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