Sexist dinosaur Nats

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, June 27th, 2011 - 58 comments
Categories: employment, equality, feminism, jobs, national, wages - Tags: ,

It’s a story that just keeps getting more and more bizarre. Employers and Manufacturers Association head Alasdair Thompson’s sexist outbursts have drawn near universal condemnation, and are likely to cost him his job. Surely getting pelted with tampons represents some new kind of absolute career low in New Zealand.

But while we’re about the business of punishing sexist dinosaurs, we should set our sights a little higher than Thompson.

The National government is no friend of women. They’ve scrapped the Department of Labour’s Pay and Employment Equity Unit (PaEE), and killed off investigations aimed at improving the pay of women. Under National the gender gap in pay is widening, and women are slipping back in other employment indicators.

The status of women within the National Party has also been questioned on many occasions, especially in relation to the Nats male dominated lists. The latest to shine a light into this musky darkness is Deborah Coddington, in this piece on Sunday:

If stories filtering back to media are anything to go by, National should hang its head in shame. In the past few months, female candidates have been dismissed in a cavalier and sexist manner by National’s selection process.

Why is it acceptable, in the 21st century, to ask women with children what childcare arrangements they have should they be chosen to represent their electorates?

And ask childless women if they will be “doing a Ruth Richardson or a Katherine Rich” and having babies while in the House? I wonder if Aaron Bhatnagar and Paul Goldsmith will be asked these questions when National chooses the candidate for Epsom.


Alasdair Thompson’s remarks were stupid and he richly deserves the bollocking that he’s getting. But in terms of improving the lot of women, the same anger and energy would get better returns if it was directed at a much bigger target…

58 comments on “Sexist dinosaur Nats”

  1. I thought Thompson’s comments summed up perfectly the misogyny of the right wing. Rather than be fired some probably think he should be knighted.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Thompson is a real 19th century bloke who is proud to tell Nanny State that she should be paid less because she is clearly sickly and less productive than his Right Wing prejudices and expectations.

      • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1

        In which case Thompson serves a very useful purpose; to remind this current generation of young women what their predecessors struggled with in the 1960s, ’70s, and to the current day.

        Perhaps too many young women have forgotten that the basic rights and choices they enjoy today were only a dream thirty or forty years ago.

        And perhaps they might look differently next time the word “feminist” is mentioned.

        Yes, I thank Alasdair Thompson for providing a necessary social service.

        “Lest We Forget” – that applies in so many spheres other than those who perished in bloody fields of war.

    • Frida 1.2

      @mickysavage, yes that’s what I thought too. Scratch beneath the surface of every RWNJ and the same views exist, they just know better than to voice them. I have been forthright about this issue on my Facebook page and, sure enough, all the closet RWNJ’s amongst my friends have all defended Alasdair.

      I reckon he should go stand for ACT now. Brash and Banks are searching for “new blood” after all….

    • Blue 1.3

      No I disagree, it summed up the misogyny of this particularly idiotic individual, as stupid as his comments were, they were his and his alone. Rather than get hysterical perhaps the best approach is to ask more pertinent questions to address the core issue. Why women end up working in low skilled, and hence low paid jobs? Is it access to education? Is it worse now than under any other Government, i can’t recall Labour actioning any meaningful change in this regard other than words and the odd sub-committee. I mean after 9 years why wasn’t this “problem” solved? Surely that was time enough if Labour and the left are truly committed to this issue. Or is more time needed than that? If so why the hysteria Greg, when these things take that long to change?

      • felix 1.3.1

        *as long as we can ask pertinent questions without using words like “sexist” and “patriarchy”.

        ‘cos Alasdair is pretty much the only rich white old man in a position of power and influence who holds these views.


      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        I mean after 9 years why wasn’t this “problem” solved?

        You seem to have missed this bit:

        They’ve scrapped the Department of Labour’s Pay and Employment Equity Unit (PaEE), and killed off investigations aimed at improving the pay of women.

        You know, the actions that the previous government put in place to quantify what needs to be done and which this government removed because they obviously don’t want to take any action and thus proving their misogyny and the willing blindness of their female MPs.

  2. higherstandard 2

    You truly are a dildo Greg.

    Not only has Thompson been reamed on the mirror blogs to this site, he’s been pilloried by virtually all the employers associations quite publicly as well as ‘rightie MPs’.

    Interesting though I must admit to feeling somewhat sorry for him after reading Brian Edwards piece as although he clearly is a bit of a sexist dinosaur who’s out of his depth TV3 clearly did a hatchet job on him.

