HAIL KING OF THE SHOCK JOCKS

Bob Jones – billionaire, politician, columnist and apparently, sociologist and economist.

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In a column titled “Why Ponytailgate is Nonsense”, Bob made exacerbated palliated claims in attempt to trivialise the situation (Straw Man Argument, anyone?), saying John Key, ”presumably exercising a perk of office, had seemingly hurled a coffee-shop waitress to the floor, then not once but twice, and regardless of his accompanying wife’s feelings let alone those of the other patrons, their children, two sensitive pet dogs and a wheel-chaired granny, violently had his way with her. Then emerging triumphantly from under the table wearing her knickers on his head, he’d searched around for fresh victims, before launching salivating and naked into the street in a quest for fresh flesh to commit his vile corruptions on.”

He thrashed the media, calling the catch-all “ponytailgate” “a groaning giveaway of journalistic shoal fish mediocrity”. Lest we forget, however, that Jones uses said media as his own platform to document his [can we say objectionable?] musings, but hey he’s rich so whatever.

Nonetheless, ponytails were designed to be tugged, he said.

“Ponytails, which I’m a fan of, have been tugged by males since they were invented by the third century BC Macedonian poet Samus, who wrote lyrically and at length on the desirability of pulling them.”

He went on to say that he at times enjoyed pulling his 7-year-old daughter’s #tail #ugh #gross.

The stellar of a paragraph finished on a high, where he described the Human Rights Commission, the Children’s Commission and Women’s Affairs as a “mob” of “mad women” that were otherwise “all utterly unnecessary agencies which greatly irritate everyone at the long-suffering taxpayer’s expense”.

Well if you’re not frothing at the mouth already, he actually ran quite the stunner of piece titled  “no pretty girls in the provinces”  just one week before his “jumping on the bandwagon” piece, as described above #meow.

“I’m aware there are *no pretty girls in the provinces, for as fast as they come off the production line, they sensibly up sticks for the big smoke,” he said.

“Indeed last year while in a provincial city with a mate, I made this observation and wagered $20 that he couldn’t find one. After half an hour’s research through the CBD, ducking into shops and offices, I let him off for a tenner, which showed God likes me. For immediately following payment we turned a corner and encountered a Chinese stunner at the front desk of a plainly new beauty clinic. But it’s odds-on she’s not home-grown, or alternatively is deranged.

“These sociological observations testify to the exquisite symmetry of the market system or conversely, the market deploring a vacuum, there’s a reverse flow from city to country by plain, husband-seeking fat girls, filling a rural void. The market always finds its own levels, thus these classical supply and demand female migrations, which incidentally, is the sort of practical case-study economics students should be undertaking instead of the rubbish they’re taught.”

No wait, there’s more! He went on to randomly discuss David Gray and a theatrical performance from the National Library comprising of women. And of course, his flagrant objectification went one step further to describe the said women as follows:

One suspects these ladies will not be of the category who would interest Berlusconi, nevertheless, to add to the excitement they’re offering a post-performance question and answer session. Hitherto I thought white-feather issuing was the sole role of our First World War womenfolk, but perhaps these ladies are being “creative.” Possibly in the Q and A session they will discuss knitting styles as on reflection, white-feather distributing aside, a fair amount of sock-production probably occurred for the blokes in the trenches.

HOLY BLOODY HELL. What would that “mad woman” that is EEO Commissioner Jackie Blue think of this one?  For those who champion the feminist agenda, Rep Chic can only advise that they stay clear of the comments section of these strangely crafted columns.

To conclude, while Bob is particularly scathing of journalists in the sense that Evelyn Waugh’s book Scoop “sends up gloriously the news creation activities of journalists, and in particular their ability to actually make their fictitious accounts a reality through repetition,” let’s hope his repetitive misogynistic rhetoric doesn’t have that very same effect.

* We could talk at lengths about Bob’s interesting use of “let’s discriminate everyone other than rich, white, men” but, our use of “bold” really says enough, we thinks.

**Disclaimer: Bob Jones you are rich and powerful please don’t punch us for questioning you. Also we have no money so please don’t sue us for defamation.

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#PONYTAILS ARE SO #ONTREND

There’s nothing more fashionable than a ponytail, apparently.

