i don't know if it's possible to embed tv3 clips (can't find any codes) so you'll have to go over to their place to watch the abomination fo an interview with alaisdair thompson. it's almost 28 minutes long, so you may not want to waste so much of your life on such a thing. the last 5 minutes is hugely illuminating, but the full things give more insights (as if his press release and tweets hadn't already) into how truly misguided this man really is.
a brief rundown of the interview: mr thompson starts by dictating the terms of the interview and how it is to be conducted. you see, he has been gracious enough to grant the interview in the first place, so it should be entirely on his terms. it's not like he has any responsibility to explain himself or anything like that. it's not like he made some atrocious public comments, or holds a role that requires him to make media statements which he should then be accountable for. oh no, he has "granted" an interview out of the goodness of his heart. he does state that he doesn't mind being asked "the most difficult questions you like" and assures the interviewer he will answer them. bear that in mind when you see his meltdown in the last 5 minutes.
once he has done that, he proceeds to tell us about his extremely busy life, with extremely important people. about his late nights and early mornings, because mr thompson is a hugely productive man who has no time to be taking sick days for weak womanly purposes. he's the man, the very important and busy man, who was pretty worn out by the time he go to the interview where he made his insightful remarks. not that he's making excuses of course. he just wants to impress on us how very busy and well-connected he is.
oh, and i missed the bit where he fusses about his appearance. because for some reason, people will be more interested in the tie and the hair than in what he's going to say.
mr thompson is prepared to apologise and does apologise. even though he's "not that unhappy" with what he's said. he gives us the apology, directly looking at the camera . hint 1: if you follow your apology with the word "but" and then go on to say a whole lot of other stuff, it shows you aren't actually sorry. so it really isn't an apology. hint 2: if you keep reiterating and reinforcing the thing you said which was offensive, then what exactly is it you're apologising for?
he reminds us that "fortunately" women are different to men and men are different to women. great insight there. women take more leave, as records show - although there aren't actually any stats on it (i've deliberately avoided writing the word out in full, in consideration of the fact that mr thompson so struggles with it). but he's the full expert now on what women do, how women manage (mostly with tablets, didn't you know).
and to show us how super non-sexist he is, he assures us that most women are more productive than most men, because of all the housework and childcare they do as well as work. he has been listening to the criticism he's been receiving all day, you see. he's showing us that he's taken it on board, that he's totally not sexist at all, because women are so different and so wonderful. it still doesn't occur to him to state that it's wrong for women to have to be the ones to take time off when their children are sick. he concedes later on that it's wrong for women to be doing more of the unpaid work in the home but can't think whose fault it might be. hint 3: if you want to convince us about how non-sexist you are, it pays not to use a hugely sexist term like nanny-state.
he thinks we need to take the emotion out of this. all this talk of menstruation and baby-making makes women so very emotional, obviously. it isn't helpful. let's all be non-emotional and just talk about productivity.
the bit that really gets me is the discussion of the personal lives of his two top women lawyers. the interviewer asks if they have children - relevant because he's so busy praising their productivity - and he answers in the negative. but then he goes on to discuss their marital status. how is that even relevant? and are those employees happy to have their personal lives thrown out into the public arena, just so he can make some tragically useless point about productivity? if i was them (& particularly since they are lawyers), i'd be filing some kind of complaint with the privacy commisioner pretty promptly.
as should all the other female employees who get to be used as examples of his "records" that are supposed to prove his point about the reasons for leave. we see the meltdown begin when he's asked for the research to support his assertions. he then decides that he should tell the interviewer what the question should be. she's apparently only there to do as she's told, not to hold him accountable. he knows he can't answer the question about research, because there isn't any. so he expects her to ask a differently worded question.
and when she does ask a pretty reasonable question about women giving heavy periods as the reason for taking sick leave, he has a complete meltdown. it's not even a difficult question, it's certainly not an offensive one, and it's asked in a completely polite and calm manner. his behaviour is shocking, and clearly bullying (but we're supposed to take the emotion out of the situation and be all rational-like). he knows it's being filmed - he specifically gave permission by saying "you can roll the camera now" a few minutes earlier.
his comments of earlier in the day were enough of a reason for him to step down from his position. but this? i really can't see how he can continue.