is simply a lack of character. Of gravitas. Of honesty. Dud policy can be fixed. But dud character cannot, and Gillard’s tragedy is that hers has been found out.’ By whom, he doesn’t say.

Walsh’s disdain for Rudd is evident from passages like this one:

Rudd, who on this chill June night has just martyred himself by participating in the annual Vinnies CEO sleep-out, emerges remarkably quickly once the newspapers have hit the newsstands in order to talk to ABC Breakfast. He’s decked out in a humble blue and white tracksuit and sporting a wee hint of homeless stubble.

And this one:

Rudd’s is a cynical, corrosive ambition that is eating the life out of the government, rocking the wheels off parliament and serving nothing other than the need to fulfil one man’s vengeful ambition. Why is this not being written?

And this one:

Back on that strange planet where Ruddspeak is the art of saying one thing while thinking or doing another.

And clearly Australian media’s coverage of politics is similar to New Zealand media’s.

Political journalism is now a game of Gotcha—a hunt for that hint of weakness, the slight intonation or nuancing of words that might indicate something isn’t kosher. It’s a witch-hunt out of control, where the slightest stumble is magnified to ridiculous proportions, often into stories of national status, when they’re in fact based on fluff.

Successive claims that Rudd had the numbers to defeat Gillard were, shall we say, optimistic although eventually she was defeated by the incessant and continuous attacks from within.

This makes you wonder about Rudd’s statement that he is not a candidate and that it is Eastern Europe’s turn.  To highlight the sense of unease media speculation that the United States would support a Rudd candidacy bring on a strong feeling of deja vu.

Helen would be a superb candidate.  But if Kevin Rudd is true to form expect tactics to be used which should clearly display that he is not suitable to lead the United Nations.

99 comments on “Rudd v Clark ”

  1. Ad 1

    Clark should hold her nose and position as the clear US candidate. That would take out Rudd in a stroke, and make a clear polarity against Bokova and Russian bloc support. She should be able to win China and satellites playing that FTA card. She should also have many of the small states (including PI) and some poor African ones.

    If Bokova aligns Russian bloc with Arabian and south-west Asian votes it will be a harder road to win.

    Without US and most EU votes to count on, it will be a hard road for Clark to win.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Yep puts her TPP comment into context.

      • b waghorn 1.1.1

        “”Yep puts her TPP comment into context.””
        Sounds like you think she shafted kiwis and put labour in a difficult position to further her career goals.

  2. Kevin 2

    I think Rudd, at heart, is just an old fashioned misogynist. Couple that with his vanity (god knows why) and track record mens that if Helen Clark makes a bid for the top job she should be very wary of this clown.

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    I quite like Rudd – nice to see at least that there is some talent in the race.

    • tinfoilhat 3.1

      I’m fascinated Stuart can you explain what you like about him ?

      I must admit i have never warmed to him at all when I’ve seen him on TV, in my opinion he’s obviously very intelligent but appears to be a very divisive character.

      I think that Helen would be superb in the job although we should be realistic that not great deal can be achieved as head of the UN when the security council is an excuse for the US and Russia to play silly games at the expense of the rest of the world and the lives of those in the countries where they fight the proxy wars.

      • Stuart Munro 3.1.1

        He is clever and works hard for the people. Party insiders and identity politicians like Gillard hated him – a lighter version of the Corbyn hatred syndrome. If you’re going to do trade deals with China, fluent speakers involved in the process are a pretty sensible step.

        Helen annoyed me – I remember getting the pledge card and thinking “Is that the best you can do?” And in truth she addressed none of the problems I considered critical in her time.

  4. Gabby 4

    What’s been so outstanding about her performance?

    • alwyn 4.1

      Wash your mouth out Gabby.
      Helen is the greatest politician and humanitarian the world has ever seen.

    • One Two 4.2

      The “desirable trait” of being a woman must be the overarching feature

      No need for talent or honour when it comes to gender politics

      Heck, another author on this site would welcome Hillary as president, regardless of her criminal wrongdoings simply because she has a vagina instead of a penis

      Rather unfortunate positioning with regards to genuine progress and change

      • red-blooded 4.2.1

        So, just when WILL it be a woman’s turn to lead, then? I’m just asking… As one who lacks a penis (and is therefore tainted by comments such as yours), I’m getting pretty tired of waiting. Perhaps (here’a a radical thought) there’s an element of “gender politics” at work in locking out women from positions of power and prestige for so many generations. (Or is a penis a necessary attribute for a genuine leader, One Two?

