Little versus Tillerson

Andrew Little seems to have played to his base with comments about his meeting with US secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

From Newshub:  US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives for high-level talks

Andrew Little expressed concern about Trump’s “wacky” behaviour 

Labour leader Andrew Little raised concern about President Donald Trump’s behaviour when he met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier on Tuesday.

“If you value the relationship with the US, as I think New Zealanders do, I think it is right to say you know what – right now you’ve got a President that is kind of doing some weird stuff and this is not right,” Mr Little said.

“I don’t know what the Prime Minister is seeing and hearing from New Zealanders, every New Zealander I talk to expresses concern and sometimes alarm about the conduct of the US President.

I think it is right when the Secretary of State is in town to let the Secretary of State know that that’s how New Zealanders see a country that we regard as a good friend and an important friend.”

Mr Little also raised concern about Mr Trump’s tweets.

“When the United States President speaks, no matter what the medium, no matter what the forum, it’s important,” Mr Little said.

“When it’s kind of pretty wacky, and out there, and repeatedly so after several months I think we are entitled to not only take an interest in it but to express concern about it.”

When asked about Mr Trump’s tweets to Sadiq Khan, Mr Little had seen them and was surprised that the Prime Minister had not.

“I think they were clumsy and ham-fisted, he clearly misunderstood what Sadiq Khan had said. But that unfortunately can be said about many of Donald Trump’s tweets, including his one about covfefe,” Mr Little said.

If Little becomes Prime Minister he may have to learn how to interact with officials from major allies, focussing on things that matter, building relationships no matter who is the president, and perhaps being a bit more circumspect than “it’s kind of pretty wacky, and out there”.

If Little does become leader of New Zealand he will learn that the job is quite different to pandering to a partisan crowd on social media.

8 Comments

  1. David

     /  June 7, 2017

    God Little is an absolute idiot. He has the emotional maturity of a 13 year old, he did a similar thing with China,s leader when he was here.

  2. Gezza

     /  June 7, 2017

    Andrew may often have a point or two but he has a staggering lot to learn about diplomacy & shows no sign of possessing the necessary intellectual equipment to acquire it. Not Foreign Minister material, that’s for sure.

    • Diplomacy. Wearing my Devil’s Advocate hat, isn’t that just a convention used and abused to insist on conformity, to force the will of the few onto the less-informed many? A strategy of enablers which has seen the welcoming of an intolerant and hostile culture which has adversely affected every nation to which it has been introduced? In effect, a slow-boiling frog. The obvious appeal of Trump to his “common” masses would have to be his lack of, indeed, his destruction of diplomacy as many might see it.

      • Gezza

         /  June 7, 2017

        Diplomacy, in foreign relations terms, I think more properly encompasses the skills & personal characteristics, & govenmental policies & processes, to try and establish or maintain good & friendly relations & contacts with other countries – and to quietly, & with dignity and respect, understand other countries – & represent & promote the ideals, values, peoples, opportunities, & attractions etc of your own country.

        In my view anyway. I hope to hear more from Bj on this point. As a former official NZ diplomatic representative & practitioner.

        But this is becoming harder to do in the case of Middle Eastern countries, because of Islam, and though it jars against my natural preference, upbringing & the generally tolerant values of most people in our society, I consider the Islamic faith once there is a large number of Muslims in our communities to be incompatible & inevitably hostile to our accustomed way of life. And I think we should shut the door. Diplomacy in that case I imagone would be next to impossible to exercise except as a formal means of extracting our citizens from strife in Muslim countries as they would undoubtedly all be hostile then.

        A quandary I can’t quite resolve yet in my mind.

  3. Chris

     /  June 7, 2017

    Little said”every New Zealander I talk to expresses concern and sometimes alarm about the conduct of the US President.”
    Well he certainly didn’t talk to me and ask me my opinion!!!

  4. Strong For Life

     /  June 7, 2017

    Good grief! I think it is right to say you know what – right now we’ve got a Leader of the Opposition, that is kind of saying and doing some weird stuff and that is not right.

    Mr Little you do not speak for me, or the majority of New Zealanders. Fewer than 10 percent of New Zealanders prefer you as prime minister that dismal polling reflects your standing in this country. Shut up!

  5. When Little described Trump’s actions as “clumsy and ham-fisted”, he could just as easily have been describing himself. He certainly has the reverse Midas touch.

  6. David

     /  June 7, 2017

    It will all go down very well over at The Standard and that’s all Little is really worried about.