UN role for Helen Cark and the new candidate for Mt Albert
Clark role puts her at No3 in UN hierarchy
Helen Clarks's move to the United Nations Development Programme will secure her an office in downtown New York, a tax-free salary and command of a NZ$9 billion international budget. Miss Clark is poised to head the powerful agency and, if confirmed, it would in effect place her third-highest in command at the UN. That would rank it among the most powerful positions held by a New Zealander. Prime Minister John Key confirmed yesterday that it was considered more significant than former Labour prime minister Mike Moore's role as World Trade Organisation boss. But neither Mr Key nor Miss Clark would comment publicly on the likelihood of her getting the job after news of her appointment was leaked prematurely. An announcement is expected by the end of the week.
What an amazing success for Helen Cark, I get the same sense of pride when I look at her as I do when I think about David Lange, nuclear free NZ and our role in leading social movements like universal suffrage, the 40 hour week and the welfare state. Yes there were moments in her 9 years as Prime Minister that I took to the streets in protest and those moments caused great social stress within NZ, but this week is about acknowledgement of her as one of our best political leaders. Thrown out by a deluded electorate who voted for ‘change’, hounded by a despicable redneck talkback culture she has had the last laugh with an appointment that could see her in line as the first female leader of the UN. She should be congratulated and the petty bitter comments left to Kiwi Blogh, her focus to get to the UN was an early one and any of us who can manage such transition deserves respect. Well done Helen Clark, what an incredible achievement.
And we now turn to the empty seat of Mt Albert – my suggestion is someone new, someone from outside the Labour Party list, and my suggestion is Human Rights lawyer, Deborah Manning. Deborah has lived in Mt Albert, Deborah is the youngest lawyer ever to argue at the Supreme Court in defending Ahmed Zaoui, Deborah’s appointment would be a strong signal that Labour haven’t lost their social conscience and it would also be a magnanimous gesture by Clark that would heal the damage to her reputation the entire Ahmed Zaoui situation caused. Deborah Manning would make an incredible MP and with the legacy of that electorate, could be a future leader of the party.