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It Is the Thought That Counts

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 am, December 28th, 2019 - 70 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Ethics, jacinda ardern, leadership, Left, Politics, uncategorized - Tags: ,

A half-finished draft of this post had been lingering in my folder for over a month now so it was do or die now.

I know remarkably little about Jacinda Ardern. I have never met her in person and what little I do know about her is through the media lens and from what I read here on The Standard.

Most opinions and opinion pieces are on opposite poles of the spectrum, ranging between admiration, hero-worshipping and praise of almost angelic nature to character assassination and pitiful and spiteful criticism. Of course, there is no need to name the ‘opinion leaders’.

John Key was an enigma in terms of his enduring popularity that may have caused some to suffer from KDS – in many ways he was insufferable. Jacinda Ardern creates a similar conundrum between an apparently likeable personality leading a government that apparently fails to deliver. At least, it does not seem to live up to expectations, over-promised, and under-delivered.

The rhetoric coming from the CoL Government is frustrating many who consider themselves true lefties. The noises of relentless self-criticism on the Left are getting louder. The enemy of the good is the perfect.

 

thought – word – deed

 

Many say that Ardern’s kindness is personal and genuine. So are her words. She does do very good speeches; I have read a few. Many others say that it is fake and/or simply a well-polished PR exercise by an excellent communicator. Either way, her words appear aiming to inspire rather than direct.

The PM cannot micro-manage others let alone a whole Government and the massively inert State apparatus. In the past, a few may have tried (Muldoon?) but with limited and/or short-lived success.

This is where things get unstuck.

How we think (and feel) determines how we phrase things. Think of the angel and the devil on either side of a cartoon character as the two inner voices that compete for attention and dominance. The voice that ‘wins’ determines the words we utter, their tone, inclination, meaning, purpose, and our (other) actions.

Action causes reaction. Others respond to our words, our actions, and our behaviour and vice versa.

Act in kindness and with respect and this most likely generates a reciprocal response in kindness and (mutual) respect. This is essential when exploring the vast common ground and mutual interest in order to achieve consensus and converge on a solution or action plan that is mutually beneficial. In terms of ‘strategy’, this is the most (?) effective one to achieve things and work together. This is when we can expect to see real change instead of superficial window dressing and endless rhetoric.

Arguably, many of modern-day socio-economic, political, and environmental issues are horrendously complex and can only be addressed effectively (one hopes) through collective agreement and action, on a global and international level even. This, in turn, can only be achieved by breaking with tribal partisan politics of right and wrong and winners and losers.

Kindness in itself and by itself does not and will not solve anything. However, it is not the end; it is a means, a start and first step on a path to building and mending bridges and consensus, to make allies, if not friends, and work together in unison.

Unfortunately, many have grown impatient or lost faith (and hope!). Many are not big on words but they want to see action, change, results, and today rather than tomorrow, next year or 2025. There may not be enough action but Ardern may be embodying something that appeals to many, particularly on the Left if the latest approval ratings are anything to go by – for a counterview, you only have to visit right-leaning blogs that purport to support free speech and read the comments there. Ardern’s kindness might be part of that embodiment. Action and results are important but they (have to) originate from somewhere and are usually the creation or product of labour by many.

Can you like someone whose policies or ideology you cannot stand? Difficult perhaps. Can you like them if they have no policies of substance, deliver little, or make few changes or only minor ones that don’t upset the status quo? Quite possibly. I think this might be part of the reason for the appeal of John Key and Jacinda Ardern; it is called political capital with the voters and people. Of course, for Jeremy Corbyn it was different and the media did not play any role in the intense public dislike of him; they were merely reporting and doing their job.

Perception and feeling seem to trump reality. In more than one way, it is the thought that counts.

70 comments on “It Is the Thought That Counts”

  1. Descendant Of Smith 1

    There is a perfidious school of thought common amongst modern management philosophies that is explicitly stated by senior managers as "perception is reality".

    This represents a detached lazy way of thinking that simply justifies the managers own world views, ensures that style dominates over substance, ensures conformity of thinking and group-speak, and talks about leadership over management as an ideal. People who say the right things are desired, people who do the right things are not.

    When people perceived the earth was flat, flat it was not. When people read tone in an email or a web-post 9 times out of 10 there was none.

    This thinking is what partly leads to the spread of mis-information e.g. anti-vax, anti-5G, anti-big pharma, the blaming of government for private sector failure and so on.

