First Openly Gay Prime Minister?

Brian Edwards

Brian Edwards is excited by the prospect of New Zealand’s first openly gay Prime Minister. It seems a little premature just 4 months after David Shearer was picked to lead Labour but there is now open speculation about the future of his leadership amongst Labour types:

So let’s just indulge in a little speculation. Between McCarten’s and Hartevelt’s front-runners – Little and Robertson – who might make it to the finishing line? I’m going to plump for Robertson. Yes, Little enjoys the support of the unions and is a forceful debater in the House. But it’s hard to see this rather dour, uncharismatic unionist as the face of a rejuvenated Labour Party. At 41, Robertson, on the other hand, who lists his interests as ‘watching too much sport, playing a bit of indoor netball and squash, cooking, movies, listening to New Zealand music and reading New Zealand literature’, projects a youthful, energetic, upbeat  and thoroughly modern image. And he’s fiercely ambitious.

What else?  Oh yes, he’s gay. His life  partner, Alf, is a bus driver. The two were ‘married’ in a civil union ceremony in 2003.

So are we ready for a gay Prime Minister? I can only speak for myself. I find the idea invigorating. Other than prejudice, I can’t really think of any objection to it. And we Kiwis are for the most part an open-minded lot. After all, we had no trouble electing the world’s first transsexual MP.  And we didn’t seem to mind a mincing John Key.

It’s true that gay Prime Ministers are thin on the ground. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, elected Prime Minister of Iceland in 2009, was not only the country’s first woman Prime Minister but also Europe’s first openly gay head of state. She was followed in 2011 by Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo. When asked whether he was gay, the new Prime Minister replied, ‘Yes. So What?’ That strikes me as the only sensible answer to the question.


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  • Kimbo

    “It seems a little premature just 4 months after David Shearer was picked
    to lead Labour but there is now open speculation about the future of
    his leadership amongst Labour types”.

    Bob Jones argued that Labour MPs were traditionally more ambitious and self-serving compared to their National Party counter-parts. The reason was that if a National MP lost his seat he or she usually had a decent business/farming career to return to. In contrast Labour MPs were cast back into the ranks of union organisers, primary school teachers and lower-level public servants from whence they came.

    Jones wrote that in 1978. Judging by what has happened in the Labour Party leadership stakes since then, not a lot has changed. Except maybe now they plan two leadership changes ahead, rather than just one coup at a time…

  • Peter Wiseman

    I assume you will vote for Grant as you seem to be all for gays these days.
    BTW – marriage is for Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve.
    Of course we all know we had a homosexual PM for 9 years.

    • Kosh103

      NZ has never had a gay PM.

      But if Helen had of been gay there would have been nothing wrong with it. The only thing wrong is the way people like you try to make being gay a bad thing.

      • Michael Joseph Savage…pretty sure he was gay.

      • thor42

        I’m not so sure about that. 

        I remember the mentioning of a book about Helen Clark in which she was mentioned as a lesbian several times.  Given that the author of that book has not been sued, that would seem to confirm the matter.

        WO may be able to confirm this, but I’ve also heard that there was (in media circles) an unofficial “hush hush” agreement that her lesbianism wasn’t to be mentioned under any circumstances. 

      • Steve P

        Oh no no Helen Clark *can’t* have been gay – she was married, and we’ve been repeatedly told that gay people can’t get married…!!!!!!

      • dad4justice

        Helen Clark is gay Kosh stop telling lies you freak!

      • Peter Wilson

        Yep, Michael Joseph Savage would definitely have been gay WO. Except that it meant something different in those days!

      • Kosh103

        Nice to see D4J is just as rabbid and crazy as ever.

    • Mully

       Great idea – some political party needs to pick up the pink vote.

      Cos God knows the gays will only vote for another gay. Surely, that’s all the do; lie around sodomising and dreaming of when they can vote for a gay.

      When they’re not destroying the sanctity of something, of course.

      • Mully

         Sorry, “gays and gay sympathisers will only for for another gay”

  • James

    Marriage is for anyone who wants  it….bigot.

  • Drhill

    We shouldn’t vote for someone just because they are gay – but more if they can do the job – and from what I have seen, no he wouldn’t get my vote.

  • Redneck

     Canadian homosexual Mitchel Raphael, editor of Fab magazine stated that “Ambiguity is a good word for the feeling among many gays about marriage. I’d be for marriage if I thought gay people would challenge the institution and not buy into the traditional meaning of ’til death do us part’ and monogamy forever”

    How can any rational person reading the crass and calculated comments of homosexual activists like that quoted above be expected to show any modicum respect for their agenda? The homosexual lifestyle is, at the very least self-destructive, vile and repugnant. The only way people have been persuaded to tolerate the homosexual lifestyle in their midst is because of the “what they do behind closed doors is nobody elses business” mantra. This is why allowing insidious moral cancers like sadomasochism to enter the sexual mainstream under said guise of “behind closed doors” is a step towards social anarchy. The minute that homosexuals have gained the legislative power to permanently silence their critics, they will begin to emerge from behind those closed doors and begin to invade the public square with their aberrant behaviour on full display.

