Prime Minister Helen Clark has again been forced to explain Winston Peters' ministerial role – this time to the European Parliament. Miss Clark was in Brussels to give the European Union a ticking-off about trade, but found herself being quizzed over her new foreign affairs minister by confounded members of the European Parliament (MEPs). At a foreign affairs committee meeting yesterday, German Green Party MEP Michael Cramer said he could not understand why Mr Peters had been appointed to the post.
Despite the noise and nonsense generated about Winston's new role as Foreign Minister -- and Winston is nothing if not a lightning rod for nonsense -- I have to say that I don't really care.
Self-important European MPs such as German Green Michael Cramer say they don't understnd how New Zealanders can accept Winston as "our representative in the world," and I really don't care.
I don't care for one simple reason. I don't care because Winston is not my representative in the world, and nor is he New Zealand's representative. Sure, he meets up with other politicians overseas, but as politicians are mostly a waste of space anyway I don't care what they think of New Zealand. European politicians may or may not remove their stupid European subsidies and open up trade, but I doubt whether any NZ politician is going to persuade them about that anyway.
And when it comes to being New Zealand's representative to the part of the world that really mattters, that is , the part of the world that isn't politicians -- the part of the world that actually runs the world -- 'our' representatives are just fine. They represent us very well, thank you very much.
Peter Jackson, Graham Hart, Tana Umaga, Graham Henry, Karen Walker, Neil Finn, Ralph Norris . . . these people and others like them are New Zealand's representatives to the world, not Winston.
The idea that politicians represent us in the world is as silly as the idea that politicians run the country. They don't. They just get in the way of the rest of us who do.