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.