    • acrophobic 4.3

      Nothing much. Her stewardship of NZ is best remembered for her appalling disregard for democracy (e.g. removing NZ’ers right of appeal to the privy council without mandate), political chicanery (e.g the pledge card), election bribery (eg interest free loans), and the legacy of deficits.

      But Rudd is a paranoid nutcase with anger issues. Best of a bad bunch…my choice would be Clark.

      • red-blooded 4.3.1

        Maybe that’s how she’s remembered by you, acrophobic. I remember her as a woman who empowered workers and unions through amending the appalling Employment Relations Act, brought back the requirement for teachers to be trained and registered, stuck by her principals even in the face of intense pressure from the US and UK – refusing to send combat troops to Afghanistan and Iraq without UN sanction (she’s always honoured the UN), showed political savvy and tenacity when stabilising her party after the dreadfulness of the Roger Douglas era, worked with former opponents (like Cullen, Peters and Anderton) to make the most of each others’ strengths, ran surplus budgets that allowed her to pay down the burden of international debt she inherited from Bolger…. She certainly didn’t leave a “legacy of deficits” (no matter how often Key and English repeat this mantra).

        She was by no means perfect as PM, but she is an honourable and very smart woman, and she has shown a lifelong commitment to reducing inequity and standing up for her principals. Good luck to her.

        • acrophobic

          “She certainly didn’t leave a “legacy of deficits” (no matter how often Key and English repeat this mantra).”

          I’m not sure where you were in 2008, but the final year of Labour’s economic management (2008/09) resulted in a 2.1bn deficit (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/government-budget), with a further 9 years of deficits forecast (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10536181). The Clark legacy was one of lost opportunities.

          As to the rest of your comments, if empowering unions and introducing teacher registration represent her legacy, well I’m glad we’ve seen the back of her before she did any more damage.

          • Leftie


            You have been living on planet Key way too long. Labour posted their 9th budget surplus in 2008.

            So you are against workers having rights, and teachers being qualified to teach kids? That kind of attitude shows you up as a moron.

            • acrophobic

              Labour left office in November 2008. The immediate legacy of their tenure was a deficit to Jun 2009, and thereafter 9 more. Learn some facts.

              I have in total favour with workers having rights, bit I am opposed to the corrupt and irrelevant organisations we now refer to as unions. And again you prove you can’t read. I referred to teacher registration not qualification. Teacher registration has achieved virtually nothing; in fact the last time I looked the long list of teachers facing charges for abuse were all registered.

              • Leftie

                The fact that you should learn is that the Labour government posted their 9th budget surplus in 2008, and 7 months is long enough for the self serving incompetents, like the Key National government, to turn Labour’s surplus into a structural deficit, which they did in 2009, and it remained so ever since. It is so typical of a right winger like yourself to blame the previous Labour government for National posting budget deficits for 7 years and running up an unprecedented level of govt debt.
                It is just your opinion that unions are corrupt and irrelevant, got any proof that they are? I question the sincerity of your words. Do you really believe in workers having rights? you support National and their anti worker legislation don’t you?

                Obviously I can read, can you? To be registered a teacher needs to be qualified. Comprende?

                Interestingly, the list of teacher abuse you cited all occurred under the Key National government. Do you need reminding of the destruction that National have been causing to the education sector over the last 7 years?

        • Leftie


      • Henry Filth 4.3.2

        Vicious. But fair.

  5. Tautuhi 5

    Not as popular as John Key

  6. burt 6

    Helen Clark who has performed outstandingly in her role as head of the United Nations Development Programme is said to be sounding out support for a campaign to secure the role.

    You guys also said she performed outstandingly while PM in NZ. Of course to have that position you’ve needed to ignore that NZ went into recession before the rest of the world in late 2007 and that she made a complete pudding of the Labour Party leaving it unelectable for 3 ( probably more ) terms.