    • Cnr Joe 2.1

      No they didn’t.
      rather than employ someone to do it for him Thompson took the shovel and started digging himself and he made hard work of it.
      And there’s other holes too…

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        CJ: Hope that Thompson is wrong about that story as it would just enhance the PM’s reputation as a bit of a lad.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Doesn’t do much for Helen’s rep either! Key is no ‘lad’, rather the flabby mincer, but the media created perception at Radiolive is another matter alright. Dignified silence is no doubt the best response from Helen, but it would be nice to have a “wouldn’t touch Shonkey with a fortyfoot pole” reposte.

    • The Baron 2.2

      Dildo – classic. But it doesn’t matter – he’ll keep coming on here to breathlessly scream “OMG I love Labour soooo much, boo hiss everyone else”.
      Are you just as pathetic in real life, Greg? I note that every election campaign you blah on about you lose – e.g. Botany, TTT, certainly Helensville… You’re like the reverse Midas. Maybe it’s because you alienate everyone you talk to with your obnoxious partisanism; well, apart from the other fanbois.

      • mickysavage 2.2.1

        You are boring.  You always seem to argue matters by attacking the person.  No wonder why so many people use anonymous handles.
        Care to argue the merits some time?

        • lprent

          It might expose the actual levels of his ignorance. You can’t expect him to do that – it might damage his fragile ego…

        • The Baron

          Tried that before with you Micky – remember the Kiwishare? Kinda spanked you with the facts then, if I remember correctly.

          Otherwise, there isn’t much point. Your opinions go as far as what the last Labour press release said – just another vacuous party loyalist. I have no time for idiots who place brand name allegiance above actually thinking.

          • Bored

            Baron or barren?????…you seem to be a wasteland for the intellect, and you definitely make me Bored.

          • mickysavage

            I am happy to admit I am wrong when I am.  With Kiwisaver I stand by my position that the process is appalling.  I suspected the Government was pulling a swiftie but after looking at the papers either you or queenstreetfarmer linked to I could see that the issue had been given some consideration. My scepticism was because Joyce refused to answer questions and was putting the matter through urgency.
            Part of the answer was there, just buried.
            Any other examples?
            And about the need to personally attack.  Do you agree that it is unhelpful and counterproductive?

      • Ian 2.2.2

        The baron – Troll of the lowest kind – go die! (are you Monty in disguise?)

  3. Morning HS.  Have a good sleep and wake up refreshed and chirpy?
    Interesting though I must admit to feeling somewhat sorry for him after reading Brian Edwards piece
    I read it too but found myself disagreeing entirely with it.  Thompson may have been civilised and charming for much of the interview but he was an absolute pillock for the last 5 minutes.  He was boorish and bullying and obviously not in control.  The thought of being sorry for him never entered my mind.

    • Bored 3.1

      He looked to me like he had had a little too much of the hard stuff far too recently. The loss of inhibitions when he invaded the interviewers personal space, and the waving around was a bit of a give away.

    • Lyall 3.2

      ” He was boorish and bullying and obviously not in control” Gee, he must have obviously suffered from quick dose of Hone Harawira then. Hone = Boorish and Bullying, unless its when he’s on TV in tears “‘cos people are being mean to him” Classic Bully.

  4. William Joyce 4

    Apparently the EMA meeting on Thompson has  been cancelled ironically it’s been rumoured to be that he lawyered up and is invoked his rights as an employee.
    It must have come as news to him when his lawyer told him that workers have rights.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Is it too late for Alisdair to join a union? I mean, apart from the EMA 🙂

      • Jim Nald 4.1.1

        The EMA can’t seem to swiftly and decisively ACT to dump Alasdair.
        The EMA board and members are asking for motivation from a flood of tampons.

    • Lyall 4.2

      ” ironically it’s been rumoured to be that he lawyered up and is invoked his rights as an employee.” So are you saying claiming your human rights should only apply to the left of the political spectrum? Nothing ironic about it.

      • Kaplan 4.2.1

        You really should look up the meaning of ironic.
        Someone who argues against employee rights needing employee rights = Irony squared.

        • Blue

          Ironic, a brown person calling a white person a “white motherfucker”, then claiming only white people are racist, hows that? The darling of the left and enemy of common sense is the epitome of ironic.

          • felix


            When they say “try to get a criticism of Hone in as often as possible” they probably don’t mean “at completely random intervals regardless of context”

  5. randal 5

    hey just take him out and flog him.
    then the transient desire for some action and released hatred will have found espression but the underlying rottenness of the government will just carry on.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Well maybe Alasdair should stay, he has prompted a whole bunch of people to look further into pay equity issues.

