‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown’

Jacinda Ardern Photo: Newsroom

All the world?s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

William Shakespeare

Friday March 15th saw New Zealand on the world stage, for all the wrong reasons. In the aftermath of what happened it is instructive to reflect on how well the prime minister handled a difficult and tricky job.

Jacinda Ardern made a very good entrance in a role that initially required compassion on the one hand but firmness on the other. We are all aware that compassion and kindness are the prime minister?s trademark. Indeed, she is having her finance minister present a budget around these very tenets. Therefore, in the compassion and kindness area, she did very well. In some ways – not in any way to belittle this task – this was somewhat easier than the decisions around the issue of firmness.

It was with the decisions about firmness that things started to go pear shaped. She made what I suppose was another Captain?s Call regarding the proposed tightening of the gun laws. Few would argue that it is proper for the gun laws to be reviewed in light of what took place. The problem was the high-handed, ‘hand in your weapons’ approach.

She once again fell into her own trap of announcing what amounted to the changing of a law with little or no consultation. This country, at least until the present time, has been a democracy. Jacinda appears to have a preference to make the calls and expect the peasants to do as they’re told.

That is not appropriate, especially in the situation we now find ourselves in. We must tread carefully, particularly in respect of decisions made that affect the freedom of others in a democratic society.

I don?t wish to be too harsh on the prime minister; she has had an unenviable task, but I sense a level of immaturity in her decision-making process.

We are not Russia or China. We are a democratic country and expect to be governed as such.

Others who did not cover themselves in glory were the predictable ones: notably Marama Davidson and Golriz Ghaharaman. What an Australian terrorist has to do with colonialism and the confiscation of land is beyond me.

Winston appeared to sleep his way through his mission. Despite his latest utterances the end result amounted to nothing more than a waste of time paid for by us.

Parliament sat last week and, at the behest of Trevor Mallard, it became a temporary mosque where a Christian country was told that there is only one God, Allah. The usual procedure was what was required ? party leaders paying respects on behalf of their parties.

The National Party, it has to be conceded, were in a difficult position. Having said that, they have gone along with virtually everything that has happened with barely a whimper. They appeared to support the call for non-Muslim women to wear hijabs and then the gun law change without consultation. This is not good enough. They are the opposition, and no matter what the situation, we expect them to do their job.

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