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Prime minister John Key allegedly pulled the ponytail of 26-year-old waitress Amanda Bailey on April 22.

The waitress accused Key of acting “like the schoolyard bully tugging on the little girls’ hair trying to get a reaction”. What’s more, this was not the first occasion where he had a good ol’ tug while frequenting his local cafe, she said.

“He would come up behind me when I was at the ordering terminal, tug on my hair and then pretend that his wife, Bronagh, had done it (much to her embarrassment), and she would tell him to stop it. As he rounded the corner behind me he commented ‘that’s a very tantalising ponytail’.”

According to Toby Manhire, “Through a spokesperson, the prime minister apologised for the hair-pulling, saying it “was never his intention to make her feel uncomfortable”, but did not dispute the waitress’s version of events.

“Speaking to reporters at Los Angeles airport while en route to Turkey, Key repeated the apology saying that there were “a lot of fun and games” at the cafe and “lots of practical jokes”.

“The hair-pulling had taken place “in the context of a bit of banter” and he had apologised to her “when I realised she took offence”. Key said when he gave her the wine and apologised, the waitress had told him, “that’s all right, no drama”.

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And so it was. Local and international media roared “weird”, “sexual harassment” and “Key likes to homebrew and names his wine “JK”, they said.

But it didn’t stop there. Twitter, tumblr and buzzfeed-fiends started unearthing photographs that suggested Key’s love of Bailey’s ponytail was the result of a fetish. WHOAH.

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And then there was Glucina. Dear ol’ Rach – the hard-news journalist who managed to hustle an exclusive interview with the victim (Bailey).

In the same Daily Blog Post described above, Bailey said she was mislead by the NZ Herald reporter.

In a Daily Blog Post, Bailey said she was misled by NZ Herald reporter Rachel Glucina when she spoke with her at the home of her employers – Rosie cafe owners Jackie Grant and Scott Brown.

NZ Herald editor Shayne Currie swooped in to save the day, saying:

“Rachel Glucina approached the Hip Group yesterday, after The Daily Blog broke the story. She knows the Hip Group owners personally.

“She spoke to the couple and the waitress over the telephone. Regardless of any confusion over the initial approach, all three agreed they wanted to make a public statement.

“When I spoke to the owners, they told me they had initially thought Rachel was working on a statement to go to all media, along with the photograph.”

To conclude, the NZ Herald issued three versions of the story.

Before we knew it, Human Rights EEO Commissioner Jackie Blue was on the case, only to be punched in the stomach by Women’s Affairs minister and beauty-pageant advocate, Louise Upston who vowed to “stand by her man” so-to-speak.

At this point we, like all media, lost interest. But hey, if McCreedy is on it, who knows what will happen? Let’s hope there’s a John Banks poo-throwing repeat – just think of the ratings!

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The past four weeks or so have been a bit much for ol’ Rep Chic, we reckon. We ought to stick to fashun. Nap time it is then.

RAISE YO’ GLASS FO’ TONNY ABBOTT

While we’ve barked on about Abbott’s dubious attitudes towards women before, instead we’ll find some tenuous link between New Zealand and Australian culture, namely his love of speedos and the grog.

“When Tony Abbott walked into Sydney’s Royal Oak Hotel on Saturday night and downed that beer, he didn’t just put an end to all those jokes about his shandy drinking.

‘We feel reassured when we see politicians with a beer in their hands. It’s what convinces us they’re real people, right?’

He skolled himself into the national consciousness”, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Judith Ireland said.

“Mr Abbott did not muck around, hand clasped firmly on the schooner – down the gullet it went, drawing victorious cries of “Tony!” from the football fraternity and putting all that concern over “the binge drinking plague” behind him,” Eryk Badshaw said.

“And let’s promote binge drinking culture and feed into masculine stereotypes all the while appealing to younger audiences in an immature and ultimately dangerous way” Abbott said (not really, but really really).

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No wait, he really said: “The [problem is] the binge drinking culture which has become all too prevalent among youngsters…Alcohol has and always will be part of life in our country – and most countries in the world. Our challenge as a people is to ensure that we get the balance right again.”