    Even the somewhat bored Kim Hill sparked up with a one woman protest on her Sat RNZ programme. She did half the intro “I’m Kim Hill here till..” and paused long enough for thousands of listeners to think-c’mon say it… then she moaned slightly, and said “sorry, it must be that time of the month”. Well done Kim.

    • Jim Nald 6.1

      EMA and Alasdair are now in a lose-lose situation.

      If I were a menstruating woman working in the media, I would let it be documented from hereon that I am having a period while also being at work.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        “I’d like to start this meeting by announcing to both the Board and our distinguished guests that I am at work today, even though I started bleeding quite heavily late last night. I hope our shareholders see this as a signal of my commitment to this firm.

        So, what’s the first item on the agenda for discussion this morning?”

        LOLZ should become standard corporate fare from now on

  7. Unfortunatly this is the way most employers and Right-Wing followers think.
    They believe in youth rates , the mininum wage (the lower the better) and the worst among this group are most farmers. With just a few exceptions they are among the worst employers . They expect long unsociable hours poor accomodation and low wages. how many times have we heard from this lot ”that the workers need to tighten their belts”. They have weakened unions yet have the strongest union in the country, Fed Farmers. Phil Goff was correct when he said they are the Nat Party in gum boots. So lets hope the next Labour Government makes these tax dodgers pay their fair share of the tax.

  8. Sexism is not prehistoric, the dinosaurs still roam because capitalism needs to exploit the unpaid labour of women in the bourgeois family. The dinosaur is the bourgeois family. This is rationalised as women’s ‘nature to nurture’. Bosses dont want to pay for this production of future workers hence their attack on solo mums to get them into paid jobs pronto. Young mums forced to do the ‘double shift’. No matter the Chief science advisor saying nurture the kids early to save them later. If they fail nationals standards they are booted into camp or tasered or worse. The first step towards abolishing this dinosaur of the bourgeois family is to know the enemy and not pretend it can be tamed by dinosaur whispering. Men will never share the unpaid domestic work equally while capitalism exists. Women will never be paid equal wages for equal work under capitalism. When you know why, youll know what to do about it.

    • chris73 8.1

      I’m right wing and I share half the domestic work with my wife

      Just saying

      • Puddleglum 8.1.1

        chris73, one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

        Notice how you immediately think about it in terms of the personal and individual? In many right wingers’ thought-worlds if one person can do something under certain conditions then no-one should complain about those conditions because all they have to do is just what that particular individual did.

        There is no concept of what biologists might call the population level and what sociologists call the ‘social’ (e.g., Durkheim’s ‘social facts’). When Dave says “Men will never share the unpaid domestic work equally while capitalism exists” I don’t think he’s saying that, under capitalism, there will never be an individual man who shares half of an individual woman’s unpaid domestic work.

        Cases where that might happen will be rare and, even where they happen, how it is done, who gets to determine how it’s done, etc. may still favour men.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Pearls before swine Dave, but keep it up! Class analysis is not automatic.

  10. Gina 10

    I found it reeally creepy to see Jenny Shipley and Kate Wilkinson on Campbell Live attacking Alasdair Thompson. The Nats in general have the same attitude to womens pay as Alasdair’s. Jenny only ever harmed womens rights in her time as PM and the same for Kate Wilkenson. The best defenders of women’s rights are the Labour Party and to give Jenny and Wilkinson any Kudos at all for defending women is total bullshit. So John Cambpell should be ashamed. He certainly didn’t question these well to do women who have done nothing but help the sexist National party harm women.

    • William Joyce 10.1

      You’re creeped out? I couldn’t sleep a wink last night knowing that Kate Wilkinson and Jenny Shipley were my bedfellows – if only temporarily!

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Pearls before swine Dave, but keep it up! Class analysis is not automatic.

    heh I’ve been looking this very area up this afternoon 🙂

    • Ian 12.1

      Classic! You need to do a parody of Brownlee as Alexei Sayle – they were separated at birth

      • McFlock 12.1.1
        “You need to do a parody of Brownlee as Alexei Sayle”

        The Sayle  segue brings the thought that the brownlee photo in “Making his presence felt” would go nicely onto Mussolini. That downturned mouth is classic.

        • William Joyce

          I have a wonderful painting of Il Duce that I have wanted to put Gerry’s head onto (I also want to put it on a pike – but that’s another issue 😉 ) but I need the right picture of the overblown one.
          I would have to try and get that wild eyed thing Mussolini had going – like Antonie Dixon’s eyes

    • Jim Nald 12.2

      Hah. And then there are his board mates and closet political femates that are either busy calling each other working out how to dump him or making a show of loudly denouncing him in public.

