New Zealand

New Zealanders begin to devour each other while Jacinda Ardern smiles and waves at the nation she’s put under house arrest

Reuters have posted a glossy, sympathetic glamour piece on New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. The mainstream media outlet’s borderline hagiographic outlined how the (socialist) Prime Minister offered New Zealanders words of “hope” as the nation entered a month-long lockdown under her Government’s anti-coronavirus, house arrest strategy.

The Facebook live event was filmed ‘a few hours’ after the policy went live, with Ardern saying “I thought I would jump online quickly and check-in with everyone…as we all prepare to hunker down for a few weeks.’”

According to Reuters over a million people viewed the live stream. With one viewer saying, “This feels like the comfort of being tucked into bed at night by my mum.”

The Reuters piece praised Ardern for her youth, ability to have a baby while being Prime Minister, and gave specific mention to how well she communicates. This was also another opportunity for mainstream media to mention the ‘global praise’ she received, for her ‘compassionate yet decisive actions after last year’s mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques.’

The Guardian is just as starry-eyed. Its reporters exalted the New Zealand leader in an article lecturing Australians on what Scott Morrison should learn from Ardern’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak; and again mainstream media took the opportunity to insert a reminder to the world of Ardern’s, now almost mystical, handling of the Christchurch shootings.

In a piece for The Guardian, Gay Alcorn lifted Ardern for her “credibility as a leader”, someone who is “kind, leads with clarity, and has a ‘combination of steel and compassion that instils confidence.” Bryce Edwards, also for The Guardian, said her “blend of steel and kindness is praiseworthy”, citing Ardern’s giving birth while in office, as being among the major achievements of her tenure as Prime Minister.

Edwards’ piece reads almost like a private letter, gently cautioning the “politics of kindness” princess against doing anything that might hurt her chances of reelection, such as triggering a recession. All while painting New Zealand’s National Party as a bunch of blubbering idiots, saying “for the time being, [they’re] floundering, unable to navigate the new environment.”

Credit where credits due, but let’s cut the hagiography. While Ardern smiles out at the world from the comfort of her taxpayer-funded, multi-million dollar official Wellington residence, New Zealanders are beginning to devour one another.

Ardern minions have filed “4,200 reports to police”, reporting on their neighbours who breach New Zealand’s house arrest rules. As The N.Z Herald quipped, “curtain-twitchers outing members of the public crashed the new police reporting site within an hour of it going live yesterday.” Neighbour devouring neighbour under a cloud of suspicion and fear, in an eerie echo of the kind of public denouncing, carried out by Soviet Stasi, and Nazi Gestapo, collaborators.

The Corona-V is grim. Grimmer still is Government-sponsored domestic terror, where if the Coronavirus doesn’t get you, under Corona-V laws, you can guarantee that your paranoid, fuehrer worshipping neighbours will. All of which strongly contradicts Jacinda’s “be kind and stay calm”, ‘new kind of soft power’ mantras.

True to socialist form, Ardern is also a strong advocate for non-resident New Zealanders, living in Australia, to receive welfare without restriction, arguing that they should receive benefits for their “contribution to the economy across the Tasman“. Under the Australian government’s own compassionate response to the Coronavirus situation New Zealand nationals living in Australia, now have no waiting time.

Ardern hopes that this remains in place long after the Coronoavirus has either been defeated or run its course. Arrangements catering for New Zealand nationals have been in place since the 1970s. Those arrangements which have been reviewed and adjusted over the years, allow New Zealanders to apply for social security if they have lived and worked in Australia for a set period of time. Currently, that requirement is two years. According to the ABC’s Nick Buckley, the same two-year rule applies for Australian nationals living in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern’s appeal is understandable: working mum, young Prime Minister, smiles a lot, seems nice, has been at the helm when national tragedies struck, and the cameras love her. However, every air-brushed, candy-coated word spoken about Ardern should be filtered for the brass kissing that it is. Journalists bedazzled by the “politics of kindness” princess, who exalt Jacinda Ardern aren’t reporting the news; they’re seeking to canonize Ardern, securing her membership in the Leftist pantheon of “sinless” – “can- do-no-wrong”- demi-gods.

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