Steven Joyce gone

Well, the relics of the Key-English era are leaving in droves.

This time, former finance minister and National campaign manager Steven Joyce has left. 

His departure comes at an interesting time, after losing the leadership election reportedly being denied the finance role by Bridges.

Sour grapes?

In any case, with both him and English gone, there is a big hole of experience in the ranks.

National leader Simon Bridges will probably try to say that this is a good thing, allowing new faces to push through and accelerate the “generational change” he has been talking about.

But in any case scenario, two experienced faces are gone from the National, wounding them.

And how they respond remains to be seen.

Liz Jones

With the news that Jacinda Ardern is pregnant, columnist Liz Jones, via the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, has launched a crusade of criticism against the PM.

After reading the column, I decided to respond in kind.

So here we go!

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is expecting a baby in June, making her the first world leader since 1990 to expect a child while in office – and by far the most annoying.

Must be a slow news week in the UK.

(They don’t count Tony Blair who had baby Leo while in No10, though I’m sure Cherie made him breastfeed as well as pee sitting down.)

Is that salt I hear?

‘This year we’ll join the many parents who wear two hats,’ announced Ms Ardern to raptures from the sisterhood. ‘I’ll be PM & a mom while Clarke will be “first man of fishing” & stay at home dad.’

Oh please! Giving birth months after winning an election isn’t multi-tasking. It’s more a betrayal of voters. It’s worse than Damian Green and those porngate claims! At least he could snap his laptop shut if World War III broke out.

1. She wasn’t aware that she was pregnant until well after the election.

2. Porn is similar to pregnancy? I’m worried now.

What will a new mum PM do? Hurry back from Waitrose, wailing: ‘I’m sorry I missed Armageddon, but we’d run out of organic Ella’s Kitchen’?

Ever heard of a cabinet? Or a Deputy Prime Minster? Or a stay at home dad?

Ardern talks about how in June her ‘team will expand from two to three’. Yuk! Even I’ve now got morning sickness. They’re not a team. What’s baby going to be? Minister for Midday Naps?

Yes please! A ministry for Midday Naps would be great!
You may feel I’m being a little harsh. After all, what do I know, having never pushed a human being out from between my thighs? But I do know what it’s like to work with mums.
100% the same thing.
Don’t believe what all these female propagandists write in the press about having it all, viz Vogue’s new beauty director, who in the latest issue witters: ‘Depending on the day, his nanny or my mother arrives at 8am and then he and I go our separate ways.

Once I shut the front door, it’s game-face on… making sure once I’m there I can be so effective that I will make it home in time for bath and bedtime by 7.30pm. The hours before I leave the house and those on my return are the most precious of my 24, enhanced by the fact I’ve had the day to be “working” me.’

Can I tell you the truth about sitting opposite one of these new mums? Game face? Effective? They crawl into work late, with egg in their hair and wearing last night’s onesie.

Man, if that’s the dress code where you work, I want a job there! Also, trashing on your co-workers isn’t very nice, Liz.

They are never, ever off the phone, microscopically grilling the nanny/granny about what the blasted child is eating, becoming enraged if water is given from anything plastic (‘It must be glass! Glass!!’) while simultaneously cooing at baby’s Instagram feed.

They get a job where they get to yell at people, and look at their Instagram feed? I want their job!

Once they get off the phone to the nanny/granny, they are then back on it again, discussing the new leather flooring in the master bedroom (‘So good for tiny knees once he starts crawling’), and arranging a villa in the South of France.

And they get go to France? I want their job!

Then they try to get hold of the other member of the ‘team’ triangle, Dad, whose colleagues at his investment bank have absolutely no idea he is even attached, let alone a new parent.

Somehow I doubt this is Clarke Gayford.

Fine, if you want to work behind the counter at Boots. But if you want to get to the top of your game? If you want to be a world leader? Surely your country shouldn’t have to compete for your attention with a colicky toddler.

Deputy Prime Minster. Cabinet. Stay at home dad. Back up measures galore!

This is what makes me mad when women wail about being paid less than men.

It has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with the fact that, while on maternity leave, you never hear a peep, except when they pop in to collect their gifts.

If Jacinda does this, we’ll let you know.

When my fashion director disappeared on maternity leave, I had to call to let her know we were still, you know, being published every month.

When she returned to work three days a week (you see?), it was barely a season before she announced she was off to breed another one.

How to judge your co-workers with Liz Jones.

When I objected she said: ‘But it’s a feminist magazine! This is what we stand for!’ I countered: ‘But you’ve just increased my workload and blown my budget.

I’m a woman as well, you know.’ ‘Barely,’ she muttered, gathering her things.

Wasn’t this column about the Prime Minster being pregnant or something?

Conclusion: Liz Jones thinks working with mothers is the same as being one, hates her co-workers, and believes porn is similar to pregnancy. She sounds fun to work with.

Chris Penk – Meet the Newbies

In episode 12 of Meet the Newbies, I talk to Chris Penk, the new National MP for Helensville, in a six minute podcast. We chat about his experience in the navy, whether he thinks NZ is ready for a republic, and why he is pro-life.

COMING UP ON FRIDAY: I talk with Labour MP Greg O’Connor on why he thinks NZ needs a ministry of equity.

National MP Chris Penk