Hosking on hot air and halos

Photoshopped image of Jacinda Ardern

In his recent column Mike Hosking captures the futility of it all in a nutshell.

So are you counting the days like I am? May 15 in France.

Jacinda Ardern, our newly beatified international leader of good and happiness, will lay down a carbon footprint to Paris to sit alongside French president Emmanuel Macron and co-chair a meeting.

Yes it really is that exciting, a meeting with two leaders, with their tech capes on looking to rid the world of evil and instil good and a better tomorrow with lots of hugs, loves, and lollipops.

Once again must we reality check ourselves on these matters? Extremism isn’t new. Terror isn’t new. Using online tools to promote and execute it isn’t new.

And ironically it’s especially not new in Europe, or indeed in France. France, in recent years, has been heavily criticised for being asleep at the wheel when it comes to imported and homegrown terror. Security services and practices have been found badly wanting.

So one could ask, I think quite legitimately, just why is it now in 2019 that Emmanuel Macron feels the need for yet more meetings?

Could it be because it distracts from the real issues in his country? Like the fact the place gets set alight every weekend? Like the fact they’ve lost tens of millions of dollars in tourist returns because people are afraid to go to the place anymore?

Could it simply be by talking about social media and tech giants, and pointing a finger at them, it momentarily distracts from his own hopeless shortcomings around protecting his own people?

And sadly our own Prime Minister has bought into the virtue signalling. There’s nothing in Ardern’s mind like a good meeting or working group to sort the pressing issues of the day out.

There is no problem too large or too small that can’t be shuffled off to a bunch of earnest hand-wringers to ponder on, while you are able to face the world’s press with your best earnest look and say these are dark and serious days, we will leave no stone unturned to root out evil, and show that good guys win.

The social media giants have increasingly come under fire from politicians all over the world. But what, the question needs to be asked, has actually been done? Short of fines and tellings off, nothing. Why? Because social media is global, and governments aren’t. […]

Macron is a liberal dandy and one of Europe’s more unpopular leaders. He is not the cutting edge answer – or any sort of rival to the media giants he talks of facing down.

It’s a long way for Ardern to go to hang out with Gallic hot air.

A Newspaper

But Mike, think of the photo ops and adulation! Might even get a congratulatory tweet from bestie Trudeau in Canada.