Vote for Helen!

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, July 14th, 2016 - 55 comments
Categories: helen clark, International, leadership - Tags: ,

Yesterday 10 of the candidates for the UN’s top job faced off in debate. For the first time this was a public event (you can view the whole thing on YouTube).

Al Jazeera hosted and broadcast the debate, and ran a live blog. That page contains an online poll (“Who gave the best performance?”) where you can vote for Helen – as a plurality (43%) have so far.

Reaction to Helen’s performance has been good, she “aced” the debate, made a “strong showing”, she received “strong applause”. NewsHub rates each of the ten (Clark wins with 9/10).

The politics of the appointment are very tough, but Helen Clark is putting on a strong campaign. Go well!

55 comments on “Vote for Helen!”

  1. Ad 1

    By running UNDP, she is already New Zealand’s most successful international politician of all time.
    On that field she’s already left Fraser in her wake.

    Should she get the position, I’m particularly looking forward to the banner headline from Ian Wishart’s magazine Investigate. He’s always expected a full Agenda 21 conspiracy from Helen, so then he’ll have his full lizard-tongued wish.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    I had always been pretty neutral on Helen and she would probably be very good in the role, but I can’t quite get over her standing next to John Key and saying we must sign the TPPA. In that moment she validated Key’s appalling prime ministership, undermined the Labour Party’s position and undermined Labour leader Andrew Little. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but she had wisely remained quiet on every other thing going on in New Zealand while working at the UN. And yet this was the one thing she felt compelled to speak out on? (other than chopping down the Kauri tree). It was unnecessary for her to say anything and was inappropriate given her position at the United Nations, apart from anything else, encouraging the conspiracy theorists. To support a trade agreement that allows corporates to sue governments suggests she believes that the current economic model is sustainable and can cope with problems like climate change.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      She needs US support for her candidacy.

      • alwyn 2.1.1

        She didn’t just need US support. She required Key’s approval.
        She was dependent on the New Zealand Government nominating her as the Security Council will only consider candidates who are nominated by a member state.
        She is basically forced to kowtow to Key until after the election. He can kill her chance at any time until then.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          He couldn’t do that without losing 5% in polling. But he can gain in the polls if he looks supportive of a successful Kiwi and his predecessor on the international stage.

          • Mosa 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah but the coverage of Helens bid has all been publicly about KEY as if he is the one applying for the job.

        • Ralf Crown 2.1.1.2

          Probably right, and Key and UN is a sub department of the Whitehouse, and the Whitehouse is a puppet of US business mafia. Now we understand the pecking order and who is serving who. The serfs in Aotearoa does not count.

        • North 2.1.1.3

          Oh go suck your arse Alwyn. It would be tastier than the vile excretia you suffer us with. I actually think that did the Weak Man try to put the kaibosh on every thing there’d be this – “Oh Kia Ora John……yeah fuck off aye……Helen’s the future……you ain’t.”

          You know it Alwyn. Do not suffer. And do not suffer us with your nervous shit. Take counseling man.

          • alwyn 2.1.1.3.1

            I read this comment of yours and then went back and looked at the preceding and following ones in this post.
            Those were the ones at 9.58pm, 10.20pm, 10.35pm, 11.06pm, 11.16pm and 11.33pm.
            For the sake of your health and your mental stability I suggest you severely cut back on your alcohol consumption. These comments of yours get steadily more deranged as the evening goes on. It cannot possibly be good for you to make up for the dreariness of your existence by getting totally drunk and then blurting out your unhappiness at the world on a blog..
            You seem to have met Helen Clark at a lunch in 1981 and that is the only important event in your life. Surely there is something else that happened to you? Anything else that had some meaning? There must be something else to have enlivened your existence?

    • Clare 2.2

      Too true ep, worrying

  3. EE 3

    This would have been the ideal opportunity to bring back the worm 🙂

  4. Puckish Rogue 4

    That’s one way to conduct a job interview I guess

  5. Xanthe 5

    Vindictive bully

  6. Jester 6

    What is this love affair progressives have with a right wing neoliberal like Clark? She’s been dreaming about running the un since she was in diapers and I hope she loses, nothing but a tppa pushing technocrat who did only slightly better than the current govt unless you were middle class then she was great.

