As widely reported, the nats have launched some nasty, personal attacks on Jacinda Ardern:
Gloves off: National MPs target Labour’s Jacinda Ardern in series of attacks
The National Party has stepped up its attacks on Labour’s new deputy leader Jacinda Ardern, saying she is only interested in putting her face on billboards and has achieved nothing as an MP.
The often-personal criticism during Parliament’s general debate today was led by Youth Minister Nikki Kaye, whose long rivalry with Ardern was until a week ago a friendly affair.
During the general debate this afternoon, Kaye went further, saying the caucus reshuffle which lead to Ardern’s promotion was a “superficial, cosmetic facelift”.
Kaye said she “struggled to name anything Jacinda had done” in her time in Parliament – a comment which prompted howls from other MPs in the House.
Kaye’s criticisms were echoed by other National MPs during the debate, suggesting a strategic attack on one of Labour’s biggest weapons. …
The comments alluding to Ardern’s looks are beneath contempt. Those alleging a lack of achievements are more relevant, but what opposition back-bencher ever has an opportunity for serious results?
In combination the attack of “all show and no substance” is a curious one for a party that was led for so many years by John Key, whose major “achievements” were dirty politics, pulling pony tails, and a failed flag referendum. (It is sometimes said that he “got us through the financial crisis”, but that was Michael Cullen).
Ardern is personable and popular, that is an achievement in itself, and it is (for better or for worse) very important in modern politics. She is of course taking the high road:
“I’m going to stick with the way I like to do politics, and it’s making sure that you keep away from making it too personal. But each to their own.”
Way to go.