Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A nuisance

John Key has said that he had received more than one complaint that Richard Worth was "making a nuisance of himself towards women." He told the media:

All I can say I treated the allegation seriously. I investigated it and I was satisfied with the answers I received.
From the statements John Key has made it seems to be a reasonable supposition that the unknown crime the police are investigating Richard Worth for is an offence that is in some way similar to 'making a nuisance of himself towards women'.

Now if you want the political point scoring I suggest The Standard or Kiwiblog. They will argue about how this compares with Clark's actions, and the political management of it all. These are not things I care about.

There's something very born to rule about the euphemism 'making a nuisance of himself'. Just the language, unfortunately, not the activity. Like many born to rule terms, it's quite honest. I can imagine quite a range of activities that Key would refer to in this way: it could refer to language, either abusive or explicitly sexual, or unwanted physical contact, even protracted unwanted physical contact. These are all nuisances, women should put up with them in the same way they might a missed bus.

And what is telling is that John Key ignored the first indications that Richard Worth was nuisance-ing woman (and we can only conjecture what that euphamism covers in John Key's mind). Or in the language of politicians - John Key was satisfied with the explanation the Minister gave him.

Which, if you think about it, isn't that different to what happens outside of parliament. A man (say) hears that his friend has been 'being a nuisance to' (or the euphemism which is most appropriate to the social circle they belong to) a woman. The man talks to his friend about it. His friends gives a response, which is either "she's lying" or "she was asking for it" (both these responses will probably be clouded in layers of euphemism as well). And he is satisfied with that response.

And so the friend keeps doing it. Who wouldn't? Everyone is satisfied.

Except the woman involved, who is, as so often happens, rendered, as usual, with the focus on the man, and his explanations.


  1. Anonymous7:23 am

    And Goff was no better, he knew for six months prior to going with the information to Key.


  2. Anne - I know National party has its talking points around this, but really that's ridiculous. I'm no fan of Phil Goff, but it would be completely unacceptable to go to anyone, including Key, with this information without the permission of the woman involved.

  3. Anonymous6:53 am


    The woman (who Goff now says is strikingly beautiful - as if physical appearance has something to do with it) went to him on November 28. He went to Key sometime about 1st May.

    Long time to leave a distressed constituent.

    I hold no gripe with you call for Key to be held accountable, but to say nothing about Goff when he was actually protection Worth for longer AND leaving the woman exposed to nuisance for six months longer then neccessary, seems partisan.

    For me the saddest part is that the woman was so weak as not to stand up for herself.

    Should have told the old fool to take a hike.

    Seems like her family did very little to stop the nuisance.

    I sincerly hope she was not a honey trap set by the Labour party.

    Because that is what it is starting to look like.

    Your ascertion that she told Goff but asked him not to do anything is ridiculous. Why tell him in the first place? Oh, Mr Goff I got this secret but dont tell anyone and dont do anything.

    Goff should have, straight after the meeting, had a quite word with Worth and told him to leave alone.

    No matter how you spin this, it looks bad for Goff.


  4. Why oh why do so many politicians still fall for the oldest trick in the book, the "honeytrap".