Scary National Party poodle?


Brian Rudman must have had some bad seats recently at the theatre, he is certainly Mr Grumpy-pants this morning in the Herald.

Instead of a women’s-only candidate list, what might be of more use to the poor old Labour Party right now is a nice comforting mummy it can hide behind when that scary National Party poodle Cameron Slater yaps.

Heh. ?

How on earth did Labour come out the losers in a debate over gender equality and parliamentary representation? Even recently resigned National MP Jackie Blue went into bat for it, wearing her new hat as Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner. This despite Labour criticising her hiring as a job for the girls.

And they still backed out of it.

Yet somehow Labour has bought into the idea it’s the guilty party. After refusing to discuss the issue when it first arose, leader David Shearer eventually declared his personal opposition to the proposal going to the November conference to allow some electorates to have women-only selection lists to help boost female MP numbers.

Yesterday he went even further, forcing the party hierarchy to remove the proposal from the conference agenda. He said: “The distraction is turning our attention away from the issues that most New Zealanders are concerned about.”

If “equality” has become a distraction – what a strange concept – it was surely because he and his parliamentary colleagues first dithered when Mr Slater “exposed” the agenda item, then scattered in disarray. One-time leadership hopeful Shane Jones somehow managed to paint women as less than “entire” men, saying “the overwhelming response is the public doesn’t want the country run by geldings”.