Ardern lipstick on a Labour pig?

The media and pundit obsession with trying to pressure Labour into promoting Jacinda Ardern to deputy leader continued yesterday.

This is despite the reality that most people don’t know who deputy leaders are and don’t care.

It seems to be a sign of the growing obsession with promoting celebrity politics – Ardern is better known for her cultivating of the celebrity circuit than for her political accomplishments.

Sure she won the Mt Albert by-election, but that was in a safe Labour seat against no opposition, and having moved there after three failed attempts to win in two other electorates.

Last week Bryce Edwards virtually demanded a deputy leadership change this week if Ardern won in Mt Albert.

He followed up yesterday with a round up of old and new items from activists (who \used to be journalists) and pundits promoting his agenda – Political Roundup: How long can it be before Labour elevate Jacinda Ardern to deputy?

Edwards included just one alternate view:

One commentator disputes the need to make Ardern the deputy. Russell Brown sarcastically says “of course what Labour needs in election year is yet another leadership shakeup” – see: Mt Albert: Cooperating, competing and carpooling.

I posted King of the deputy castle, media dirty rascals yesterday morning but that was probably a bit too critical of his activism to rate a mention. There has been more media activism to promote Ardern into the deputy headlines.

This is all more a symptom of journalists and pundits who want to be political players and movers and shakers rather than being reporters and analysts.

Annette King seems to have quietly done a good job holding the Labour caucus together and protecting Andrew Little’s back. As a deputy is supposed to do. It doesn’t make sense to throw a spanner in the works there with six months until the election.

Ardern has a new job to do in Auckland, she needs to establish herself in an electorate for the first time, and also needs to prepare herself for the election.

It makes no sense to me to give her another new job which will tie her more to Wellington and bury her in the party machine.

And I’m sure Little doesn’t want a deputy who attracts all the media attention.

Who cares who is deputy leader of Labour? I think that most voters don’t give a toss. Those that do can read about Ardern in the Woman’s Weekly.

And perhaps some journalists could consider whether they are political reporters, or activists promoting their pet politicians.

And – would Ardern lipstick really help a Labour Party pig?

Leave a comment


  1. And today’s Herald editorial adds to Jacinda mania.

    Ardern is the fresh face every major party needs if it is to return to power, though she has been in Parliament longer than Andrew Little and, like him, has repeatedly stood and lost in an electorate winnable for Labour at general elections. But her victory on Saturday has given Ardern the street credibility of an electorate MP and leads many outside the party to wonder why she is not deputy leader.

    I wonder what the Herald would think if politicians started campaigning for a change of deputy editor?

  2. Pete Kane

     /  28th February 2017

    Our guys are starting to make Trump’s media utterances seem rather plausible.

    • Local media hasn’t had a Trump election wake up call yet, still plodding along the journo-activist path.

      • Pete Kane

         /  28th February 2017

        RNZ’s Espiner seems to be getting worse by the day. Gosh knows what he’ll be like by the election.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  28th February 2017

          There is no problem when a pundit gives opinions – Espiner, Hosking, Garner etc. They are paid for their views and generally you know which side they are coming from. It is when these opinions stray into mainstream news that the problems begin. And that has been happening for a while now.

          The other (and possibly the biggest) issue is the social media echo chamber. More and more the news you get is specifically tailored to your own views and this becomes self reinforcing. You never get shown other viewpoints and so your own opinions get more reinforced.

          It can be quite distressing when you get exposed to alternative viewpoints:

          Try expressing conservative views on The Standard for example – just having an alternative view is seen as trolling.

          • Pete Kane

             /  28th February 2017

            Espiner is no longer a political ed[tor.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  28th February 2017

              I thought he was on morning report? If so I’m sure that is an editorial position rather than straight journalism.

  3. Nelly Smickers

     /  28th February 2017

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  28th February 2017

      Could have been worse, Nelly. Putting lipstick on a little Labour pig.

