Thanks for nothing, Sam

I can understand why the Government is cheesed off about the speech by departing US Ambassador Charles Swindells slamming the state of the NZ/US relationship. As Helen Clark says:

We have bent over backwards to be a very, very, very good friend to the United States through our participation in the Middle East, in Afghanistan with special services, reconstruction teams, frigates in the Gulf, Orions in the Gulf.

She’s right. This Government has done many surprising things to snuggle up to the United States since September 11, including passing draconian anti-terrorism legislation trampling on many of our human rights. This is the thanks it gets. One should be very clear that the only problem Swindells and his administration has with New Zealand is our nuclear-free policy. The comprehensive dialogue they’re promoting between the United States and New Zealand is code for “heavying you into trying to change your anti-nuclear stand”. In Don Brash, they’ve found someone willing to be heavied.

For all her faults, Helen Clark deserves fulsome praise for her staunchness on this issue. Of course New Zealand should work with the United States where we have common interests. But the suggestion that we are somehow being obstructionist because we insist on retaining our nuclear-free status is to argue that our foreign policy should be dictated by another country. That’s a very dangerous view, and one National – if it really does hold it – should have the courage to defend in public.

31 Comments Posted

  1. “Everything anyone does is based on threats and fear. Why do you eat? Fear of starving. Why do you not steal? Threat of jail.” A very reasonable reading of that statement is that the only reason you don’t steal is fear of jail. Possibly your writing skills need some work to help those of us with limited reading comprehension.

    And by saying that everything is based on fear because any desire can be turned around into a fear of the opposite simply makes your observation, if not wrong, completely meaningless. I buy a lollypop because I fear not experiencing that sweet, sweet taste. Penetrating analysis.

    No, Percy I’m not avoiding the central issue, you’re just not understanding the position I’m coming from and we’re talking past each other. I, and I suspect the Greens, support the UN, for all its faults, and international law, for all its faults, because it is a more positive basis for international relations than the law of the jungle.

    That doesn’t make the Greens puppets of the UN. When the UN is wrong, as it would have been if it had called on member states to provide appropriate support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 (as it did in 1990) the Greens would have opposed that.

    Getting rid of the UN and international law will not allow New Zealand to have a free and independent foreign policy (except, perhaps, in relation to a nation like Tonga, for example). We would have our foreign policy dictated by whichever big power would be willing to protect us in return for whatever they demand of us, or by any big power that was able to threaten us into doing what it wanted. That’s not free and independent.

    “International law clearly involves countries outside New Zealand. It’s obvious. There is nothing to argue here. You surely must have known that is what I meant, but you go off on some pedantic tangent, trying to pretend I said something I didn’t say. This is like pulling teeth.”

    Cool, that’s pretty much what I meant, I think. If only you wrote clearly enough for me this would be easier. But the relationship between New Zealand and an organisation that involves NZ and other countries is not the same as the relationship between New Zealand and other countries. Wouldn’t you agree? New Zealand is part of the first and not part of the second. That’s a difference, right? Presumably you’ll see it as pedantic and irrelevent, I don’t.

    Restrictions themselves have no power over you. It is only when they are enforced that power is involved. This is a difference between the powerless, according to you, UN and the powerful United States. This is a difference between heavying by the United States and non-existent heavying by the UN. I can say “don’t steal from me” but that restriction has no power over you unless it is backed up by the fear of jail, or fear of something else.

    “I don’t think we’re going to convince each other of our positions. You’re a wingnut, I can’t read. Shall we move on??

    Or in other words: “I know you’re wrong, because my beloved Green party is infallible and could never do anything hypocritical, but I’ve run out of logical arguments. ?

    No, I think both of us may require a remedial reading course, or you should take a leaf from your own book and stop the misepresentation. it means I don’t think we’re going to convince each other of our positions and it’s getting kind of dull. Pulling teeth is a mutual feeling here (maybe one of the few we share) and I have no desire to be a dentist.

    It means your logical position and my logical position are based on personal viewpoints that are some distance from each other and it’s pretty pointless discussing it on a blog. It means that things I see as important you see as irrelevant, and vice versa. It’s based on the idea that this forum is not going to move either of us from our philosophical base but that we can learn to leave the jungle and be civilised and acknowledge differences. Well, maybe you can’t, but I can.

    The Green Party is fallible. I’m the first to admit that (well, maybe you’ll beat me into that line, but I’m more than happy to admit it).

