Thursday, 22 October 2015

Jacinda jilted

The commentariat has been a-chatter about Labour’s Jacinda Ardern being “snubbed” for the deputy leadership, despite her not asking for it and her leader not offering it to her. A story, in other words, generated solely by those writing it.

The report about her being “snubbed” argues

 With Ardern’s star on the rise it was widely expected she would get the job because of her broad appeal in the Auckland electorate.

Widely expected—“by whom,” outside the commentariat? “Broad appeal”—where, outside Grey Lynn dinner parties?

Why her supporters or the commentariat think she’s earned that job or anything like it is a wonder. She’s certainly had a  few Woman’s Weekly covers. If that sort of thing matters to you. And a Next magazine cover story titled "Why she's our prime minister in waiting" that caused a stir but offered few reasons. And she’s appeared around town at plenty of events that have got her into the social pages, and any number of Twitter followers.

Oh, and she did get a lot of coverage for complaining about being praised as a “pretty little thing.”

But of actual, solid achievements to point to, she has none. Zero. And every time she takes hols of an issue, or tries to, she’s been savaged, sweety, by the person she’s been trying to hit.

Googling <Jacinda Ardern achievements> to see if there were some I’d overlooked, I found very little, but I did find this, from The Dim Post:

She isn't popular because she's an effective campaigner, or because she's been breaking big stories or landing hits on the government in the House. She's popular because she's gotten glowing coverage in the women's magazines over the last few months.

And that’s it.

On the back of the collapse of the deputy’s position (which she never asked for and was never offered) Labour leader Andrew Little said this morning that when he reshuffles his shadow cabinet, Jacinda Adern will get a post commensurate with her skills.

So that would be a fairly low position then.

Because for all her continuing anger at having been called “a pretty little thing” that’s really one of the few talents she has—although maybe a little horsey-looking for some tastes.

NB: Just noticed Radio NZ has headlined their story ‘Labour's Jacinda Ardern to focus on Auckland.’ An unfortunate focus. The last MP who was told to do that was, let’s see, oh yes, it was the Minister for Helen Clark’s Handbag, Judith Tizard, as she was being led out to pasture. So hardly the “rising star” on which a bright young thing would want to model herself …

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