    This seemed to start rearing it's ugly head, in my lifetime anyway, in the 80's when there seemed to a deliberate shift in blaming the government for business failures rather than the executives who ran the business. There was in my view a deliberate shift to change the perception of why business failed from the right.

    At the same time there was a fundamental shift, also by the right, to blame individuals for their plight / laud them for their success rather than the societal settings that enabled people to thrive.

    The left too was tied up in perception changing – women were equal, being gay was not a life-style choice, racism was inherent in our systems and processes – both institutional and personal racism.

    Somewhere in all this mix the balance between emotion and fact got lost. Perception seems to these days much more strongly linked to emotional response – rather than an absence of knowledge that existed when it was perceived the earth was flat (or the heart controlled the body, etc).

    And so we are left with a whole lot of Jacinda supporters who are focussed on the  style and the intent as per modern management thinking who feel she is doing a terrific job, and another group of people who look at what has actually been delivered and say not so hot.

    Like or dislike are interesting concepts. My wife and I shared a mutual dislike for John Key. He came across as smarmy, uncaring, and venal to both of us. I'd remembered him from the item on him as a four-ex trader (link below) where I thought the same. We both like Jacinda but I liked Helen Clark while my wife couldn't stand her. I like Winston Peters – she does not.

    It's not possible to operate and function as a human being purely through logic and fact – emotions are necessary as part of the decision making process. I just think that the pendulum has swung way too far away from facts and far too far towards emotion – the "perception equals reality" concept is meant to reinforce the emotional response mechanisms and reinforce individual blame (as is the more recent variant"it is what it is") e.g. you have to change their perception – not "yeah well their perceptions are pretty fucked up". It's a deference to authority.

    Love + fear = conformity – how gangs, cults, marketers, modern management and churches all operate. Somehow I have, maybe an unrealistic expectation, that the politicians cut through that by ensuring good quality research is looked at, facts are obtained, that democracy is for all the people and not just the majority.

    On that basis I can't give a pass mark. The substance is not there yet even when facts and evidence have been gathered e.g. WEAG and lifting benefit rates. The style not a problem.

    Here's the young John Key.



    • Anne 1.1

      We both like Jacinda but I liked Helen Clark while my wife couldn't stand her. I like Winston Peters – she does not.

      An interesting side-track about Helen Clark DOS:

      I knew Helen quite well at the start of her political life in the 1970s and early 1980s so I can talk with some knowledge of that period.

      Your wife was among a number of women who disliked Helen and indeed at one point I wasn't too sure of her either. She came across in those early times as brittle and defensive and years later I understood the reason why.

      The smearing and demeaning – and  I might add downright lies – began before she entered parliament and spread quickly through the electorate of Mt. Albert. The aim of the exercise was to spread sufficient suspicion to knock her out of contention – first as a nominee and then as the selected candidate. I came to know who the culprits were and, to my horror, included a former friend who used me to gather insider information.  The same garbage was reinvented further down the track when she became leader and finally PM and spread throughout the country.

      In other words, she had to contend with a lot more obnoxious behaviour than any other aspiring politician before or since, and she had to quickly grow a very thick skin in order to survive. It came across as domineering to many people and they disliked her.

      For me, her greatest legacy is: she may not have been the first woman PM, but she was the one who paved the way for women generally to be able to aspire to the highest offices in the land and achieve them.

      That is how I believe history will portray her.

      • Descendant Of Smith 1.1.1

        My wife doesn't follow politics in the least and wasn't influenced by any of that. She instinctively disliked her. Sometimes it is that simple.

        • Anne 1.1.1.1

          Ahhh, as someone who did not follow politics that would be the case. But for those that did from the 1980s … my analogy fits for many of them.

      • Heather Grimwood 1.1.2

        to  Anne  at  1.1  :  Indeed  Helen had to  put  up with  disgusting  behaviour  as  did  several  women  M.P.s  of  that  time.  I  belonged  to  that strong  organising  group  of  LP  women  in  Auckland  in  1980's  and  90's all of  us  well  aware of  that  dirty  cruel  behaviour.

        Indeed  I guess  it  still goes  on  though  not  getting  into the  media. It certainly happened  in  Dunedin  an  election  or two ago  to  me  as  an activist  and  to  at  least one  woman M.P. in  region.