Lest we forget people, Abbott not only encapsulates masculinity by way of his ability to smash a beer, the bro can also smash a raw onion. Don’t mess with him, okay? The Guardian’s Jason Williams said,

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“Whole raw onions are not a common feature of the modern Australian diet. Apart from anything else, most of us find that eating them is difficult and unpleasant: they burn your mouth and make you cry. As for the skin, it’s indigestible. Unless you’re on a dare, you’d probably rather have an apple.

“In any event, you can’t do what Abbott did without practice. You need to want to learn to do it. It’s a kind of party trick, a piece of rugby club machismo that shows who, exactly, is the hardest man in the room. But instead of throwing down the gauntlet to a locker room or a public bar, Abbott is now basically yelling “Psych!” at an entire nation, a G20 economy, and a bewildered international community.

“This kind of thing is not new for him. Figuratively speaking, he’s been eating onions for the entirety of his prime ministership, and longer. The red speedos, the fireman costume and the Lycra. The boxing, the “shirtfronting” and “selling his arse”. These are the words and actions of a man whose first instinct is to turn everything into a dick-measuring contest. The onion thing was weird, and part of the broader weirdness of Abbott, which seems to be ripening now he’s in office.”

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It’s no surprise to see Abbott getting his suit “on” in the land of the long white cloud for the ANZAC centenary festivities. And while he thinks New Zealand is “like family”, the Maori Party sure as hell thought otherwise.

“An Open Letter to the Australian Prime Minister from our Maori Party Co-Leaders.

Tēnā koe Hon Tony Abbott,  We write to you to voice our condemnation at the forced closure of Aboriginal communities in Australia as a result of your government’s policies. We ask that your government honour its obligations to Australia’s First Peoples……..”

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So to conclude: budgie smugglers, onions, grog and cultural genocide. Puts things in perspective eh.

Thank you once again to google images for providing the platform to cut and paste.

PAUL HENRY: THE GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING

Paul Henry, media darling. The new face for radio, digital media and television.

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We could go on forever but it’s The Spinoff that really nails it:

“My favourite Henry was the one who shat on both Wellington and Te Awamutu, and talked about fishing in the most dismissive of terms. “I just don’t want dead fish around,” he said. “How do you turn them into food? It’s 2015, and I don’t want to learn that skill.”

“That’s when he’s at his best – playing the bourgeois ass he is with relish, and finding a quick way to make one of the country’s favourite pastimes seem mediaeval. Unmasked contempt for much of your audience is such a weird trait for a popular broadcaster to possess, but he revels in his naughty boy role so brazenly I somehow find him oddly appealing.”

And just when he almost got away with alienating every single member of his audience, the Human Rights Commission decided to come out and condemn his attitude against women.

The privileged white man said: “Why, if feminism has come so far, does she feel the need to highlight the fact that she’s a woman? Shouldn’t she be selling herself on the fact that she’s the best person, the right person, for the job, no matter what her sex?”

Auntie Helen apparently “fell into the same trap”. JESUS. And we thought his remarks in 2010 where he questioned whether former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand was a New Zealander were bad.

“You shouldn’t be proud of being a woman just like you shouldn’t be proud of being a man. I’m not proud to be a man – I was just born a man, it just bloody happened,” he said.

“They should be proud of being capable.

“It does nothing at all for feminism if Clinton becomes president because she’s a woman.”

In an open letter from EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue:

“You are wrong. Feminism hasn’t come further than Hillary Clinton and Helen Clark, feminism will only ever go as far as they and other women go.

“On your show today you argued that feminism has come further than Clinton and Clark, two women who are campaigning respectively for roles as the United States President and Secretary General of the United Nations. Clinton has voiced her ambition to become the first woman US President and you saw this as an outdated thing to say. It isn’t.

“Feminism is a belief that gender should not limit anyone’s chances at life and quite frankly people are deluded if they believe women currently get the same opportunities as men to make it in business, politics and the like.

“If we have come as far as you say we have why has female representation in our Parliament been stuck at around 30% since the first MMP election in 1996? Why did it even go backwards at the 2014 election? Why is the percentage of female directors on the NZX listed companies a paltry 14%? Why is it that there is a persistent mean pay gender gap in the labour market of around 14 %?