  12. BLiP 13

    I’m not sure Thompson should lose his job and, in one respect we should be grateful to him for inadvertently exposing what most employers and RWNJs really think. Best to leave him where he is and in the lame-duck state he’s put the EMA into. Thanks Alas-dair.

    • Frank Macskasy 13.1

      It seems that Thompson’s situation just got a whole lot more dire…

      PM link with ‘sexist’ Thompson claims

      The boss in trouble for “sexist” comments is now under fire for boasting he asked the Prime Minister about a sexual relationship with a woman unionist.

      Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly confirmed she had been publicly confronted by Employers and Manufacturers Association head Alasdair Thompson.

      An influential business leader, who witnessed the confrontation at a high-powered dinner in Washington DC, said last night that she would make a formal complaint to the board of the EMA.


      I think the term “gone by lunchtime” might be appropriate here…

      • felix 13.1.1

        Oh dair.

      • The Voice of Reason 13.1.2

        What an insult to John Key’s one true love! Liz Hurley must be devastated.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Cricketeer “Warnie” has done the ‘business’ apparently with Ms Hurley. Our flabby wee prime mincer merely undulges in gauche public wishful thinking when egged on by his bonehead radio mates-“Vietchie” and such like.

  13. Wayne91 14

    Gina -sorry what is it you find so creepy?

    That those two women are well to do?

    That those two women dont fit your stereo type of right wing people?

    That those two women have an opinion? One that probaly is in line with yours on this matter?

    Also Gina – do you think that it is only right wing people that have sexist views?

  14. KJT 15

    Thompson may be advised to look at the research.

    “the more women a group includes the higher its collective intelligence rises”.

    This holds regardless of the individual IQ’s of members of the group.

    Diversity is good!

  15. Gina 16

    OK Wayne

    Kate Wilkinson has just voted for the repeal of the gift duty which will be the nail in the coffin of the equal division of assetts in Matrimionial Property for women. She hasn’t seen fit to even put any protective clauses so that women are informed that even if you are a trustee and joint owner of a trust it can be very hard to dissolve a trust when a marriage ends.

    Women who had wealthy husbands and co owned trusts will not be able to get quick access to matrimonial property tied up in trusts if they need to leave. At present it takes years to transfer assetts into trusts because of the gift duty imposed on amounts greater than 27000 per year so if a marriage ends there are often assetts left which can be immediately divided under the matrimonial property laws. With the gift duty repeal it will be possible to transfer all assets no matter how great into trusts with no delay where there will be no access to those assetts untill the trust is dissolved.Matrimonial property laws often don’t have the eqiuipment to do this The only solution is to apply for matrimonial property and usually a long expensive court battle.

    Most men who put family assetts into trusts do so to stop partners accessing those assetts. Their is no legal requirement for both partenrs to get individual legal representation when setting up family trusts so there is no need to even tell women how these agreements affect their property rights.

    Theorectically women can do the same thing to men however it looks liken these agreements are largeley dissafecting women so it sorta looks like this has been a deliberate conspiracy on the part of men to smash the equql right of women to matrimonial property.

    I haven’t spoken to a single women who is aware of the fact that even if they co own a trust that in the event of divorce they may not be able to access their own money. Many men are fully aware of this and are jubilant that the repeal of the gift duty will see them able to cheat their own wives out of their future security if a marriage ends.

    Marriages and divorce numbers are now nearly equal so we are going to have lots of destitute women and children. There are clauses been drawn up to prevent people with trusts claiming benefits and this may prevent women who are challenging trusts in court from getting any state assistance as they fight a long expensive court battle to try and retrieve assetts.

    Is Kate trying to at least tell women about this. NO Shes a traitor to her own Gender. Shes making a good living as a token woman for the National party to make them seem Gender freindly while behind the scenes they are sewing the scene for the destitution of women if they leave marriages.

    So this is the basis for Kate Wilkinsons success. She is nothing but a tool for the national party to impoverish women without them knowing. Having female national party MPs makes tfhem look women freindly. The Nats however only tolerate women who will go along withn their agenda to put women back 50 years. Helen Clarke said this before the last election and she was 100% right.

    The labour party voted against this bill and thats why the NZ male taliban memebers hate them.
    If you coerce a women into poverty and she cannot leave a marriage then you have marital rape. A ex national party mp was up in court for this a while ago with full name suppression. Obviously the Nats feel women have no rigth to know about this change to their situation. They must be well aware that if women knew abojut this they would loose the election. They are depending on women being scared for their jobs etc and staying silent on this issue which is actually the case. Women fear violence and impoverishemnent if they speak about this and the national party know it. Just how disgusting is that. They wouldn’t dare attempt this if they thought women would find out about how it will affect them.

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