Kate Hawkesby: Where would we be as a country without Helen Clark chiding us?

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Thu, 12 Nov 2020, 9:47AM
Photo / Getty Images
Photo / Getty Images

Kate Hawkesby: Where would we be as a country without Helen Clark chiding us?

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Thu, 12 Nov 2020, 9:47AM

OPINION

I sometimes wonder where we'd be as a country, without Helen Clark chiding us and telling us where we should be.

I mean, how have we got this far, without her in charge anymore?

Not done complaining about the "home invasion of noise" at Eden Park, she's also pushing for a move to low traffic neighbourhoods. That is, streets reserved just for the residents who live in them - no through traffic, more cycleways, widening of footpaths.

The Helen Clark Foundation says it'll be better for our health.

Yet speaking of health, this is also the person aggrieved with the cannabis referendum result. So aggrieved in fact, she wants the Government to rethink it's stance.

Trouble is, it's not going to, because a result is a result, and the result was don't legalise.

Yes it was tight, but no means no. It's why we have referendums. It's a vote.

But Helen Clark is citing a new progressive parliament - I guess hoping that forward thinkers might be forward enough to romp over referenda results and just do what they think is best for everyone.

The problem with that is – that's not democracy, that's dictatorship. Government's don't hold referendums and say it's all about what the people think, only to then override what the people think and do what they want anyway.

I know Helen Clark is a keen proponent for drug reform on all levels but the other problem here, apart from the "no" vote, is that as progressive as you might think this Government is, it's not going to get into this.

It's targeting the centrist voter and playing it safe. It needs cannabis and a leftist Green agenda like a hole in the head right now.

This Government's "mandate" as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern keeps saying she's "cracking on" with, is to govern without the Greens. Presumably that also means without any left-leaning, drug-friendly agendas.

I also wonder how long the Government has to be told what to do or how to do it by Helen Clark.

I mean that must drive the Government nuts. She seems omnipresent with her opinions.

There is - as Donald Trump is disproving right now in the United States - an art to leaving a position and letting the next player have a go.

One of the things the "yes" campaign found in a debrief on the cannabis referendum, was that using former prime ministers as front people for campaigns doesn't work.

Former PMs can express opinions, but leading campaigns should be left to the people actually at the coalface.

There's also an argument PMs shouldn't push referendums, full stop. John Key and the flag rings a bell. Which is potentially another reason Jacinda Ardern stayed out of it. That and the fact she didn't want to risk losing the middle ground voter she was busy attracting.

As important as it is to Helen Clark to be the voice of what should be happening in New Zealand right now - on our roads, in our backyards and at our stadiums - we actually have a Government in power with the largest mandate ever in the MMP era.

She may find everything will be okay if she could just leave it up to them to get on with it.