    I’m going on holiday in an hour or so (presumably I’m fearful of staying at home), so don’t expect this to continue with me. You can choose to accept our differences gracefully though disagreeing with my pinko cuddly religion as much as I disagree with your blood-bathed, fear-filled religion. Or wig out some more. Over to you.

  2. Pip

    Actually I reckon he’s a Troll… real Wingnuts don’t preach complete amorality…

    respectfully
    BJ

  3. You are still avoiding the central issue here: The Greens are UN puppets, putting the demands of the UN before the wishes of our own country, and hypocrites, for attacking the Nats when they are at best equally guilty of letting outside powers determine our foreign policy.

    But to address your points:

    “Are you really telling me that you woke up this morning and said “shit, don’t want to starve, better have breakfast?? I don’t recall doing the same.”

    Subconciously yes, we all did.

    “Are you really telling me that the only reason you don’t steal is because you’re scared of going to jail? Do you really have no personal morality?”

    Didn’t say that. Fear of jail is one of the reasons. But personal morality is based on fear of somebody else suffering.

    “International = between, among countries. Not outside countries.”

    International law clearly involves countries outside New Zealand. It’s obvious. There is nothing to argue here. You surely must have known that is what I meant, but you go off on some pedantic tangent, trying to pretend I said something I didn’t say. This is like pulling teeth.

    Laws, international and otherwise, are a set of restrictions. If something restricts you, it has power over you. This too is obvious, but off you go again.

    “I don’t think we’re going to convince each other of our positions. You’re a wingnut, I can’t read. Shall we move on?”

    Or in other words: “I know you’re wrong, because my beloved Green party is infallible and could never do anything hypocritical, but I’ve run out of logical arguments. ”

    It’s more evidence that the Greens are a religious group rather than a party of rational ideas.

  4. Are you really telling me that you woke up this morning and said “shit, don’t want to starve, better have breakfast”? I don’t recall doing the same.

    Are you really telling me that the only reason you don’t steal is because you’re scared of going to jail? Do you really have no personal morality?

    International = between, among countries. Not outside countries. Australia is not international to New Zealand. You’re thinking of ‘foreign’.
    Law = what power is restricted by, backed up within countries by the power of the State. It is not the ‘power’ of the law that prevents you using your power to steal from those weaker than you, it is apparently the threat of someone with more power.

    International Law = a restriction, developed between countries, of the use of power by the stronger against the weaker without justification, lacking, as you have said, any independent power to back it up.

    So, not outside, and not power.

    From your perspective questioning my reading comprehension is a statement of fact because the differences between our viewpoints mean I don’t accept what you are saying and you apparently fail to understand how that is possible. However, that is different from me not being able to comprehend what you are writing. From my perspective it is a personal attack.

    From my perspective calling you a wingnut is a statement of fact. A common description of people who hold positions similar to yours. Possibly I have a false impression of your position, but I don’t think so. From your perspective it’s apparently a personal attack.

    I don’t think we’re going to convince each other of our positions. You’re a wingnut, I can’t read. Shall we move on?

  5. Percy: Everything anyone does is based on threats and fear. Why do you eat? Fear of starving. Why do you not steal? Threat of jail.

    That statement is ridiculous. People eat because they are hungry, not because they are afraid. People don’t steal because they respect the rights of other people, not because they fear punishment. At its most productive they don’t steal because they hope not to be stolen from in return. Fear has damned little to do with it unless we are talking about complete amorality.

    Which is where you repeatedly seem to be returning. Complete amorality. The politics of fear and force. I am astonished to find you out of jail… you ARE out of jail now, aren’t you?

    What the Green party called for then and what its policy should be now are two very different things. I’d be happy enough for the UN to support stabilization efforts in Iraq IF AND ONLY IF a US apology went way beyond the usual . The world community can accept this and attempt to set things right, but the USA and Bush in particular will have to pay, one way or another for the error. Bush will have to admit an error. Right now he admits to infallibility, apparently forgetting that he “fell” off his couch (among other things).

    In such a climate NZ could participate in a UN effort. It has no business being in Iraq in support of the current regime in Washington.

    Afghanistan is very different from Iraq. Don’t mix the two.

    Lastly, while the war was about oil, it was not FOR oil. The Iraqi tap is dried up quite nicely, and at $60 a bbl the oil companies are making money hand over fist. The war did exactly what it was supposed to do. It increased the value of the oil that they sell by removing/reducing the competing Iraqi supply.