        Whether  misogyny  or  politics  or  both  is  behind this  behaviour  who  would  know?  One can  but  feel  sad  for  the  strange personalities  who  do  such things.

        • Anne 1.1.2.1

          Whether  misogyny  or  politics  or  both  is  behind this  behaviour  who  would  know?

          It was both but I think politics was the principal cause. The group responsible back in the 70s and the first half of the 80s was small and I came to realise in later years they were probably not genuine members. Some of their conduct was sufficiently unlawful to have warranted a police investigation into all their activities but it never happened.

          I dropped out of politics in 1983 because of the nastiness and didn’t return until 2002. I believe they were all gone from the party by around the mid to late 1980s.

          • Heather Grimwood 1.1.2.1.1

            to  Anne  at  1.2.1.1 :  I  saw  rife  misogyny  Anne  some  I  suspect  innate  but  some  frighteningly  to  me  propounded  from  stage  in  speeches  i.e.  actual  verbal  personal attacks. 

            It  was  for  political reasons  of  course  but  as  for  the  really  filthy  stuff  and  packages,  who  would  know  the  senders?   only that  immature  personalities  were/are behind  such.

    • Jenny How to get there 1.2

      Descendant Of Smith

      28 December 2019 at 6:48 am

      There is a perfidious school of thought common amongst modern management philosophies that is explicitly stated by senior managers as "perception is reality"…..

      With human beings, perception is everything.

      There was a scene in the docudrama Chernobyl where the actor playing Mikhail Gorbachev, (the soon to be last leader of the Soviet Union), addresses those responsible for the Chernobyl disaster  and says;

      “Our power, comes from the perception of our power. Do you know how much damage you have done?”

      The Soviet Union was perceived to be wanting and failing by its citizens. It didn’t last much longer.

      Human beings are perceptive by nature, it whats sets us apart from the rest of creation.

      We create our reality from what we perceive. 

      No other creature has this power.

    • Formerly Ross 1.3

      This thinking is what partly leads to the spread of mis-information e.g. anti-vax, anti-5G, anti-big pharma, the blaming of government for private sector failure and so on.

      I'm not sure how this "thinking" has any relationship with your conclusion. Some people choose not to vaccinate – that is their choice to which they are entitled. Even some health professionals choose not to vaccinate. I'm sure they have very good reasons for doing so. That doesn't necessarily include misinformation; it’s simply a choice which has come about due to their knowledge and professional experience.

      https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/10/29/876340/are-unimmunised-hospital-workers-putting-us-at-risk

      https://healthcentral.nz/doctors-still-outstripping-nurses-for-getting-seasonal-flu-jab/

       

      • Descendant Of Smith 1.3.1

        I know people including relations who are adamant that vaccines cause autism. It's factual that they do not, it's their perception that they do. Two people I know recently told me that the moon landings did not happen. That's not a fact but they perceive it to be true.

        There are two meanings to perception – one relates to sensory input, the other is a belief or opinion. "Perception is reality" belongs to the second definition

        "Perceptive in nature" refers to the first definition.

        The beliefs some people have (perceive) show how easily perception can be manipulated. Magicians and charlatans have known this for many years. Perception doesn't create reality. Optical illusions are another example.

    • Formerly Ross 1.4

      We both like Jacinda but I liked Helen Clark while my wife couldn't stand her

      Well, Clark certainly displayed a certain arrogance which wasn't becoming of her position. She was given a free copy of Lynley Hood's award-winning book A City Possessed but later confessed to not having read it as she was too busy (climbing mountains was time-consuming). She made the comment in a radio interview with John Dunne.

      NB I would love to link to her comment but http://www.peterellis.org.nz is currently down.

  2. New view 2

    The article is philosophical when it doesn’t need to be. It wasn’t hard to write a long list of social reforms that this country badly needs. It was inevitable that the introduction of a young intelligent female who speaks well and tells us how our lives will change for the better, would tip the balance of power her way. To get power she had to out promise the opposition. To me Labour was a little too greedy for the chance of power and promised too much. Of course MMP did the rest, slowing down decision making and watering down good policy. Let’s not complicate the issues. Inexperience has been the big factor here. Over promising on policy from a Coalition that was not prepared enough to initiate those policies. If you think they deserve another chance you’ll vote for them. The question is do they and she, deserve another chance. 

