Lew disagrees with me, but I think Cunliffe’s remarks about Judith Collins are a non-issue, given the context of the interview.
The context-free version offered by DPF is that Cunliffe commented:
I have thought that if Judith Collins was the last woman on earth, the species would probably become extinct.
That has to be the most disgusting personal attack by an MP on another MP in recent times. There is just simply no excuse for an MP to say that on radio. He’s insulted not just Judith, but also her husband, and in fact her children. Can you imagine having to hear the man aspiring to be our Minister of Finance say that about your mother?
Eh. They say worse things to each other in the House almost every day. Palatability to children is not what defines the limits of political speech. And you can listen to the statement in context at WhaleOil.
The full story is that Paul Henry began his interview with David Cunliffe by explaining that Henry saw Green Party leader Metiria Turei on a plane recently, and thought to himself that if the people on the plane were the last people alive on Earth, Henry would be happy to ‘breed’ with Turei. And, he assured his viewers, she would be happy to breed with him. Henry then asked Cunliffe if he wondered about the same thing, either on a plane or while sitting in the House. That’s when Cunliffe said that if Judith Collins was the last person alive the species would become extinct.
So the whole conversation was pretty stupid, but not the random misogynistic attack the National Party makes out. It’s a given that if you’re going on the Paul Henry show you’re going to be having a deeply moronic conversation. I’m not sure how many votes there are in performing in an environment in which you’re compelled to talk like an idiot.