Get over yourself Georgie Girl

So Georgie Girl is broke. She’s pulled out of the race for Mayor for Masterton saying that now her financial backer has passed away she can’t get the ten grand together to launch a Mayoral campaign. I always really liked Georgina Beyer – New Zealand’s first transsexual mayor and later MP and was amazed that she could have come to represent the people of a place like Carterton, a place I thought would have been extremely conservative and leaning fairly heavily to the right in its preferences. She was elected Mayor of Carterton for two terms so she must have done something right in those early days because I hardly think the old boys on the farms round the district would have put up with too much of a flibbertigibbet even if she did used to be a bloke too. Her undoing seems to have been to become an MP, and having imbibed the rarefied air that seems to turn the most centred heads engendering illusions of grandeur she assumes that any other job is now beneath her.I guess you have to do more than be special when the novelty factor wears off in politics and that’s what Georgina seems to be struggling with when she says that she can no longer work for only $500 a week in a real life job. I hate to break it to her but lots of us have to work for that amount and there are forestry and agricultural workers who do back breaking dangerous work for the same. If Georgina is saying that they should be paid more and there needs to be an increase in the minimum wage then I can see her point but I think what she was really saying was that having worked in publicly elected office for over 14 years the world somehow owes her and surely she should get one of the cushy jobs for the boys even if she no longer technically is one. Georgina now says she’s going to sign up for the dole or head off to Australia to look for work which goes to show that although she’s left the drag queen days behind the drama queen in her is alive and kicking.

Mayoral campaigns either seem to attract the hard-nosed business or developer contingent or the status hungry show ponies who go for the bling and the ribbon cutting highlights of it all. The odd few (and I had thought that Georgina Beyer might have once been one of those) who go into local politics who are already financially stable and genuinely want to contribute to the community seem to often lack the pizzazz or even the mongrel determination to weather out a mayoral campaign. Perhaps it’s just a case of the long economic good years we’ve had that have made a whole generation forget what it is like to be out of work – I still don’t think this recession has affected employment levels like the one in the early nineties did.

I remember leaving university for six months when I only had a year left because I could no longer afford living costs. I applied for a job as a receptionist for a government department. The work was dreary, brainless and very badly paid. Over 170 people applied for that job. I lied about my experience (everyone’s answered a phone haven’t they?) got it and then watched as a department of over 300 people got whittled down to less than eighty in a Rogernomics spring clean. I learnt to love the job that I’d loathed simply because it paid my rent and let me save enough to get back into uni. Surely as a former working girl Georgina should know what really hard work is and that unless you’re very privileged or have led a ridiculously sheltered life, there often comes a time when a girl’s just gotta roll up her sleeves and do what she’s gotta do to put food on the table and keep a roof over her head. Just ask all those immigrant architects, oncologists and pharmacists that are driving taxis round Auckland every single day of the week.

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