Labour’s problem with the Ladies

March 19th, 2014 at 3:05 pm by Jadis

* a Jadis post – DPF has made his way out of the bush but is still analysing his data for his travel blog extravaganza

Cunliffe’s Labour has a problem with This week’s Herald-Digipoll highlighted that Labour is losing support from women.  The reasons for loss of support aren’t simple.  And while much of the support is crossing the aisle to National, it is also redistributing itself to the .

But why is Labour losing the female vote?

  • Is it the way that Cunliffe appears smarmy and a little creepy when he talks to camera or uses rehearsed lines?
  • Is it because Cunliffe pretends he is ‘middle New Zealand’ while living in a multi-million dollar house with a combined family income over $500K?
  • Is it because Cunliffe patronises women with his suggestion that he bought the multi-million dollar house so that his wife could pop home to breastfeed?*

Sure, all those perception issues matter but I think we need to unpack a little more.  Some of Cunliffe’s policy is also turning women off.

The ‘baby bonus’ has backfired dramatically.  Women who I’ve previously known to be Labour voters are  surprised that Labour thinks a family with a $150K income needs as much help as their $50-$70K earning family.

Labour’s paid parental leave policy has also backfired.  Women aren’t idiots.  They too recognise that while it might be wonderful to have more paid parental leave it also needs to occur within the available budget.  Many of the women I know run their home finances.  They know how to live within their means and how to scrape together a bit more when the washing machine breaks down.  They know that they are coming out of a tough time and they are still being careful with their own and household spending.  So when Bill English suggests that yes at some point a modest extension to PPL could occur dependent on the budget then these women are much more likely to believe that than Cunliffe and Moroney’s “all and everything” approach.

Labour are also losing votes on Education. It is amazing this is even possible when National were doing such a good job of shooting themselves in the foot on Education and then the whole Novopay saga.  Hekia’s recent announcements to fund quality teaching and leadership is pulling parents back to supporting National on Education.  More importantly, Labour spent a whole lot of time on attack and have filled that opportunity for their alternative Education policy with… well, nothing.

I cheekily asked a few of my left-leaning friends why they thought Labour had a problem with attracting female voters. One response struck me: “I personally think Labour men are just as smarmy as National men, but the reason I am turned off by Labour is their women are, by and large, much more ineffectual than National women.  For all their baggage, Collins, Parata, Kaye and Tolley on the front bench kicks Labour’s offering of Ardern, Mahuta and Moroney.”

So it seems it is not all about Cunliffe but that the women in Labour’s caucus need to either ‘step up’ or be replaced with some ‘new blood’.  Oh, that’s right… Labour don’t believe in new blood.   And a ‘man ban’ is unlikely to help this wee problem.

Most of all, Mr Cunliffe, stop patronising us womenfolk.

* this is not an attack on breastfeeding.  It is an attack on a silly politician thinking women get won over by that sort of rubbish AKA patronising and just a little paternalistic.

 

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51 Responses to “Labour’s problem with the Ladies”

  1. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    He does not need to worry about womenfolk in Labour Caucus, most have extra plumbing, or are awaiting rubber rings.

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  2. wreck1080 (3,778 comments) says:

    “National were doing such a good job of shooting themselves in the foot on Education and then the whole Novopay saga”

    But as I understand this, labour purchased novopay and national are cleaning up the mess. I think people get that.

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  3. Judith (8,211 comments) says:

    Most of all, Mr Cunliffe, stop patronising us womenfolk.

    Surely whether or not Mr Cunliffe is patronising womenfolk is a subjective argument, and therefore I question under what authority the writer has to ‘patronise women’ by presuming she has the right to speak on all the behalf of all women/us?

    (See it’s a game everyone can play!) ;-)

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  4. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,810 comments) says:

    His smart-arse reference to ‘Judith Collins being the last female on earth then the species would expire’ would have put off plenty of ladies, especially the plump little fatties.

