The SMOG descended over Wainuiomata last night; not of the meteorological variety, but of the Social Media Own Goal nature. With Parliament in recess, Trevor Mallard has time on his hands, and that is always a recipe for disaster; he tweeted:
This is pretty puerile stuff from the MP for Hutt South, and the Twitterverse rightly called him out on it. But it raises a more serious point.
Trevor Mallard is one of the most senior MP's in the current Parliament. Apart from a brief hiatus between 1990 and 1993 when the tide turned against him, Mallard has been an MP since 1984, and he has enjoyed a life of privilege courtesy of the long-suffering taxpayer. Labour purports to represent the working man or woman, but the low-paid can only dream of the taxpayer-funded lifestyle and perks that Mr Mallard and his fellow MP's enjoy.
So here's our question; as taxpayers, ought we not expect a better standard of behaviour from our leaders, especially in their public utterances? Or have standards fallen so far that a politician here calling someone from another country with a different ideology to yours a "fuckwit" in the public domain is no longer newsworthy?
David Shearer is reported to be considering a reshuffle of the Labour caucus. Perhaps this is the time for him to have a quiet word with the MP for Hutt South, and convince Mr Mallard that his future lies outside Parliament; perhaps in the field of public relations.