Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Why Ardern? Ask Trotter.


For reasons of their own, on the back of her underwhelming rejection by 79% of the Mt Albert electorate on Saturday, the commentariat have chosen all week to talk up Jacinda Ardern to be deputy Labour leader,

Since Chris Trotter’s motives are generally among the most transparent of the commentariat, I’ve scoured his latest Ardern hagiography to discover reasons why the young woman who’s achieved nothing in her short existence so far but a mouthful of teeth and a handful of magazine covers should be bumped up on the basis only of a lacklustre by-election. What have I been missing. What signal achievements have I overlooked that make her the obvious Next Big Thing. Because according to Chris (and for many of his colleagues), Labour's Future Has A Single Name – and that name is Ardern.

But why Chris, why? These are his reasons, such as they are

  • Because her 21% result represents an “emphatic by-election victory”
  • Because the name “Jacinda” has already acquired a winning ring. (Yes, he seriously said that.)
  • Because if Andrew Little doesn’t promote her to deputy-leader, “then he’s a fool.” (Yes, he also said that. Seriously.)
  • Because if he doesn’t, he “will only fuel suspicions that he lacks the fortitude to shake-up the delicate factional balance of Labour’s caucus.” (Yes, I know, but he’s writing this shit not I.)
  • Because he quotes Oliver Cromwell. Twice. (Yes, really. It’s that important, apparently.)
  • Because “Little now needs to reassure Auckland’s young urban professionals … that there is plenty of space on Labour’s pews for them.” (I should remind you that Mr Trotter gets paid to write columns like this.)
  • Because “keeping Annette King where she is for fear of reactivating the ‘Anyone But Cunliffe’ brigade would not only flatter that waning faction’s significance, but also signal a serious loss of political momentum.”
  • Because “she has now moved past [Grant] Robertson.” (In what respect, one wonders.)
  • Because (in some dim way he never bothers to define) Ardern represents “the future,” and in choosing her Little “would also be moving decisively beyond Labour’s past.”

Seriously, this bathetic exercise in begging the question is Chris Trotter’s column for the week, distributed nationwide courtesy of the dying media that few people any more bother to read. (And they wonder why.)

I’m going back through Trotter’s list to discover anywhere, anywhere at all, where there is any reason to pick her for anything she has actually achieved or shown that she is capable of – apart from a lazy by-election victory in the country’s second-safest seat.

Because in the end his ‘reasons’ for promoting the young woman to Labour deputy amounts either to nothing more than “because I say so,” or the good old tried-and-true “bet the electorate would like a nice bit of skirt.”

The former is pretty much the only argument the rest of the media have raised to promote her; and the latter is probably what they’d like to say if their overwhelming political correctness hadn’t stopped them.

But is the electorate really that shallow? (Shall we stop here to debate how nice a piece of skirt we really think she is?)

Still, since the arguments in her favour are so slim, the Labour Party are bound to listen…



  1. Not sure what is pushing Trotter's buttons here, but the massive media support is understandable. Ardern has celebrity status without any recognizable achievement. She is photogenic. And she is not terribly bright. This is perfect fodder for the media. For YEARS they will be able to place her vacuous, self-important statements against her photogenic picture and sell newspapers and magazines. What's not to like?

    1. At first glance I agree with what you say, apart from the photogenic bit, which then complicates the rest of it I guess.


    2. I guess the media's standards for "photogenic" are not ours.
      Mind you, She probably rates higher on that scale than many of Labour's other spokesthings, and when all are equally uninspiring then in this era of vacuousness they've now decided that counts for something.

  2. Ah, Peter, I love it when you dip your pen in acid. This is Labour doubling down on identity politics.

  3. Unfourtunately she does appeal to the vacuous age range that I unfourtantely am in... I can hear my ridiculous generation now who think they are all feminists.. (they aren't.. the ones I know are either strong independent 20 -42 year old somethings who are essentially trust fund kids or they have had mab6y relationships fail, not because of them of course but the men are so used to having patriarchal entitlement that they don't respect women..) cheering her on. I myself find her rather annoying, far too giggly for my liking, plays on her looks which are average and don't understand why lefties I know, one who went up against John Key actually at the last election.. think she is brilliant. National it is for me again ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. I actually called my mother who always votes Labour as does my whole family because of dad growing up.. except me.. black sheep... he was a union delegate at Devonport and great mates with Andrew litlle, don't judge me by my parents ... lol and asked if she had voted recently as our family home has always been in Mt Albert (as an aside thank you Helen for ruining our suburb then moving to another when it all went to hell then you implemented the same failed policies whist PM.. please don't come back to NZ!!) Anywho.. she had no idea there was even a vote to be cast... I told her Jacinda Arden won.. she said who?? I said the toothy overly giggly one with brown hair.. she wasn't impressed. When asked who she would have voted for she automatically said Labour. I just said thank God you didn't vote then. ๐Ÿ˜‚


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