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Stereotyping useful, until we know better

  • November 18th, 2013

A "left wing trendy inner city hipster windbag" I think I've never met offered me on Sunday  as a mental image of mean-spiritedness. In a trivial piece on MPs remuneration comes a gratuitous jibe:

"Leaving aside the rich irony of an MP being involved in a "loyalty scheme" to begin with, this petty penny-pinching makes them look like a bunch of coupon clippers. And somehow it's all too easy to imagine Stephen Franks standing at the supermarket checkout insisting that the number of stamps he has amassed qualifies him for the dessert spoons, not the teaspoons. Or Annette King at the petrol pump, rifling through her handbag to find she has the receipt that will give her 4c a litre off."

I'm hurt. I'd rather hoped that a bearded envious lefty in a sunset occupation would miserably imagine me leaving supermarket shopping to the help.  And worried too. Is Cathy letting us down? I've not seen any new free dessert spoons or teaspoons coming home. Are these stamps only in the Herald, for poor people?

But I should not stereotype. He goes on to make a suggestion I'd love to see implemented.

"A lot of people outside politics who do get high salaries are judged on their performance and get paid according to how much money they create for their enterprises and shareholders. Imagine if MPs had to prove they had provided an economic benefit to the country before receiving any kind of bonus…."

I'd favour having a substantial chunk of income as bonus at risk. It should favour results over a term longer than the Parliamentary term. For example it could be in a deferred payment scheme so that it depends on GDP growth or some better measure of well-being in the decade after your year's endeavour.

However I suspect that my stereotyping of the columnist is less misleading than his of me. In fact I donated most of my airpoints  to good causes after I left Parliament. Garth McVicar was helped around the country by mine.

On the other hand  the spittle swamp of prejudice and mis-information in which the columnist hides his nuggets (such as support for performance pay for politicians) is circumstantial evidence supporting my stereotyping..


  • Lindsay
  • November 18th, 2013
  • 7:19 pm

But it’s 8 years since you’ve been an MP! The less than desirable impression made on Mr Little was so bad he hasn’t noticed your departure? More likely he is confusing you with another MP. Lazy.

  • Brendan
  • November 18th, 2013
  • 9:08 pm

Ah the politics of envy, we shall miss it one day I hope. I look out on the bleak tax payer horizon and see the combined sum of tax paid by journalists throughout the country not amounting to the tax paid by the despised former head of Telecom Paul Reynolds in one year.

They are the saints of equality, he was the epitome of despised capitalism, and yet he contributed more to the ‘common good’ each year than all of the mean spirited journalistic socialists combined.

For those who can, let’s celebrate economic diversity while it’s still permitted, and to those who despise us, you will only appreciate us when we are gone.

  • peterquixote
  • November 28th, 2013
  • 8:01 pm

Jeez I came back to New Zealand , picked up some slag Newspaper in the market, it was Sunday, and it was the worst paper I have ever read. It was unbelievable crap. There were little people writing weakly weekly.
I emailed the Bangkok Post, urgent I said, d please send me newspaper real, I will pay anything

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