Memebers of parliament: the week in politics, told in memes

Welcome to memebers of parliament, a political column for people who just want the memes. 

In 53 days there will be an election and already there’s too much news. Too many politicians doing too many things. Who’s bothering to keep up with politics? Well, technically we all should because we live in a democracy and an informed vote is a good vote. But who has the time when there are memes to look at? Now you can have both. Join me every Tuesday to look back at the past seven days and think Jesus was that huge scandal only last week?

The grading is simple: YES, NO, or HUH?

Did you oversee an important piece of legislation this week? That’s a YES from me.

Did you send sexually graphic material to a teenaged person this week? That’s a NO from me.

Did you [insert most things that politicians do and say] this week? That’s a HUH? from me.

Julie Anne Genter – YES

What a week for Julie Anne Genter.  Genter’s Equal Pay Amendment Bill passed with unanimous support on Thursday night. The bill facilitates industry disputes to allow “female-dominated” industries (think nursing, education) to bargain for higher pay across all workers. Genter herself described it as “one of the biggest gains for gender equity in the workplace since the Equal Pay Act 1972”. And if that’s not enough, last week saw Genter’s (and Phil Twyford’s, actually more Phil Twyford’s but he’s been otherwise underwhelming) national policy statement on urban development published, which will prevent councils from restricting building heights or enforcing minimum parking requirements on urban developments. In other words, there are now fewer barriers in the way of higher density housing. This is good.

Simon Bridges – YES

Yes this is old news but last week saw enough failure to remind us all that Simon Bridges was in charge of the National Party honestly not that long ago. Remember when everyone was like wow Simon Bridges sux? Now National is polling at 25% and everyone’s like wow Simon Bridges was maybe great? He doesn’t have to worry about polls any more so he’ll head into this campaign doing piss-all and having the time of his life. The one good thing about being turned on by your own so-called friends is that going forward, no matter who stuffs up, whether it’s your opponents in government or your opponents in your own party, you get to feel smug.

Andrew Falloon – YES

Before this month, Andrew Falloon was an unknown, and in the world of politics, there’s nothing worse than being unknown. Now everyone knows Falloon’s name. He’s the man of the hour! You honestly couldn’t buy this sort of exposure. That has to be good. No such thing as bad publicity, right?

Andrew Falloon – OH GOD WAIT NO

News just in: there is such a thing as bad publicity and it’s called *checks notes* being found to have sent several young women, at least one of whom was teenaged, unsolicited sexually graphic material. Falloon was in a safe National seat. The bar to clear in order to keep being paid $163,961 a year wasn’t on the ground but it was bloody close to it. Unfortunately, Falloon had a shovel and not enough real work to stop him from using it.

Note: It has only been one single week since Andrew Falloon sent that fateful press release. I hate this year. 

Iain Lees-Galloway – NO

When I was at school, we weirdly had to sit in on our own parent-teacher interviews so my siblings and I miserably accompanied our parents to school one night, knowing that instead of simply getting told off at home, we’d have to listen to the teacher decide our fates in front of our eyes and then get told off at home.

Mine was first. It was OK but not great, and as we walked out I could sense that it would be a long night. My sister’s was next and hers was also OK but not great. Except hers was last, which meant my mum forgot all about me and instead spent all night “just having a talk” with my sister.

My sister was Iain Lees-Galloway resigning because of an inappropriate affair with a staffer 24 hours after the Andrew Falloon news broke. Can anybody say … lads lads lads?

Winston Peters – NO

Winston Peters dismissed an opposition MP in the house on Thursday by telling her to “scream out as long as you like, lady.” When he was told by the speaker that “lady” wasn’t appropriate, Peters demurred, claiming that were he to use the word “woman” he would consider it “thoroughly a put down”. Putting aside the fact that Peters could’ve used literally any term at the end of that sentence and it would’ve remained incredibly patronising, it’s very funny to me as a LADY to think old Winston Peters is so progressive that even woman is a derogatory term.

Helen White – HUH?

Last week, RNZ asked pedestrians on Ponsonby Road (squarely within the Auckland Central boundaries) to identify both Helen White and Chlöe Swarbrick, the Labour and Green candidates respectively in that electorate.

No one recognised Helen White, despite her contesting the same seat in 2017.

Sorry to this woman.

With less than two months until the election, something must be done if White wants to consolidate her advantage. I dunno, befriend some local comedians or something, that usually does the trick.

What doesn’t do the trick is telling everyone that your opponent, who has a reputation for being a hard-working first-term MP, is just “a celebrity”. (Un)luckily for White, it’s election time which means everyone will forget about her and her faux pas in approximately 36 hours.

Until next time.



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