    This is also why Junta is acting up with Iran. The players here are the big oil companies, who OWN Dubya and Cheney et.al… and they’ve profited nicely from the war (as has Halliburton).

    respectfully
    BJ

  6. “You don’t seem to be able to imagine taking an action that is not based on threats and fear.”

    Everything anyone does is based on threats and fear. Why do you eat? Fear of starving. Why do you not steal? Threat of jail.

    Greens: “The Green Party is calling on the Prime Minister to ignore any United Nations Security Council endorsement of America’s “war for oil? against Iraq that is not backed up by real evidence of a clear and present threat to other countries.?

    If dope was legalized, and you didn’t smoke it, would you be breaking the law? No. If an invasion is authorised, but you don’t take part, would you be breaking the rules? Not taking part in an authorized invasion is not breaking the rules of the UN. That’s not evidence of not being a puppet at all.

    “International law is not an outside power”

    Now you really are clutching at straws.

    International=outside (of a country)
    Law=(government) power

    Outside power is EXACTLY what international law is.

    “If you can’t see that those two statements say almost exactly the same thing, you have a serious problem with reading comprehension.”

    This is not a personal attack, it is a statement of fact.

  7. Oh yeah, and when you stop questioning people’s reading comprehension you can accuse me of personal attacks.

    And when you stop doing both, you can accuse others of hypocrisy.

  8. “the Greens… must be scared of some sort of retribution, loss of reputation, etc, from the UN or its members.”

    See that’s basically the difference between us on this one. You don’t seem to be able to imagine taking an action that is not based on threats and fear. (I’m not misrepresenting, maybe misinterpreting…)

    Greens: “The Green Party is calling on the Prime Minister to ignore any United Nations Security Council endorsement of America’s “war for oil? against Iraq that is not backed up by real evidence of a clear and present threat to other countries.?

    National (paraphrased): “We don’t know what our foreign policy will be, because the Americans won’t tell us what it should be unless we are in government.” – where’s the allegedly?

    One, not puppet. Two, puppet. There’s no hypocrisy in pointing that out.

    International law is not an outside power, it is a way of powers to work through differences without returning to the jungle and blowing each other up.

    When you stop coming up with disproven rubbish like “The Greens do, which is why they want New Zealand to become a UN puppet, instead of having a free and independent foreign policy of our own,” then you can accuse me of misrepresenting a position.

  9. “Right, there is no heavying from the UN, there is heavying from the US. Took a while but I’m glad we’ve cleared up that crap from your first post.”

    No, didn’t say that. I didn’t say there was heavying from the US at any point. I also didn’t say there was no heavying from the UN. I said there was “bugger all,” because the UN is weak. Learn to read. But there is some from the UN, else why would the Greens advocate obeying UN laws ahead of our own government’s wishes? They must be scared of some sort of retribution, loss of reputation, etc, from the UN or its members.

    “The difference between the two statements, I think, is that one is fetishising the UN (that’ll be the one the Greens didn’t say) and the other is supporting international law (that’ll be the one the Greens did say).”

    Rubbish. Both say that the wishes of an outside power should override our own country’s wishes. Exactly what the Greens are accusing Don Brash of. That’s hypocrisy. That’s the whole point.

    “The UN is a foreign power? France equals the UN?”

    No, France is a member of the UN. But in one sense, yes, because it was mainly their vote that stopped an invasion resolution. Again, irrelevant.

    Please stop misrespresenting what I say, and arguing pedantic irrelevant points.

    Here’s the issue, again:

    Greens: “Part of our foreign policy should be decided by an outside power.”
    National (allegedly): “Part of our foreign policy should be decided by an outside power.”

    The Greens are attacking National for allegedly advocating a principle that they have advocated themselves. That’s hypocrisy. No amount of personal attacks from you will change that Pip.

  10. BJ: “I could go on for a long LONG time.” – When you get the time, please do. I wish I had that kind of insight, or time to form it.

    “that Faux News is available down here” scarey enough, it is, on prime. Sometimes it’s on at about 2 or 3 am, but tomorrow nights guide* puts it at 11:45pm – scarier still rated as G. It’s provided a few late night horror shows when theres nothing else to do. Last time I watched it more than one of them looked like they were on something. Also, they did world weather, but Iraq wasn’t on it. Yeah.

