I enjoy a ray of hope as much as the next leftie, and Jacinda Ardern is off to an incredible start, but let’s not burden her with impossible expectations – that would be destructive in the long run.
Peters is trying to do it as he predicts that Jacinda could be worth 7 per cent to Labour in the polls. Maybe, in the long run, maybe more. But don’t expect it next poll. Don’t expect an instant turn-around in a decade of unquestioning support for National. Consider:
Audrey Young: Ardern does not need to be Labour’s Joan of Arc
Ardern does not have to become Labour’s Joan of Arc to succeed. Those expecting her to be the party’s salvation and deliver them the Government benches in eight weeks’ time have set their expectations too high.
One thing that is not likely change is the influence of Winston Peters and New Zealand First over the result of the election even if Ardern turns around Labour’s fortunes.
Her task is to save Labour from a humiliating dive in the polls. Even maintaining its current position would be success of a kind. If she gets it heading north again, she will be a legend.
The Left is not ahead in this election and nothing can be taken for granted. Ardern just might be the breakthrough that wins it, but no one should assume that. We’ve got to fight, as Jacinda put it herself, the fight of our lives.
At the moment Ardern is all things to all people, and the honeymoon is great. But inevitably as policy decisions are made, some people will be unahppy (not left enough, not pragmatic enough, and so on). And no doubt Ardern will make mistakes:
There will come a time, Jacinda Ardern says, when she stuffs up.
The media glory will have subsided, she will be grinding away at the coalface, and she will do something wrong.
“Inevitably, at some point, I’m going to make a mistake. Newsflash, here and now, I will make a mistake. But the test of anyone’s leadership is how they then manage it in the aftermath.” …
It’s been a great few days, and anything could happen from here. But don’t be discouraged if/when miracles don’t occur. Good things take time. And it isn’t down to one leader, we all have work to do.
We can still have fun with memes though!
For all men like Richardson: pic.twitter.com/vpI53mi1HC
— Name cannot be blank (@GhostofFrid) August 1, 2017