Is it because they’re female, successful or both?

Trans Tasman makes an interesting observation on Labour MPs’ attitude to National Ministers Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley.

We have noted before Labour’s viscerally venomous attitude towards National Ministers Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley. This goes way beyond the normal tensions of political conflict. Labour MPs – especially their women MPs – appear to find the very existence of Bennett and Education Minister Tolley infuriating. You can almost see the wall of red mist descending over Labour’s front bench every time those two Ministers get up to speak.

 . . . The attitude is actually an odd kind of snobbery. There is an unspoken “how DARE you?!” from Labour’s front bench towards Bennett and Tolley. It is a rage these women, who in Labour’s eyes should be, firstly, on a benefit themselves somewhere and, secondly, loyally supporting Labour as a consequence. They don’t like the fact the two have made rather more of their lives.

This antipathy to National women MPs isn’t new. In her autobiography, Making A Difference, Ruth Richardson wrote:

. . .. . .  Jonathan Hunt, the Chief Opposition Whip, himself a bachelor, had shown both kindness and understanding to me when I was pregnant by promising me a pair . . . But Jonathan had not counted on the cattiness of his female colleagues. Apparently I had failed the political correctness test in their eyes; failed to conform to some sisterhood code of which I knew not.  . . . My pair was withdrawn, much to Jonathan’s abiding embarrassment . . .

Whether it’s because they’re women, successful or both it’s appalling behaviour.

You’d think people who wail about the glass ceiling which keeps women down might practice what they preach.

If we judge them by their actions rather than their words, we could be excused for believing that they are only interested in women having careers if they sing from the same political song sheet as they do.

Trans Tasman is a weekly political and ecnomic newsletter. You can subscribe here.

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