Sunday, April 13, 2014

Helen Clark likens government to toothpaste

 Being interviewed by Australian media, this remark was made by Helen Clark:
Reflecting on her time in New Zealand politics, particularly towards the end, Clark said it was "regrettable" politics had become something of a consumer commodity. 
"Where you change the brand of toothpaste, you just change the brand of government without giving too much thought to the taste or what it’s going to do."
 What a strange analogy. How many people are really that flippant about who they vote for?

What influences which toothpaste you use? I don't give a rat's to be honest. I buy what someone else asks me to, or what's on special, or whatever is making the most dazzlingly bogus claim. But it's decision that occupies my consciousness for a nano second once a fortnight at best.

Whereas the world I inhabit is constantly considering politics: policy and players.  Whether I am listening to the radio, reading newspapers, blogging, having conversations or just out walking by myself, things political are there.

And I doubt anybody is just not buying toothpaste, so how does she account for the non-voters?

It's a stupid statement. But perhaps that is how Helen dealt with the ousting. Convincing herself that her rejection was just a casual choice to buy John Key because he would make our teeth whiter. Ooooh, I like the blue box better than the red one.

Doesn't it just scream of the contempt in which she holds New Zealanders? No wonder she had to get out of here.


Jigsaw said...

There always was a superior edge to her manner. I recall in the final stages of the 2008 election campaign when it was obvious from her face that she had suddenly realised what most other people had known for some weeks-that she
was going to lose. The other picture of her that have in my mind is of her striding through the Mystery Creek field days with her staff. The crowd were completely silent as she passed then went back to what they were doing-no hostility just absolute indifference. She looked uncomfortable as I think she mostly did in public.

Anonymous said...

Jigsaw's comment just reinforces Clark's point; politics is about personalities not policies.

Key promised before the 2008 election he would give NZ Helen's policies with a prettier face. He delivered on that promise 100%.

Describe one concrete substantial way NZ would
have been different had Helen won. My guess is the Maori flag wouldn't fly from the harbour bridge.

Read "incredible luck" to find a batch of
Policies that would change NZ forever and that Key won't touch with a barge poll.

In terms of policies not personalities Labour is in
Government and Hellen is almost still
PM - almost because Hellen would have fired incompetents like Parata and Collins.

Kiwiwit said...

You are right when you say "the world I inhabit is constantly considering politics: policy and players". Actually I think this is a peculiarly New Zealand phenomenon and few other countries devote as much of their national attention to the (often petty) politics that we do. New Zealand would be a far better place if there wasn't so much focus on politics and people got on with their lives instead of expecting the government to solve every problem.

thor42 said...

@Kiwiwit - "New Zealand would be a far better place if there wasn't so much focus on politics and people got on with their lives instead of **expecting the government to solve every problem**.


Anonymous said...

With govt 55% of the economy (including infrastructure development, roads, ACC ETC) and margial govt take at Muldoonist 75% the government is everyone's lives. Just because Key doesn't call NZ communist any more doesn't mean he was wrong when he did - or that anything has changed