Why, without a miracle, will Helen Clark never become Secretary-General of the world’s most corrupt political organisation? Simply because it is the world’s most corrupt political organisation, and those deciding the question don’t want someone knowing where all their bodies are buried.
Jim Rose expains it, starting with a story told by (former Aussie PM) Bob Hawke:
Bob Hawke told us a story about a conversation he had with Margaret Thatcher on the candidature of [Hawke’s predecessor] Malcolm Fraser.Fair point.
Hawke said that Thatcher said do you really want Malcolm Fraser beating down your door every day about apartheid. She had a point.
I [Jim Rose] took that to mean that Fraser had independent stature as a former prime minister. He could annoy powerful people because he had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The Nigerian chief who got the job will be so grateful for the appointment that he would not upset his sponsors [Hawke said].
And that is why Helen Clark will not become UN Secretary General. Because she is overqualified.
UN Secretary General is not the best job Clark has ever had. She has independent gravitas and everything to gain and nothing to lose by being an activist secretary general.
All previous Secretary Generals were obscure foreign ministers who will be just so grateful for the big promotion. They do not have independent gravitas.
If you look at positions such as president of the European commission, managing director of the IMF or president of the World Bank and other international appointments, they do not go to statesman.