    • Herodotus 2.1

      Perhaps, talents can be substituted for political capital. Sure the change to JA into leader of Labour increased the govts political capital BUT this capital has to be “spent”, what is the use of unused political capital because one day there will be a change of govt. and it nothing but marginal change occurs what really does change 🤔
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_talents_or_minas

    • Ed1 2.2

      Sometimes we need a bit of deep thinking, but we should not expect our view to be the only "correct" view. I suspect most readers of The Standard would agree with say 85% of what you say, but the remaining 15% is important. It has been said that on policy issues, National and Labour possibly agree on 70% of legislation put forward  – but that 30% may cause small agreements in nearly every bill. You say that to get power Jacinda had to out promise the opposition. First Jacinda did not set all policy – she may have been very influential, but the party set policy, and changes during the campaign would also have been agreed by a smaller group. Secondly, she stated what Labour's goals would be if elected. Labour was not elected (and neither was any other party). The second 'test' of our political parties was who could form a coalition. That 'test' was won by Labour, NZ First and The Green Party. They now form a coalition Government, but  it is a fairly "open" coalition. We know a fair bit about the compromises made in discussions between the three parties, and sometimes even different views within the parties. The important thing to realise is that any one party in the coalition can stop any policy change, but they will not get 'their' pet projects through without getting agreement from both other parties. For that reason, election "promises" made by any single party are not "promises" made by the current government. 

      When I see "The rhetoric coming from the CoL Government is frustrating many…" I see that the National; propaganda machine is working as expected. _All_ parties were "losers" in the election – none gained enough seats to govern alone – but only National and ACT were "losers" in the subsequent determination of government – that took a leader that has been prepared to give the other parties room; that is prepared to swallow disappointment with the relatively few Labour priorities where agreement was not able to be obtained, and to act as the true leader of a coalition team, while still acknowledging that she is also the Leader of the parliamentary Labour team.

      Similarly not "measuring up to promises" is of course cherry picked by National – they will endeavour to identify areas where the three parties do not agree and try to exploit that for the image they are peddling. In reality, no plan survives the first engagement; our financial position has been affected by the discoveries of neglect that were not as evident while National were in charge; the government has done well in some very important issues, but  yes they do have to pay some attention to the policies put forward by all three parties pre-election, and they also have to act responsibly with the country's finances. Of all the achievements, the most important was probably not proceeding with the tax cuts put in place by National – indeed National may have deferred those themselves as we really could not have afforded them. 

  3. pat 3

    Politics is unsurprisingly like those that created it…people . Its is both rational and intuitive and the degree of either varies at a personal level….just as the degree of passion or indifference varies.

  4. pat 4

    I shall apologise in advance for taking your post off on a tangent (but it has started a train of thought I believe relevant).

    Our current dilemma is the inevitable result of a lack of resources, accentuated, as always,  by the inequitable distribution. The difference this time is that no matter how they are distributed there is insufficient so we are merely delaying the inevitable and consequently there is a clamouring to grab as much of what remains while it is still possible…when enough of us realise the proverbial will really hit the fan.

     Politicians are the doctors who are charged with giving us the bad news (a job they were probably unaware of when they applied) and they are struggling to break it to us…and their bedside manner counts ….but it dosnt change the prognosis.

    • New view 4.1

      Pat, the resource we do have at the moment is enough money to initiate SOME good policy. Do we have the politicians  in this Coalition that are capable of initiating it. Good ideas and promises to achieve is one thing. Actually delivering, it seems, is one step too far. 

  5. "……….and the massively inert State apparatus"

    That's a really diplomatic way of putting in @Incognito in many cases.

    And yes, there seems to be an expectation JA has to be some kind of Wonder Woman on call 24hrs-a-day/7days-a-week

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    The problem is not new. Whether we call it sensibility or jen, the virtues that can bring us together as humans are central elements of enlightened governance.

    Through cultivation of jen – of the capacity for empathy, humaneness, deep humanity – a truly "superior" human being emerges. Confucianism gives the term junzi to such superior human beings – a truly perfected person. Junzi are not perfect in the sense that they never make mistakes, but in the sense that their moral character is true, their intentions are pure, and their actions are disciplined and aligned with that moral character. ~ Confucius 

    In an age when the great religions are falling away, and the very idea of truth is under repeated assault, the space in the political sphere for such concepts would not seem to be great. But the very emptiness of this ethical vacuum calls for fulfillment, making ethics more effective as a political strategy than it would be in an electoral 'marketplace' saturated with virtue. It's Liebig's law – the least abundant variable having a disproportionate effect size.