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  5. iMP (2,301 comments) says:

    “trouble with women” I thought you were talking…

    Hulun Clark
    Georgie Beyer
    Lianne Dalziel
    Ruth Dyson
    Alamein Kopu etc.

    and then the Labour candidate who was a man, is now a woman, but wants to marry his/her/its ex-husband (sorry, wife).

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  6. Tautaioleua (291 comments) says:

    This goes back to their parliamentary quota. Most women don’t want special treatment; it does more harm than good (a token seat). It suggests that women can’t get to parliament on merit alone.

    Those responsible for this should be given their marching orders.

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  7. Huevon (206 comments) says:

    I prefer an id-based explanation. John Key is clearly an alpha male. Cunners…not so much.

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  8. jp_1983 (200 comments) says:

    Well with the ‘hitjob’ the are doing on Minister Collins in the General Debate this afternoon, it certainly wont do Labour any help

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  9. thor42 (958 comments) says:

    Very good post, Jadis.

    I’m sure that all of the reasons you mentioned are reasons that women are turning away from Labour.

    Adding to that – WhaleOil has a post on his blog today about the rise in educational performance of Maori and Pasifika students.
    That *completely* blows out of the water Labour’s claims that “we (Labour) are the “caring” party. Only we have good policy for children.”

    Labour don’t have “policy” – they have an assortment of bumper-sticker promises and slogans. Lolly-scramble politics.

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  10. David Garrett (6,639 comments) says:

    I offered this in GD a couple of days ago…

    ACT focus groups find women are much more supportive of law and order measures such as three strikes than men are…Labour has said many times it will repeal three strikes if it gets a chance… How many female voters are turned off the party pledging to repeal a law which women like, see as fair, and working exactly as intended??

    (sorry to bash my usual drum, but on this topic it seems appropriate)

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  11. Rowan (1,935 comments) says:

    I don’t believe it is just a problem with ladies, Cunliffe is a big mouthed arrogant idiot and will be losing plenty of votes over labours idiotic ideas for the country.

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  12. thor42 (958 comments) says:

    “How many female voters are turned off the party pledging to repeal a law which women like, see as fair, and working exactly as intended??”

    Agreed! That “three strikes” law was the *best thing* to happen in our justice system in the last *50 years*, yet Labour want to repeal it! Unbelievable…….

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  13. thedavincimode (6,573 comments) says:

    Jadis had it right with his first three suggestions.

    Most women don’t tend to like smarmy, greasy, patronising, bullshitters (not when they are sober anyway). I think it’s just about that simple. Education would certainly also be a factor for those mothers who take the time to concern themselves about it.

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  14. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    The ABC faction (the ancient Mallard, King, and Goff) within Labour must be having fun watching Silent T’s downfall.
    Let’s hope the trend continues and the arrogant “leader”popularity continues to slide among men and women.

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  15. RightNow (6,777 comments) says:

    Sounds like Cunliffe needs to employ Kea to help him get down with The Ladies.

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  16. birdie (17 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has zero personality, comes across as untrustworthy and the policies are all over the place. They have no idea what middle NZ actually wants. Oh and he reminds me just a bit too much like that sleazy drunk guy in a cheap shirt from Hallensteins trying to hit on you in the bar at 2am.

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  17. Bad__Cat (139 comments) says:

    Thor42 said “Lolly-scramble politics.”
    Love it – would be good punch line for National to use when the inevitable happens.

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  18. sealegs (3 comments) says:

    My wife could not care less about politics, but when Cunliffes smarmy face and ultra slow soundbite talk appears on tv she visibly cringes. Women definitly are put off by him.

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  19. Fentex (891 comments) says:

    I think Labours problems stem entirely from an apparent lack of principle, reinforced each time one sees time servers rather than idealists (or even solid pragmatists) in their ranks and wealthy people pretending not to be.

    I don’t like National, I have no desire to vote for them but I also have no desire to vote for Labour (and haven’t done so for a few elections). I know what National represents but I don’t know what Labour represents. They aren’t the fire and brimstone preachers of labours battle against capital – they surrendered that ground thirty years ago.

    These days folks are more interested in how labour and capital can work together for mutual advantage, so where’s the policy about it, the mature positions on the implications, the considered costs and benefits? The simple impression of grown up thinking that reassures voters of competence?

