Labour?s new Trade Spokesperson will need to have a split personality to be business-friendly and anti-TPP

Labour have painted themselves into a corner and the person tasked with trying to step across the deep red paint is David Clark.

Unfortunately the man is an idiot.

He spoke to Richard Harman from Politik about his need to speak in tongues,

Labour?s new trade spokesperson knows he has to walk a very narrow line if he wants to carry out the party?s anti-TPP policies without alienating the business community at the same time as he avoids splitting the centre left political block.

David Clark understands it won?t be easy.

Of course it won’t be easy. It is nigh on impossible after the political gymnastics performed by his idiot leader. You simply can’t say you have bottom lines, have those bottom lines all met, then say you still don’t support it…and then say you won’t pull us out of the deal. There is a word that can’t be said in parliament but can be said on blogs….hypocrisy. Business really hates hypocrisy.

For a start he realises Labour could easily be held hostage by some of the extremists on the anti-TPP side.

?I?ve seen the Government actually trying to position us as being alongside the more extreme elements but that?s politics and that?s what they will try and do,? he says.

?Part of it is incumbent on me as the spokesman and us generally to do our homework; to make sure we are familiar with the deal, the ins and outs and then to be presenting the alternatives.?

He?s emphatic that Labour is a free market party.

Rubbish. They are the party of isolationism and protectionism now. If this is how he starts…by lying, then he’s doomed.

He believes that some of the extremists are actually anti-trade altogether which he points out is an unrealistic position.

After all, he says, they probably eat bananas and wear cotton tee shirts, paid for by export dollars. All part of international trade.

And thus he believes there is a fundamental bipartisan agreement on trade, even if it does not extend to the TPP.

?We all share the aspiration to grow our trade because it?s a recognition that that is the way to ensure future prosperity.?

And he says he believes Labour?s positions, opposing the TPP deal but being in favour of free trade, is a principled position.

Principles are things he talks about a lot.

Principled position? Oh please…their position is to oppose it, and stay in…that isn’t principled, that is trying to have your cake and eat it too. I’m not sure calling David Cunliffe, Phil Twyford and Carmel Sepuloni, who marched in the protest, “extremists” is going to go down well either.

Always he comes back to the principles and what drove him into politics.

?I?m a Presbyterian Minister; that?s my trade so I have a visceral gut instinct that everyone is ultimately worthy of having the opportunity to succeed.

??I also buy into the idea that that?s both socially good and economically good.?

Not that Labour?s opposition to the TPP is quite to idealistic.

The pathway to Labour?s present position on the TPP has taken several twists and turns but Clark boils it down to two elements.

On the one hand is the failure to include in the agreement provision for Labour to ban sales of urban houses to foreigners.

Principles again? Like lying? My experience of Presbyterian ministers is that most are raving socialist loons. It appears David Clark is one of those. But lying, and still lying about land sales, is getting ridiculous…there is a specific carve-out for taxation measures that acts as a ban. They are just dissembling.

But Clark has introduced a new theme into Labour?s opposition to the TPP and he is critical of the gains that have been made in tariff and quota levels particularly for New Zealand dairy exports.

?I don?t accept you can support a trade deal at any price,? he says.

He argues that the gains in dairy access amount to only three per cent of the total US and Japanese markets.

?It?s a terrible deal for dairy.

?The gains that are tangible amount of a few hundred million dollars while the threat of legal action amounts to many times over that figure.?

Again he shows the lunacy and hypocrisy of Labour’s position. They are saying the deal isn’t good enough, but to not be in the deal, which they oppose, would mean the deal would be even worse….with tariffs and access locking our products while everyone gets to trade. This won’t be re-negotiated and Labour has no solution. They’re just whinging about a deal that opens access and reduces tariffs…that is a good deal. Labour’s solution is a terrible deal.

I can’t believe that Labour thinks this muppet will be taken seriously with business.

David Clark is everything that is wrong with Labour.


– Politik