Wednesday, 16 April 2008

the gambler

i'm feeling a bit outraged at john key's outrage over a song at the labour party conference. he's complaining that it's a personal attack on him. well, yes. but there are personal attacks and there are personal attacks.

no-one, for example, was commenting on his haircut, or that his teeth might be crooked. there were no comments on how deep his voice was, or what he wears. he hasn't had his sexuality or the validity of his marriage questioned, nor has he had to face taunts for not having children. he hasn't had his face photoshopped onto pornographic images.

these are all things that helen clark regularly has to put up with. i can't believe there is a section of the population concerned about whether she wears a skirt or trousers to various events, as if this somehow has any impact on her ability to run the country. and this kind of scrutiny is put on most female politicians - their fashion sense, their make-up and hairstyle receive a scrutiny that their male counterparts never have to worry about. mr key certainly hasn't had to worry about these kinds of personal attacks at all.

if you look at the lyrics, they pretty much relate to his history & his lack of any firm position on policy. i would have thought that was pretty fair game, particularly when he himself stated on breakfast that he no longer gives his personal opinion as the leader of the national party.

but it's really rich for him to be complaining when the opposition have been making consistent attacks on helen clark over the past couple of years. they've been using words like "arrogant", "control-freak" and the like to try and damage her public reputation, which has been considerable over her 3 terms as prime minister. mr key needs to grow up and accept criticism that he is so willing to give out. in fact, the longer he spends complaining, the more he keeps the song and the lyrics in the public mind, and the more he shows he can't take the heat.

speaking of the labour party conference, helen kelly (head of CTU) gave a cracker speech about change, and a reminder of what it really means for most new zealanders.

this interview on radio nz this morning is a must-listen. it's an interview with author kaz cooke on her book "girls stuff". the points she makes about the sexual experiences of teenage girls are quite sad. it's important that we think about the sorts of messages our girls are getting and how we improve those messages so that they can better protect themselves from pressure to do things they aren't comfortable with.

1 comment:

Renee said...

I agree Anjum - the Leader of the Opposition must be able to take what he and his followers hand out.
I deplore the current tendency to personalise rather than to take issue with policy but there is a difference between the constant outpourings of rightwing rage and spite and the left's lampooning of his recent difficulty to say what he means and mean what he says.