I haven’t spotted an on-line version of this yet (SStimes Editorial, 29 Mar 2009) but wanted to pull a couple of quotes out that made sense to me:
Helen Clark’s new post is an achievement, both for her and New Zealand. She is the outstanding politician of her generation and this appointment recognises and rewards her talents. It is also good news for the country she has served so well. Clark proves once again that New Zealand has a special niche in global politics….Her appointment also raises some spiny issues about how small country can make the best use of its talents. When she leaves parliament she leave a gaping hole. The departure of Michael Cullen, the brightest person in parliament, creates another. Clark’s appointment is a coup for her country; John Key has promised to use Cullen’s talents as well. So he should. A tiny country of four million can’t afford to waste any of it’s gifts. But there is a flip-side to this truism..a tiny country can’t afford drones or deadwood in high places…Labour must get through some complicated manoeuvring in order to get the best candidates for Cullen and Clark.
I suspect many thinking about the by-election most likely to be ahead is thinking about what the ramifications are for Labour. What sort of campaign to run, who to run and then what are the consequences. Who does Labour want to step up? There’s a significant opportunity for them here to illustrate where Labour is heading under new leadership. Interesting times ahead, and a good reason to be watching!