Over at Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow Robert Winter blogs:
She's a wayward force in National. Already she's had to be quietened down once or twice and told to learn the game before she spouts off. Now she's taking gratuitous pot-shots at Ms Ardern on the parental leave issue, presumably arguing that you can have no position in parental leave if you have no children. It's a nasty politics, especially when an issue of consequence is being discussed. It's par for the Barry course, and won't endear her to many voters who see parental leave as important. Mind you, National and its wealthy cohorts can't see the issue anyway - when you can afford nannies and the like, what's the problem? And here we have a government ready to spend millions on privatisation for its mates, yet baulks in financial terms at measures that help families in important transitional periods.
Now Robert Winter is a long-time Labour Party supporter and activist. So it's no surprise to see him defending the honour of Ms Ardern, who is of course considered by some to be the next Helen Clark.
Unfortunately for Robert however, his outrage is a little faux when you consider some of the venom that Labour has dished out in recent years including:
- Slagged off Sir Peter "The Mad Butcher" Leitch for daring to endorse John Key
- Described members of a religious group as "chinless scarf-wearers"
- Frequently taunted a National MP with depression with "Take your pills"
- Described the PM as "the greasy little fella in the blue suit"
- Mocked Pansy Wong's accent
- Called the Leader of the Opposition a "scumbag" and a "rich prick"
- Referred to a former opposition leader's alleged extra-marital affairs
- Assaulting an opposition MP, and
- As recently as yesterday, describing the National Party's conference at the weekend as the "Nuremburg Rally"
So wethinks Robert doth protest too much. Parliament is a robust place and is not for the faint-of-heart. Whilst Maggie Barry's comments towards Jacinda Ardern may have been borderline, they are underlined by fact; a childless person cannot fully comprehend what parents experience.
And unfortunately for Robert, whose opinion we normally respect even if we disagree with it, he goes on just one sentence too long; we omitted this final sentence from the extract above:
A charming lot, the National government, with none so attractive as the venomous Ms Barry