    Who cares if she does win the un is a waste of time and achieves nothing but costing member nations money, I doubt it’ll survive its 100th anniversary, I think like the EU it’ll fall apart within the next ten years, hey maybe she could be its last leader, if she’s as good at heading the un as she is the undp she probably will be it’s last leader!!

    Careerist politicians = yuck

    • red-blooded 6.1

      Jester, you don’t have to adore all politicians, but you can’t deny that we need them. What alternative do you propose for actually running a country (or an international organisation like the UN)? Do you just want to have unelected technocrats making major decisions on our behalves? Wow – that would really help to promote the left-wing cause, wouldn’t it?

      So, accepting that we need politicians, surely it’s a good thing for them to build their skills over time and take on more responsibility commensurate with their skills and levels of experience? Guess what – that means “careerist politicians” are created.

      While I agree that it’s a good thing for a politician to have life experience and to have worked in some other field(s), the fact is that most (including Clark) have. I think we have to get over this inherent suspicion of politicians and stop using the word as a put-down. How would democracy of any kind function without politicians?

      • Siobhan 6.1.1

        Ah yes Democracy, hows that going these days?? For one, this UN vote and debate is really all about giving the appearance of openness. Meanwhile the US is all about voting for the supposed lesser of two evils, that’s assuming you are allowed to vote. The UK, well, thats a work in progress, but for one its a 25 pound fee if you want to vote on the Labour leader.
        Maybe these countries should consider calling themselves ‘Post Democratic’.

    • Chris 6.2

      Seeing Clark hand-in-hand with Key on the TPPA helps to understand how it was possible she could be responsible for the incredibly nasty things she did to the poorest New Zealanders between 1999 and 2008.

    • North 6.3

      Oh Jester Darling…….you’re so, so……well…… commanding. I cannot say I do not like eeet……

  7. Guerilla Surgeon 7

    You know what, some of us find it difficult to forgive her for sitting on her fucking hands while Roger Douglas and his mates ruined the economy. And for pandering to the middle classes with working for families, by leaving beneficiaries out. So no not voting for Helen. 🙂

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Yip, ’cause National are so much better.

      Demanding our politicians be perfect is futile, since it’s impossible to meet everyone’s definition of perfect at the same time.

      • Guerilla Surgeon 7.1.1

        Are National standing for Secretary-General of the UN? And where did I say that I demand that she be perfect? I pointed out two quite major betrayals of what I feel Labour should stand for. I don’t regard them as minor imperfections.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          So, you’ll not vote to support Helen, even though she’d be a good sec-gen, because her previous history in Labour wasn’t perfect as far as you’re concerned.

          • Guerilla Surgeon 7.1.1.1.1

            You soon she would make a good Secretary-General? That’s an interesting assumption. And as I said, there’s a difference between “not being perfect” and “betraying Labour’s principles”. You seem to think it’s a matter of wearing the wrong shade of lipstick or something.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Lanth was not personally harmed by Rogernomics. Or by beneficiaries missing out on working for families or Labour ducking restoring the $20/week Ruthanasia cuts.

              So easy for him, and the rest of the NZ Labour caucus, to smoothly glide over it as some minor detail of antiquity.

            • North 7.1.1.1.1.2

              I respect your stuff Guerilla……and rationally true it is. But I can’t help being in a forgive/overlook mode right now. In terms of the entire world, Helen is my whanaunga. How could she not be ? Not perfect in her undertakings true……but whom is ? Indeed, can you see a moment where Helen Clark might actually make a difference. Where people might not die. I can.

    • Chris 7.2

      And Labour’s never uttered one word about that since. Tells us nothing’s changed in that department.

    • Pat 7.3

      “And for pandering to the middle classes with working for families, by leaving beneficiaries out”

      a curious take on that…I had always considered that WFF had assisted working class families as well perhaps even more so.

      • Guerilla Surgeon 7.3.1

        I’m sure it did help some working class families. But it was essentially middle-class welfare. How can it be anything else when beneficiaries don’t get a penny?

        • Pat 7.3.1.1

          I am well aware that many feel that the exclusion of the IWTC portion of WFF to beneficiaries is inequitable but that is no reason to pretend all the other sections of that package didn’t improve the lot of all lower income families, beneficiaries included….I further note that as it was income indexed by its very nature would support the lowest paid the most.

          I make these observations as a recipient of this package as both a beneficiary and a working class parent.

  8. swordfish 8

    When Helen wins … we all win !!!