    * http://home.nzcity.co.nz/tvnow/default.asp?ch=5&t=y#onnow (hope that link works…)

  11. Carnifex – Percy

    I have to go to work but I will answer both of you quickly, because you are both way past gone. The war was illegal IN THE UNITED STATES. If the Republican Religious loons lose control of Congress Bush will be impeached before the House is completely seated. He LIED to Congress in the letter he wrote claiming justification and Iraqi intransigence. The Downing Street Memo proves the treason.

    That the war was illegal in the sense of the UN resolutions is also clear, for those had similar restrictions on the use of force. I will get a link for you later, but you are simply wrong. You can argue if you like but better legal minds than mine said the same thing. War was NOT legitimatized under the existing UN sanctions and resolutions. That’s the AG of Great Britain. Not legal. You ARE allowed to second guess him about what would be upheld in court. Feel FREE to match your legal knowledge and experience against his, and indeed against that of the many legal experts who gave the SAME advice to all who asked.

    As far as “Freedom” in Iraq, the real result of the “victory” is women being arrested for showing their faces, tossed out of schools, men being rounded up for having their hair cut improperly and Islamic law according to the Shia and the most extreme mullah’s of that sect. That’s real freedom, as opposed to what they had under Saddam, except that they DID go to schools and the COULD show their faces and they HAD a rule of law (as long as they obeyed the edicts of the supreme tyrant).

    In the Sunni areas there’s a definite threat of genocide. The shia’s outnumber them and the only thing preventing it is the US presence. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t, they HATE us but they need us, and the Kurds are looking forward to a separate state, which for all practical purposes they will probably get. Moreover, the forces of terrorism are augmented by the relatives of the 100,000 civilians already dead at the hands of the USA, the new legitimacy that the Jihad earned the instant Dubya uttered the word “Crusade” and the training that they are all getting in unconventional war.

    In the meantime the US has dropped 200 Billion $US on the war and is expected to get to half a Trillion before it ends. The VA is unfunded… and Osama Bin Forgotten’s threat to bankrupt the USA is being brought into reality by George W. Bush. Osama’s goal, to involve the US in a war with Islam, is well underway. His dream of a unified Islamic state in opposition to the west, is gaining legitimacy under Bush’s careful guidance.

    Bush might as well be working for Osama, and given the ties he has to the Saudi’s, maybe he is.

    You two (Percy and Carnifex) are so bizarrely out of touch with reality that one has to believe that Faux News is available down here.

    I don’t know about any “new wave” of Kiwis, but I know what happened in the USA when the right went on its divisive tear. You watch it falling apart, watch the freedoms evaporate, watch the people segregating themselves in an atmosphere of corrosive hatred. I think education in NZ is too good to let such ignorance prevail… and I will work to keep it good.

    Rove outed Plame over the Niger Uranium lie that her husband exposed. The Downing Street Memo’s
    The reports from dozens of former experts on the MIddle East, replaced by ideologically driven idiots with not the least idea what the risks were.
    I could go on for a long LONG time.

    You go ahead and swallow the lies. Just remember that there is AMPLE evidence that they are lies, and leave yourselves room to doubt.

    I love what the USA used to be, but Swindell is a Bush appointee, and he’s one of Bush’s constituency, “the have’s and have more’s” – in Bush’s own words. The USA I grew up in is no longer.

    NZ has more freedom and better prospects for the future…

    respectfully
    BJ

  12. David – I read the text. The Ambassador was being about as diplomatic as a Smart Bomb pushing through your window. That was American Arrogance coming through loud and clear. Perhaps it isn’t as obvious if you didn’t grow up there, the nuance of the statement may not translate, but there was threat hanging in that pronouncement of Swindell’s and I certainly got it. I’m from NYC, and it was clear as a gun in your face to me. We’ll see who the new guy/gal turns out to be, and maybe they’ll play good-cop to Swindell’s outgoing bad-cop, but the statement on its own is an insult as well as a clear indication that the USA is not finished misunderstanding NZ.

    respectfully
    BJ

  13. The Ambassador was in fact signalling that the US was prepared to compromise on this issue, but that the parties had to talk directly about how to end the stand off. It was a wake up call but also an olive branch, and it has now been wasted thanks to the normal hysteria.

  14. Clark will love this attention – not hate it. She, however, is wrong. It will harm her more than she can believe. There’s a new wave of New Zealanders who love America and their freedoms, and that they are providing the potential for freedom in other countries, like Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The next step, invade Zimbabwe. And give mealie meal to the people. In that order. (It’s my ‘winning the peace’ strategy).

