Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Bitch please ... I'm from WEST AUCKLAND

HOLLA! To all fellow Westies out there, stand up and be counted! ... not to be confused with "Shore Girls" (sure thing), "South Side" or "Eastern Suburb" peeps.

You know your in west Auckland when...

"your house gets robbed but they cook them a feed and watch your tv b4 they steal it"

"your neighbours have more cars in their backyard that dont go, compared to the amount of people who live in the house."

"Your childhood friends were called Shontelle Rochelle, Rachelle and Rachael."

"you take a swappa crate to a party. You can also use it as a seat. Genius!"

Apparently westie is the new hip minority judging by how many Right wing bloggers engaging in the cyber circle jerk over West Auckland MP's Paula Bennett promotion into cabinet.

At the moment I don't have any qualms with her appointment and genuinely wish her well. From what I've seen of her in the media, she's someone who can back up a rich personal history with a warm presence in the media and a bolshy presence in the house. But what will be more interesting is what happens to her political career as the party's support inevitably takes a dive when unpopular decisions need to be made or she has disagreements with some of the more conservative members of the caucus over policy. Will those who so quickly rushed to embrace her cast her aside when it is politically convenient or will they stick with her? An interesting question given the Republican Party's recent foray into identity politics.

And question that will undoubtedly be asked of a number of National's recent intake in coming years. It is very easy to have a commitment to diversity when the party is experiencing a swing to them it is another to keep that the commitment when the tide is going out and there aren't enough seats on the electoral lifeboat. The cynic in me thinks that National's commitment to diversity isn't something that the party as whole is an entirely comfortable with (given that old-time racists like Lockwood are still deemed worthy enough of jobs rather than being shown the door) and the 'new face of the National party' will be short-term political gimmick rather than a long-term commitment to a more representative democracy. But if National sticks with these new MPs when the tide is going out, then John Key deserves credit for finally dragging the National Party kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Something that many on the Left believed would be impossible after Orewa.


Hugh said...

Just a question. This post, like some others, seems to assume Ms Bennett is one of National's moderates, in the tradition of Clem Simich and Katherine Rich rather than Gerry Brownlee and Don Brash. The question is, is this founded on any policy statements she's made? Or is the assumption simply that, because of who she is, she must be a moderate?

I know next to nothing about her and am open to the possibility that she is a moderate. (Although a moderate in the National Party is still a right-winger) But it just seems that a lot of people seem to be presuming that somebody with her background couldn't possible be a neoliberal. I don't think that's true.

I would be really interested to see links to speeches she's made, policy papers she's signed off, etc.

The ex-expat said...

I think her comments that DPB should not all be lumped together as bludgers is big for the nats and certainly light years away from the party's previous policy musings on this subject.

Hugh said...

Encouraging, but rather short on specifics.

And it still leaves open the possibility that some, maybe even most, people on the DPB are bludgers.

Still, there's a limit to what we can expect from Tories.

Lucy said...

I agree that her background is encouraging, in that it means she has some idea of what it actually means to be on a benefit, but I'd rather wait and see. There seem to be two types of people who emerge from low-income backgrounds into politics - those who want to make things better so other people don't suffer as much, and those who say that "it didn't do me any harm"/"I got out of it through hard work, and anyone who can't is lazy". I'd like to know which of those viewpoints fits Bennett better before passing judgement.

Hugh said...

I'd like to know which of those viewpoints fits Bennett better before passing judgement.

I think the fact that she joined the National party makes one viewpoint much more likely than the other.

Ruth said...

I'm from New Lynn, and hasn't it been interesting to see that electorate go blue re the party vote.

It's great how Key has given the new fresh faces a chance to prove themselves. Time will tell.