Apparently 'left-wing' is now an insult, though whether it is being spun as such by this news.com.au journalist or whether the Australian government (which was Labor last I looked) really does feel embarrassed by having used 'left-wing' to describe a Labour leader, to the point of feeling the need to apologise, is something I will leave you to decide.
Clearly we are going down the absurdist path of such North Americans as regard the beautiful word 'liberal' as something to frighten children with. George Orwell, where are you when we need you?
The only person who comes out of this story not looking like an idiot is Helen Clark herself. "I thought it was a hoot and I don't propose to release the one I have on Mr Rudd."