'Foreign Minister' Winston Peters is spewing, and when Winston spews, "the media" usually gets the whole bucketful. "The media," says Winston, is trying to "undermine" him.
So what's new?
How is "the media" doing it this time? Apparently, says Winston, by asking him questions about NZ's policy on Iraq -- something you would have thought our media is required to do of the Foreign Minister.
"No!" protests the Foreign Minister. By asking both he and Helen about NZ's Iraq policy, the media is trying to make out there's a difference between the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister?
No, Minister. I expect they're trying to discover whether there is a difference between the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister?
Turns out that there is a difference. A significant difference.
The Foreign Minister says (angrily) that in asking him -- the Foreign Minister -- about Iraq, the media is being "an absolute pest and nuisance, and trying to undermine NZ's foreign policy."
No, Winston, I expect they're trying to establish whether the Clark Government has a coherent foreign policy.
Turns out that there isn't one. Certainly not anything that could be called coherent. Not with this Foreign Minister. Not with the pathetic farce that he is a Minister, but is not part of the Government.
No wonder Winston is spewing. Because as Foreign Minister in the Clark Government, on the issues that matter his opinion doesn't matter. Helen makes the policy, while he picks up the baubles. This is the Foreign Minister you have when you don't really have a Foreign Minister.
The irony is that on the substantive issue, he's substantially correct. If coalition troops were to leave Iraq, it undoubtedly would slide into chaos. But not for the first time, his petulance undermines his point -- and not for the first time, you realise why he was named after a concrete block.
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