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Jacinda Ardern – The Toxic Empathy of New Zealand’s 40th Prime Minister

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 7:25 am Wed 5th April 2023

Today, Wednesday 5th April 2023, Jacinda Ardern will deliver her valedictory speech to the New Zealand House of Representative having stood down as Prime minister in a surprise announcement on January 17th.

A question in my mind remains unanswered as to whether that was a willing departure or one in the face of no other option, as we know now the process of Ardern’s resignation was not a surprise but a well managed and orchestrated departure – that I question the willingness of.

As I recall, the first mention of Ardern on this site was a post in 2017 [that may still be available] asking if Ardern was a feminist.

A Labour Party back bencher, no executive experience, and a relatively unknown MP, was elevated to Leader of the Oposition in the last few weeks of the country’s 2017 General Election, when her predecessor Andrew Little resigned in the face of unfavourable polls

The Rest as they say, is history.

Interviewed this week by TV One’s John Campbell, Ardern responded to a reference to Parliament’s ‘Hall of Pictures’ saying,

I did think about that, walking down the hallway: One day I’ll be finished and all that will remain is that picture and perhaps how I made people feel.

Here lies the great divide in New Zealand, all that you promised and didn’t deliver and all you did and the diaster you left behind.

The chasm between is so wide Ardern has built herself a new role in response to the caustic social media war and defending the world against the hate-filled internet – that in itself is an extraordinary global media phenomenon beyond this post.

Ardern will be appointed as an unpaid special envoy of New Zealand managing her ongoing Christchurch Call and reporting directly to our current Prime minister Chris “Chippy” Hipkins.

That position will be reviewed at the end of this year while Ardern will also assist Prince William as a board member in his growing administration.

As this unfolds feelings will be intense – earlier this week the current Prime minister resorting to labeling critics of Ardern as being “the fringe” in New Zealand along with the demand, to leave Ardern alone.

Chippy’s Political sensitivity about his former leader and life long political buddy doesn’t take away other people’s feelings.
He may have been better to shut up and not run a close second to Michael Wood calling protesters, “Ferals in a River of Filth.”

The distance between those that walk the corridors of power and the Kiwi in the street has grown to a majestically open and transparent contempt for the New Zealand public and yes the ordinary decent people of New Zealand do question the empathy of those in Parliament and their ability to relate to the politically homeless in particular, who have had enough.

The ignominy and the irony in this case is, that was Winston Peter’s 2017 election catch cry, “Had Enough.”

As for “Cindy” (who Ardern’s stalwart supporters railed against should anyone dare to diminish her granduer) the question now arises, as to, what did Ardern feel?

Throughout her entire tenure Ardern has been no empress without clothes when the occasion has required feigned empathy manufactured for the political response of the occasion.

Once again, a great divide exists between those who saw love and kindness and those who saw a fake – to call out these people as the fringe of your country is arrogantly and ignorantly walking in your predecessor’s footsteps.

Mr Fix-it in the Ardern Administration, may have been able to bury many indiscretions, yet to come back and haunt him but as for the “toxic empathy” of Jacinda Ardern’s Prime ministerial persona, Hipkins appears to genuinely see this as normal.

This is not as many have tried to spin it, misogyny and the incapacity (of white cis men in particular) to exist under young female leadership.

The eyes that see Ardern’s toxic empathy are both male and female, and without any other qualifications young or old, educated or ordinary, wealthy or modest … whatever.

There’s something about these people, though … “this fringe” that I’m quite comfortable with.

They care.


  1. […] Toxic Empathy is the phrase of the day, as discussed in this blog post. […]

    Pingback by Toxic Empathy | Writer of Sorts — Wed 5th April 2023 @ 9:31 am

  2. That’s a good comment, toxic empathy.

    Empathy is natural, to most people.
    So if you play on empathy, you can get things.
    Play the victim, so people help you.
    Dependency, is empathy gone wrong.
    The solution is working, like everyone else.
    It becomes toxic, when dependency is a choice.
    The politicians want to look good, so show empathy.
    They support choice, but say it’s necessary for victims.
    Tough love, is like a banned subject.

    So the crown gives, and they give more.
    Ardern, did a lot of giving.
    Taxing more to give more, is a contradiction.
    But much less of the giving, involved consequences.
    When loans were nearly free, they gave more and more.
    Everyone with a home, magically got rich.
    The poor was ruined with rent, needing more empathy.
    It’s not just her, toxic empathy is in our culture.
    Everyone wants things, playing the victim card.

