Just to balance things up shame-wise, Wellington’s Stuff web-site came to the Herald’s rescue with a non-story almost as bad as the Herald’s fictitious Queen effort.

In a Council organised public meeting about the city’s transport problems a 17-year-old schoolgirl asked Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman why the public should have faith in councillors to get it right?

Surely most reasonable people would find that a smidgeon rude at a meeting called to deal with the issue. Instead, the Councillor pointed out his experience in the area, adding, “he’d been involved in transport governance since before she was even a twinkle”.

The result; outrage, hysterical offence taking and charges of patronising ageism. “Our generation isn’t as welcome in politics as the older generation,” cried the idiotic school girl in feigned distress then she posed for a series of coy photos, all duly run on the Stuff web-site in an article of ludicrous length befitting announcing the outbreak of the 3rd World War.

Imagine if I, now in my 80th year, had asked the same question and let us say the Councillor had replied, “You’re old enough to know…” and gone on to talk about teething hiccups with new schemes, which in fact I am old enough to know always occur. What an absolute screaming arse I’d have looked if I’d then run to the media crying ageism. Well, that’s exactly how this show-pony girl came across with her reaction to the Councillor’s innocuous comment.

Sadly, under contrived media pressure (what a surprise!) the Councillor subsequently said, “Perhaps I owe the girl an apology although I certainly meant no offence”. Absolute nonsense. What he should have done is leapt up and given her a bloody good kick in the backside, then followed this up with announcing he’s putting his hand up for the mayoralty. He’d bolt in.

This brought to mind back in the 1970s when then mayor Michael Fowler was much given to calling wankers wankers. But, despite my hammering not to, a few days later he’d semi-apologise although in a more robust age it was usually along the lines of, “you are a wanker but I’m sorry if it upset you by me saying so.”

This distraught schoolgirl rubbish was written by someone understandably hiding his embarrassment behind the improbable pseudonym of Felix Desmarais as anyone born with such a moniker would long since have changed it by deed poll. As for the woeful schoolgirl, one thing’s certain and that is she’s earned her stripes as a future Green Party candidate where she will go down a treat.

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