    So, a lover of big government, expanding welfare, iron fist destructive leadership and popularity politics would claim she’s done well at the UN. The real question is though, what do people who don’t praise strong but destructive leadership think of her ?

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      Don’t be silly Burt.

      Clark did not favour big government, and did not expand welfare – refusing the ‘working for families’ tax credit to beneficiaries for ideological reasons for example. She did not rule with an iron fist – that’s more the style of the traitor John Key, who sicks bent policemen and the GCSB on people who, like Nicky Hager, catch him at his villainy. Popularity politics? Hardly – rarely to be found debasing herself on commercial radio for a few extra votes for example.

      That said, unless her personality politics and misanthropy appeal to you, there’s not much to recommend her. She cares about her career. That she was infinitely better than Shipley or Key goes without saying – neutrality is better than criminality.

      From my end though, she did not reverse enough of the vicious and unprincipled destruction of the Shipley era.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        I was living in New Zealand when she was PM.
        Where on earth were you? I certainly can’t have been anywhere near our shores or having any contact with the Government of the day if that is what you think of her.

        As for “That she was infinitely better than Shipley or Key goes without saying”. I wouldn’t be able to say it either so I see why you propose it can’t be said. Just trying to get the words out would cause a paroxysm of laughter.

      • Anne 6.1.2

        refusing the ‘working for families’ tax credit to beneficiaries for ideological reasons for example.

        That’s an unfair representation of the truth Stuart Munro. If Helen had a fault, it was that she moved slowly and carefully. Mind you, it kept her in power for 9 years and I’m glad of that. By her own description she had a “Presbyterian” upbringing (something I can relate to) and she was not prepared to move faster than ‘the books’ allowed. It was her government’s intention to seriously improve the lot of beneficiaries during their fourth term in office and they released policies to that effect during the 2008 campaign. And bear in mind, unlike this govt. the Clark govt. kept their promises.

        It never happened of course because they lost. And let’s remember one of the main reasons they lost… 800,000 more voters than previously, chose not to vote that year. I suspect a significant proportion were beneficiaries and many have probably never voted since.

        • Stuart Munro

          9 years is a bit long to wait for beneficiaries – just part of the failure of prioritising the haves over the have nots. Social justice delayed is social justice denied – and so it proved.

          But Helen’s minion’s inaction on slave fishing (which put me on a benefit in those days) has left a bitter taste in my mouth – I assume the worst of her and her colleagues and was rarely off the mark. It was about that time I got to know Rod Donald, & Clark suffered in comparison.

          • red-blooded

            Rod Donald was a lovely guy, and he lived by his principals. That doesn’t mean that he would have made a good PM, though. Clark did. To call her “misanthropic” is extreme and ridiculous and to accuse her of “personality politics” just before you go on to demonstrate an element of this yourself (through your comparison with Donald) is extreme and unbalanced.

            • Stuart Munro

              Oh I don’t know – the Greens have often been examples for others to live up to or fall short of – it’s hardly a Godwin.

              ‘A dog starved at his master’s gate Predicts the ruin of the state.’

              Helen didn’t (and doesn’t) do it for me – either practically or aspirationally.

              Your experience of her was probably better.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Yeah, it’s terrible how Helen caused the drought that sent the county into recession in 2007. That should be a lesson to us not to elect witches to the highest levels of our government.

      • mickysavage 6.2.1

        Yep it does not matter how many times you say that it is always Helen’s fault. As well as the GFC which was also all her fault.

      • Anne 6.2.2

        And what’s more, we’re heading for another major drought this year so we may drop into recession again. But of course no-one will blame John Key. 🙂

        • David H

          And as usual Key will blame the previous Labour Government.

        • alwyn

          I suggest you look at the comment I put here

          Rudd v Clark

          It points out that the worst drought we have had in the last 70+ years was in 2012/2013. We didn’t go into depressio0n then did we?
          Obviously we must have a better managed economy now than we had under Labour.

          • Anne

            Proves my point doesn’t it. Only Helen Clark got blamed for causing droughts – not John Key.