  15. Right, there is no heavying from the UN, there is heavying from the US. Took a while but I’m glad we’ve cleared up that crap from your first post.

    The difference between the two statements, I think, is that one is fetishising the UN (that’ll be the one the Greens didn’t say) and the other is supporting international law (that’ll be the one the Greens did say). A subtle difference, perhaps, for someone from your position way off yonder, but a very real one, whether you can see it or not.

    The UN is a foreign power? France equals the UN?

    You’re not on Little Green Footballs now, and you’re letting your wingnut hang out.

  16. Compare…

    “Regardless of what our government decided we shouldn’t have invaded because the UN said no.”

    with…

    “The rule of international law must be paramount and when politicians put their own self-interests ahead of respect for that rule, then we risk, as Helen Clark said, a ‘return to the jungle.”

    If you can’t see that those two statements say almost exactly the same thing, you have a serious problem with reading comprehension.

    What would the UN do? Bugger all, because the UN is totally toothless and pointless, though it would certainly affect relations with countries like France. But again, irrelevant.

    If the government obeys the demands of the US over their own wishes, they are letting foreign policy be dictated by a foreign power, no matter how much the US can enforce it.

    If the government obeys the rules of the UN over their own wishes, they are letting foreign policy be dictated by a foreign power, no matter how much the UN can enforce it.

    bjchip,

    International law is totally unenforceable and therefore utterly pointless. I couldn’t give a toss what the UN or its charter says. (The Greens do, which is why they want New Zealand to become a UN puppet, instead of having a free and independent foreign policy of our own.) Thankfully, GWB doesn’t either, though I don’t actually think he has broken any international law. There was a perfectly “legal” ceasefire agreement from the first Gulf War and SH clearly broke it.

  17. Quote 1: Shock horror. I can see the headlines now. “Greens agree with top British legal advisor.” I’m also mildly interested in what you think of the next phrase “Furthermore, the war was illegal because according to the US Constitution, only Congress can declare war.”

    Quote 2: Statement of fact. “Any shred” is an important part of that statement. “Any shred” is not synonomous with “something we should invade countries because of”.

    Quote 3: Statement of fact. If all countries ignore international law, then you get the ‘law of the jungle’. Small countries (like New Zealand) risk losing big time. It is in our government’s self-interest to support international law. If you think Keith Locke was referring to New Zealand politicians you should read the rest of the release.

    Which of those statements says “that regardless of what our government decided we shouldn’t have invaded because the UN said no”? Um, yeah, none.

    I’m in denial? You’re flat out wrong.

    You are also confused about the meaning of ‘heavied’ – it is not synonomous with ‘disagreeing’. Heavying requires a tangible response if you don’t do what someone says.

    For example, the United States may refuse to have military exercises with New Zealand unless we change our nuclear free policy, or they might, possibly, refuse a free trade agreement if we don’t do what they want. That’s real. That’s tangible. That’s heavying (assuming you want a free trade agreement).

    The United Nations might, um, well what exactly Percy? Put out a report? Come on, can’t be too hard, how did, or would, the UN heavy us? Please, I don’t want to beg here…

  18. Percy

    I am trying to understand your point. It appears to be, whatever *I* want is mine to take, no matter whether it is right or wrong or legal or illegal. Whatever I think is in my best interests is mine to do no matte if it is right or wrong or legal or illegal.

    Between nations the UN is the arbiter of legal and illegal, for better or worse it is the structure we have. The Geneva conventions apply when the rule of law is broken in favor of the force of arms. The US has ignored all of that.

    Now if I have musunderstood your point, fine, explain yourself better. If you have some refinements to make that would be a good thing cause the way I understand it you are putting us in harms way, ripe for the next SOB with a Navy, a hankering for kiwifruit and a similar attitude.

    I await your response. There was no justification of the US invasion of Iraq and I, perhaps better than anyone in this country, know that. There’s the gauntlet…

    respectfully
    BJ

  19. Pip,

    Your words: “There is no implication that regardless of what our government decided we shouldn’t have invaded because the UN said no.”

    WHAT?

    Here’s three quotes from Green Party press releases:

    ——
    “The war in Iraq was illegal because it violated the UN charter.”

    “There is no basis under international law for the invasion of Iraq and there is no UN mandate that grants any shred of legitimacy to this action.”

