Barry Soper: Is Annette King our Hillary Clinton?

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Annette King (left) and Hillary Clinton (right). Photo / Supplied, Getty
Annette King (left) and Hillary Clinton (right). Photo / Supplied, Getty

Listening to the Labour veteran Annette King banging on in Parliament's bear pit the comparison floated through my mind.

They're female and were born within a month of each other, both turning the ripe old age of 70 next year. They're certainly forceful women, even though King is seen to be in the twilight of her long political life.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is in full flight with her bid to to slide into the Oval Office's leather chair, despite the memories that office must hold for her from the time it was occupied by her hubby Bill twenty years ago. At least the decor's changed since then.

King, who's affectionately referred to around Parliament as Auntie, was herself in full flight, making her opponents even more grizzly now that they're back at work after their summer holiday break. It was good, old school, tub thumping stuff reminding us of Austin Mitchell's view of God's Own as the half gallon, quarter acre, Pavlova Paradise.

The Labour MP says unfortunately it's Paradise lost from the days of Mitchell's musings when 80 percent of retirees used to own their own homes and education was free.

Pointing a finger at the portfolio parade opposite, she carped that they can afford tax cuts in election year but they can't afford the free education that they were all privileged to receive theirs. Steven Joyce's degree in zoology somehow seemed fitting among the groans.

Even though Clinton was trumped in New Hampshire, at least she has the illusive Iowa under her belt, and reckons the roll is about to begin.



How King would love to be exuding some sort of power in this country rather than simply acting as the caucus cement for Andrew Little as his deputy. Her speech in the debating chamber was the most passionate display we've seen yet in reply to Key's scattergun approach the other day, showing there's still plenty of life in this 30 year veteran yet.

That's despite her cousin, the acerbic Chris Finlayson telling her a couple of years ago to "give it up old girl."

She's not about to and neither is Clinton, and that's something to reflect on, the different view our two countries have about age when it comes to political leaders.

Even Donald Trump's 70 in a few months time, but in his case it shows in more ways than one.

Barry Soper is Newstalk ZB's political editor

- NZME.

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