    But there are two obstacles to realizing a professed kindness policy. The first is legacy injustices, be they funding for health or disability issues, or the corruption that permitted Maori to be dispossessed of lands and fisheries and foreshores. Many of these matters tend to become hidden as previous policy decisions are presumed to be just in spite of evidence to the contrary, and paradigms like neoliberalism or the inane worship of GDP without localised benefit breakdowns continue to create injustice and impoverish us even while governments aspire to resolve them.

    And then there are the liars and the freeloaders. It is possible to establish human connections with insincere people and parties, but it is not easy. Trying is a good way to get ripped off, or have a nervous breakdown, or both. 

    The climate disaster may present an opportunity. Humans come together in grief because death is a great uniting tragedy, one in which there is nothing to envy. But I am not sanguine – the local political scene is notable for Yahoos, not Houyhnhnms

     

     

     

     

  7. Descendant Of Smith 7

    In terms of wealth there is more than enough money in the world to feed and clothe and house people.

    https://www.worldometers.info/gdp/gdp-per-capita/

    It's the distribution of that wealth that is the issue. No different in New Zealand. We are 32nd in the world for GDP per capita with purchasing power taken into account.

    There's enough wealth around to support everyone. It is what makes this governments action to remove underage spouses from NZS seem stingy and the proposed raising of the NZS age even more so – happily proposed by as always those who can live without it.

    Prosperity is a very recent achievement that distinguishes the last 10 or 20 generations from all of their ancestors. In 2016, the average GDP per capita was 14,574 international-$ – more than 10-times the average of the past.

    It is often the case that progress creates inequality between regions because it is not happening equally as fast everywhere. If we compare the economic prosperity of every region today with any earlier time we see that every single region is richer than ever before in its history. Though the economies in some regions are more productive than others, every region is doing better than ever before.

    https://ourworldindata.org/economic-growth

    • pat 7.1

      there is not enough resources for all the fabricated money in the world to purchase…not for 7.5 billion ….remove any significant factor of our current supply chain and we cannot provide….and many of those factors are on the verge of collapse.

      You may suggest if those that have too much had less then those that have insufficient will then have enough ignores the fact that the system that has created 7.5 billion human beings is unsustainable and ipso facto will not continue to sustain them.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1

        There is an equilibrium being reached in terms of population growth.

        We are on the way to a new balance. The big global demographic transition that the world entered more than two centuries ago is then coming to an end: This new equilibrium is different from the one in the past when it was the very high mortality that kept population growth in check. In the new balance it will be low fertility keeps population changes small.

        https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth

  8. Siobhan 8

    . "Of course, for Jeremy Corbyn it was different and the media did not play any role in the intense public dislike of him; they were merely reporting and doing their job…'..round these parts you might need to mark this as sarcasm..at least I hope so…

     

  9. Sacha 9

    the CoL Government

    @incognito, what does 'CoL' mean to you?

    • Incognito 9.1

      NZLP + NZF + GP = CoL, IMO.

      • In Vino 9.1.1

        I always assumed CoL stood for the Righties'  'Coalition of Losers'  insult.

        • Incognito 9.1.1.1

          It seems we have been here before: /open-mike-15-06-2018/#comment-1494139

          I’m SoSo for the confusion. In my defence, I don’t think I’d be assumed a righty throwing around insults here – I’d give myself a stern Moderator warning if that were the case.

        • Red Blooded One 9.1.1.2

          That's exactly how it's been used by the "righties" here and elsewhere, and personally I find it offensive to read it, particularly here. John Banks was a regular at calling people Losers and it is a disgraceful term to call people you disagree with. IMO. But then, I'm a Woke Snowflake apparently. laugh

        • Sacha 9.1.1.3

          I always assumed CoL stood for the Righties’ ‘Coalition of Losers’ insult.

          Same. Effective repetition if it has sunk in here.

        • McFlock 9.1.1.4

          heh – I don't recall that one. Not as catchy as "the biggest loser", though 😉

        • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1.5

          No no, it definitely stands for Coalition of Labour angel

  10. Sacha 10

    Anecdotally…

  11. Peter 11

    Kindness counts. To some.  Aiming to inspire counts. To some.

