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The power of compassionate politics

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, March 20th, 2019 - 205 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Donald Trump, human rights, immigration, International, jacinda ardern, labour, leadership, Politics, us politics - Tags:

Exceptional leaders are those who leave their mark. They stand on clear principles, they effect change and they make the world a better place.

Labour has had a few, Michael Joseph Savage (of course), Norm Kirk for too short a time, David Lange (I can smell the uranium on your breath) despite the rogernomes, and more recently there was Helen Clark.

And to their ranks can be added Jacinda Ardern.

Clearly I am biased but in saying this I am doing nothing more than repeating what is being said throughout the world.  Jacinda Ardern has been extraordinary in her handling of the Christchurch Mosque attack crisis.  

In fact, and I do not say this lightly, she has been Micky Savage quality in her handling of the crisis.

Suzanne Moore in the Guardian has remarked how the last week has completely dispelled the notion, previously fostered by the right, that Ardern has no substance. She said this:

[Ardern] has communicated quickly and immediately, giving New Zealanders as much information as she could. She has given them a language in which to talk about the unspeakable, to vocalise the shock and sadness.

 “They are us,” she said simply of the dead and wounded.

The “othering” of Muslims as separate, as somehow different, as not quite belonging, was felled in one swoop.

“They are us.”

New Zealand had been chosen because it was safe, because it was no place for hatred or racism. “Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.”

These values would not be shaken by the murders. To the killer, she said with absolute clarity: “You may have chosen us – we utterly reject and condemn you.”

Moore’s concluding words are powerful:

Māori doing their immensely powerful hakas, Ardern’s face full of sorrow but also fearlessness, ordinary citizens with aftershocks of expression of love and bravery – this will stay with me. Martin Luther King said genuine leaders did not search for consensus but moulded it.
Ardern has moulded a different consensus, demonstrating action, care, unity. Terrorism sees difference and wants to annihilate it. Ardern sees difference and wants to respect it, embrace it and connect with it. Here is an agnostic showing that love will dismantle hate. This is leadership, this light she shines, guiding us though to a world where we see the best of us as well as the worst.

The progressive world clearly think that she is an alternative to and the opposite of Donald Trump. And their handling of not dissimilar crises shows why.

An early test for Trump was Charleston, where a bunch of skinheads had been allowed to publicly protest.

The left maintained a counter protest. Things became ugly and 70 people were hurt in skirmishes. A young progressive woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and many others were injured when a white supremacist, James Alex Fields Jr, rammed his car into a group of counter protesters.

When asked to condemn what happened Donald Trump did something extraordinary, he suggested that the fascists were in moral terms just the same as the counter protesters, despite Heyer’s death.

Trump falsely suggested equivalence when he made the claim that there was “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides”. He also talked about “very fine people on both sides”.

He was roasted.

It is not as if this is a one off. Trump has made a feature of his career the attacking of Muslims.

His latest nonsense is to defend a former Fox News host who was that obnoxious about a Muslim member of the House of Representatives that Fox took her off air. It appears that even the Fox Network has standards.

From Washington Post:

Jeanine Pirro, the Fox News host and former prosecutor, was absent from her usual slot in the network’s Saturday night prime-time lineup — and her most powerful viewer was not happy about it.

Fox News bumped the show a week after it publicly condemned Pirro’s on-air suggestion that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) did not support the U.S. Constitution because she is Muslim and wears a hijab.

“Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro,” President Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

Trump accused Pirro’s critics of waging “all out campaigns” against Pirro and fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who was widely rebuked after decade-old racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments resurfaced last week. Both of their comments prompted some advertisers to boycott the shows.

“Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down,” Trump said in another tweet, before issuing a curiously dire warning to “Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!”

Ardern is clearly the opposite to Trump.

Yesterday in Parliament she reinforced this.

Her earlier response to Trump’s offer of condolences after the Mosque massacre was brilliant:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told US President Donald Trump the best help he could provide in the wake of the Christchurch attack would be sympathy and love for Muslim communities.

Ardern spoke to Trump on the phone early on Saturday morning ahead of flying to Christchurch, which is reeling after an attack on two mosques left at 49 dead. She said Trump passed on his condolences, and asked if there was any help the United States could provide.

“He asked what offer of support the United States could provide. My message was: ‘Sympathy and love for all Muslim communities,'” Ardern said.

Imagine the strange place where we are at when a leader asking for sympathy and love for all Muslim communities is regarded as an exquisite burn on the President of the United States.

The current situation is extremely fragile.  Poor leadership would cause scars.  Trump like leadership would be disastrous.

Thankfully we have Jacinda.

