The under-lying misogyny of National

Sexist ad from the 1950sJohn Key has worked hard to get women to vote for National. He is perhaps the only reason women vote for National. Unfortunately for National and for John Key National does?have?the deserved reputation of being a bit of an old boys network.

If you take a look at?the?board of directors of the party you can see this in that there are only 2 women on the board. Of the 58 MPs just 16 are women. The old boys network though works a little lower than that, with their grip fair and square on the Regional Chairs, in particular in Auckland and in the Central North Island.

The old boys network likes to use whisperings and rumours and innuendo to upset their opponents and this was sheeted home in two selections this year. In Rodney electorate during the first and later?abandoned?round of selections there was, quite apart from the skullduggery of Brent Robinson, a dirty little smear campaign running against one candidate. This smear campaign was outed by me and it nipped it in the bud. However the tactics and modus operandi of those running the smears had all the hallmarks of the old boys network. Strangely these dirty tactics disappeared in Rodney during the second take at selection and the only difference was that Scott Simpson dropped out of the race there and entered the race in Coromandel.

Scott succeeded in the race in Coromandel but again the old boys network came out to play. The same tactics and similar smears were used. Printouts of old news articles were circulated and whispers about it being “time for a man”, “avoiding the Katherine Rich problem” and bizarrely the sexual orientation of one of the candidates father were all used. Talk about young children was constantly referenced. They even resorted to lying about the involvement of paid advisors who were actually nowhere in evidence for any of the candidates in Coromandel. The whispering was being run hard out in order to spike the women candidates. Scott Simpson, in his selection speech, bizarrely mentioned all this gossip and innuendo and then professed innocence of it all by him or his team. Strictly speaking this was true. You see you can’t really have the Regional Chair, Peter Osborne, being overtly in your team when he is supposed to be running a fair and open selection process. Unfortunately the selection was far from that with a serious amount of interference by Peter Osborne in the attempting to manipulate delegates. It was so bad that at one point that he was spoken to by the hierarchy and told to pull his head in.

I raise Peter Osborne’s name because it is relevant to another rather nasty whispering and smear campaign being run right now against a sitting National MP who also happens to be a woman. Multiple sources have confirmed that the source of the smears and whispers is Peter Osborne and he is gunning for this MP so he can arrange for a bloke to take over when she bottles it and quits. The thing is this story has been around for some time and there is very little substance to the whispers but in politics if you have to start explaining your position then you are losing. And this is how the old boys network operates. They start the whispers, the phone calls, the knowing nods. It is very hard to stop because no one can pin down where it is coming from. But as was the case with Rodney, if these tactics are outed and the people involved named then the whispers stop. They no longer have currency.

However it shows an under-lying misogyny in National in?particular?sectors. The thing is though, none of these big brave men have ever had the gumption to stand for selection?themselves. They?prefer?the smoke-filled rooms, the sneaky whisperings and manipulations and they have a wee chortle to themselves about it all.

When you start joining dots though you start to see the pattern and it wasn’t until I started blogging about the lack of diversity that National faces with its list ranking that the tipline really started humming. I mentioned Scott Simpson and Peter Osborne, but with Alasdair Thompson making a fool of himself with his sexist and misogynistic utterings another dot was joined. You see Alasdair Thompson was one of the team that Scott Simpson recruited to endorse him in him in his brochure. Another dot fell into place too. The leader of the most sexist and anti-women party in parliament, Don Brash, also lobbied on behalf of Scott Simpson in Coromandel. When you join those dots with the anti-women murmurings of Peter Osborne then you get to see that there really is an underlying misogyny lurking beneath the surface in National.

All of this is of course highly ironic when you consider that National is sending out a brochure to all its members right now celebrating Women in the Party. It even has a slogan, “Service before Self”. Worse the brochure leaves off National’s longest?serving?woman MP, Georgina Te Heu Heu and doesn’t mention her service at all. She epitomises “Service before Self”. She was the first Maori woman to gain a law degree admitted to the High Court in New Zealand and the?longest?standing?woman mp in national, and was the Women’s Affairs Minister 1998-1999, and now current minister. They can’t say it is because she is leaving because they include 3 former MPs.

The time os the old boys network is over. They should pack their bags and bugger off, their type of politics has no place in New Zealand anymore.