    Even landlords, think they deserve empathy.
    Complaining at any move, for fair income tax.
    As soon as the poor get empathy, they get the money.
    Raising rents, to match the poor persons income.

    The voter plays the victim, demanding empathy.
    Ardern was just a pawn, trapped in a vicious cycle.
    It cannot be stopped, without a radical change in thinking.
    I can’t see that happening, with any politician.
    Those getting empathy, won’t vote for them.

    Democracy does have a flaw, the voter.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 5th April 2023 @ 8:13 pm

  3. #2 I’m not so sure dependency is “empathy gone wong”

    I would say the development of purpose creates independent identity but a lack of defined or realistic purpose creates dependency.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 6th April 2023 @ 6:41 am

  4. There was no pandemic and the lockdown was illegal. People need to understand that communism is not for the workers, it only pretends to be. It is for the elite. Why do so many vaxxed women now have miscarriage?

    Comment by Mustapha Phag — Thu 13th April 2023 @ 8:02 pm

  5. There is a political divide, which should affect voting.

    Effectively people get rich, with other peoples money.
    They never earned the rent, someone else earned it.
    They never had money to buy the house, they borrowed it.
    Becoming asset rich by paying no tax, and not actually earning anything.
    The renter shut out of the market, so the market can exist.
    They paid tax on income, but the landlord does not.
    As a social argument, renting is an immoral policy.

    They argue it’s good policy, to only tax profits.
    But the business model, is about not making profits.
    They want to pay no tax, but get rich at the same time.
    The family or person, pay tax on income to pay rent.
    They also pay tax on income, to pay a mortgage.
    But the landlord, expects not to pay tax on income.
    The landlord with an advantage, that only creates renters.
    The rich getting richer, and the poor can never get ahead.
    Prices get so high and rents get so high, poverty is the result.

    So business use a good argument, about business viability.
    They should only pay tax, on its profits.
    But if you let houses be a business, you get poverty.
    While a small group making nothing, get richer and richer.
    There is a tax break, for landlords for making new houses.
    But the existing home landlord, involves making nothing called business.
    There’s no commodity creation, or commodity improvement.

    So National has a policy, that I don’t think helps anyone.
    Well a small group of wealthy donors, called landlords may like it.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Sun 28th May 2023 @ 7:54 pm

  6. Labour is making mistakes, people are making mistakes.
    So they have lost another minister, for minor offending.
    This is not good in election year, for silly distractions.
    And I haven’t heard, of any great replacements.
    The new blood, some rising stars.

    I don’t think it’s a shortage, there are many good people.
    I just met a female judge, her competence was excellent.
    As good as any politician, but where are they in politics.
    Is Labours leaders of tomorrow, the ministers of today.
    This generation of politicians, will certainly come to an end.

    Today we see, how high the standard is.
    Many have similar experience, making a similar mistake.
    Many good people, could be great politicians.
    But they fail some test, an ever changing standard.
    We didn’t lose an MP, we lost dozens or some great ones.

    Maybe the brilliant politicians, get disqualified living life.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Mon 24th July 2023 @ 7:41 pm

  7. Today was a good day, I have learnt a machine.
    With success making a part, on a CNC wire cutter.
    And have updated my skills, on a CNC lathe.
    My confidence is growing, I can make anything.
    Not literally but give me a drawing, I’ll give it a go.

    I see Labour is spending money, like it’s free.
    It’s us that earn it, so they can spend it.
    Big pay rises for the base, but only if you elect them.
    Or did they sign them away, legally the rise happens.
    It thinks it won’t get elected, so time for gifts for votes.

    I did hear a reference, they compared men’s pay.
    To justify the rise, there must be a reason.
    There is no discrimination, male teachers get the same pay.

    Inflation is nasty is it not, but it can get even worse.
    You must spend more like wages, but you don’t earn more.
    You pay more in interest, so must spend less.
    Governments can get into trouble, the nations debts not imaginary.
    Many face inflation with bills, but don’t get those pay rises.
    The higher mortgage, the higher basics and rents.
    The less that is spent, the less tax is made.
    You buy less things, when they cost more each.

    So they overspend, they inherently print more money.
    Adding to inflation, not happy to balance the budget.
    The vote is more important, than the taxpayers future.
    Not only do they take your money, they also put you in debt.

    It’s democracy’s flaw, it’s other people’s money.
    The politicians keep there jobs, at our expense.
    Vote for me, and I will give you this.
    The voter sees what they get, not what is taken away.
    The debt doesn’t exist as assets, it’s just spending.

    This exists as slang, the lolly scramble.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Thu 3rd August 2023 @ 7:28 pm

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