    Every time Jones or Cunliffe snipes at or disparages the Greens (like them or not) it shaves off a little more trust in Labour as responsible governors because no one competent to form and hold a government together would be so childish as to actively undermine a probable ally. Every little clue that ego and career is more important to them is one that they shouldn’t have power.

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  20. Judith (8,211 comments) says:

    Women definitly are put off by him.

    You simply cannot make claims like that, whilst some women are put off by him, some women (obviously his wife, and probably his mother for example) think he is just wonderful.

    Personally his face reminds me too much of those plastic dolls with the scrunched up faces that used to be sold in the 60′s, and he has the personality to match – but I can only speak for myself, and promoting this as a universal dislike, opens you up to accusations of ‘propaganda’ – keep it real!

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  21. thor42 (958 comments) says:

    @Fentex – “I don’t like National…”

    Ok, you’re honest, but may I ask *why* you don’t like National?

    There is no doubt at all that their cautious and sensible policies work.

    They have been up against the toughest world economic conditions in 80 years (plus the Canterbury quakes), and they have *still* given us a “rockstar economy” (to quote overseas media).

    They are doing all they can to stop young people going onto benefits. It has been *proved* that the younger someone first goes onto a benefit, the longer they are likely to stay in the welfare system. Isn’t trying to stop that “good”?

    They are trying to keep spending to a minimum.
    They have a *coordinated* and cohesive set of policies.

    In contrast, Labour (as I have mentioned) have nothing more than a grab-bag of bumper-sticker promises.
    A grab-bag of “economic sweets”, and (as every good parent knows) you can’t raise a child (or an *economy*) on just sweets.

    I put it to you this way – you may not like broccoli but you still know that it’s good for you.
    Similarly – you may not like National but you *must* know that their policies are good for the country.

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  22. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    Nothing is as smarmy as speaking on behalf of other women why they think the way they do, all to attack a political party one does not support.

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  23. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    If people want a fiscally responsible government they would look away from a crowd that would sell Genesis at a price that meant a dividend return of 15% and on top of that a share bonus if shares are held for a year.

    $10,000 of shares would result in a return of $2000 in one year (if bonus shares were sold).

    When the government debt cost is 4%. That means a government is forgoing a lot of dividend money for little cash/capital to pay off debt with.

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  24. safesally (47 comments) says:

    I hear David Cunliffe speak on radio and he comes across reasoned and amiable; then I see him on television and I instantly feel uneasy. My daughter calls him a “dick”.
    In contrast John Key comes across consistently knowing and trustworthy. My daughter likes him well enough but she is in the age group who may never own a home unless Mommy helps. She wants to support National but wants to own a home more.
    Votes cancelling each other out I am sad to report.

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  25. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    Much as it pains me to be a pedant Jadis, Nikki Kaye isn’t on National’s front bench – yet. Mesdames Collins, Parata and Tolley are joined on the front bench by Paul Bennett who has proved to be an excellent Minister of Social Development. Nikki Kaye, Amy Adams and Louise Upston are all likely to have significant roles after the election should National win, which gives National a very strong female team. The old line that National is the party for old, white men is now far from the truth.

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  26. Belinda (126 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is the only person that I have to close my eyes for when he appears on TV, he creeps me out, and almost makes my skin crawl.

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  27. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,810 comments) says:

    Belinda @6.50

    As did Helen Clark.

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  28. RightNow (6,777 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock … Paul Bennett?

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  29. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    @ Right Now – whoops; the effects of a sleepless night have caught up with me ;-)

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  30. OneTrack (2,729 comments) says:

    “Most women don’t want special treatment; it does more harm than good (a token seat). It suggests that women can’t get to parliament on merit alone”

    It suggests Labour don’t think women can get to parliament on their own.

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  31. tvb (4,229 comments) says:

    Cunliffe talks out of the side of his mouth. He looks shifty and he is shifty.

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  32. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Steady as she goes and national will be the first majority government..

