Rodney Hide on why using the PM’s pregnancy for politics is stupid

Rodney Hide writes at the NBR:

The government’s difficulties show the folly of using her pregnancy to prove mothers can do anything. For example, “a ‘totally delighted’ Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue, believed Ardern would be able to do both roles confidently and easily and the couple would be fantastic role models for working mums and stay at home dads around New Zealand.”

The problem is that Ms Ardern has not been doing the one role of being prime minister “confidently and easily”and that’s before the baby arrives. What does that mean for working mums? Actually, it means nothing at all. It just proves the foolishness of Dr Blue and many others who should know better.

The grand point Dr Blue and others wished to make simply didn’t follow from Ms Arden’s extraordinary accomplishments.

What Ms Ardern did prove is that it is possible for a young woman to be prime minister. She has also proved you can be pregnant and be prime minister. And she’s on track to prove that you can have a baby and be prime minister. That’s all good stuff.

But what if she should fall short? Well, that proves nothing at all except that politics is hard.

The trouble is that Dr Blue and others have set Ms Ardern up such that any shortcoming could be seen as a shortcoming for young mothers everywhere.

The problem is not the prime minister nor young mothersbut the likes of Dr Blue who were altogether too desperate and too quick in using the prime minister’s pregnancy to make their political point.

Meanwhile, Winston Peters is to take over as prime minister while Ms Ardern takes maternity leave. I am looking forward to that. He’s set to prove that grumpy old men can do anything. End of quote.

It’s just a shame that Winston is Maori and so can’t be called a grumpy old white man.

Rodney, though, makes good points. Plenty of women have done hard jobs and had children and raised a family. They’ve been doing it or decades. Jacinda Ardern isn’t even the first to do what she is doing. She isn’t blazing any trails… and at the moment is actually doing a shit job. I bet she can’t wait for her leave to roll around.

As for this claim that women can do and have anything and everything. It is rubbish. They can’t, anymore than a man can claim that.

If you are a world-class CEO then there is a very high chance that you were a crap mother or father. People make choices. Top echelon executives make a choice to put their career first and their children in day care. You can’t have it all… not all at once. Anyone who claims that is a liar.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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