Why I could never be a Politician, Ctd

The faceless man, Mark Arbib, has taken a lot of flak for quitting. Immediately people suspected he was getting hammered behind the scenes.

‘There aren’t any bombshells,” Mark Arbib says. ”No one has threatened me. No one has cajoled me. No one knew I was going to resign until I went to the PM.”

Readers will remember Sen Arbib quit in part because his daughter burst into tears and told him not to take the job when he said he had a promotion and would be away from home more.

“I find it incredible that people are cynical about politicians who leave for family reasons. What other reason is so important?” Arbib asks, which only serves to make that question stand out even more than it does already.

All too often you go to National Party events and see spouses putting on a brave face when you know they hate the way their family is disrupted by politics. They try hard but anyone who can see through the veil knows they are hating it, and hating the selfishness of their spouse putting them and their family through it.

There is a lot to hate. Time in Wellington every week, everyone in the electorate wanting a piece of you, never being able to be just a normal citizen, and some old biddy of an MPs wife telling you that you can’t go to the supermarket in jeans because you are an MPs wife – when you know full well the old biddy’s husband’s political career never reached its peak due to his attempts to run one up half the women in the parliamentary precinct.

I couldn’t put my wife and family through this. And I admire Mark Arbib for putting his family first, and hope that the cynicism around his resignation can be tempered by people realising that for some of us, families are more important than a political career.


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  • thor42

    I have no problem at all with a politician leaving for family reasons. It’s a win/win situation – the politician is able to return to their family, and the door of opportunity is opened to someone else to show their ability as an MP. 

  • Peter Wilson

    Absolutely. And at least the MP has given it a go, perhaps it may have worked out ok, and he can always come back to it later on, when the kids have grown up, and don’t want to be around their dad anyway! I don’t think we can ever criticize politicians for anything but their policies, unless we have given it a go ourselves.

  • Chiefsfan73

    I agree family first outsiders a several galaxies of distance to the next most important people.  However, Arbib is a pollie and the internal machinations have been so publicly laid bare to the point it is hard to believe family is his sole reason for leaving.

  • Awww gee we’ve gone all grown up all of a sudden – how did that happen?