Oh dear. Labour’s Chris Carter is having something that looks suspiciously like a hissy-fit. He can’t take the heat and is thinking of quitting the kitchen.
The publicity around his dipping into the public trough has been too much for the poor soul.
But the publicity has less to do with being New Zealand’s first openly gay Cabinet minister (as the HoS describes him today) and more to do with his ministerial spending being dragged out of the closet.
Whatever the magnet for media attention, the HoS says, Carter is close to quitting Parliament because he is sick of being attacked as a “luxury-loving gay boy”.
Alf can find plenty of reasons for wanting to admonish Carter, but not because he is a “gay boy”. This is an expression he eschews, because it is the language of woofter social engineers, calculated to win greater public acceptance of a certain type of bedroom carry-on than otherwise it would get.
It bloody well works, too.
A CBS News/ New York Times poll earlier this year found the wording of the question was the key when it came to determining whether Americans support allowing gays to serve in the military.
Their approval rating for “gays” was much higher than for “homosexuals”.
In the poll, 59 percent say they now support allowing “homosexuals” to serve in the U.S. military, including 34 percent who say they strongly favor that. Ten percent say they somewhat oppose it and 19 percent say they strongly oppose it.
But the numbers differ when the question is changed to whether Americans support “gay men and lesbians” serving in the military. When the question is asked that way, 70 percent of Americans say they support gay men and lesbians serving in the military, including 19 percent who say they somewhat favor it. Seven percent somewhat oppose it, and 12 percent strongly oppose it.
Regardless of the poll support Chris Carter could command if a similar survey was conducted here, he is in political hot water with his boss.
Labour leader Phil Goff is reported to be thinking of demoting him to the backbenches, after he topped the list of personal spending from the public purse during the term of the last government.
Carter is fed up with the attendant public scrutiny, it seems.
Labour’s Chris Carter and his civil partner Peter Kaiser angrily hit back yesterday after being condemned for being among the worst offenders in the MP expenses scandal.
Interviewed by the HoS, he said:
“Do you want to live your life with this stuff going on all the time? You know, I love being an MP. But there might well be a point soon where I think this is just not worth it.”
The newspaper reminds us that Carter racked up thousands of dollars on ministerial credit cards while holding the education, ethnic affairs, conservation and housing portfolios.
But he said the public perception of him as living the high-life at the taxpayer’s expense was grossly inaccurate – and he still drives a 1996 Suzuki Swift.
“That has been another hard thing – people trying to paint this image of these luxury-loving gay boys who are swanning around, flowers to the boyfriend,” he said.
“I have lots of faults … but arrogance, pride and love of luxury are not among them.”‘
Alf reckons the most significant remark is this one:
“I just have to make a decision: Do I want to keep putting up with this?
The implication is that the only way out is to quit.
But he could try carrying on as an MP, slurping much more modestly from the public trough and thereby giving the media no real justification to pick on him.
Oh, and he should forget all this crap about being targeted by the media because he is not a red-blooded heterosexual. Others who share his sexual proclivities have not attracted publicity for the simple reason that they have not been so lavish with their spending.
Nor are heterosexuals immune from the media’s examination of ministerial expense sheets. Just ask Shane Jones – and learn from him. Jones had the balls to say it’s a fair cop, to apologise and take what’s coming.