Opinion: Honestly, I am fucking useless

By Maureen Pugh.

By Maureen Pugh.

Simon was right.

I am fucking useless.

I’m not ashamed of it. I never have been. In fact, that’s why I became an MP.

I became an MP because I wanted to represent you, the people of West Coast-Tasman, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you’re useless. You’re fucking useless. We’re all fucking useless.

For too long have our politicians represented the able, the competent, the capable, the generally sentient. But why should our national representatives only reflect those of us who can do, and not those of us who cannot?

Some of us can hardly get dressed in the morning. We’re not a tiny minority. We might even be a majority.

Sure, we all pretend to be capable, to go to work, to understand, to not have done anything wrong, to even have jobs at all. Some of us pretend to have houses and then sneak home to our cars.

Have you ever got up in the morning and downed three glasses of red wine because you can’t face the day?

Have you ever said something so embarrassing to someone that you just pray they didn’t even hear you properly?

Have you ever received negative feedback and then used that as an excuse to never try again?

Did you see Venom?

Have you ever spent a whole day doing absolutely nothing and then just to make yourself feel better and keep up appearances you make up some story about something you’re going to do and tell everyone so that they think you have your life together?

Well that’s me. All of that is me. I’m you, and I’m useless.

I’m from a place called Kumara, for fuck’s sake. I’m from a place named after a potato.

Can any of you honestly say that none of your parents, your spouses, your friends, your loved ones, or yes, your employers, have ever described you as fucking useless?

If you can, I don’t want your vote, because it would be intimidating, and then I might have to do something.

So when Simon says i’m useless, I don’t take that as an insult, because that’s precisely what I’m here to be. I’m here to be useless.

I’m here to go to local events and wave and forget your name even though I’ve met you three times in the last two weeks, and I’m here for locals to gawk at and say “How is she a politician? Is that the best we’ve got? What a fucking joke.”

But when you say that, at least you can know that you, too, can be a politician. Because if you didn’t have me, if you weren’t represented by someone as fucking useless as you are, it might forever seem out of reach. You might feel that I know best, and perhaps you wouldn’t feel as comfortable telling me what to do.

Because if I can do it, so can you.