    “The Prime Minister has repeated one of the main Green objections to the invasion of Iraq,? Keith Locke said today. “The rule of international law must be paramount and when politicians put their own self-interests ahead of respect for that rule, then we risk, as Helen Clark said, a ‘return to the jungle.’
    ——

    Respecting UN rules ahead of your own government’s self-interests is having your foreign policy dictated to (“getting heavied”) by an outside body. And that’s exactly what Keith Locke demanded.

    You are in denial.

  20. Now getting back on to the point. Joy, I think National do want to change our nuclear policy because the United States doesn’t like it and hasn’t been as nice to us as they were before the policy and then legislation was introduced.

    Certainly in the realm of military cooperation (they won’t practice blowing shit up with us anymore, though they will actually blow shit up with us – strange but true) and possibly in the realm of free trade and so on (if that can be said to be not being as nice).

    No one else seems to care much about our policy, other nuclear states seem happy enough to work with us and have their ships visit and all, it’s only the United States that has ever bothered pressuring us to change the policy.

    I doubt that Brash is planning on building nuclear power stations here or coming up with an independent nuclear deterrent, so really the only reason he would want to court this kind of divisive position is because he thinks he will gain something from the United States for it. ie, he wouldn’t be doing this if the United States wasn’t heavying New Zealand.

    And he’s not appealing to electors, he’s trying to get them used to the idea and mitigate the divisiveness that will be created if he gets the chance to attempt to rereal the legislation.

  21. Percy, both your ‘becauses’ are false. There is no contingency in either of those statements.

    The Greens said it was unjustified. And it was illegal. As I have just demonstrated, if it had been given a legal figleaf, it still would have been unjustified, in the Greens eyes.

    There is no implication that regardless of what our government decided we shouldn’t have invaded because the UN said no. There is an implication that our government should have decided to say no because it was unjustified. That’s independent foreign policy for you.

    The Greens wanted our Government to do the right thing. Whatever the UN said or did. They certainly used the argument that the invasion was illegal, fair enough. But it wasn’t what their argument was based on.

    Now, about that evidence for UN heavying, which you raise again. I take it you have none?

  22. Pip,

    The key point here is that the Greens repeatedly said that the war was unjustified because it was illegal, implying that regardless of what our government decided, we shouldn’t invade, because the UN said no. In other words, the government should give in to UN heavying.

    The Greens wanted the government to give in to heavying, because the heavies were on their side.

    Your reply fails to refute this in any way.

  23. No Percy.

    The Greens would have opposed the Iraq War even if the US and Britain had managed to heavy the rest of the Security Council into giving them a figleaf.

    Here’s a line from a press release in January 2003:

    “The Green Party is calling on the Prime Minister to ignore any United Nations Security Council endorsement of America’s “war for oil? against Iraq that is not backed up by real evidence of a clear and present threat to other countries.”

    So there you go, if the UN had endorsed the invasion, without good reason, the Green Party would have opposed the UN. So much for the UN dictating our foreign policy.

    And I wasn’t aware that the UN heavied us in any way not to invade Iraq with the coalition. Perhaps you could provide some evidence? Yeah, well…

  24. Friends should be independent of one another and neither subject to bullying. All I have heard from the USA on this issue is heavy tactics. Very heavy. Shame on them, purporting to be the defender of the free yet wishing to deny us our freedom of thought. We would not accept this, even from our Monarch and her prime minister, so why would any NZer think it is OK for the USA to dictate our thoughts, our foreign policy?

    Why is Don Brash so outspoken on this subject? What focus group of potential electors has he been listening to?

  25. Breathtaking hypocrisy from people who have banged on and on about the “illegal” Iraq war. So it’s OK to have the UN dictate our foreign policy, but not the US. So it’s not the heavying you mind, it’s just that they are the wrong heavies.

  26. Hmm, ok, don’t know if I can back up the second paraphrase, may have been something I read on a blog as a possible Brash line, rather than a solid piece of news type stuff. If anyone else has heard something along those lines I’d be interested.

  27. Boolocks Sock. No Green MP has ever said, and I paraphrase “where America goes we go” (cue stirring martial music).

    No Green MP has ever said, and again I paraphrase. “errm, we’d like to change a policy, but the United States won’t tell us if they like our proposal cos we’re in opposition, so errmm, we’ll wait until we’re in government and ask them for their approval then, errm”. (cue not so stirring, or martial music)

  28. Yes Labour has had a good relationship with the US and no thanks to the Greens. Your argument against National is shallow. You may disagree with their policy but to say that National would be at the mercy of the US is as ridiculous as suggesting that if the Greens had any say then our foreign policy would be dictated by Cuba.

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