            • alwyn

              No Anne. The only thing it proves is that you, like so many adherents to the religion of Helen Imperious Rex, simply refuse to accept the facts.

              The Clark Government was never blamed for a drought. They were blamed for policies that took the country into a recession. It was Clark, and her acolytes like you, who try and pretend that there was an exceptional drought in 2007 and that that was the reason for the recession. As you can see, or could if you took off your rose-coloured spectacles, the drought was in no way exceptional and is only an excuse for the Labour Government’s incompetence in economic affairs.

              The hard left, like yourself, would love to blame John Key for almost everything. Their problem is that New Zealand has done very well during his term as PM and that is in spite of far worse droughts and worldwide economic disruptions than we had during the Clark era.

              I was rather hoping that Lanthanide would notice this exchange and might have commented on the fact that his blaming a 2007 drought for the recession that New Zealand suffered is not supported by the facts. He is rather unusual on the left for being willing to reconsider his views when the evidence does not appear to support them.

              • mickysavage

                Here is the analysis from that well known Left Wing infiltrated organisation the treasury:

                Between 2000 and 2007, the New Zealand economy expanded by an average of 3.5% each year as private consumption and residential investment grew strongly. Annual inflation averaged 2.6%, comfortably within the Reserve Bank’s 1% to 3% target range, while the current account deficit averaged 5.8% of GDP over this period.

                The New Zealand economy entered recession in early 2008, before the effects of the global financial crisis set in later in the year. A drought over the 2007/08 summer led to lower production of dairy products in the first half of 2008. Domestic activity slowed sharply over 2008 as high fuel and food prices dampened domestic consumption while high interest rates and falling house prices drove a rapid decline in residential investment.


                So don’t let this affect your prejudices but the economy had grown strongly under Labour but stalled in 2007 because of the drought and high fuel prices, neither of which were controllable by Helen, as good as she was.

      • acrophobic 6.2.3

        It wasn’t only the drought that was tanking the economy, it was also poor spending choices by Govt. When Clark left power, NZ had high interest rates, high inflation, a massive internal deficit (2008/09) and a decade of deficits forecast. Clark’s Govt was one of extraordinary economic incompetence and waste.

        • Stuart Munro

          Absolute rubbish.

          That muffin Bill English should take lessons from Cullen – who consistently ignored Treasury advice and outperformed their predictions.

          Bill does the opposite – exactly what Treasury expects – but his numbers always come in short because his modeling is contaminated with the failed neo-liberal economics that very properly consigned Don Brash to the dustbin of history.

          It is not happenstance that Bill English has delivered three terms of unrelenting failure – his austerity measures have multiplier effects that cause more damage than he budgets for.

          The odds on a budget surplus from Bill English are hundreds to one against – but Cullen, like Keynes, never ran deficits.

          • Leftie

            @Stuart Munro

          • acrophobic

            “Absolute rubbish.”

            The GDP growth rates are available at http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/gdp-growth. If you run the data set, you will see that growth was tanking from before the GFC impacted.

            “It is not happenstance that Bill English has delivered three terms of unrelenting failure – his austerity measures have multiplier effects that cause more damage than he budgets for.”

            Left wing mantra isn’t argument. NZ hasn’t seen ‘austerity measures’. The Govt has borrowed billions to prop up the welfare system and WFF. English is recognised as one of the most astute Finance Managers in the world, and for good reason. NZ has survived an economic crisis better than most nations, with less unemployment and less debt than most.

            • Stuart Munro

              The government have borrowed billions to finance untenable tax cuts. The austerity measures are everywhere, from speed cameras to delayed CERA payouts to the hazing of beneficiaries by Winz.

              You need to wake up to the truth – English is worse than fucking useless – he’d be an international joke if anyone had ever heard of him, but Greenspan, Krugman, Stiglitz and Bernanke manage to struggle on without having to cite either his performance or his publications.

              ‘English is recognised…’ only by fellow travellers on the ship of fools that is the Key Titanic.

              • acrophobic

                Speed cameras are not austerity measures. Nor are delayed CERA payments. But I see you don;t address the core issue. Check out the growth rates. English has steered the country out of recession to a place where we now enjoy low inflation and low interest rates, record employment and declining debt to GDP. His recognition is global. Get over it.

