Ardern Prime Ministerial (apart from lame ‘kindness’), Peters petty

In a week in politics dominated by the ongoing Jami-Lee Ross train wreck, Jacinda Ardern has declined to get involved and did not try to score cheap political pot shots, as a good Prime Minister should.

NZH:  New Zealanders want a different political environment, Jacinda Ardern says

Ardern again refused to be drawn into the scandal enveloping the National Party, declining to comment on reports that a woman allegedly harassed by MP Jami-Lee Ross signed a confidentiality agreement.

“As I’ve maintained through much of this, those are ultimately matters for the National Party and for the National Party to answer.”

A respectable and sensible approach. A sign of a good leader.

In contrast Winston Peters showed his natural inclination, to be petty attack politician. He often plays the fool in Parliament and often only his loyal MPs laugh with him (he laughs at his own lame jokes).

During the week he thought it funny to make fun of Simon Bridges (unfortunately media pandered to this pettiness), and seemed to think it was some sort of achievement to have been in know in the Ross/Lusk loop. He looked far from Deputy Prime Ministerial.

Peters managed to look something like a leader when Ardern was on maternity leave, but that may have been a bit of a temporary show. This week he demonstrated more of his natural petty venal self.

While Ardern did well to mostly stay above the fray she eventually strayed into inane lame territory, pushing her ‘kindness’ meme. This is inappropriate in most political situations.

New Zealand’s political environment needs to change, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Speaking to reporters today after an extraordinarily bruising week for the National Party, Ardern said New Zealanders wanted a different political environment.

“We want politics to be a place that good people want to come and serve, and where people who vote have confidence in the system that serves them. We all have a responsibility to change the nature of politics in New Zealand,” she said.

She is right there, to a large extent. There are a few political ferals who think that trying to wreck careers and lives is a game, but most of the public are turned off by poor political behaviour.

“I talk about kindness a lot. I don’t just mean in the way we deliver our policies and our services. I mean the way we do business as well and the nature of our political environment. So, yes, I do think things need to be different.”

I don’t think this is an appropriate time to push ‘kindness’. Sure, a bit more kindness wouldn’t go astray in politics, but I don’t think that’s what the people want.

They want strong leadership – and sometimes that involves not being ‘kind’, it requires making tough decisions that not everyone will like.

The promotion of strong ideas with robust debate is necessary in politics, where ‘kindness’ won’t cut it.

People don’t expect our politicians to sit in happy clappy circles with kindly smiles.

I think that much more decency and respect is required in our politics, but they are different to ‘kindness’. Some sign of empathy is important, but again that is different.

Leaders should be seen as strong, and able and willing to make the tough decisions necessary in running a country.

After getting some international media attention for it I think that Ardern has gotten a bit carried away with her kindness thing.

But otherwise she has handled the week fairly well – with Winston’s lack of kindness and his immature and petty inclinations a stark contrast.

 

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25 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 20, 2018

    Fair comment, PG. Winston obviously still smarts from losing Tauranga to Bridges. Still unhappy not to be the MP for Tauranga (or Northland). Probably been sitting on his Burning Bridges clip for long time waiting for his chance to use it.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 20, 2018

      Didn’t Jacinda poach Clarke off someone else?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 20, 2018

        ‘poach’…all’s fair in love and war’.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 20, 2018

          It is if you’re just shacked up together. But there’s not as much sympathy when someone else poaches them again, even for a bit on the side. Because then it’s “Hey, big deal, it’s not like they were married or anything”.

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 20, 2018

          Don’t get me wrong. I had a very brief office fling while married. I just never got found out. I’m not in any way qualified to take the moral high ground & I don’t. But I did it in the knowledge my wife would leave me, some people would loathe me for it, it wasn’t fair & it wasn’t worth ending my marriage by continuing it. One other woman in the office knew; my “flingee” spilled the beans to her friend. I was glad when they both moved on.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 20, 2018

            I worked with two people who were having an affair, not just a fling,and everyone somehow knew it; it’s obvious from the body language alone when this is going on.

            The (divorced) man began to tell personal things that people didn’t want to hear, making it obvious that he had no respect for the (married) woman. It spoiled the atmosphere of what had been a very friendly office.

            I was gone before the end came (I assume that it did), thank goodness.

            Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  October 20, 2018

    Peters has been around long enough for people to know what to expect from him.

    Keeps the press on their toes…and goads the opposition…nicely.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  October 20, 2018

      I wonder what his game face looks like for being in opposition…post 2020? My guess is he will become very sour and will self destruct.

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  October 20, 2018

        Still trying to live the dream Corky

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  October 21, 2018

          I live the dream, Lurchy. BTW. buy A2 milk at your supermarket. I want a good dividend next year.

          Reply
  3. PartisanZ

     /  October 20, 2018

    I’m trying to remember the last time we had a “Prime Ministerial” Prime Minister?

    She … and Labour … are playing this game exceedingly well …

    These are the first glowing embers of a new political fire … at the hearth of a new democracy …

    Do the cannabis referendum in the next 12 – 18 months Jacinda … and get on with some other things BEFORE the next election … and you’ve got it made!

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 20, 2018

      Holyoake and Kirk the last two who were Prime Ministerial I think.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 20, 2018

        Holyoake a pompous,conceited prat who governed at a time of prosperity.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 20, 2018

          A man of his time. Most of them sounded pretty BBC back then. Mulders was the first of our nasalers. Did well under immense pressure to keep us as minimally involved as possible with the Americans’ disastrous interference in Vietnam. No scandals I can recall. No wild parties with sex fiends among the young Nats I know of? Back later.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 20, 2018

            I cannot see how Jacinda Ardern is ‘Prime Ministerial’. She is lacking in the dignity that they should have.

            Reply
            • spanish_tudor

               /  October 21, 2018

              Dressing like a bag lady certainly doesn’t help.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 21, 2018

              I think that she dresses like a suburban mum who’s ‘let herself go’ a lot of the time. That straggly hair isn’t a good look for a woman of her age.

            • Gezza

               /  October 21, 2018

              She scrubbed up nice at the UN. Needs to keep that up.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 21, 2018

              Yes, indeed. It doesn’t take that long to brush one’s hair, tie it back and put a bit of makeup on.

        • PDB

           /  October 21, 2018

          Blazer: “Holyoake a pompous,conceited prat who governed at a time of prosperity.”

          Michael Cullen fits that description (though as finance minster) but you loved him…

          Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  October 21, 2018

    needs to either get a leopard skin and 6 dozen pairs of shoes,and dip herself in…creosote like…..or dye her hair jet black ,get lapbelt surgery and wear black horn rimmed glasses like …

    Reply

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