“Only yesterday lawyer and international public servant Vicky Robertson was announced as the Ministry for the Environment’s new chief executive, however the headline just described her as a “Former Hockey Player”. I can’t help but wonder if this headline would have been the same if she were a man.”

Despite the whole palarva we’ve got to say ol’ Henry does like to sport the pink shirt – if we take a leaf out of Henry’s line of thought re feminism – we could conclude that because he wears pink he is therefore a woman? This is also suggesting that all women and only women like and wear pink #duh.

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Otherwise, one thing is certain, Henry is loyal to those rectangular mole-esque glasses and the open shirt. Oh the chest hair, the testosterone, he is man, hear him roar!

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Thanks to google images for the providing the ability to copy’n’paste

CAMPBELL LIVE-GATE

Whoah the new cost-cutting “multi media platform blah blah” Paul Henry show. Whoah #SaveJohnCampbell. Is the New Zealand media industry imploding before our very own eyes? Yes. Ahem Phil Kitchen and Paula Bennett? Ahem Rachel Morton and Steven Joyce? And what’s this female exodus about? What is going on?

But Campbell Live? Really? That strangely shaped and yet glorious head! That suit! That nondescript tie combination that would grace the air waves seven days a week! What will New Zealand do?

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Mana News’ Joe Trinder attempted to see the wood through the trees, suggesting that Campbell Live would be getting the cut just a day after they “helped Unite Unions Zero hours contracts. Burger King has stopped all advertising with Media works”.

“This suggestion to terminate Campbell live after 10 years on air is politically motivated. Campbell Live is a hard hitting investigative journalism that reveals when Kiwi’s are being treated unfairly and fights for the underdog.”

What’s the answer, therefore? Lefties across the country are pledging to “tune in” but are we neglecting to notice that big white elephant in the room – with the rise of Broad City and netflix in general – what leftie in their right mind would own, let alone watch television?

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To quote the NZherald’s “gossip gals”, “the only way Campbell Live can be saved is by people watching the show, a media commentator has said”.

“Regan Cunliffe, the director of TV website Throng, said it was a logical commercial decision given the “massive” decline in audience which wasn’t sustainable for TV3.

“In 2013, the show was averaging an audience of 382,000. But in the same period this year it was drawing 191,000, Mr Cunliffe said.

“He said when Seven Sharp launched in 2013 TVNZ “gifted MediaWorks a massive opportunity”. But since a revamp of the show with Mike Hosking,Campbell Live hasn’t been able to beat it.”

And “there’s no telling how large Mike Hosking’s erection is right now”, according to the Civilian. Gross, but amazing satire.

And we all know who National Party MP Todd Barclay is “rooting” for:

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According to stuff, the youthful Nat promptly deleted his facebook comment.

“I took it down because it was fuelling the fire … it was meant to be a light-hearted comment to stir a bit of debate.

“At the end of the day I watch Campbell Live from time to time, [and] I watch Seven Sharp from time to time.

“It was never intended to be a nasty comment against Campbell Live,” he said.

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But that hasn’t stopped ol’ John Keyburgers getting on board, who described Campbell Live as “entertainment”.

“Key told Newstalk ZB…that the show would not be a loss for democracy as the show’s role was geared towards entertainment – although he also said he does not really watch the show.”

Whoah BURN. But perhaps the wise cat has a point. What has happened to journalism? Cost cutting, redundancies, #rightfirsttime et al– we’re having to bite our tongues raw with this can of worms/words.

So instead we’ll reel it in with assurances from “our mate John” that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and that New Zealanders are indeed getting their news.

“For most people they’ve seen [the news] on the Herald or Stuff website, they’ll get their newsfeeds on Twitter and Facebook – we’re so much better informed.”

Well thank God for that. #vivalafourthestate

*Thank you to google images once again

WHO WORE IT BEST PART 2: THE SUIT

Now without further ado, to quote Fairfax journalist Aimee Gulliver, “there are an awful lot of politicians ripping off Willy Moon’s look in the House today.” Hear, bloody hear!

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It really comes down to two key players: Peter Dunne, and Winnie Peters. Naturally. John Key fails, obviously, because to dress with any pizzazz would mean he would lose his “our mate John” brand that strikes such a chord with the everyday New Zealander.

