Political mud-slinging criticized

Mud-slinging criticized
Mud-slinging criticized

A focus on politicians' personal lives is being condemned by many, who say the latest twists take New Zealand politics in new directions.

The furor over National leader Don Brash's personal life and Prime Minister, Helen Clark's husband's sexuality is being greeted with an overwhelming distaste.

A veteran press gallery journalist, Ian Templeton, says the events of the past week are indicative of global modern politics where personal lives are scrutinised and we can expect to see more of it.

He says the current exchanges here follow trends set by politicians and media during the John Major Government in Britain in the 1990s.

Mr Templeton says the Brash story will be kept alive for some time to come with the reaction from public opinion polls, from the National caucus, and whether Dr Brash can salvage his marriage.

Political scientist, Terese Arseno, says it is apparent an Americanisation of politics is under way, whereby leaders personify their parties and their personal lives are under an unwavering spotlight.

She says Dr Brash's media release last week about the state of his marriage has shown his political naivety yet again.

Political scientist, Barry Gustafson, says Dr Brash has only himself to blame by criticising Helen Clark's view on marriage and then by admitting his marriage is in trouble.

Waikato University's media professor, Geoff Lealand, says both stories would have remained Wellington gossip if it were not for the insatiable need for headlines.

But he wants to see an investigation into why Investigate Magazine's editor, Ian Wishart, chose to publish his story suggesting the Prime Minister's husband, Peter Davis, is gay.

Dr Lealand says investigations should also focus on the motivations of the Exclusive Brethren, who launched a major campaign supporting National last election despite the fact they do not vote.


Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot


Sym Price Change
USD 0.7327 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.9211 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6140 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.5434 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 5.7285 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 82.1000 0.0000 0.00%


Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1293.3 6.130 2017-09-22T00:
Oil Brent 56.4 0.420 2017-09-22T00:
Oil Nymex 50.7 0.110 2017-09-22T00:
Silver Index 16.9 -0.034 2017-09-22T00:


Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7795.4 7814.8 7795.4 0.25%
NASDAQ 6401.4 6429.5 6422.7 0.07%
DAX 12569.7 12646.6 12600.0 -0.06%
DJI 22334.1 22364.3 22359.2 -0.04%
FTSE 7263.9 7320.3 7263.9 0.64%
HKSE 27949.8 27960.9 28110.3 -0.82%
NI225 20413.6 20417.1 20347.5 -0.25%
ASX 5655.4 5688.2 5655.4 0.47%