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The best of The Spinoff this week: Bill English, Abortion and emotional comedy

Compiling the best reading from your friendly local website.

Duncan Greive: The incremental radical: Bill English meets the Spinoff

“Despite his having been marked as a future prime minister since at least university, he seemed to have found a happy and natural ceiling. Yet, thanks to that shocking announcement in November, here he is – the happy engine room operator thrust blinking and a little wooden into the light.”

Jess Berentson-Shaw: Yes, we’re going there – Should you vaccinate your child?

“Vaccination is always something you have to think about when you’re a parent – should you? Shouldn’t you? Lots of people have opinions and it’s confusing. I didn’t think too much about vaccination before having a child. I knew I would because it made sense too. But then I had a child with a serious health condition. Suddenly I had to advocate for him so I had to become vocally pro-vaccination. Late at night I would sit and cry reading mothers in Facebook groups convince each other not to vaccinate.”

Don Rowe: The Spinoff guide to becoming a young homeowner

“You don’t own a home yet, so a significant chunk of your pay each week most likely goes directly to your landlord – that benevolent and savvy figure who managed to get a house through no luck or good timing or anything like that, just pure hard graft. But why are you paying off someone else’s mortgage instead of your own, dummy? That’s serf thinking. The key is just to stop paying that shit!”

Anonymous: To the staff of Wellington Hospital’s Te Mahoe clinic: This is what you did for me when you gave me an abortion

“I write this letter on the one year anniversary of my abortion. I write it because I want you to know what you did for me and for my family. I write it because you probably don’t often hear from us, the women who use your services. I want you to know what happened to me after my abortion.”

Sam Brooks: The five best comedy specials… ever (according to our comedy co-editor)

“First things first: yes, my five most beloved comedy specials are all by women. That’s not because it’s two days after International Women’s Day but because I always have and always will believe that women are funnier than men.”

Emily Writes: How long can we fight? Emily Writes sees hope for the future at the Wellington march against rape culture

“At the museum there is a photo of angry women holding placards. They are screaming for liberation. They look powerful but exhausted. I often walk around the museum trying to get my babies to sleep in the buggy and I always find myself drawn to the women. There is a pull that brings me back again and again to Sue Kedgley’s quote: ‘It’s not your penis we have been envying all these years but your freedom’. She said it in 1972.”

Jess McAllen: It’s not just what Jono said – it’s how he said it

“It’s hard to express just how much it means to hear someone on prime-time live television say that “no one thinks any less of you for taking medication” as Jono Pryor did in the final moments of Jono and Ben last night. He was talking about the funeral of a close friend who had recently killed himself.”

Guest Post: ‘I love my child to the end of the world. But if I could go back and change it, I would’

When I found out I was pregnant I had been having, let’s say, a little bit of fun with someone I knew. Nothing more than that. I was using contraception throughout, not that it’s anyone’s fucking business. People always like to ask. I had been getting very sick at the time and, after being rushed to hospital, I found out I had an infection. They treated me but I wasn’t responding to things in the right way, so they did a blood test.

When I got a little bit better they told me that I was eight weeks pregnant.

Alex Casey: What does The Bachelor NZ’s mysterious white rose really mean?

“Some intriguing Bachelor NZ news has rippled through the internet this morning like a fart on a pristine beach: they are introducing a mysterious white rose to the proceedings. Touted to be handed out during the first cocktail party, all we know about The White Rose is that it promises to ‘drum up the tension.’ But what does it all meeeaaan??”


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