    Then again there are some who believe that the world is a play field for Strike Force Raptor mentalities.  A world where a PM is responsible for micro-managing everything and everyone. A stomping tromping chomping beast ploughing through and sorting out what needs to be sorted out.

    People fearful that the boots will smash down on them? A mere incidental, a by-product of the necessary being done. Utopia is the aim – what's a bit of dystopia on the way? 

    Crusher Collins seems to have been sidelined and won't lead the charge. She would have been perfect for what some see as the role. 

    The backroom PR wallahs will be working hard on an ear-cathching moniker for Simon, the opposites of 'simple'  with Simon or 'brainy' with Bridges discarded early. When you want the zazz of 'Mad Max' but have to attach it to Chris Luxon, Mark Mitchell or Paula Bennett their work is cut out.

     

  12. Sacha 12

    Big frames like 'delivery' seem to be wielded better in our political discourse by the right than the left. It takes coordination, repetition – and resources.

    Maybe it’s partly willingness to collectively follow a lead?

    • Ed1 12.1

      Formulaic social media attacks may well be assisted by 32 "communications"staff – is that indeed how many Simon employs?

  13. David Mac 13

    All that's wrong with capitalism is that it lacks kindness. Kindness towards others and the planet. Fortunately it's becoming culturally fashionable to give a damn about outcomes other than a few stacking cash.

    Kindness is not about opening up immigration to all and sundry. I agree with Bill Gates, it's about inviting the newly arrived Somalians up on the corner to the street party. We all just want to feel comfortable, safe and loved. Delivering that is what kindness is about.

     

    • McFlock 13.1

      That was what Marx was on about when he talked about "alienation": capitalism encourages and rewards people who view others and even themselves as income-producing commodities, rather than human beings. Sell your children, exploit your neighbours, extort work from your employees… this is the behaviour rewarded by capitalism, which any human instinct of kindness or empathy directly contradicts.

      Even social sanction and ostracism against such behaviour runs against capitalist motivations, the true capitalist/sociopath would still toady up to them and curry favour from the despotic plutocrat.

      I don't think the mad dog of capitalism can ever be shot (e.g. black markets rise up), but it needs to be kept muzzled and on a short leash.

    • joe90 13.2

      All that's wrong with capitalism is that it lacks kindness.

      Yeah, the lack of kindness is the problem.

      /

       

    • Puckish Rogue 13.3

      Not wanting to get philosophical (because thats way out of my comfort zone) but I think capitalism has the potential to be the most kind of the current political options

      • Dennis Frank 13.3.1

        Faith will get you anywhere.  🙄

        But really, options cannot be kind.  Only people can.  Ideologies or systems lack the capacity to be human.  Sure, there's the influential conceit that corporations are legal humans, as confirmed mid-19th century by the US Supreme Court.  That perception is up against human nature, however.  Take a guess who wins that battle!  Hands up all who have experienced a kind corporation in real life (looks around, can't see any hands in the air)…

        • solkta 13.3.1.1

          Legal persons not legal humans. Maybe have a think about the difference. In law there are natural persons and juridical persons.

          • Dennis Frank 13.3.1.1.1

            I suspect you're a lawyer.  Not being one, I can't tell the difference between a person and a human.  I suspect that makes me a typically human person…  wink

            • Incognito 13.3.1.1.1.1

              There is a subtle difference between a personalised and a humanised number plate. One is legally permitted and the other one is not, AFAIK. Only lawyers can tell the difference.

  14. Jenny How to get there 14

    Talking about perception….

    …The consensus in polite society is that Jacinda Ardern is a wonderful person and we would be churlish to tarnish her Wikipedia page by voting her out after a single term.

    This may be true, but if the adage that oppositions don't win elections, governments lose them is true, then Ardern's toast is about to get burnt……

    ……Like Trump, she lost the vote, but the intricacies of the electoral system delivered her into office. This could happen again, but it probably won't.

    At this point, I think Ardern is better than even money to lose next year. Meanwhile most media commentators have been blindsided by their enthusiasm for her abundant personal qualities and have engaged a wilful blindness to the failings of her administration. 

