The media morons, ever so quick to whip up a row around racism if Hone Harawira is involved, have missed the obvious in their analysis of what’s been going on in the Act Party.
The obvious is that Act has a majority of blondists in its caucus – three of the buggers – who got rid of Heather Roy because she is a blonde.
The media, alas, has become so preoccupied with racism, sexism and homophobia that it has neglected this area of prejudice.
Society prefers not to discuss this form of prejudice, either.
Alf imagines that if you took a blondist complaint to the Human Rights Commission, you would be laughed out of the joint.
Mind you, he happens to believe that every complaint ever taken to the outfit should be laughed out of the joint, which should be pulled down and its inhabitants sent into the world to find proper jobs.
He upholds the right of all of us – and especially him – to be thoroughly prejudiced, including against blondes, baldies numbskulls and short-arsed tossers who wear yellow jackets.
He is by no means drawing attention to blondism in the Heather Roy row because he believes it is an example of a human rights outrage.
He is merely drawing attention to a prejudice the media has missed which helps to explain Rodney Hide’s behaviour, and that of the other two middle-aged plonkers who voted against Roy.
It’s a prejudice – and therefore an influence on relationships- which happens to be a topic of discussion in the UK at the moment after one Mariella Frostrup complained that blonde women are still saddled with prejudice.
The broadcaster, 47, said she “would have thought twice” about going blonde at 16, when her father’s death left her grey, if she had “known then what my shade of choice suggested to the world”.
She told the Radio Times: “Being blonde means never saying you don’t understand unless you want to be predictable. Being blonde means always trying to tell the blonde joke first…. ‘What do you call a brunette between two blondes? An interpreter’.”
She added: “Few women may be born blonde but that hasn’t stopped it becoming a noun. In blonde world whether you’re a brain surgeon, a lap dancer or an oligarch’s wife, it’s all the same.
“Blonde is the description, anything else merely informs us of the variety. Pinch me if I’m living in the 21st century.”
She added: “Lifting the veil of prejudice clearly continues to be a struggle.”
Mariella said recording Radio 2 series Blonde On Blonde had revealed “female stereotyping had changed little in the last seven decades”.
She said of the likes of screen stars Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Lana Turner: “In retelling their stories there are echoes of the challenges still faced by women who wind up feeling their highlights have overshadowed their lives.”
Alf reckons this prejudice against blondes is the obvious explanation for Hide’s otherwise inexplicable behaviour, as described in statements Roy is reported to have made in a confidential document that no longer is confidential.
The 82 pages of supporting material – obtained by the Herald – outline her defence, given in a statement to the Act caucus, against concerns about her behaviour and are an attack on Mr Hide’s leadership.
They paint a picture of a fractured party that has been infighting while pretending to be unified, and of an insecure leader who moved to demote Mrs Roy without just cause.
An insecure leader is bound to have been bothered by a bright blonde, especially if she had a stroppy streak.
The same goes for John Boscawen, who displaced Roy as deputy leader, resulting in her being stripped of her ministerial portfolios of consumer affairs, associate defence and associate education.
Mrs Roy’s notes said she was scared of meeting Mr Hide alone, and wanted to bring another person with her.
“He routinely tries to bully and intimidate me and this is not conducive to a good working relationship.
“There was an instance recently where he was extremely angry at my staff, characterised by shouting abuse in offices and also as he stormed up and down the corridor.
“Since the November publicity over his taxpayer-funded travel, he has barely spoken to me and at many of the meetings we have had, he has indicated that I am not performing to the level he would expect, his tone during these discussions is menacing.”
Roy implored her caucus colleagues to keep her on as deputy leader.
“Act sees team leadership as primitive combat, with a need to destroy a colleague’s reputation to justify an otherwise inexplicable decision.”
If ousted, the public would confirm “prejudices about the nasty party, comprised of bullies”.
“The right thing to do is to maintain the status quo,” she said.
“This should be followed by a constructive, well-managed process of continuous improvement, facilitated by experts as necessary, so that we can all rediscover our collegial spirit and improve individually as a team.”
Alf sniffs the clear whiff of blondism in this carry-on.
More fascinating, he suspects that Hide might be blond, although the sly bugger has camouflaged this condition by going as bald as Alf’s bum.
Mind you, at this juncture Alf must say that – in The Telegraph, in the UK – writer Jojo Moyes argues it’s what you do with your hue that counts.
Moyes says she is a big fan of Frostrup (who presents one of the few literary programmes on Radio 4 and has dated George Clooney).
She has some sympathy for Frostrup’s view
But her argument just doesn’t stack up. For a start it is impossible to lump all “blondes” together. Can we really bracket the public’s reaction to Samantha Fox and Professor Susan Greenfield? Can we really say that Goldie Hawn gets the same reception as Margaret Thatcher?
Being blonde in itself does not cause people to assume you are ditsy, or diminish your intellectual stature, even in the world of entertainment. It is what you do with it that counts.
Marilyn Monroe and Diana Dors played up to a hypersexualised stereotype – and were ultimately pigeonholed by it. They were victims not of their blondeness but of their upbringing and choices, and of an age and industry that prescribed more rigidly what women were supposed to be. It wasn’t just blonde women who were treated badly in the Fifties (as anyone who watches Mad Men knows) – it was all women.
Moyes does not see Dolly Parton, Hillary Clinton and Lady Gaga as women feeling particularly disadvantaged by hair colour.
And she goes on:
There is a glowing list of movie stars who have not exactly had to struggle against the dictates of their hair colour: Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, Katherine Hepburn and Grace Kelly to name a few. I’d quite enjoy the spectacle of watching someone trying to tell Dame Helen Mirren that she was seen as lightweight. And I would venture that Meryl Streep’s blondeness has been an irrelevance to her stellar career. She is celebrated for what she is: a smart, talented, actress who has made wise choices.
If Lady Gaga complains later in life that she is not taken seriously as a songwriter I would suggest that it is as much to do with her habit of wearing teeny weeny leather bikinis in her music videos as much as any follicular colouring. If I saw Elton John donning a pair of little sequinned pants I might struggle to remember his songwriting abilities, too.
Moyes then refers to recent studies showing that more British women than ever are choosing to dye their hair blonde,
which raises the question: are women sleepwalking into some kind of social discrimination? Are they actively willing themselves to look dumb? Should we be issuing public health warnings?
Moyes concludes that in 20 years of working life, she can honestly say being blonde has been the least of her professional concerns.
There have been times when growing six inches in height, or even knitting myself a pair of testicles might have helped, yes, but darkening my hair? No.
But Moyes was never an MP in the Act Party, let alone the deputy leader.
Dunno if Heather Roy intends staying on with a blondist bunch of colleagues.
Alf’s tip is that she will take her cue from Tariana Turia and quit to form the Blonde Party.
When it happens, you read it here first.