    • PDB

       /  28th February 2017

      Ardern only aspires to be the minister of children so she can just ‘hang out’ with the younger ones thus becoming New Zealand’s very own version of Michael Jackson.

  4. duperez

     /  28th February 2017

    I commented about the pathetic Ardern campaign yesterday.

    The topic today could just as well be, “Is there enough lipstick to put on the media pig?”

  5. PDB

     /  28th February 2017

    Martyn Bradbury yesterday on the Daily Blog: “Little now has more power by not flinching over Willie Jackson and Greg O’Connor’s candidacy and Labour’s subsequent lift in the polls as working class voters come back to the Party means Andrew has far more muscle inside Labour. If Annette King suddenly does stand aside out of loyalty for Little and Jacinda replaced her as Deputy, it would be a symbol of just how much more mana Little now enjoys inside the Party.

    This matters because having Jacinda as Deputy would give Labour more profile in Auckland, which they are focused on winning if they want to be mid 30s come election day.”

    Some notes;

    *Little did ‘flinch’ over Willie Jackson, quite a bit in fact once the shit hit the fan & he faced a rebellion. Made his look out of touch with his own party.
    *Working class voters ain’t coming back to the party.
    *Unfortunately for Bradbury a Roy Morgan poll on the same day he posted this showed no ‘lift’ for Labour.
    *Little has no mana inside his party – Jacinda is not in his camp (loyal to the Robertson side)and for no other reason than that would not want to be his deputy – so Little has no choice in the matter anyhow.
    *I call ‘bullshit’ on Jacinda adding ‘more profile in Auckland’, the deputy position isn’t a public relations one.

    I also note no mention of yesterdays Roy Morgan poll on his site and barely a comment at the Standard on the subject.

    • Gezza

       /  28th February 2017

      This is Andy. See Andy leap into the lead.

      😳 Oh. 😬 Better luck next time, maybe ? 😕

  6. MaureenW

     /  28th February 2017

    New Zealand has it’s own swamp that needs draining. To be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me to see another Leadership Challenge in the Labour Party – to partner the token gay, with the token female …. just like Astaire and Rogers. After all – Grant Robertson is New Zealand’s Hillary Clinton – always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
    The Green Party brand has become increasingly irrelevant, most of the incumbents are comic caricatures – they don’t hold anyone to account – just suck on the public tit.
    It surprises me to say this also, but I think Bill English looks pretty fresh in his new role, but he’ll need to keep his wits about him, I expect the 2017 election to be full of surprises.

    • duperez

       /  28th February 2017

      For not holding anyone to account the Green Party are doing one helluva job. They are rubbished all the time for their ideas and complaints and Nick Smith is plastered all over the world about cleaning up our water. So if they’re not saying anything i.e. holding the world to account, why are they the ever target? I mean if they were irrelevant they would be unheard of and ignored.
      And do you seriously think the recent Nick Smith performances would have occurred if it hadn’t been for the Green Party? (And no, Smith was not deliberately a pun about comic caricatures.)

    • NOEL

       /  28th February 2017

      Maureen W your “draining of the swamp” metaphor.

      Which of the following identifies your context?
      Winfield R. Gaylord to describe the socialist desire to “drain” the “capitalist swamp”.[1]
      Victor L. Berger, who in his book Broadsides referred to the changing the capitalist system as “drain[ing] the swamp”[2]
      Ronald Reagan, who called for “drain[ing] the swamp” of bureaucracy in the federal government in 1983.[3][4]
      Nancy Pelosi while announcing her 100-Hour Plan in response to more than a decade of Republican rule.[5][6]
      Donald Trump to describe his plan to fix problems in the federal government.[1][7]

      Or is it a new version.

    • Blazer

       /  28th February 2017

      terrible post Maureen,have you been on the sauce.Your use of ‘token’ is quite ludicrous.Hilary C was definately a bride.How has the Green Party become…irrelevant?You have the political instincts of a 15 y.o and a way of expressing them of someone who left school at that age.

  1. Ardern lipstick on a Labour pig? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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