In the November issue of North & South there is a profile (not online) of Judith Collins, billed as “MP for Clevedon, Minister of Police, Corrections and Veterans Affairs”. No apostrophe for Veterans’, though there is on her website and also Parliament’s. Perhaps, like the Herald, North & South has outsourced its sub-editing and proofreading to the Australian barbarians.
But who these days cares about punctuation? No, the issue is content. So let’s check the content. The article says:
Yes, her parents were dairy farmers but they were not Daimler-driving, gin-swilling plutocrats.The original North & South was aimed at readers in the provinces. Perhaps the demographic target has changed. Why else would the magazine now want to annoy every reader who knows anything about dairy farming or, indeed, life in the provinces?
Collins was a child in the 1960s, and her parents’ farm was near Walton, which is outside Matamata. It’s lovely country and good dairy country, but in the 1960s no dairy farmer there would have driven a Daimler, and none was a plutocrat. None is even today. Cactus Kate, whose family farm is not a million miles away from Walton, may back me up on this.
(UPDATE: Cactus Kate obliges: “What the fuck is a Daimler?” she begins. See her full response in the comments.)
I wonder if the journalist who wrote this could name a single dairy farmer of his acquaintance.
He also notes that:
One of the few previous profiles of her was in student newspaper Critic, which took the time to note that she had “one of the few decent racks in Parliament”.Perhaps that is true. But if the writer thought so, why not say so himself? Using a sexist quote in this way does not absolve one of being sexist oneself.