by Karl du Fresne

Many readers will have seen this picture. It shows three political journalists sprinting across the forecourt at Parliament.

My first thought on seeing the photo was that something or someone very frightening must have been chasing them. But no, the three women were themselves the chasers. They were in pursuit of Christopher Luxon’s hired car as he arrived at Parliament for the first time as National leader.

Apparently the reporters were taken by surprise when Luxon was driven to Parliament from his apartment across the street rather than walking, thus presumably thwarting their plans to waylay him. They then had to take to their [high] heels to keep up, something for which they were clearly ill-prepared. 

My second thought was: do they realise how ridiculous they look? Admittedly it probably didn’t occur to them that the moment would be caught on camera, but the photo reminded me why I’ve made it a lifelong rule never to run unless my physical safety is in imminent danger. I’ve missed a few trains and buses as a result, but I’d like to think I’ve avoided the indignity of being seen doing something for which I’m clearly not suited. This photo reinforced the soundness of that rule, though I must say the reporter on the left (whom I couldn’t identify) ran quite elegantly despite wearing inappropriate footwear, which suggests she may have done this sort of thing before. 

The question remains: why were they running, exactly? Luxon’s limo would be pulling to a halt in a few seconds, giving them a chance to do what political journalists typically do in such situations, which is ask trite and pointless questions that they have no real expectation of being answered in any meaningful way.

Perhaps the three runners share the same instinct as sheep and cattle, whereby if one starts running, even when there’s no obvious reason, all the others do too, as if by some mysterious trigger. Or to use another animal comparison, maybe, like dogs, they just can’t resist the urge to chase anything that appears to be trying to get away from them. 

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It’s not only the running after a car that’s about to stop: the Jacinda-Regime-Correct face nappies also look ridiculous, especially outdoors.

Karl du Fresne has more to say about the dreadful state of politics journalism now.

It seems Ms Boucher’s Stuffers, at least, are getting defensive, based on the new version of their appeal for money to supplement the considerable payments they get from the Jacinda government to promote them and their policies, and to attack opponents:

In our view this deserves a Tui billboard, with a “Yeah, right” next to these claims.