Whatever happened to NZ’s favourite grandmother?

Ex gardening guru Maggie Barry might be feeling her age, just a tad, because recently some of her gloss has rubbed right off.  As a grandmother myself I find this a little bit disturbing.

Why… why would anyone in their right mind align to the #MeToo movement sweeping across the US?

We know that this movement buries genuine grievances under the weight of Hollywood stars who use their fame and old, maybe genuine, probably trumped up, sexual harassment charges to destroy reputations. Their goal is to smear a political rival.

Now, even the nicest of NZ grannies has shown she is capable of joining their ranks to put the boot in.

– NewstalkZB

When the National Caucus closed ranks around Bennett and Bridges, a newspaper reported on the moment Maggie Barry strapped on her steel-tipped work boots. Quote.

What a disloyal disgrace this flawed & isolated individual has become,” she wrote. “Having now read the PWC report I personally believe the unpleasant & bullying pattern of behaviour of Jami Lee Ross has no place in an otherwise united National caucus under our leader Simon Bridges.” End of quote.

Typical #MeToo behaviour. The PWC report said evidence “points” to Ross as the leaker. There isn’t ‘certainty’ around this.

Ross continues to deny leaking Bridges’ expenses, but why would he bother denying it, given he’s let everything else hang out? He has nothing to lose by admitting it – unless it wasn’t him.

She should have stuck to her knitting and left Twitter alone because it positively bristled with a barrage of comments about the evidence pointing to bullying by Bridges and Bennett. Not quite what she wanted, I am sure.

One bright spark commented on Barry’s twitter feed, “You just know that tweet’s not going to age well”.

Oh dear, the age thing again.  Older women such as Mags and me can be a little sensitive about our age; we actually prefer not to talk about it.

But Mags shouldn’t let this occasion bother her too much, because it was not actually her age that was the problem here, it was her inability to think logically.

What she should have thought about before throwing stones into Ross’s glass house was her own track record of being accused of bullying her staff.  A newspaper reportedQuote.

The Weekend Herald can reveal two employees in Barry’s four-person office have accused her of bullying since May – one in a personal grievance complaint, and the other during the investigation of that complaint.

Neither staff member now works for Barry, the MP for the North Shore and the former host of Maggie’s Garden Show, a once-beloved staple of New Zealand television.

Barry concedes there were issues raised by former staff, but they were resolved “by mutual agreement” and “there was no finding that bullying or harassment had occurred”. End of quote.

Read into resolution “by mutual agreement” what you like; it can be a financial settlement to the offended party after signing off non-disclosure and no admission of guilt clauses in the settlement document.

It is now all quiet on the National front after Barry weathered her own bullying storm and Bridges and Bennett hunkered down to ride it out with Caucus clinging on in support.

Mallard has just commissioned the digging up of a few death-by-bullying graves, so we await with interest the outcome.

I’d say grannies unite, but this is one grandmother I couldn’t possibly agree with.


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

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