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Quotation for Today, Thursday 5 February


I’ve known cabinet ministers in the past who have had affairs, run off with new partners, had children arrested for criminal offences or smashed up crown cars, the kids have even become drug addicts, in some cases they suicided.

There were few big headlines and usually the editorial coverage was sympathetic. Not for Bennett.

Why? Because for most journalists, who are middle class, smug and comfortable, Bennett is simply not PLU (People Like Us).

She’s a solo mother who hauled herself out of the DPB by her own efforts and is a self-proclaimed “Westie” and proud.

They say there is no class system in this country but most of us know better: the sneering words “Westie” and it’s synonym “Bogan” denote middle-class contempt for the under-educated working class.

I can’t avoid the feeling that Bennett is seen as someone who has risen beyond her station in life.

Bill RalstonNZ political and media commentator – writing on why new government minister, Paula Bennett, is a media target.

Bill Ralston

Bill Ralston

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  1. Colin Lucas permalink
    05/02/2009 07:44

    I agree with every thing Bill says in this quotation.

    Ms Bennett does not fit into the comfort zone of the “journo’s” who now inhabit places such as the herald, so they are having a go at her.

    I hope that she is able to ignore the blizzard of adverse publicity and simply get on with her job.


  2. lucy permalink
    05/02/2009 07:38



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