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Saying it like it is

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New York Times says Jacinda Ardern ‘won’t save’ the UK or US

Since Jacinda Ardern was elected Prime Minister in 2017, Brits and Americans have openly expressed jealousy of New Zealand’s leadership.

But a writer for the New York Times says their fascination is naive and politically misguided.

London-based journalist Stephen Buranyi penned an opinion piece for the newspaper’s Monday edition titled Jacinda Ardern won’t save you.

While discussing the political “disaster” of Brexit, Buryani says the UK media and much of the public has taken to fantasising about a “competent foreign leader” taking over from unpopular Prime Minister Theresa May.

Their preferred candidate is Ardern, with op-eds in The Guardian, The Mirror and even conservative newspaper the Scottish Sun expressing a desire for her to be brought in as a “living, smiling antidote” to the current leader.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is another popular choice, particularly among Americans who are facing similar political turmoil. US publications have also admired Ardern’s leadership, particularly in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

Buryani argues that the international popularity of Ardern and Trudeau lies in their relative youth, charisma and physical attractiveness rather than any well-founded belief they could steer global powers like the UK or the US away from catastrophe.

“The real heart of the competent-outsider fantasy is that politics is still okay somewhere else, that there is a place it hasn’t become splintered, tribal and seemingly beyond control,” he writes.

“But these leaders don’t actually offer solutions to problems like Brexit or Mr Trump’s election. How could they? Neither New Zealand nor Canada has faced these kinds of challenges. Nor does their appeal lie in their fresh-faced, telegenic youth.”

He says the desire to return to an “idealised past of consensus” is at the heart of the British and American infatuation with Ardern, as both countries find themselves bitterly divided over political and ideological lines.

“Mr Trudeau and Ms Ardern are attractive because they still practice a brand of genial, inclusive liberalism, the so-called ‘third way’ that ruled Western democratic politics for the better part of the past 25 years, and in doing so, they nod to the familiarity and safety of our own political past.”

Buryani says the current New Zealand Labour Party is similar to the UK Labour Party during Tony Blair’s decade as leader between 1997 and 2007, and argues Blairite politics no longer has any place in either the UK or the US, which are now “structured by social division”.

“There is no substantive reason to think that leaders elsewhere would be better suited to deal with [division] than the ones we currently have,” Buryani says.

“Changing government, Mr Blair said in 1999, “is like sweeping away the entire management of a company” – but there are few people today who believe that management is what we truly need, and fewer still think that switching out the chief executive for a smarter, better looking one counts as change.”

Saint Cindy can do anything!

Buryani’s piece is accompanied by an illustration showing Ardern wearing a medieval knight’s helmet, extending a hand to a burning London and New York while she dangles from a helicopter bearing the New Zealand flag.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. It’s good to see Jacinda is appreciated more outside NZ than here. It’s all looking good for the election next year. She will be PM for another three years, while your favorite National party continues to search for a credible leader. Oh dear, where is John Keys when youse need him

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        • Fairy poop maybe a tad less vitriolic than toothy, but identical socialist agenda, both appear to have same economic ideals, but I am most probably wrong. So we don’t have a double puppet act going here do we, the sleepy one controls toothy, toothy controls Fairydust, that means Fairydust in fact works for the sleepy one.
          She/He/unspecified must have deep trauma coming to terms with the fact, controlled by an old bitter National defector, what a all inclusive world Fairy lives in. Her idol swings both ways in Politics just to secure power, it’s called prostituting your political beliefs for power. True leaders win elections, they are not gifted them.

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      • How little they know (outside our borders) about NZ politics and the MMP system that put JA in power to begin with. In the real world of NZ she is entirely worthless as a political leader!

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    • Blairite politics no longer has any place in either the UK or the US,
      It certainly doesn’t have any place in NZ. Cindy is a nasty divisive leader, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
      Not entirely all he own doing, she is controlled by her leader and is pulled back when she oversteps the mark.
      Imagine when the old wise one takes his mini sleeps at home, retired, and her vitriol and divisiveness will see no limits.
      Just a Socialist that demands uniformity.
      Fairy do I see praise for John Key in your daily drivel, I am surprised.
      You are right, Key would give her hiding of unseen proportions in a fair electoral fight, remind me what percentage vote the Labour Party had rising to office, anointed by an individual that had 100% power with what 6% vote. She is not the voters choice, and has proven beyond doubt why she isn’t.

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    • Fortunately, voters in the US and the UK won’t have a chance to vote for SocCin. And it’s not looking good for a repeat of the flukey circumstances that saw a twit with 36.9% support get installed as PM. The betrayal on the UN replacement pact is going to hurt Winston. He’ll struggle to get to 5% or an electorate seat and he’ll waste a hundred thousand precious votes in that manner, also the Greens seem hellbent on pushing the policies that lost the recent Australian election for the left – also making it hard for them to get over the 5% threshold. Being in government is brutal to minor parties, this is always true.

      Which leaves a sort of two horse race scenario and despite the patheticness of Soimon, Labour are never going to win that kind of contest.

      It’s looking increasingly likely that youse nasty folks on the left are watching your last hurrah!

      Hurrah!

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    • When you grow up and leave school, you’ll realise the shoes you stand in are your responsibility and not provided to you as of right. You’ll find times you’ll have to drag yourself through the crap your cherished socialists have created and look out at watch those swanning about and think
      what
      I
      earn
      is mine.
      Until then rest up Comrade!

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    • Indeed Comrade!
      It seems the propagandist cartoonist has forgotten rule 14:
      – Dear Leader never wears blue!
      The Politburo thanks you for bringing this to our attention, we will be taking appropriate action immediately.
      That is all Plebs, back to work!

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  2. I suppose this is a variation of the old “grass is always greener” syndrome. These desperate lefties, believing their countries to be going down the gurgler under Trump/May/whoever, look at the flashing smiles and empty platitudes of Ardern and Trudeau and perceive saints and saviours, never dreaming of the pungent mess these show ponies are making of their stables.

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