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/118434794/i-bet-2020-will-bring-a-recession-and-a-change-of-government-in-nz-and-the-united-states

    Compare Jacinda Ardern's slightly fading star to the rising star of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

     

    The AOC effect

    ….She believes voters are tired of pragmatism and consensus-building. Her campaign resonated, she argues, because of her uncompromising clarity of vision. ​​​​​​​

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/24/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-aoc-first-year-congress?fbclid=IwAR2U_lWvcNwQPQbxj2PFE05aSlBjGc8Wjoey6PPpITcoCgjnsBbieevph-I

    Related:

    Why consensus stinks!

    /open-mike-26-05-2019/#comment-1621165

     

    Consensus muffles the sound of ideologies clashing

    /open-mike-26-05-2019/#comment-1621169

     
    “uncompromising clarity of vision…”

    History shows that a leader convinced of the rightness of their cause and with the confidence to get up and openly and courageously fight for it, can win over a majority from a minority position.

    /open-mike-26-05-2019/#comment-1621160

     

    • Puckish Rogue 14.1

      I'm no fan of Jacinda Ardern but she is just so much better (education, elocution, empathy, achievements) than AOC its not even close

      Now Tulsi Gabbard is someone to get behind…



       

       

      • Jenny How to get there 14.1.1

        Tulsi Gabbard disqualifies herself for her open support for genocidal Assad style fascism.

    • bwaghorn 14.2

      Shock horror Damian Grant rights negative story about Ardern!!

      • Jenny How to get there 14.2.1

        bwaghorn

        29 December 2019 at 8:34 am

        Shock horror Damian Grant rights negative story about Ardern!!

        Hi waghorn,

        Shooting the messenger is not enough.

        I grant you, Damion Grant is a right-wing commentator, but does his message have validity?

        Is the Ardern administration sleepwalking to defeat as Grant insists?

        Is it in need of a wake up call?

        Something different?

        Something to galvanise the electorate?

        To take Damion Grant’s betting analogy a little further;

        The stakes are high.

        And believe me the very last thing I want to see is Damion Grant collecting on his bet.

        • bwaghorn 14.2.1.1

          Its actually up to the greens and nzf to ensure they do enough to stay above 5% and labour appears to be giving them enough room for them to stay relevant.  

          I'm probably the wrong person to ask if labour is doing a good job because i think that nats are so fucked up that anyone is better than them . 

          Their biggest problem is they over promised.  

          But houses ate getting built . Wages are rising .

          Climate change has been put front and center.  There is a massive difference between the greens talking cc ,and the leader of parliament making it a part of her 1st speech as pm . 

          Hell i might even vote for them if they dont wedge rural nz again 

          • Ed1 14.2.1.1.1

            "Their biggest problem is they over promised."

            I do not believe that – see my post at 2.2 above, but among the "promises"were to not raise taxes in the first term, and to be responsible about borrowing. Within that, progress can be expected on other goals, and in general it has been. The argument is about semantics, sherry picking and misrepresenting "promises"- especially those that were not fixed and could not be fixed within the first 100 days . . .

            We could do with rational analysis of why food banks are busier despite increases to minimum wage and benefits . . .  but some will see that as just indicating the failure of increasing benefits . . .

    • [Alexandria Ocario-Cortez]  believes voters are tired of pragmatism and consensus-building…

      NZ has an MMP electoral system. People who reject pragmatism and consensus-building are unlikely to find themselves running governments here.  And good so.

    • ……Like Trump, [Ardern] lost the vote, but the intricacies of the electoral system delivered her into office. This could happen again, but it probably won't.

      Grant is peddling a comically bullshit right-wing meme here.  To the extent that the above applies to Ardern's government, it applies to every post-MMP government in NZ, and even more so to governments under the old FPP system (eg "popular" Rob Muldoon's crushing 1978 victory, in which his party got 40% of the vote and opposition parties 56%).  I'm surprised you'd re-post such a steaming turd here.

  15. Jenny How to get there 15

    “It’s a contested theory of change”

    Kindness in itself and by itself does not and will not solve anything. However, it is not the end; it is a means, a start and first step on a path to building and mending bridges and consensus, to make allies, if not friends, and work together in unison…..

    Incognito

    It Is the Thought That Counts

    She [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] believes voters are tired of pragmatism and consensus-building. Her campaign resonated, she argues, because of her uncompromising clarity of vision. It’s a contested theory of change that she shares with the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders…..