        • Leftie

          If you think Clark’s Govt, that paid down govt debt the previous National government had racked up AND ran fiscal budget surpluses for 9 years was “one of extraordinary economic incompetence and waste” …. What the hell do you call the economically, (and socially), disastrous Key National government then?

          • acrophobic

            The National Government before the Clark government ran surpluses. In fact consecutive Governments have paid down debt until the GFC, as this graph shows http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/government-debt-to-gdp (select ‘Max’).

            • Stuart Munro

              I hate to break it to you sonny, but what you say three times does not become true. You must provide credible evidence for your assertions.

              You might begin by explaining Key’s falling credit ratings. And your explanation needs to be objective – Standard and Poors are not catspaws for Helen Clark, they merely respond to the woeful inadequacy of Bill English’s economic management.

              • acrophobic

                Falling credit ratings were the result of the GFC. Most first world nations received them. Now expand you’re reading and look at how the international community views NZ’s economic performance. You’ll learn that your left wing sources are lieing to you.

                • Leftie

                  Your rightie sources are lying to you. Key’s falling credit ratings were directly due to his government’s mismanagement. Citing the GFC is a cop out for it.

            • Leftie

              Stop telling porkies. The National Government before the Clark government didn’t run surpluses.

              And you didn’t answer the question.

              • acrophobic

                Read the cite. Read and learn.

                • Leftie

                  To quote Stuart Munro
                  “I hate to break it to you sonny, but what you say three times does not become true. You must provide credible evidence for your assertions.”

                  And you still didn’t answer the question.

      • alwyn 6.2.4

        “the drought that sent the county into recession in 2007”

        Just what was so special about that year? NIWA don’t seem to think it was particularly serious according to their news releases. A drought, yes, but not very high compared to some others. For example
        They regard the severe droughts as being 2012/2013 ahead of 1997/1998 and 1972/1973. They also comment that 2015 was, at the time of writing, well up the ladder.
        What reason do you have for picking out 2007 as being special? Or do you think that we should congratulate National for avoiding a recession in the worst year on record, 2012/13.

        • acrophobic

          The drought argument is an old one used by the left who try to defend the mismanagement of the Clark years.

          • Leftie

            You are a hypocrite, you yourself used it in your post 6.3.2…. “A drought over the 2007/08 summer led to lower production of dairy products in the first half of 2008.” (Treasury)

            Can you defend the mismanagement of the last 7 years under Key?

            • acrophobic

              And you are dishonest. I was quoting from a Treasury paper that, as you know, was provided in reference to the lead up to the recession. Care to provide the rest of the quote? No I thought not. It went on the blame Labour’s poor economic management. A convenient ommission.

              • Leftie

                If anyone here is being dishonest, it is you, and it is just your opinion that it went on to blame Labour. I didn’t need to post the rest of your quote (that Stuart Munro had already addressed), as it was your hypocrisy that I wanted to highlight, and you still haven’t answered the question regarding the Key National government’s abysmal economic mismanagement.

    • Leftie 6.3


      The Labour government under Clark did not put NZ into a recession. People like you, who persistently repeat that lie, will never make it anymore true, no matter how many times you say it. Stop trying to rewrite history.

      So in your way of thinking, would it be right to say then that Bolger/Shipley left the National Party unelectable for 3 terms? Heck Bill English led National to their worst defeat ever in 2002 with just 20.93% !!!!

      I’m curious, what do you think of the weak and destructive leadership of John Key?

      • alwyn 6.3.1

        Wow! You really do have a view of history that is unique, don’t you?

        “unelectable for 3 terms”. The National Party certainly did very badly in 2002. Nobody can deny that. However 2005 was an extremely close thing with only about 2% between Labour and National. I personally think that it was the interest free student loans after graduation that bought it for Labour. As Wikipedia says “Then in 2005 they rode to election on the promise of stopping interest for all those remaining in New Zealand”

        Labour were dead from the time Key became the National Party leader. It was only stretching out their term to the absolute limit that kept them in office as late as they did.
        The Labour Party haven’t recovered at all from the thrashing they got though, have they? They remain in the high 20’s while National continue on in the high 40’s. A 20% gap between the largest parties after 7 years is remarkable, don’t you agree?

