Posts Tagged ‘David Lange’

The scandal that wasn’t

July 19, 2008

I promised to write about one of the great NZ scandals that wasn’t.

Around 20 years ago Wellington was awash with rumours about David Lange’s affair with an Indian woman who was a TV presenter. I had thought that these rumours had lost their currency when it emerged that David Lange had been having an affair during this period — only with Margaret Pope. But recently a knowing reference was made on a right-wing blog to Lange slipping out during the night for “Indian takeaways”…

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Not yet past his pique

June 8, 2008

Today’s SST includes an interview (a puff, in truth) with Michael Bassett about his book on the Fourth Labour Government, Working with David. Predictably, it was all her fault. Like the bishop’s wife in Trollope’s Barchester novels, Lange’s love interest Margaret Pope, “started to try to run the diocese,” says Bassett.

Well, it couldn’t possibly have been that there were any flaws in the neo-liberal juggernaut launched in 1984 by Bassett and his cronies Douglas, Prebble and (to a lesser extent) Moore, could it? This continued denial that there may have been good cause to pause the destruction is a little rich coming from someone who said of Lange that, “when he couldn’t deal with the message, he’d attack the messenger.”

He’s one-eyed. “Margaret Pope seems to have convinced Lange that the role he had adopted in selling the government’s policy was belittling of him and of his status,” says Bassett. Note “seems”. Note the absence of any consideration that it may have been the dreadful consequences of those neo-liberal policies — countless farmers ruined, countless workers deprived of their livelihoods — that convinced Lange that it was time for a cuppa and a breather.

Readers of Bassett’s account need to recall that Bassett was not unloyal to his cousin… (more…)