Some news outlets are reporting on the release of an unauthorised biography of former NZ prime minister Helen Clark. One for the Christmas stocking perhaps.
The book, written by political journalist Denis Welch and without any input from Clark herself, comes out with some choice quotes and revelations, such as many young men were “salivating” over her choice of knee high black boots in the 1980s; that she had a black sense of humour that many kiwis didn’t understand.
Welch writes “She couldn’t afford to air it publicly because New Zealanders don’t understand humour…you can be perceived quite inappropriately”
According to the write-up in The Australian:
“He (Welch) also claimed the former prime minister was big on holding grudges, saying “she has the memory of an elephant, and never forgets a name, a face, or a grievance”.
But she was also a “great gossip” who loved to “know stuff” about people because of the power it would bring.
Ms Clark, who had no children, also fought the construct that her unconventional lifestyle was not ordinary enough for New Zealanders.
In a 1995 interview she once baulked: “I saw a line in a Christchurch Press editorial that New Zealanders like their leaders to be ordinary like them.”
“For God’s sake, I am not prepared to make myself ordinary.
“If ordinary means I have suddenly got to produce a household of kids and iron (husband) Peter’s shirts, I’m sorry, I’m not interested.”
Ms Clark now lives in New York where she is head of the United Nations Development programme, the third highest UN position. She is also chair of the United Nations Development Group. wikipedia
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