        • Leftie

          No, I don’t think it’s remarkable at all, it’s called politics, and NZ politics are cyclic. John key and National are trending downwards, and there has been a rather obvious shift against Key/National since the general election. Interestingly, Key lost almost 9% support in his electorate in last year’s general election and Northland proved to all, despite all of Key’s lies and bribes, that National can be beaten and overwhelmingly so.

          The fact remains that even you cannot deny, is that National still lost 3 electrons in a row that gave Labour 9 years in power. So how is a FACT, a unique view of history?

          Why gripe about student free loans? (when National gives away money to their corporate friends), besides it pales in comparison when John Key has to use dirty politics to win elections.

      • acrophobic 6.3.2

        “The New Zealand economy entered recession in early 2008, before the effects of the global financial crisis set in later in the year. A drought over the 2007/08 summer led to lower production of dairy products in the first half of 2008. Domestic activity slowed sharply over 2008 as high fuel and food prices dampened domestic consumption while high interest rates and falling house prices drove a rapid decline in residential investment.”

        There it is in black and white. No-one is re-writing history. This IS the history.

        • Stuart Munro

          Treasury – like Crosby Textor – do not get to write history, though certainly they are responsible for an historic collection of economic failures, the most obvious of which is the ‘New Zealand Surchage’, the 1-1.5% additional interest one must pay for living under their inept administration.

          Yes, conditions were worsening when Labour left office, but National compounded the problem.

          You Gnats need to man up and take responsibi;lity for your epic economic failure.

          Bill has been in power for seven whole years and the only thing he has produced, besides a hundred billion dollars of debt and enduring misery for most New Zealanders, is excuses – and facile and persistent liars like you cannot convert his bullshit into rose blossoms.

          If Bill wants people to respect his economic performance he has to have some. No amount of fudged Treasury numbers will redeem his frankly awful reputation until he gets off his gluteus and actually does something about the dire and worsening state of the economy.

          Your bullshit numbers – like Joyce’s Northland job numbers, don’t even fool you – you should not expect they will fool people who are not Gnat sycophants.

          • Leftie

            @Stuart Munro


          • acrophobic

            Treasury do get to comment on history, and they did so with accuracy and clarity. If you think the numbers are bs, provide a cite. Otherwise, suck it up. National are doing a good job, and most voters acknowledge that.

            • Leftie

              “National are doing a good job, and most voters acknowledge that” is a bold faced LIE acrophobic. Interesting…you refer to Treasury in the past tense. Keeping in that frame, I question your assertion that Treasury acted with accuracy and clarity. How do you know?

              • acrophobic

                I didn’t say ‘acted’, I said ‘commented’. The reason anyone with half a brain knows is because their commentary was based on hindsight and the data to support it. No-one disputes it, except perhaps some leftist backwater clinging on to the idea that somehow a high spending, high interest rate, high inflation rate economy was actually something to celebrate.

                • Leftie

                  You really do need to open your eyes and engage your brain, or are you just plain blind and naive? In comparison with the previous Labour government, there is certainly absolutely nothing to celebrate about the abysmal key National government.

      • acrophobic 6.3.3

        Leftie you are running a very silly argument (in fact more than one!). Labour only won the 2005 election because of the student loan interest bribe, and to some extent their illegal spending on the pledge card.

        In the 2005 election, Labour’s 3rd election win, Labour won 41.1% of the vote, National a whisker behind at 39.1% (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_general_election,_2005.

        Compare National’s 3rd election win, in 2014. National won 47%, Labour 25%.

        This data makes very sobering reading for any Labour supporter, and shows how dramatically more popular the Key Government is than was the Clark Government.

        • Stuart Munro

          Hardly – Kim Jong Eun is ‘popular’ but like Key he runs a corrupt and useless government.

        • Leftie

          After the kind of comments you have written, you are in no position to call other posts silly.

          “shows how dramatically more popular the Key Government is than was the Clark Government”….. Well, so the spin says.

          But the fact remains that in comparison to the Clark Labour government, the Key National government is an abject failure, a very poor performer, and as economic managers, they are an unmitigated disaster.