Winnie gets bonus points for nailing the double-breasted suit and sticking to it for over 20 years. The Northland native told Sarah Stuart:

“When people ask private questions like ‘where do you buy your clothes?” I usually say the Salvation Army.”

“The key thing, just as a hint, when it comes to clothing, you must know your colours,” he says.

“You’re either a winter, or a spring, or a summer or an autumn. If you know your colours, then you’ll buy much more wisely and won’t get home and after a month and say, ‘Why on Earth did I buy that? It doesn’t suit me.’ Because often it looks great on someone else, and you think it looks good on you but they’ve got a different colour scheme or colour range that suits them compared with you.

“If you haven’t got a flair, I bet your mother or your sister has or someone in your family and they can seriously help you.”

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As for contestant number two – well, that quiff, that bow tie, how on earth could Peter Dunn not be in the running? Dunn’s a bloody good sport too, he’s always at the ready to give tips on how to tie the best bow tie, for example.

“On a personal level, Mr Dunne said he had gotten a lot of flak from the public over his dress sense and hairstyle over the years. Contrary to popular belief, his “quiff” was natural with the exception of being styled regularly by Rodney Wayne outlets, he said. He also enjoyed wearing bowties and had done so for many years, he said. “They are the genuine article. I tie them myself.”

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Oh yeah, and how topical is it that we’ve nominated Peter Dunne as a close second for best dressed, especially as he is attempting to power on through the much contested Northland seat for the by election. Which, could apparently bring down the government. Ahhhh, we mean shift the balance of power.

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WHO WORE IT BEST PART 1: THE SUIT

So all of New Zealand was up in arms over the alleged bullying of a certain Invercargill-born-and-bred X-Factor contestant this week. Pop-star famous(?) judges Willy Moon and wife Natalia Kills accused Joe Irvine of being cheesy, disgusting, and unoriginal for “stealing” Willy Moon’s “look” – namely, wearing a suit. Here at Representative Chic we too like to claim intellectual property rights over staple items such as “undies”, the “iPhone” and “peanut butter and jelly sandwiches”.

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“As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property I am disgusted how much you have copied my husband. From the hair to the suit do you not have any value or respect for originality?” Kills said.

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The audacity of the Southlander! “Seriously. What. Is. She. On. About? How dare he possess hair on his head? And how brazen is he to don each leg with a pant trouser? And stand in front of a microphone while singing?! Makes me feel sick,” Fairfax’s Nyree McFarlane said in her article titled, “10 musicians who wore the suit better than Willy Moon”.

“So, here are 10 musicians who, in no particular order, have worn suits both better and before Willy Moon burst onto the scene with his jiggly leg and brylcreem way back in 2012 (wow, originator).”

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And so it was, the X-Factor judges were soon fired and bullied out of the country, but who’s to say it was a pot-calling-the-kettle-black type of high-school situation? What a “say sorry like you mean it” scenario!

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“The world united with New Zealand against the two karaoke judges for viciously attacking Joe, and stood up to bullying in the only way we know how—by leaving a woman countless social media messages threatening to kill her,” Vice journalist Carolyn Wadey-barron wrote.

Oh and before we go on to more “pressing” matters (suits get pressed, get it?) we have to briefly mention how amazing The Bachelor is. Who knew mixing Mills and Boon with the New Zealand humour/awkward disposition would make such ahmahzing television? But come on, New Zealand media, when will the witch-hunts cease? Even despite her defrauding ways, Surely Danielle L deserves the rights that are afforded via the Clean Slate Act, no? As for Danielle R and her drink-driving conviction, shame on you for going onto a show that was entirely unrelated to your criminal past!

Thanks to ol’ Google images for providing the copy’n’paste photographs. Okay okay, before you all lose your head over the fact this edition fails to feature any fashion-forward politicians, “Who wore it best: the suit” is a two-part series – we’ll get to the juicy stuff next time.

Until then, XOXO

MARX KEY GOES YA YA 4 DA CLURB

So thanks to the delight that is Lorde, news is Auckland’s gone all “Made in Chelsea” with the introduction of Ya Ya Club, a club reserved especially for Auckland’s “elitist” [not elite] fashion and gastronomic circle.

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Ya Ya Club organiser Phoebe Loloma Trezevant-Miller, said: “You won’t hear the flick of a jandal as I walk up to the barbecue.”

