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Did Lange's personality explain why he didn't confide in his cabinet?


Did David Lange avoid confrontation and does this explain why he didn't confide in his Cabinet over the nuclear ships row? UPDATED with VIDEO.

NBR staff
Sun, 28 Apr 2013

Did David Lange avoid confrontation and does this explain why he didn’t confide in his Cabinet over the nuclear ships row?

The former Head of the PM’s Department, Gerald Hensley, suggests this in his book, “Friendly Fire”.

And Former Foreign Minister in the Lange Government, Russell Marshall, speaking on “The Nation” agreed that was the case.

“He wouldn’t have a conversation, said Mr Marshall.

“ He couldn’t converse, he couldn’t exchange and negotiate.

“ I think that was why, although he had papers from Foreign Affairs, he was probably apprehensive about what would happen if he went to Cabinet.

“Foreign Affairs thought that he would say one thing to them and genuinely I think, but then he'd go out and appeal to the public.

“So that people did get a bit confused about that, and Cabinet was sometimes confused too.”

But Mr Lange’s widow and his former speechwriter, Margaret Pope disagrees.

“He wouldn’t have been a Member of Parliament, he wouldn’t have been Prime Minister if he was actually afraid of an argument,” she said.

“He didn’t like disappointing people, he didn’t like letting people down, and but he was always up for a fight.

Friendly Fire author Gerald Hensley.

NBR staff
Sun, 28 Apr 2013
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Did Lange's personality explain why he didn't confide in his cabinet?
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