    In the USA, the Gay Rights Platform – which has not been rescinded in nigh on 40 years called for: “Repeal of all state laws prohibiting sexual acts involving consenting persons” (Notice that? not consenting adults  – this brings children into the mix) “Repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent” and “Repeal of all laws that restrict the sex or number of persons entering into a marriage unit”. Another clarion call is for the “emancipation of youth” (a euphemism for legalized child/adult sex) In other words, what the homosexual vanguard wants, is removal of long established societal mores in which the wider culture and society is to be dragged into their malignant, moral abyss. – willingly or not.

    • Troy

      Geeze, if there has ever been a post of absolute dribble – that has to be it. 

    • Steve P

      I took the liberty of googling that quote from Mitchel Raphael and found the original NY Times article: 

      Also from that article: ”Physically, legally, emotionally, we don’t feel the need to have a piece of paper to prove our union,” said Penny Gyokeres, 30, an unemployed warehouse manager, who has lived for four years with Cheryl Fulcher, 44, a retail merchandise analyst.”

  • Peter Wilson

    Frankly, it would be a disgrace if Robertson became Labour leader, and then PM.

    He’s the deputy, and what happened to the old adage that if the leader gets rolled the deputy has failed. The deputy himself rolling the leader? It should never happen!

    • Kosh103

      Isnt that how Key got the top job?

      • Mully

         Was Key ever Deputy Leader?

        And didn’t Brash resign (that time) cos his extramarital affair got out? And the Brethren thing?

      • Peter Wilson

        Don’t think so. Smith and Brownlee were the deputies. In any case I think Key came in after Brash lost an election and other dodgy matters.

        I’m meaning an out and out coup, where the deputy is supposed to be watching the leaders back.

      •  I hope you’re not a history teacher Kosh. Don Brash’s deputy leader was Gerry Brownlee, not John Key.

    •  Agreed Peter; and more fool Shearer for picking a deputy who had overt ambition for the top job.

    • Peter Wilson

      In fact, I recall the unwritten rule being, if the leader goes, so does the deputy, and shouldn’t stand for election in a leadership role.

      Think about the history if this particular gentleman becomes Leader.

      Knifed Parker in the back, and backed Shearer. Is he going to pull out the blade again and shaft his leader?

      Put’s Key’s image as the silent assassin to shame.

  • Timandtim

    He can be NZ gay PM on one very fair Condition and I think the general public would agree.
    If he wants to be NZ PM he must make sure all MPWho are closets must be announced or he leave his whole credibility at risk.
    Remember he can’t hold secrets as PM

  • big bruv

    I could not care less if we have an openly gay PM. However I am not sure that Trotter’s mythical “Waitakere man” is ready to elect a bloke who admits that he likes to smoke cock.
    Either Shearer, the rabid Little or Robertson are perfect as far as the Nat’s are concerned, not one of those men would be elected as PM against Key.
    Mind you…a part of me would like to see Robertson get the job for no other reason than it would send the bible bigots and rabid morons into a frenzy.

  • Peter Wiseman

    If MJS was gay, probably explains Greg Presland as well.
    KOSH – Clark is a homosexual, my problem was she was too ashamed to admit it, we always hear of Gay Pride. Maybe it was cos she was rooting H2 with a strap on, who in their right mind will come out with that scenario……………

    • Kosh103

      Well if you have any real proof – pics, a vid, a signed admission – all I see is the same old boys club nonsense that if a woman doesnt need a man in order to be strong, she must be a Lez.

      Grow up.

      • Chris

        Wonder why she never took her HUSBAND to New York with her????????

      • dad4justice

        So what about Peter Davis kosh? 

      • Kosh103

        Nope. And Peter is her husband D4J.

        Now unless you have any real proof beyond the blathering of the right wing tin foil hat squad, dont bother.

      • Boss Hogg

        Chris – Peter may have some US visa issues…………..some smoke there perhaps.

        I will get told of for that one !!

      • Super_Guest

        If a woman looks like Clark, she has to be a lez. 

      • Kosh103

        So super using that logic if someone posts a retarded post like that, then they are a retard.

      • Super_Guest

        Is it that time of the month, Koshy? A little touchy about your hideous idol aren’t you?

      • Kosh103

        Oh super when it comes to lies told by a rabid right wing who still live in fear of Helen – I see it as my duty to slap around the retards.