“Lol, what an embarrassing hot mess”, Lorde described about Ya Ya Club’s first party of the year – “Costume Internationale”. As seen on Ya Ya Club’s Facebook page, those in attendance can expect: “Intriguing Geisha Twins? Seductive Sari Queens? Powerful Egyptian Gods? Striking Pacifica Princes/s? You choose!”

The club responded to the Lorde burn: “Hot messes are like chaos & disturbance: sometimes you need it to shake things up to get unexpected best. That’s what I love about change and learning!”

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Like the club’s ignorance when it comes to the English language (who knew you could “boat” things?) this is not the first cultural appropriation controversy in the last six months. Who could forget Dame Tamsin Cooper’s disastrous faux pas by using native American headdress for her 2014 catwalk. Similarly, organisers of Rhythm & Vines were slammed for similar reasons.

“I unreservedly apologise and regret any offence I have caused through using Native American head-dress in my catwalk show,” Cooper said.

“I genuinely respect and honour all cultures, races and religions. It was never my intention to disrespect another culture.

“It is my hope that through my mistake and ignorance, like me, people now know and are aware of the sacredness of the head dress to Native Americans.”

Speaking of cultural appropriation, it is common knowledge that National Party mini-me Max Key is a patron of the Ya Ya Club, especially seeing as his band “Troskey” (not to be confused with the Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky) played their first gig at Ya Ya Club’s Christmas launch party in Britomart’s 1885 Basement.

Music producer Duke Dumont said “It’s odd, the allusion in their name, to a Marxist revolutionary and theorist which seems, perhaps, rather at odds to his father’s political bent.”

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Here he is pictured with Ya Ya Club organiser Phoebe Loloma Trezevant-Miller and bandmate Joshua Troskie. Just look at John Key Jnr all doe-eyed, young and eager – what a button!

What does daddy think about it all then? Well, he told Stuff that he had “heard some of Troskey’s music, and thought it was something Max was “having a bit of fun with”.

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And quite frankly, we reckon ol’ Keyburgers should be more concerned with daughter Steffi’s affinity to get her kit off and exploit most minorities. But it’s all good, it’s in the name of “art”, and anyway, what’s wrong with having a bit of fun eh?

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THE BIGGEST LOSER: COLIN CRAIG

John Key failed to successfully “nail” the New Zealand bloke stereotype this month as he failed to hammer a nail into a sign promoting National’s Northland byelection candidate, Mark Osborne.

“That’s great,” the Prime Minister said. “All that proves is I’m never any good at woodwork.”

Asked if he was a home handyman, Mr Key said no.

“Bronagh [Mr Key’s wife] gets a man in, don’t worry about that.”

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And while Key’s answers have induced all types of cringe on the feminism front, National voters shan’t be worried about potential split votes because Colin Craig isn’t standing.

The [Conservative] party decided it would not stand in the Northland byelection because it did not want to split the centre-right vote and help Winston Peters, Colins said.

Which begs the question, where art thou Colin Craig?

Earlier this month Craig insisted the party was  “not in turmoil, despite questions over his leadership and the expulsion of former MP Larry Baldock”.

“I can say unequivocally that certainly nobody tabled that as an idea, and certainly nobody was putting themselves or anyone else forward to do the job,” he said.

Instead, he regarded the potential challenge to his leadership as “rumour”, and “a storm in a tea cup”. 

Bickering aside, we can’t possibly imagine how a party might even speculate to kick out a leader who shed 30kg in preparation for last year’s election – what commitment!

His secret? “Giving up cream buns and mince pies”.

Mr Craig said that in June 2014 his weight had reached 105kg because of his fondness for the bakery section.

“In the middle of last year I made a very serious determination that I was going to get into good physical condition. I knew I’d need to be in good shape this year.”

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Craig went on to talk about his “battles with the bulge”, together with his wife of 23 years, Helen, in a Women’s Weekly article, as follows:

“To be fair, a lot of New Zealanders struggle with their weight…I just needed to get disciplined with my eating.”

