Helen Clark refuses to go away

Old snaggle tooth. Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

You know what they say… old soldiers never die, they simply fade away. I wish the same could be said about politicians. The really good ones (think John Key, Bill English, Steven Joyce, Jonathan Coleman) are snapped up once they leave politics and they never look back. The others hang around in the hope that they are still needed, not quite adjusting to the fact that they have been voted out and have to move on.

Helen Clark is the worst ever example of this particular phenomenon. quote.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has thrown her support behind a review of New Zealand’s hate speech laws and is calling for a social media watchdog to be established, to prevent the spread of extremism online.

She has also praised Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Christchurch Call summit and says she has a real opportunity to “set the pace” when it comes to preventing violent extremism online. end quote.

Who cares what Helen Clark thinks? She was voted out in 2008, did a stint at the UN, tried and failed to get the top job there and now she is back here, trying to be important. Nobody wanted her in 2008, and nobody wants her now. quote.

Yesterday, Clark unveiled her foundation’s report on reducing the harm caused by social media.

The report has a number of different recommendations, including implementing an independent regulatory body to oversee social media. end quote.

Social media brings people together. Sure, it isn’t perfect, and yes, there are a lot of idiots out there. Everything can cause harm. The secret with social media is how you deal with it.

So what does this Foundation do? When I first heard of it, I assumed there was a charitable purpose, like most similar organisations. But this is Helen Clark, of course, and so it is all about telling people what to think and what to do… again.

Here is a quote from the Foundation’s website. quote.

The Helen Clark Foundation is an independent public policy think tank
based in Auckland. Launched in 2019, the foundation issues research and discussion papers on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues.

New problems confront our society and our environment, both in New
Zealand and internationally. Unacceptable levels of inequality persist.
Women’s interests remain underrepresented. Through new technology
we are more connected than ever, yet loneliness is increasing, and civic engagement is declining. We aim to address these issues in a manner consistent with the values of former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who serves as our patron.

The Helen Clark Foundation. end quote.

She is not wanted in government, so she has to try to do the next best thing, which is to set up a foundation to tell everyone how to think.

Will Helen Clark ever realise that she has been put out to grass and is now completely irrelevant? quote.

Speaking to Q&A, Clark agreed with [Andrew] Little and said it was “time to have a look at the law in light of what is happening in society”.

Her report said the current laws governing hate speech on social media was a “patchwork of legislation much of which pre-dates social media”.

A newspaper. end quote.

We already have the ridiculous situation where Jacinda thinks she can control the internet, and is currently holding a summit in Paris on this subject, which will achieve nothing, and is not going to be binding anyway.

But hey… Paris is lovely at this time of year.

Disturbingly, there are rumours on Twitter and Facebook saying that Jacinda is not ruling out actually blocking Facebook in New Zealand if they do not fall into line with her thinking.

Welcome to New Zealand… governed by Kim Jong-un Ardern.

No one tried harder to control our lives than Helen Clark but it seems the apprentice nowadays outperforms the master.

What are we coming to, New Zealand?