If you can’t stand the heat, as they say, get out of the kitchen.
And if you don’t like the hours, get another job.
That’s Alf’s advice to Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta, who has been sounding just a tad pathetic while braying about it being unfair to expect nursing mothers to be in Parliament late into the night.
It’s good to see The Boss has climbed in on this issue, saying (here) he does not believe Parliament’s hours should be reduced to make it more “family friendly”.
Having children while in Parliament was “challenging but do-able”, he said, and it was up to each party to ensure nursing mothers had the support and time out needed.
It may well be challenging.
But more important, it was a matter of choice, presumably, that Ms Mahuta opted to become a mum as well as an MP.
Now she has the gall to say things aren’t fair and she wants the rules changed to accommodate her.
It’s a very leftie thing to do, eh?
She is reluctant to do what other mums must do, which is give up their job for a while.
Now the heat is on poor old David Carter to take care of Labour’s moaning mum.
Speaker David Carter is considering introducing special leave provisions for nursing mothers after Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta was in Parliament with her baby until midnight on Friday because of urgency.
She told the Speaker it was unfair to expect nursing mothers to be in Parliament late into the night.
Mr Key said it was up to the Speaker to decide on any new rules, but it was possible for parties to arrange leave to give priority to those who most needed it, such as nursing mothers.
Dunno why she’s bleating about it being unfair to expect nursing mothers to be in Parliament late into the night.
It is just as unfair for elderly MPs like Alf, desperate for a snifter or three of scotch, to be kept working beyond a certain hour.
But he’s a trouper, is Alf, and slogged on into the night without complaint.
Oh, and as the Herald points out, parties can have one quarter of their MPs away at any time without losing votes in Parliament.
So where’s the problem?
As The Boss said, it’s up to the Speaker to decide whether to formally allow women to take babies into the House.
“There has to be a practicality about the way the House works. Without doubt, a mother who is also an MP has to balance some real challenges from time to time, but I think it is actually the whips and the Labour Party’s responsibility to acknowledge those challenges and prioritise leave for that person.”
Labour whip Chris Hipkins has got in on the story.
He said Ms Mahuta had been given significant amounts of leave but there was extra pressure on leave during urgency.
And here’s the thing. He said Ms Mahuta had agreed to work on Friday night after she was given leave for Thursday.
Get that? She agreed to work…
It seems like she might be hard to please, because he had taken her off the speaking roster after she told him she had to bring the baby to Parliament.
To Parliament, it should be noted.
She did not have to necessarily sit in the House.
Now she is calling for more formal guidelines for those with young children, including whether they can be in the debating chamber while Parliament is sitting.
The House is noisy enough, when Labour and the bloody Greens are in full cry, without having female MPs bring their squawking offspring into the joint.
Enough is enough, and The Boss sums things up pretty well:
Mr Key said Parliament had become “increasingly friendly” for family life compared with the past. Parliament sits for three days a week on about 33 weeks a year, and the recesses were aligned with school holidays.
“So it’s pretty accessible. It’s better than it was.”
It looks suspiciously like the whole matter will blow up again pretty soon if things aren’t settled to the satisfaction of these women now.
Green MP Holly Walker is expecting her first child in September, and said while any changes that made that easier were welcome she was hopeful that in the long term Parliament would reduce its hours and make Parliament a more realistic option for women.
She wants to work shorter hours.
There’s no suggestion she wants to accept less pay.