    Well … except for (1) senior UNDP official Lena Sinha, (2) the victims of some pretty savage job-cutting by Clark, not to mention (3) the lives of hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians. But we don’t like to talk about that.
    Obviously, it was all some sort of “ghastly misunderstanding”.

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2016/05/26/gordon-campbell-the-latest-allegations-against-helen-clark/

    • Bill 8.1

      Thanks for linking to that piece. I haven’t explored all the links it provides, but I think the final line just about says it all really.

      After all…isn’t a readiness to turn a strategic blind eye to human rights abuses very much what a Security Council dominated by the US, Russia and China will demand of their choice as the next UN Secretary-General?

      Oh, and look! I don’t have to bring up the reasonable suspicion (yet again) that a sleazy self serving deal was done between Clark and the US (dropping NZs veto) so that India could be supplied with nuclear tech against then current international treaties…(and Helen waltzed straight from an election defeat into the position of UNDP head).

      Anyway, I find it heartening, that according to this thread at least, the longstanding and uncritical love of ‘Aunty Helen’ may finally be fraying around the edges.

      • seeker 8.1.1

        @Bill 1.13pm

        The only ‘uncritical love’ that is ‘fraying at the edges for me’ is that which I have for the many negative and ‘truthiness’ comments to be found on this thread.

    • Anne 8.2

      From the link supplied by swordfish:

      Her critics, both here and overseas, are likely to treat the charges of Clark’s ruthlessness (and vindictiveness to those seen to have crossed her) as being entirely consistent with traits they have witnessed before. Still, Clark’s chances for the top job may even thrive in the wake of this latest scandal. After all…isn’t a readiness to turn a strategic blind eye to human rights abuses very much what a Security Council dominated by the US, Russia and China will demand of their choice as the next UN Secretary-General?

      As someone who respects Campbell’s Scoop posts, I nevertheless take issue with some of what he has said about Helen Clark. I met Helen for the first time back in 1972 and for 10 or so years had numerous dealings with her. In other words I came to know her quite well.

      Yes, Helen can be ruthless when she believes it is warranted for a greater good. I saw instances of it in the late 1970s and 1980s. But vindictive? NO. All vindictive behaviour, be it at a personal, national or international level, is petty by nature and you don’t have to look any further than two National govt. female ministers, Paula Bennett and Judith Collins to see examples of petty vindictiveness. Helen is nothing like them. But she does not abide fools, clever-dicks or those with malicious intent towards her. All the individuals I knew (both sexes) who disliked her were guilty of one or all of those traits.

      Many of the criticisms levelled at her over the years were just sexist and/or based on jealousy. The same goes for the ‘scandals’ that would erupt from time to time. I knew the identities of those who started some of them and they were made up of twisted facts or pure fabrication borne out of malice. I have my suspicions that it is happening all over again only this time the ‘scandals’ involve international concerns. She is one of the strongest women in the international arena and that’s apparently too much for some of her colleagues/competitors to handle – just as the Labour Party Rogernomes couldn’t handle it back in the 1980s and early 90s.

      • swordfish 8.2.1

        Ok, Anne. But I’ve always implicitly trusted Gordon Campbell’s judgement. He’s invariably bang on the money. And he clearly has a good deal of faith in prize-winning UN journalist Colum Lynch – the analyst who made these well-researched allegations:

        “Foreign Policy is a heavyweight journal. More to the point, Lynch has been the most widely respected journalist covering the United Nations for over a decade.”

        • Anne 8.2.1.1

          But I’ve always implicitly trusted Gordon Campbell’s judgement.

          So have I swordfish. But I have some inside knowledge of Helen which goes beyond my personal interaction with her in the 70s and part of the 80s. Indeed I became aware of clandestine activity mounted against her by a few of her detractors which she knows nothing about to this day.

          I have no inside knowledge of her UNDP activities but going on past experience I suspect some of the claims (but concede perhaps not all of them) are lacking in validity.

          • swordfish 8.2.1.1.1

            Cheers, Anne. I respect your good judgement and honesty too.

            On your intimate knowledge of Labour internals over the past 50 years …
            As Felix once said:
            “Anne, I hope I get to hear some of your stories one day.”

            A quick note to John Key

            • North 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah would be great to hear it Anne.

            • Anne 8.2.1.1.1.2

              Thanks for the kind words swordfish.

