Jul 5, 2008

Fran On Downer

Those interested in New Zealand foreign policy must read Fran O'Sullivan's latest in the NZ Herald.

Fran met up with Alex Downer when he was here talking in Auckland. We last heard Downer talk in Perth last year. He really grew in the job and was a great speaker by the time he ended his term as foreign minister. We agree with Fran, that it would be good to hear similar views being aired in New Zealand, but because of the Winston factor no one is prepared to make waves. (of course, we like to think that blogs like The Hive share the Downer commitment to democracy and human rights. We also believe that we should open an Embassy in Isreal. We need to become more active in the Middle East and we need to learn some lessons from Israel). We shall be following Fran's advice and once we have confirmed that it is worthy of this status we will link to Alex's new blog.

Fran has worrying comment on the possible implications for New Zealand's UN Human Rights Council candidature.

What was also a shame is that Fran hasn't got Downer's real views on Winston Peters and the current international image of New Zealand. There is implied criticism (through praise of Goff - which of course we endorse) but no actual position stated. It would also be interesting to know what the Aussies and others really think about us having a Foreign Minister who pretends that he isn't part of the Government and who sits outside Cabinet. We think this is both a joke and an insult to the world. We can do better.