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But it didn’t stop there, like John Key’s affinity to adhere to questionable gender roles,  Craig too brings home the bacon but leaves the “housework” for Helen. And while Rep Chic could harp on about his slams against same-sex relationships, his beef with Russel Norman, his ability to frolic in the grass, his “provocative” billboards, or his reptilian walk, we think that the below quotes from the said Women’s Weekly article really takes the “cake”:

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“As the couple (both 46) chat with the Weekly in their North Auckland home, with freshly baked brownies on the kitchen bench, Helen’s cross stitch adorning the walls and a New Zealand flag fluttering outside, it is clear they are united in both their views and their approach to dealing with controversy – pulling them even closer together.

“I remember thinking, ‘He’s got a nice smile and he’s a bit good looking…We got to know one another, and the love grew.

“Helen used to work with Colin at their various businesses, but now devotes her time to the household and home-schooling their daughter.

“I do like being at home,” she says. ‘I’m not a great gardener. I enjoy it, but I’m not the best!

“While they agree on most things, the couple still have their differences, which result in debates on relatively mundane topics, such as where to put the compost bin and how they expect to run the household.

“She’s a great mum. I know how lucky I am!” Craig said.

#speechless

*Thank you once again to Google images for providing the photographs.

HOLY BUDGIE SMUGGLERS!

There might be plenty to talk about from the past month – like Key going guns blazing for ISIS, or Winnie Peters running for Northland, but instead we think it far more gratuitous to talk about what really matters. No, not segways.

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Cycling garb. What is it with politicians wearing spandex? I mean, of course we were expecting budgie-smugglers on the likes of Tony Abbott, but seriously, Trevor Mallard, what ARE you wearing and why on earth are you fraternising with the company of Cameron Slater? S’pose he is the “bad boy” of the Labour Party, after all.

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Journalist, Ruby Harfield, documented the trials and tribulations of how road users view “spandex-clad cyclists” in a Fairfax article, where Heathcote’s Castle Rock Cafe owners got their wheels in a spin over cyclists sporting lycra in their cafe.

Claiming to be “unashamedly motorist friendly since 2008”, the cafe put a sign out front in an attempt to ban the sporting material, reportedly because “large men in very tiny shorts” were deterring customers. The sign read: “The bicycle is a beautiful thing but they never should have invented Lycra! No Lycra shorts please.”

With 128 comments on the Stuff website, one can safely conclude there is a theme: people either love or hate cyclists. One troll by the name of Jimmy Conway wrote, “it’s funny, cycling was never vilified until the potbellied corporate types in the throes of a midlife crisis decided to take up our sport.

“Now we have them riding three abreast, abusing drivers and taking over suburban cafes. Put the Pinarello on Trade Me and waddle back to the golf course, the lot of you.”

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In other news, thank you, Mr Key, for giving us, via Google images, this goldmine of a photograph. Where’s ya bloody helmet, mate? Yes, we’re talking about the helmet debate.

AECOM Technology Corporation representative, Jack Jiang, a global provider of technical management and support services said, “there is strong advocacy against helmet wearing because it acts as a barrier against cycling”.

Campaigns that enforce helmet wearing are enforcing a construct that cycling is dangerous, he said.

After they introduced helmets in Australia, cycling numbers fell a third, because there was a safety in numbers effect: anything that reduced the number of people on bikes made it kind of risky for everyone, said Cycling Advocate’s Network Spokesperson, Patrick Morgan.

Off the back of this, there’s the argument that “bicycle helmets are too flimsy to prevent serious brain injuries and that cyclists should be wary of depending on them for protection.”

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But, the real concern for New Zealanders is the lack of bicycle lanes. Wellington Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, is all about getting the Island Bay route into the capital, even despite lack of funding and/or public support. As for Auckland, well if  Taylor Swift is in on it, then the Skypath is covered. But, Julie Anne Genter says the real problem is in the social construct, which dates back to a systemic engineering paradigm of the 1950s.

“Traffic engineers traditionally took the principles of water engineering, which primarily was about monitoring the peak flow of water and building big pipes to accommodate it,” she said.

Traffic engineers of the day applied this exact same model to cars when car ownership was increasing: anything other than a car was thought to be an “add on” and invading the space specifically reserved for the flow of traffic.”

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And she don’t need no spandex to say it how it is, amIright? As for the fools pictured below. WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING?

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