This week the Women’s Affairs Minister, Louise Upston, faced a barrage of criticism over her refusal to comment on a range of women’s affairs. From the Chief’s mad Monday case through to her silence at the annual convention for the National Council of Women, Upston has become somewhat of a laughing-stock with other, more senior ministers, such as Judith “Crusher” Collins and Paula “Used to be on a benefit” Bennett showing the cojones required to comment on a range of matters involving women. MyThinks thought it important we seek Minister Upston’s side of the argument so we met up with her in her Wellington office.
MYTHINKS: Good morning minister. Thanks for agreeing to see us at such short notice.
UPSTON: Well it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on whether or not I’m happy with either your entry into this room or the greeting that followed.
MYTHINKS: But surely minister. You could say “Hello” or “Welcome to Wellington” or something? Surely?
UPSTON: No. I can’t. I can’t comment on things I know very little about.
MYTHINKS: But I’ve just walked into the room. You saw me do it. You opened the door, then you invited me in by motioning into the room with your arm.
UPSTON: Yes. That’s true. I was there when you entered the room, but I wasn’t looking at all. So I couldn’t possibly comment.
MYTHINKS: Let’s move on then. You are the current Minister for Women’s Affairs. How do you find the job? It is a challenging job.
UPSTON: Well I wouldn’t be able to say whether it was challenging or not.
MYTHINKS: Sorry? You do do the job, don’t you?
UPSTON: I’m not sure I follow your line of questioning.
MYTHINKS: You are Louise Upston, Minister for Women’s Affairs, are you not?
UPSTON: I understand you want me to answer these questions, but I’m unable to at this time.
MYTHINKS: So you can’t even tell me your name and your current job title?
UPSTON: That’s information I’m really not willing to talk about. Do you have any other questions?
MYTHINKS: Well… I’m not really sure what else I can ask… Um… is that a picture of Margaret Thatcher on the wall over there?
UPSTON: I’m uncertain whether I can say if that is, or is not, Margaret Thatcher.
MYTHINKS: It’s a picture of Margaret Thatcher with a small gold plaque underneath in which are engraved the words Picture of Margaret Thatcher: Former British Prime Minister.
UPSTON: The picture of that woman does indeed have words on a small metallic rectangle within a close proximity, but I don’t believe I am in a position to say anything that is an answer to your question at this time.
MYTHINKS: I’m not sure we’re going to get anywhere with these questions today, Minister. Thank you for your time.
UPSTON: Actually. I have no time at all. I can’t possibly talk any more words today because I have completely run out of time. I am too busy dealing with Women’s Affairs.
UPSTON: MYTHINKS: So you are Minister for Women’s Affairs?!!??
UPSTON: MYTHINKS: What? Um… I… could you….
JOHN KEY (interrupting): …Look… thanks for coming today. As deputy Minister for Women’s Affairs it is a great honour to stand here behind Minister Upston and tell her exactly what and what is not important in the world of women’s affairs.
MYTHINKS: Does that mean she’s too scared to say anything in case she looks stupid or says the wrong thing and gets demoted.
JOHN KEY: Oh good lord. She’s Minister of Women’s Affairs. She’s a minister outside cabinet. How much lower can she go? Leader of the UnitedFuture?? Undersecretary for something? Ha ha ha!! Classic!! You ask too many questions. Now get out.