    Has not key signaled he will abdicate at some time in the next term?

    So the interesting question to ask is which one of those lady will be next pm and or 2ic ?

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  33. thor42 (958 comments) says:

    “which one of those lady will be next pm”

    I reckon Paula Bennett would do a *great* job as PM.
    She has absolutely *nailed* the welfare portfolio. She is *by far* our best welfare minister ever.

    Judith “crusher” Collins would also do a great job IMO (in spite of the recent media storm around her).

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  34. CharlieBrown (916 comments) says:

    Labours biggest problem with all voters is that the National party under John Key is carrying the left wing banner far better than labour are. National seem to be much more appealing and effective socialists and Labour just don’t know how to combat it.

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  35. nasska (10,821 comments) says:

    At least Labour has one sector of society on board. :)

    Ref: https://www.dropbox.com/s/xbacd93kfdxpmd3/Labour%201.jpg

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  36. duggledog (1,411 comments) says:

    “Many of the women I know run their home finances. They know how to live within their means and how to scrape together a bit more when the washing machine breaks down”

    This is pretty much how Margaret Thatcher became UK’s first female Prime Minister

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  37. Johnboy (15,382 comments) says:

    Nah. It’s cause he looks like a Turtle from the neck up and women don’t fancy jokers that look like Turtle’s! :)

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  38. Anthony (784 comments) says:

    Ricky Gervais playing his character from The Office – remind you of anyone??

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  39. Duxton (589 comments) says:

    I’ll bet that far more women will be offended by Labour’s treatment of Judith Collins than will be concerned about any of her alleged misdemeanours.

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  40. HB (288 comments) says:

    wow, this is a real bitchfest

    I’ll join in.

    I think Cunliffe and Key are both creepy and untrustworthy. In fact, I am having trouble thinking of any politicians that aren’t.

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  41. Judith (8,211 comments) says:

    @ Duxton (530 comments) says:
    March 19th, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    So its not the person that did wrong, but the person that reveals the wrong doing that is to blame?

    Tell all the lies, mislead everyone as much as you want, just don’t get caught = and when or if you do, blame the people that caught you.

    Great message to give to our younger people. These politicians should be leading by example – if they don’t they deserve to be publicly ostracized for it (regardless of which party they belong to).

    Transparency and honesty at all times – that’s what we pay for that is what we should get.

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  42. Judith (8,211 comments) says:

    @ HB (247 comments) says:
    March 19th, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I totally agree. I think the current lot (in all parties) are the poorest role models – not to mention dishonest and self-serving. I think there will be many that place their vote not on who is best, but who is the less ‘worse’ than the others.

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  43. Johnboy (15,382 comments) says:

    “Tell all the lies, mislead everyone as much as you want, just don’t get caught = and when or if you do, blame the people that caught you.”

    I blame those evil bastards that potted Turtle necks dodgy election funding too Judith……Pricks they are to impugn the integrity of a fine fellow like him! :)

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  44. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (823 comments) says:

    Just wait until the Roy-Morgan poll comes out. Let me see how the analysts talk…..

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  45. Duxton (589 comments) says:

    @ Judith:

    That’s not what I said. I specifically referred to ‘alleged misdemeanours’. The Cabinet Office has already advised the PM that there was no conflict of interest. If anyone is bringing politicians into disrepute, it’s Robertson et al who are continuing to question this.

    Labour now need to come clean and declare whether they will sack the Head of the Cabinet Office and whoever else gave this advice if they get elected.

    When is your good friend Cunliffe going to name his anonymous donors?

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  46. Duxton (589 comments) says:

    Further to Judith: What matters is the end result. As I said, I’d bet that more women will be turned off about the line of questioning being pursued by Alf’s lying husband, Grant (remember him LYING about Alfie not being in the bar……..) than anything Judith might have been ALLEGED to have done.

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  47. Fentex (891 comments) says:

    may I ask *why* you don’t like National?

    There is no doubt at all that their cautious and sensible policies work.

