These days, we generally avoid The Standard. Part of that is because it's become irrelevant, gazzumped on the left by Labour's official blog, Red Alert. The other reason is because we're banned there - for six months!
Our crime? Well, it was HEINOUS! We actually suggested that "Eddie" who writes there was a Labour part staffer. We didn't name names - sheesh - that would have been a life ban! But anyone who follows the blogs will know that it's never been denied that "Eddie" is none other than Jenny Michie, who ran Labour's Mt Albert campaign last year, flown in from Wellington. And if that's the case, we're not just talking ANY Labour staffer. Perhaps that's why they're so touchy!
So where's this leading? Well, "Eddie" must have a case of the blues - (s)he's posted a nasty piece this morning about John Key, and the fact that he is having a holiday in Hawaii with his family. Sadly, this post is typical of what The Standard has become - nasty, petty and vindictive - and if you dare to offer a dissenting opinion, you're outta there!
But we want to say this to "Eddie" and we have to do it here, as we can't go there. We don't begrudge John Key a holiday with his family. And we don't care where he goes. We didn't begrudge Helen Clark holidays either, but there's a subtle difference. Families suffer when someone takes up public life, and the higher up the food chain that person gets, the greater the pressure on the family. Helen Clark made a conscious decision early in the piece that career was more important than children, and that's fine. But the Clark years are over.
From what we see from the outside, the Key family is normal and healthy. Family holidays are part of what keeps a family that way. The Key family makes enormous sacrifices to allow their husband and father to be PM. We've been the parent of teenagers, and we know what a turbulent time it can be, and we appreciate what John Key does to provide normality and stability for his family, whose life since November 2008 has been far from normal.
So we say to "Eddie" - pull your freakin' head in! Play the ball and not the man, or by implication, the man's family. Labour used to bleat when Helen Clark's childless status was attacked, and they have a point. But their bleating becomes sheer hypocrisy when it is led (we believe) by someone far enough up in the party organisation to know better.