    Lauren Gambino

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/24/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-aoc-first-year-congress?fbclid=IwAR2U_lWvcNwQPQbxj2PFE05aSlBjGc8Wjoey6PPpITcoCgjnsBbieevph-I

    • Dennis Frank 15.1

      Obviously it's her "clarity of vision" that caused her to attack Pelosi, eh?  "It was not the first time Pelosi has dismissed the left’s influence – she once referred to the Green New Deal as the “green dream” – but this remark drew an unsparing response. Ocasio-Cortez retorted that the ability to shift public sentiment was proof of her power, and later said that Pelosi was “singling out … newly elected women of color”. This infuriated allies of Pelosi, especially members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who said Ocasio-Cortez had gone too far."

      In leftist politics, the enemy within is always the real threat.  Stalin kept having to do extensive clean-outs.  Here, John A. Lee got booted.  Later, Rogernomes ruled awhile, then got eliminated.

      "When you’re from a working-class background it often feels like you’re just one disaster away from everything falling apart".  That's a primary theme in Bruce Springsteen's autobiography (Born To Run).  It explains why the middle-class takeover on the left has caused the lower class to vamoose.  We in the middle do complacency, not desperation…

      • Jenny How to get there 15.1.1

        Dennis Frank

        29 December 2019 at 9:04 am

        Obviously it's her "clarity of vision" that caused her to attack Pelosi, eh?

        Freshman orientation in November 2018 had only just begun when the most high-profile member of the incoming House Democratic class broke away from her new colleagues to join climate activists for a protest – inside House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

        “She’s gotten a lot done by challenging the status quo – by taking on politics as usual in Washington,” said Caroline Fredrickson, the president emerita of the American Constitution Society and author of the upcoming book The AOC Way…..

        …….Last cycle, she raised more money than any other House Democrat, including Pelosi.

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/24/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-aoc-first-year-congress?fbclid=IwAR2U_lWvcNwQPQbxj2PFE05aSlBjGc8Wjoey6PPpITcoCgjnsBbieevph-I

        Everything has changed.

        Right-wing populists are taking power, Brazil to Chili, the US to the UK, by challenging discredited establishment politics, while traditional Left parties and politicians are floundering around in their wake trying to find the middle ground.

        There is a popular hunger for uncompromising left-wing populists like AOC willing to take on the establishment and who can put up a credible alternative to the nightmarish program of the right. 

        A vision that accepts no compromise or consensus with its opponents.
         

    • Heather Grimwood 15.2

      To  Jenny  at  15  :  Bit  belated,  but  kindness  surely  indicates  perception  of  the  recipient's  need/s,  and is  the  motivator  of  the  fairly  distributed  social  activity  required  of  a  government..

  16. Dennis Frank 16

    "It’s the thought that counts is a sentiment that parents impress upon their children when presents do not live up to their expectations. The proverb is credited to Henry van Dyke Jr., a professor at Princeton University, an ambassador to the Netherlands and Luxembourg, a Presbyterian clergyman who chaired the committee that printed The Book of Common Worship of 1906, the first printed Presbyterian liturgy, and was a friend to Helen Keller, as well as the officiant at Mark Twain’s funeral. Also a writer and poet, van Dyke coined the aphorism: “It is not the gift, but the thought that counts.”   https://grammarist.com/proverb/its-the-thought-that-counts/

    Not evidently related to politics, but your spin comes across well!  "thought – word – deed"  You haven't really elaborated, eh?  I suspect it was a visual device to elicit consciousness-raising from the reader.  If so, apt.

    Except that the flow from thoughts through words into actions is sporadic, oft interrupted, often ineffective – even when implemented.  Praxis is the next level up, which few achieve.  It requires self-discipline. 

    Practice makes perfect is the other relevant aphorism, but praxis does not require perfection, merely repetitive behaviour directed to the achievement of a goal.  In traditional politics, this takes the form of persuading voters to elect the best candidate.  Since the best is a subjective judgment, that requires making people believe they ought to do what they are told.  Otherwise known as pushing shit uphill…  🙄

  17. Jackel 17

    Not going far enough or fast enough. Well there are factors constraining them. I'd rather they were in government and doing something rather than out of it and doing nothing. 

    Broadly they are following left principles of democracy, liberty, community and equality whether of identity or economic means. 

  18. mauī 18

    Key the odious Capitalist.

    Ardern the kind Socialist.

    Ed the wonderful Stalinist – the most endearing of all.

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