Helen Clark free to speak

Helen Clark has spoke up about a number of issues lately, and she tends to get media coverage. She has also been criticised and ridiculed by some.

A first term National MP had a swipe:

Tau is right, Clark has as much right as anyone – Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley, John Key, you or me – to speak as she sees fit. That she gets more coverage than most is just lucky for her – or unlucky if she cops well informed counter arguments.

Hating and nasty attacks and abuse are things Clark will be well used to, it has been an unfortunate feature of political dialogue for a long time.

I think we should welcome the views of former prime Ministers, and former MPs, in political debates.

One of the critical aspects of free speech is the freedom to not hear, to not read, and to ignore.

17 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  July 22, 2018

    One of the ironic aspects of the reactions to Helen Clark being quoted isn’t the simple disagreeing with her views, but the level of the comments in some forums.

    According to some Clark had extremely deleterious affects on our society. Any utterances she makes now imply her continuing to destroy the country.

    If the invective, insults, name-calling and other petulant juvenile responses are any indication, the authors of them could reflect in their own mirrors rather than whatever Clark was or is for the country.

  2. Zedd

     /  July 22, 2018

    Aunty Helen has been making some very positive noises around cannabis reform.. esp. medicinal. Shame she didn’t do more, as PM.. in Govt. ?!

    • PDB

       /  July 22, 2018

      Easy to change her tune now votes aren’t important to her.

      • duperez

         /  July 22, 2018

        Did Keith Holyoake do something positive around cannabis reform?
        Maybe the climate is significantly different at present than when KJH was in the chair. While Clark is far more recent, the public discussion and the evolution of thoughts, experiences and public perceptions mean the climate around cannabis has changed.
        To a claim of Clark that should have at least led the way, got the discussion going so that we’d be further ahead with it than what we are, maybe Holyoake should have too. His 10 plus years included the prime Hippie years. Apparently cannabis was a bit of a thing through that time.

        • PDB

           /  July 22, 2018

          Your comments make little sense.

          1. Holyoake is highly unlikely to have been pro-cannabis reform, no doubt he remained with that view until he died so his views would have been totally consistent.
          2. Cannabis reform was as big an issue during the Clark Labour govt as it is now. Clark herself gave a speech back in 1994 saying “Marijuana is certainly a current issue.” In that speech she said prohibition was not working.

          • duperez

             /  July 22, 2018

            I’m just suggesting the climate is a lot different in 2018 than it was in 2008, 1968 and so on. Regardless of the Holyoke’s personal views the country was a lot more conservative back then and I believe the world view and outlook was more narrow then.

            Sure, some will be disappointed that Holyoke, Muldoon or Kirk didn’t move on the issue. Or Clark. To me Clark making positive noises around cannabis reform is no big deal. She’s a citizen, albeit a prominent one, who has a view.

            The public discussion in the past couple of years means there is far more context for political leaders to be actively involved in pursuing the subject.

            But the topic is another chance to have dig at her and put the boot in with your, “Easy to change her tune now votes aren’t important to her.”

            Or further down the post, the puerile drivel, “She is the de facto godfather behind the throne. She says jump and Jacinda says how high?”

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  July 22, 2018

          Nixon’s War on Drugs was launched in 1971 and Holyoake’s final term ended in 1972 so he didn’t have much time to oppose US pressure to join that new disastrous war following its Vietnam one.

    • Corky

       /  July 22, 2018

      She looks after her whanau, Zeddy.

    • Zedd

       /  July 23, 2018

      as long as Aotearoa/NZ (& others) are current signatories to UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961.. we need to keep this in focus; BUT it does make it clear, that ZERO-tolerance was NEVER the intention.. Nixon’s WAR on Drugs rhetoric effectively morphed into it though.

      If anyone is really interested in the reality (not just the misinfo.) on this.. then I suggest you read up on it. The opening preamble statement talks about ensuring medicinal access to the drugs is maintained & yet we are debating whether to allow med-cannabis in 2018.. It should never have been.. NOT available according to the UN Convention.. go figure :/

      All I say is; Nixon (& others since) should burn in hell for what they did ! 😦

  3. PDB

     /  July 22, 2018

    Not sure why Tau posted about her having the same rights considering Brown’s Tweet says nothing about her not having those rights – I read it as him pondering the irony that the left-wing ‘working for families’ Clark is apparently against a one-off concert to help save babies.

    Lance Wiggs then follows up with a stupid tweet suggesting we should perhaps listen to Clark over most other people because she is a “global leader” with “plenty of local and international experience”. Apparently in his eyes this makes her a leading authority on charity concerts in leafy suburbs & actually goes against what Tau was saying about Clark’s opinion being no more or less important than anybody else involved in the issue.

    Clark has a right to have her say as do other people who may not like her – if those people go overboard in that criticism that reflects poorly on them & makes their argument less effective as dupz mentions above.

    • Blazer

       /  July 22, 2018

      ‘ Clark is apparently against a one-off concert to help save babies.’……shameless money making scheme ,being pushed by a wealthy man for years now.

      • PDB

         /  July 22, 2018

        He has his opinion…..you have yours – isn’t freedom of speech great?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 22, 2018

      IMHO Lance Wiggs is a sopping wet Gareth Morgan without the insight.

  4. Jimmie

     /  July 22, 2018

    She is not just a citizen. She is the de facto godfather behind the throne.

    She says jump and Jacinda says how high?

    Don’t forget she announced Goff to be the leader of the Labour party – he owes her.

  5. Callum

     /  July 22, 2018

    She is right about Eden Park, this event is outside their consent which was publicly notified and went through all the proper processes and set limits on what they were allowed to do. They didn’t get their way through that process so are now using charity as a back door to get extra events and will use it as a precedent. Whatever you think of the cause, if they want more events then go through the full proper process. They won’t because they will lose.

  6. sorethumb

     /  July 22, 2018

    Hating and nasty attacks and abuse are things Clark will be well used to, it has been an unfortunate feature of political dialogue for a long time.

    “I find your society genuinely admirable in many ways. For example, I met Helen Clark while I was in Wellington. I was invited to her official residence, and waved in by a lone policeman who didn’t even check who I was, then I had a barbecue with her. I congratulated her on the public’s enlightened attitudes towards racial issues, but she disagreed. She said to me that New Zealand was really a very racist country, and she was determined to do everything she could as prime minister to change that. I thought that was a very bold, honest statement to make to a foreigner, and I really respected her for that.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/3751531/Acting-giant-reflects-on-NZ-society

    It could be she doesn’t understand human nature?