Channel your ‘inner Jacinda’

Kiwi covered: Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

We all know how most international celebrities are vacuous and hopelessly biased, but watching the world’s attitude towards Jacinda Ardern since the Christchurch massacre has been most interesting. It seems that all you have to do to acquire international sainthood is to don a hijab, hug a few people, look serious and ride roughshod over your own democratic system in order to rush through a hopelessly ill-thought-out law that will cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Do all that, and you are anointed as a hero. It seems that the spectre of style over substance really has taken root in our click-bait world these days.

Oprah Winfrey is the latest to join the fray. quote.

She’s interviewed countless politicians and is close with the Obamas, but Oprah Winfrey says she’s never seen leadership like our Prime Minister’s. 

In response to the summit’s central question – ‘Can Women Save the World?’ – Winfrey told the enormous crowd she’d been blown away by Jacinda Ardern’s response to the Christchurch terror attack.

“I’ve never seen such leadership,” she said.

“The Prime Minister is a woman who has the courage of her convictions, and she’s set a global standard in leadership with her response.” end quote.

Is that all it takes to be a great leader? To practise a frown in a mirror, don a headscarf and hug a few people? My definition of great leadership would be more like someone making decisions that may not appeal to the average voter, but that will nevertheless be good for the country or community as a whole. Jacinda’s reaction was virtue signalling, and nothing more. quote.

“Jacinda Ardern projected peace and goodness, and the Arab world projected it right back for all of us to take in,” Winfrey told the summit. “And suddenly we saw that the other didn’t seem that much different from us.”

Winfrey praised Ardern’s decision to wear a hijab to meet with the victims’ families, which inspired thousands of other Kiwi women to do the same in solidarity. end quote.

Encouraging women to wear a symbol of female subjugation was a crass move. Many Muslim women criticised her for it. When Iranian women are jailed for refusing to wear the hijab, free women donning it just to show supposed solidarity is like a slap in the face. No one should be praising this.

But let’s get to the heart of the matter, shall we? quote.

She contrasted New Zealand’s immediate ban on semi-automatic weapons with the US gun culture that is still baked into its culture.

“We live in a country that has somehow confused cruel with funny, serious with intelligent, attitude with belief, personal freedom with stockpiling assault weapons, and what is moral with what is legal,” she said. end quote.

Of course. This is nothing more than anti-Trump rhetoric. Trump = Republicans, Republicans = guns… and, while no one in the USA did anything or said anything under Obama, now, suddenly, every American Democrat is anti-weapons. Jacinda is no Trump lover either; which, no doubt, scores her points in Oprah’s very myopic world.

Oprah has studiously ignored something very important. No US President could ever do what Jacinda did, which was to make a ‘Captain’s Call’ and override the democratic process to introduce a piece of legislation that suited their agenda. Trump could not simply say “Our gun laws are going to change” and hey presto! … they change. A US President could only do that in exceptional circumstances. Our prime minster does it on an almost daily basis, proving that democracy is not important in the slightest bit to her.

But that, according to Oprah, is great leadership. That makes Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao Tse Tung great leaders too.


“It is time for women in the world to set the agenda. We need to make that message a positive one. Let’s make it ambitious, and inclusive, and brimming with hope.

“So here, women in the world, we have to make the choice every single day to channel our own inner Jacindas.”

Newshub. end quote.

In our connected, social media driven world, leadership is about nothing more than looking good. Here is New Zealand, we know how limited Jacinda really is. She cannot control her own caucus. MPs ride roughshod all over her. She obfuscates on radio interviews. Her government’s flagship policies are catastrophic failures. She wasn’t even elected; she was given the role of prime minister by a man with a grudge.

Oprah doesn’t know any of that; she is vacuous in the extreme. All she knows is that a socialist at the bottom of the world looked pretty in a headscarf and banned guns. That, according to Oprah Winfrey, is true leadership.

If that really is true leadership, then we really are in trouble. All of us.