(op-ed:..helen clark did the same thing here in new zealand – she did not have any succession plans at all – (i guess hubris told her she would be there as long as she wanted..?..) and of course clark drove away any challengers and surrounded herself with yes-people.
so when she was defeated (much to her surprise at the time) there was nobody able enough to take on that role with any degree of competence/expectation of victory – and of course clark clung to the tattered spar/flag that is neoliberalism for all of her term..
( must confess to being surprised by how many ‘progressive’ people have decided clark is worthy of living saint-hood..can i suggest such blind-support can be clarified/rebuffed by a look at the record of her government..)
‘cos clark was a poor-basher of a very high degree – remember ‘deserving'(i.e. working) families ? – and undeserving (i.e. benificiary) families (of all ilks)..clark spent her time as prime minister slagging off those she called the ‘undeserving’..
clark turned her back on the poorest/most-in-need for nine long years..she actually cut incomes for benificiaries – ending all the ‘special-benefits’ (i.e. circumstances in life deserving of extra support – clark canned them all – kicking the poorest/most-in-need firmly in the guts..
and her justification for this act of extreme cruelty to fellow nz’ers was an example of pure neoliberal cant..
and it defines her/the clark government – in one sentence..
clark said she was cutting those benefits/access to extra help – ‘in the interest of the level-playing field’..
just writing that quote still makes my fucken blood boil..