          • acrophobic

            You need to read my rebuttals. You are both inaccurate and disingenuous.

            • Leftie


              I have read (and responded to), your rebuttals, and to repeat, if anyone here is being inaccurate and disingenuous, it is you.

              • acrophobic

                You claimed Nationals popularity had declined since the election. I demonstrated you were wrong. Would you like me to continue?

                • Leftie

                  It is up to you if you want to continue to make an idiot of yourself. Key lost 9% support in his electorate, and National lost votes in the 2014 election. The Northland by election was a significant loss of support for Key/National so soon after the general election. You are in denial, Key/National are trending downwards. National didn’t even get a bounce from the RWC that Key in particular, was expecting.

  7. Cantabrian 7

    Peter Garrett was a complete disaster as a cabinet minister so I would not quote him as a reliable source on Rudd. I admire Clark most for her enlightened Tertiary education policies which have been rapidly stripped away by Joyce.

  8. Vaughan Little 8

    I’ve heard Rudd talking on international politics and he was really good. smart and interesting – and we’re talking international politics here.

    clark I can see good and bad in. she did kneecap alot of labour talent. but yeah, as has been noted, a clark government kept it’s promises.

  9. Tanz 9

    I read somewhere it was the Eastern bloc’s turn, so the front runner there is a likely contender too. Who votes/has the final say?

  10. Rodel 10

    At this time in history the UN needs the integrity and leadership qualities of a Helen Clark, not the dubious attributes of a Kevin Rudd.

  11. TheBlackKitten 11

    I am sure that Helen will be quite capable of dealing with Rudd. All we need to do is just remember how she bit Moore in the back in the 90s.

    • Leftie 11.1

      Just remember how Moore was involved in a number of coup attempts against Bill Rowling before he ended up rolling Geoffrey Palmer.

  12. Tanz 12

    Does it not bother anyone that that general public don’t get a say or vote on the UN, ever? Not very democratic, and perhaps stacked with their own people.

  13. greywarshark 13

    So many on here of the right wing persuasion. Like rust they never sleep.
    Criticising Bill English tends to be my knee-jerk reaction, so I was interested in Chris Trotter’s appraisal and elevation of him to the Politician of the Year.

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      I imagine he is trying to point out that Bill is the best of that loathsome and ineffectual faux government – which may well be true – nevertheless he is a lousy economic manager – addicted to the hidebound failed neo-classical economics but not even scrupulous enough to come down on the corruption that prevents any benefit that could be derived from markets from percolating throughout our society. Even if Bill is a ‘nice guy’ – he’s a crook – perfectly prepared to double dip his housing allowance, an incompetent – check out Solid Energy, and the failure of his neo-liberal extremism is progressively defunding essential services.

      Bill’s $105 billion incompetence burden hangs like an unstable Sumner hillside over our health, education and social welfare systems – it’s not if it will fall and destroy them, but when.

      • acrophobic 13.1.1

        Stuart you should have read Chris’s piece. Here’s a taster:

        “No, the politician I have in mind is the one who labours away in the engine-room of Key’s Government. The one who keeps the wheels of the economy turning, and international investors smiling.

        Solid achievements, both, but I am more disposed towards him because, unlike his boss, he has been giving long and arduous thought to the plight of the weak and unfortunate among us. More than this, he has been thinking about them in a new and intellectually challenging fashion.

        His approach has been called actuarial, because his calculations are all about the risk and the cost – both individually and collectively – of not making the weak stronger and their misfortunes less determinative; of not organising the right sort of state intervention at the right time.

        For thinking about the half of the electorate who doesn’t vote for his party, my Politician of the Year for 2015 is – Bill English.”

  14. Tanz 14

    Judith Collins should have won best politician of the year, surely!

  15. TheSocialDemocrat 15

    I should start off by mentioning that I am supporting Helen for the position, as she was an excellent PM (and would be just as good as UN Sec-Gen), and as a Kiwi (not to mention Labour supporter and member), it is only fair that I back her.

    However, your criticism of Rudd is largely unjust. Do I think the man had some anger issues? Yes. Do I also think he has an unfair reputation? Also yes.

