Sour grapes

The Fox and the Grapes

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei complained that she was overlooked by Angry Andrew for a position on the Intelligence and Security committee because of her sex. She had no proof of this claim apart from the fact that he gave the job to someone else.

He said that he didn’t choose her because he wanted someone with ? ?skills, understanding and experience?? which in her mind implied that she did not have these qualities. Certainly no one would raise an eye brow at his decision to appoint David Shearer given his background in international relations and aid. After all he did spend nearly 20 years working for the UN, managing the provision of aid to countries including Somalia, Rwanda, Liberia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iraq.No one could say that Andrew Little gave the position to some one less able and experienced than her. In fact the opposite is true as she has no international experience at all. Nothing, nada, nil, zero, nought.

Given that is the case, what a ridiculous claim to make. She does all women a disservice when she uses her sex as a scapegoat for her lack of experience. The extent of her humiliation was made even clearer by one of her supporters. Have you heard the saying, ‘ faint praise is no recommendation ‘? Well her friend Ms Mathers dug the hole even deeper when she said…

?[Ms Turei] might well have brought to the committee some views that others do not want to hear, maybe a powerful understanding of what powerlessness and humiliation feels like, maybe a cautionary view of surveillance based on the experience of how prejudice and privilege excludes and labels the potentially spied upon.?

In other words any person who has ever been powerless or humiliated, excluded or has experienced prejudice is capable of doing this job. Is she claiming that her friend’s sex means that she knows what being powerless is like? Is she suggesting that by being Maori, her friend automatically has experienced prejudice? Worst of all is she so sexist as to assume that David Shearer has never been humiliated, felt powerless or experienced prejudice simply because he is a white male? Let’s face it, he is a former Labour Leader with an embarrassing stutter, who was tipped out of power by David Cunliffe. Of course he knows what humiliation and powerlessness is like.Feelings that fellow white male Andrew Little is experiencing right now, given his failure to pay a contracted journalist what he owed him until Steven Joyce intervened.

Where were the examples of Turei’s work experience related to the position? The last time I was being interviewed for a position they wanted to know what I had done in the past, not whether or not I had ever experienced humiliation, powerlessness or prejudice. If you are going to make an accusation so publicly as Ms Turei has, one would think she would base it on facts rather than bitterness. Better still she could express disappointment at not being considered and wish David Shearer well in his new role. That would be classy.

Credit: SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin