I’ve been intrigued by the response to Don Brash’s comment that he went easy on Helen Clark in the TV1 debate because she is a woman.
Labour’s response on the night was to say it was pure “spin” because he hadn’t done so well in the debate. then, whoop,s they got feedback that maybe he did win. (I can’t comment on that myself as I missed the debate).
So it then got turned into classic high road/low road stuff – Clark called him “quaint” and the Labour-supporting women’s groups called him a sexist pig.
I think the comment will help Brash because it’s probably genuine and it has the ring of truth to it. Brash is out of that strand of old fashioned Presbyterianism which implicitly believes that politeness is next to godliness.
You might disagree violently with someone but you don’t get rude. I know it well – I was brought up that way myself and at times its a real handicap.
In Brash’s case though it is beyond Clark being a women – he’s polite to Cullen in the House as well, even when Cullen is being at his most catty.
He’s a polite bloke. It’s a bugger.