    For starters, Peter Garrett was a shocking Cabinet Minister, so it’s a tad rich of him to accuse Rudd of being a poor leader. Plus, it was his appalling oversight of the Pink Batts program that led to a decline in the government’s polling, and his willingness to put the blame on Rudd for not his doing his job for him was despicable. I think his comments can be quite easily disregarded.

    I’ll also address a few points as to why his reputation is unfair and unfounded:

    I do not believe that Rudd leaked during the 2010 election campaign. Remember, Rudd wanted to become Prime Minister again; that was his ultimate goal. He could not do so if Labor lost the 2010 election, which is the likely effect that his leaks would have had (should they have come from him). One of his main flaws is hubris; the belief that the party would just naturally draft him back in. However, he would have known that they wouldn’t should they lose the election.

    Now, you may ask; where did the leaks come from? The answer is simple; Gillard’s supporters. They were aware that, should Gillard become unpopular (which she did), Rudd would become the new favourite leadership candidate, considering his popularity from 2007-2009. Their goal, therefore, was to leak against Gillard (I do not believe she was aware of the leaks), and then, if people started mentioning Rudd’s name again, they could bring 2010 out and use this to tar his reputation. They attempted this during the 2012 leadership spill, which resulted in one of the strongest character attacks I have ever seen on any politician, ever. Especially by his own colleagues (note Rudd and his supporters refrained from doing the same back to the Gillardites). While some point out that the leaks after Gillard agreed to make Rudd Foreign Minister, once again, who’s to say that wasn’t done by Gillard’s supporters in a further to falsely incriminate him?

    Rudd has acknowledged that he was behind the leak concerning what happened on the night of the 2010 leadership spill, but did say he had nothing to do with the other two leaks that SERIOUSLY damaged Gillard (concerning Paid Parental Leave and pension increases). These are the leaks that most likely came from the Gillard faction (I blame Mark Arbib in particular – Gillard’s most prominent supporter, a right-wing powerbroker and currently working for James Packer in his casinos (like a good Labor man)).

    An important question at this point is to determine why the right-wing unionists who control the Australian Labor Party (namely Arbib, current Labor leader Bill Shorten, and others) wanted Rudd gone. Well, I will admit, his poor management and short fuse did him no favours. But, I also believe it was because Rudd represented a threat to their power.

    Rudd was one of a few MPs who did not belong to any faction in the Labor Party, but his support mainly came from the Left. Several of his prominent supporters included Anthony Albanese (the likely successor to Bill Shorten as Labor leader), Doug Cameron (the Jeremy Corbyn of Australian Labor) and Kim Carr (a long-time player on the Hard Left of the ALP). My guess is that they backed Rudd because of his essays that condemned neo-liberalism and called for a new social democratic consensus (not dissimilar to David Cunliffe over here), as well as their anger with the Right, who were behind Gillard. As a thank-you for their support, Rudd started proposing ALP leadership reform. Before 2013, the ALP elected its leaders purely though Caucus, and seeing as most MPs are from the Right, almost all leaders came from that faction. However, many of Rudd’s supporters on the Left were keen to have a 50% Caucus vote, and a 50% Members vote. Seeing as most of Labor’s supporters and members are to the left of the Caucus, this terrified the right-wing powerbrokers, as they were aware that there would be a greater chance of electing someone from the Left as leader, weakening their hold on the party. This gave them a further reason to not want Rudd to return as Labor leader.

    The book that you have mentioned in your post also suggests that Rudd was the reason why Gillard was unpopular throughout her prime ministership, as he supposedly continued leaking against her. It is worth mentioning that Gillard’s polls plummeted after she conceded her carbon tax (which I actually think was a good piece of policy) was actually a tax, after promising not to introduce one. Gaffes from Ministers, the Treasurer Wayne Swan (a Rudd friend-turned-nemesis) failing to deliver his much-hyped surplus and losing control of the borders also didn’t help her poll ratings. Claiming Rudd was behind all that is just lazy.

    Am a biased in my views? Sure, I am a Ruddite. But I’m justified in holding said views.

    I’d be happy to debate further on the issue.

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