Another weekend, another puff piece

Another week is over, with another embarrassing backdown by this woeful government. This time it was Capital Gains Tax: another flagship policy of this transformational government that has bitten the dust. No wonder many political writers are openly criticising the administration that was going to transform everything away from ‘nine years of neglect’. This is a government now hellbent on achieving absolutely nothing.

Not everyone in the media has lost the faith though.What happens every time there is bad news for this coalition? We get a lovely puff piece about Jacinda. This time it was a play date between Neve and Pink’s children. Yes. You heard that right. quote.

During one of Pink’s many Auckland performances in September, she broke from the script to wax lyrical about Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

She told the crowd she had just met Ardern and “she’s awesome”.

In a sly jab at US President Donald Trump, the American singer said: “You’re so lucky, you have no idea. Even if you don’t think you are, you are. Trust me.” end quote.

We are not lucky, Pink. Trust me. Donald Trump is making huge economic changes for the USA, bringing back industries that had long since disappeared. Unemployment for blacks and Hispanics is at an all time low. By contrast, we have a prime minister who confuses the Crown accounts with GDP, whose flagship policies are failing miserably, and who has caused the biggest fall in business confidence in over a decade. Our economy is spiralling downwards. We are definitely not lucky. quote.

Today, Stuff?can publish the backstage pictures of the prime minister and pop star Pink.

The duo met on Friday night, September 7, at Spark Arena. They were there for what’s been called an organised “play date”, where Pink’s two children, Jameson and Willow Hart, caught up with Neve Gayford.

Their backstage room had been set up with Playdough and a colouring-in table, complete with a Playdough ice-cream machine and paints.
Neve was just a few months old at the time, and looked more interested in hugs than games. end quote.

In case you missed it, Pink was in New Zealand last September. Stuff has implied that they were not allowed to publish these photos before now, but this is unlikely to be for security reasons, as the children’s faces are mostly not shown. This article was deliberately kept for a time when news about the government had been particularly bad. With the collapse of their flagship policy on taxation, Easter weekend provided such an occasion. quote.

Meanwhile, Ardern, who was there with her family, chatted with and impressed the pop star. Pink’s management, Sony Music, said Ardern was “a big fan”. They said Ardern had asked if she would be able to meet Pink when the musician played one of her six New Zealand shows.

Stuff. end quote.

As we have found before, Ardern is using her status as prime minister to get things that she wants… afternoon tea with Ed Sheeran, play dates with Pink… Obviously, Jacinda is enjoying her status as a celebrity politician.

I wonder though if this particular side of her is being overplayed. Rubbing shoulders with the mega rich and famous is not really the ideal image for a Labour prime minister. She is supposed to represent ordinary people in New Zealand: those on low incomes who are locked out of the housing market, those living in poverty with children. Instead, the media present her as someone who uses her status to get the junkets she wants with the pop stars that she favours. As more of her governments policies fall flat, this image will do her government no good whatsoever.

It was interesting that the article has “Comments are closed” at the bottom. I suspect many of the comments would not have been favourable. Many would have echoed my sentiments that she should get on with doing the job the New Zealand taxpayer pays her so handsomely to do.

No one would deny the prime minister a bit of leisure time, as we all acknowledge that running the country is a tough job, but Jacinda is not really running the country. In between photo shoots and play dates with her favourite musicians, Jacinda does little of the tough stuff expected of a prime minister. As the puff pieces mount up, they paint a picture of a prime minister severely out of her depth in politics, but enjoying the celebrity status that the role brings. She is not known as the Kim Kardashian of NZ politics for nothing.

All these puff pieces just confirm what we already know. Play dates and photo shoots are all our prime minister is good for. The serious business of running the country is not her forte. That is why we really are not lucky at all, Pink. Trust me.