      • Mark C

        Yes, there was a major incident in the United States involving Peter. I understand there is/was a Court injunction granted here to hush media on the subject. He was sent home early with great effort made to hide the circumstances.

        I doubt H2 was Helen’s girlfriend, though. Judith Tizard is far more likely.

        Who remembers the interview on telly at Helen and Peters home prior to 2005 election? They sat on their sofa looking like they couldn’t bare to even slightly touch each other. I’m convinced the marriage was one of political convenience to fool the NZ public into thinking she was like the majority of women. What a lie.

        I didnt care that she was a homosexual prime minister, but I think it is a disgrace that she continues the lie.

      • Mark

        Which is why it was hilarious when the St Mary’s Bay Pensioner spoke regarding the ACC Scandal of ” sordid tale involving corruption and sex”
        When is someone going to have the balls to report on the LA affair involving Davis, Winston, Diplomatic Immunity etc?

  • Grantavius

    Openly gay MPs there have been before, but Robertson’s big advantage is that he is an ordinary bloke who happens to be gay as opposed to some who have been defined by being gay, and who but for their sexuality would have had no personality.

    • Peter Wilson

      I think it’s a little unkind to claim that gays have no personality. Kosh would be an exception to your rule to start with?


      • Grantavius

        Some ≠  All.

      • Agent BallSack

        Does Kosh have a personality? He’s gay, yes but aside from that he screeches like Martyn “Bummer” Bradbury continually. If heckling from the sidelines and calling every second person who doesn’t agree with your views ‘fucktard’ gives you a personality, then I concur.

    •  Quite so Grantavius; Robertson is, as you say, an ordinary bloke and MP who happens to be gay, whereas the likes of Charles Chauvel is a gay man who happens to be an MP.

  • Sam Hill

    Sexuality shouldn’t be an issue. I would hope New Zealanders are more interested in electing a competent government rather than voting for Labour simply to bring about our first gay PM.

    While Robertson does appear to be very competent, the same can’t be said for many of his peers. Winston, the Greens and even Hone must be rubbing their hands at the prospect of ministerial portfolios in 2014.

  • Balanced View

    Gee, this debate always draws the worst out of society.

    On another note, and because of the absence of a “general” topic post, I’d like to thank you Whale for this site. It must be a labour of love for you, I should imagine that this would be at least a 60 hour a week investment from you. It is insightful, well researched, and always challenges. Whilst not always (rarely in fact) fully agreeing with you, coming here will always improve my understanding of an issue.

    Thanks again for your personal investment in bringing this to us.

  • P1LL

    didn’t Peter get caught with another man in a toilet  in the states ? I think they were / are beards for each other . But who cares about sexual orientation ? so what if you prefer same sex partnerships , just because it does not float my boat who am I to say it is wrong .

  • George

    Just peachy.  The country’s in the donga and we have a thread dedicated to the prospect of having someone run the country who can’t figure out what their arsehole is for.

  • Gazzaw

    Robertson is most unlikely to be PM nor Alf the ‘first lady’. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that provincial NZ, PIs and the union membership (PSA members excluded) are not ready for it. Labour in its present state cannot afford to marginalise any sectors of it’s core voters. 

  • Vikingonmars

    Intersting. MJS was undoubtably gay and died  early at the time unexplained death. He was also a pacsifist and and Aussie.
    He refused to have a returned serviceman in his cabinet and that’s where he ran foul of John a Lee, who was a popular man. Lee was the brains behind the Housiong which Savage took the qudos for.
    My Ma in Law knew Savage fairly well as her father was a Labour MP in that Govt. Savage was frequently at their house.and not long before she died she told me that “Savage was not a very nice man”. He was a typical queer boy who had the ladies swooning over him but really because he was of no threat to them.
    One day someone will unearth the documents that surrond his mystery illness. An illness that kept him from Cabinet and Parliament aand that was covered up.

  • Super_Guest

    Savage was supposedly gay, so I guess there’s a gay guy to blame for a our bloated welfare state that gives homes to losers and lets the hardworking of us pay off our mortgage.

    Robertson is too much of a cock to be PM, and his ego is bigger than his waistband which is a concern. Mostly though, he’s a victim of the “I’m gay and I need people to know that” syndrome in the Labour party. If he wants to be PM so that he can be the first gay PM, then he’s not leadership material, he’s just another cock sucking at the public teat. Which is what he is.

  • LesleyNZ

    So will Brian Edwards tell us which Labour Prime Minister was gay but not openly? Glad National is still leading in the polls!

  • Greg M

    Robertson will never be PM.

    He’s batting for the wrong team. twice.

    **Ba boom tish**

  • Evan Johnson

    There would be no reason to object to a gay Prime Minister.  We’ve probably had one before, and there will have been some overseas as well.  For example was Ted Heath gay?  Some Poms I knew reckoned he might have been.  I dunno, don’t care.