              I’ve thought about putting the story together, but it is a complex task because there are several different threads to it. Suffice to say, back in the 70s and 80s there were two individuals (at the least) inside the Labour Party who were causing all manner of trouble. They operated clandestinely for the most part, and they targeted mainly politicians and others who were linked to those politicians. I came under the ‘others’ category. (The main reason for my inclusion was because I was associated with one of them although I knew nothing of their ‘nocturnal’ activities at the time.) I still don’t have all the answers… eg. were they operating independently or were they working for an outside organisation? Until such a time I have these answers, I don’t feel free to tell the full story.

              • leftie

                Fair enough. Are these individuals still around Anne? After all this time, what’s the chances of finding out the information that you need?

                • Anne

                  Are these individuals still around Anne? After all this time, what’s the chances of finding out the information that you need?

                  One of them fled to Australia in the 1980s. The other (a woman) is long gone from the Labour Party. She was closely associated with the Rogernomes. There will be people who have information about them but I don’t know who they are, so my hopes of being able to tell the story grow ever slimmer. There were a few other former Labour members loosely connected with them, but they have long disappeared into the woodwork.

                  • leftie

                    How intriguing !! I don’t think I need to tell you how much I am dying with curiosity, but it’s a shame that it won’t see the light of day, as it sounds like it’s the kind of story that should be told. Thanks Anne, for sharing what you could.

      • leftie 8.2.2

        +1 Anne, and I saw it as smearmongering too. Someone tried to ruin Helen Clark’s chances.

  9. TopHat 9

    I voted for her a couple of times already and that didn’t go that well. So, yeah but nah. 😉

  10. James Thrace 10

    It is interesting that it only ever seems to be left wing progressive politicians that end up on the world stage vis a vis Mike Moore, Geoffrey Palmer et al.

    Right wing politicians end up in cushy sinecures as directors for dodgy businesses vis a vis Jenny Shipley and Mainzeal, Wyatt Screech and Open Country Dairy.

    Speaks volumes about their ethical moral compass.

    • North 10.1

      Well of course…….they have no moral compass. They have that wonderful thing going on, a la Shipley, where they flit from here to there being important and wonderfully remunerated. So they’re shit really. As people.

      You make a terrible mistake asserting that Mike Moore ended up anywhere on account of principle or wholeness. The man (if he’s still alive) is a scab on the working class. No conscience. Far worse than Mad Dog or Bassett.

      He rode to Parliament in 1972 on the backs of the excited working class of Eden, indeed the whole of Auckland even The Herald, bearing their working class champion. And the dirty bastard scabbed. Boy’s probably worth maybe 7 or 8 mill’ now. Plus pensions for Africa. Fucking wrong. Fucking scab. On the backs of working class who trusted him !?!?!?.

  11. johnm 11

    Who ever is secretary general of the UN is irrelevant it’s an impotent organisation except for gestures. So go for it Helen become a useless figurehead with all the bs drama involved.

    • North 11.1

      Of course Helen’s always aimed for a role in the fucking Kardashians hasn’t she Mr JohnM ?

      Woulda made it except got jostled aside by the Fucking Keys.

      Go Hel’. You Go Hel’. I reckon you got it. Your eyes when you delivered your preliminary speech. Your eyes were powerful ! Windows to the soul. Poor guy that followed you. “Experience, Commitment, Vision”. Was like he was doing a review of your superb presentation. Damn for that man !

  12. Gristle 12

    Do you have to pay £25 to vote?

  13. North 13

    Look, ya can do the dance about the UN wah wah wah and yeah/nah but I need to say this –

    Go Helen ! Go My Kiwi ! Go Go Go ! Can remember about 1981 I went to a small Sunday lunch at friends’ place in Aux. Helen there. What bloody delightful company. Didn’t have the slightest notion that I’m sitting next to Ban Ki Moon Plus One Thirty Five Years Later Let Alone PM For Nine Years. It was only afterwards I realised whom she was. So just another lovely person in Aux that day. Was brilliant !

    Thank you Helen. You make me very proud. Cos’ in tikanga you’re my whanaunga !

    • leftie 13.1

      +1 North.

      • seeker 13.1.1

        Thankyou for that great comment 13 North. She was the best leader I had known in 30+ years and 11,617 miles. Thank God there was at least one during my time on this planet. She would make a fantastic SG of the UN.

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