    Nationals policies don’t work, but we’re lucky that the policies they want aren’t enacted. National is constrained by what is politically possible in New Zealand and the country as a whole is fairly homogeneous in it’s politics. National cannot jump as far ‘right’ as it pleases, nor (if they really were virtually communists) could Labour jump as far ‘left’ as that would dictate.

    I don’t like National because I don’t like what the party really wants in a country and what they would do if they could but are constrained from doing. I don’t trust them to make wise decisions and actively keep corruption at bay (the single most important responsibility of a government in my mind – corruption is a cancer that subverts all good ambitions).

    I don’t like Labour as currently constituted because I don’t think there’s much ambition but for power among their ranks at all (and as one might deduce that worries me regarding corruption).

    The ideal I wish but seems far away is a centrist party amenable to persuasion by others on specific topics and policies but committed to essential good and accountable government. Which I realise is an unlikely concept given the ego driven nature of people determined that they know best with the will to obtain power but I hold out hope for.

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  48. thor42 (958 comments) says:

    @Fentex – “I don’t trust them to make wise decisions and actively keep corruption at bay… ”

    Ahh, corruption. So what is it that the *unions* are doing when they throw thousands of dollars at *Labour*?
    Buying influence, that’s what.
    “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”

    So “National’s policies don’t work”? Then why does New Zealand have one of the strongest economies in the Western world?
    Maybe you can answer *that* for us. It sure as heck isn’t due to great economic conditions in the rest of the world.

    Benefit numbers heading down. Crime down. Educational achievement of Maori and Pasifika students up
    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/03/more-good-news-this-time-about-maori-and-pacific-students/

    Your arguments have no credibility. I can back up my argument with *facts*. You can’t do that with your argument.

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  49. Fentex (891 comments) says:

    So “National’s policies don’t work”? Then why does New Zealand have one of the strongest economies in the Western world?

    We don’t. We have a steady increase in income and comparative lack of debt, which is good for us but doesn’t make us ‘stronger’ than nations already much more so than us (New Zealand is a small country at the end of the worlds communication lines, we are unlikely to ever be particularly strong in any absolute sense).

    These are generally good things and benefit both from Nationals fairly careful but still borrowing budgeting and Labours earlier paying down of public debt enabling us to borrow cheaply without risk in tough times. As a whole NZ has benefited from a general consensus over it’s economic management.

    However, for an example of policy thinking I don’t like, National would love to privatise nearly all things in NZ without much care of the consequences because their reasoning is ideological. Going ahead and just doing it would be politically untenable however so they’re pushing it only as far as they can right now – including a fire-sale of Genesis that makes absolutely no sense except for it’s ideological commitments.

    When I spoke of National policy that does not work I meant the policy National wishes it could enact but can’t because it would be unacceptable to the electorate right now. The longer they govern the more tempted they will be to push on what they can do and I don’t like what they wish they could do.

    There is a political theory called the Overton Window that sort of explains my attitude – right now a government can do only so much it wishes that is acceptable to an electorate, but pushing in one direction, if fortune favours, makes more things in that direction become credible to electors. I do not like the directions National pushes.

    Your arguments have no credibility. I can back up my argument with *facts*.

    I wasn’t making an argument I was explaining my opinion. For a particular argument, say on the sale of Genesis, tax rates, possibility of a Capital Gains Tax, level of public debt, cost of intensive farming et al then for particular arguments facts and figures would be relevant. Pursuing any one of which was not my intent on answering the question of why I don’t like National.

    Buying influence, that’s what.
    “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”

    You seem to have confused my dislike for National with admiration for Labour. I thought I explained the two do not go together.

    You also seem to overlook the implications of your quote where it begs the question of who funds National.

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  50. JMS (313 comments) says:

    For all their baggage, Collins, Parata, Kaye and Tolley on the front bench kicks Labour’s offering of Ardern, Mahuta and Moroney.”

    Should have left Parata off that list.
    She’s easily incompetent enough to be on Labour’s front bench

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  51. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    IMP, who the fuck is Hulun Clark?

    Are you so infantile you think deliberately misspelling someone’s name is clever?

    Don’t bother to reply, we all know the answer.

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