Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Big deal

The fuss over Winston Peters taking a different view of the
free-trade agreement with China is just that—a fuss,
whipped up by the Government’s enemies in order to make
trouble where there really is none. For goodness’ sake,
Peters’s party is in an informal coalition with Labour; he
may be Foreign Minister but he is also the leader of
another party that is not Labour, and is therefore entitled
to disagree with Labour if he wishes. He was definitely out
of line to say that, if asked overseas in his capacity as
Foreign Minister what he thought of the agreement, he'd
reply that it could have been better; but he seems to have
fallen into step now. To say, however, as Fran O’Sullivan
does in today’s New Zealand Herald, that this difference
of opinion makes New Zealand look ridiculous in the
world’s eyes is hyperbolic to the point of hysterical.
Frankly, it’s unlikely anyone outside New Zealand has
noticed; and if they have, they wouldn’t care. A major
trade deal has been signed—that’s a concrete fact; the
Foreign Minister thought a better deal could have been
got—that’s a valid opinion. Let’s all move right along here.

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