205 comments on “The power of compassionate politics”

  1. David Mac 1

    Yes, countering hate with hate just leaves us with twice as much.

    Violence begets violence.

    To a degree I initially bought into the ‘Jacinda is a lightweight’ sentiment. I was very very wrong. I am so very pleased she leads our country. Thank-you for being there for us Jacinda.

    • Heather Grimwood 1.1

      No-one can say more…thank you MS and David Mac.

      • You_fool 1.1.1

        Oh they still do… latest lines by the worst of the right wing trolls on social media is that Jacinda just has good speech writers and drama coaches and she is all fake… absolute bullshit of course, but you try talking sense to those who think that way…

  2. Ankerrawshark 2

    I think she and Mickey savage best ever

  3. Ad 3

    +100 Mickey.

    We are a very small star, but most weirdly we are shining brightly.

  4. SHG 4

    I didn’t party- or candidate-vote Labour at the last election, but I have nothing bad to say about the way the PM has comported herself during the past five days. She’s been the leader the country has needed, and she’s done us all proud.

  5. Hongi Ika 5

    She is street’s ahead of any other Leader in NZ she actually engages the brain b4 she put’s her mouth into gear.

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    I would agree with everything that has been said.

    It is difficult to say anything is good at times like this, but if there is one positive it is how our politicians and nation have come together as one to condemn this.

    We are all incredibly saddened by what has happened so coming together from both sides of the political divide and showing love and empathy has made my broken heart feel just a little bit better.

    There are always a small number who will target specific people and lay blame but by and large we have all treated each other beautifully and been lead brilliantly by the Prime Minister,

  7. Paaparakauta 7

    We are indeed lucky to have Jacinda as Prime Minister in these circumstances.
    She is young, resilient, creative, concerned about people, as well as being an effective political leader at a time of national crisis and mourning.

    She is also a young Mum.

    If there is one thing she still has to learn, I think, is the need to responsibly delegate, pace herself, and look after her own physical and mental health in a process which may take a long time to resolve and still have unexpected ramifications.

    Cabinet has collective responsibility. Other people must step up to take leading roles in a team effort allowing her to spend time with Neve and step back from crisis management to consider broader issues of governance and replenish herself.

    It’s not a sprint .. it’s a marathon.

  8. Glenn 8

    She is doing a great job.

  9. Bewildered 9

    Let’s not get to carried away people

    she has done a good job but just actions that any leader would have done with half decent EQ and IQ plus advisors Not sure approach and signalling on Gun policy was all that smart, agree or disagree with policy many of these guns will now go under ground after uptick in purchase hence a bit silly really if her goal was to remove such guns from society Like kiwi build etc she does display a lack of awareness to detail and unintended consequences

    • McFlock 9.1

      Half decent EQ and IQ. Lots of leaders have one. The orange abomination has neither. Ardern has both at 100%.

      Responsible gun owners will stay within the law. the guns that “go underground” should never have been sold to those people in the first place. At least it will stop so many new ones being sold to irresponsible gun owners.

    • SpaceMonkey 9.2

      I’m not so sure. I have wondered on a couple of occasions now, had National won the election how would’ve Bill English or even John Key have handled it? I don’t think they would come anywhere near close to Jacinda Ardern’s handling of this. I was already weeping to the news coming through by the time Jacinda held the press conference… and to see and hear her visibly and audibly shaking while showing incredible aroha, compassion and strength… that was a human “being”.

      As someone highlighted in another blog post, the difference is that National don’t have any leaders… they’re managers and as such they don’t have the moral fortitude or ethical strength to guide them in moments like this without the focus groups, data, etc. I didn’t vote for Jacinda but I am very grateful that she is our leader at this time.

      • Mark 9.2.1

        had National won the election how would’ve Bill English or even John Key have handled it?

        I think it is easier for a woman full stop to be able to convey the sort of empathy and sympathy in the way that Jacinda has been doing.

        Women are biologically designed to be naturally caring and nurturing. For men it is harder to bring that side out, at least in a public way, no matter how they feel on the inside.

        • solkta 9.2.1.1

          Women are biologically designed to be naturally caring and nurturing.

          Oh, who designed them like that? Utter bollocks i say. Toxic masculinity, a cultural thing, makes it hard for some men to do these things.

          • Mark 9.2.1.1.1

            Because they give birth to kids. Ever heard of biological evolution? That’s why. Denying biology is just plain anti-science

            • solkta 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Giving birth is not nurturing. The nurturing bit comes from that point onwards. I’ve dedicated my life to nurturing my daughter. I’ve worked with special needs kids in ECE. I nurture my garden every day. I’m currently caring for a puppy. At my Playcentre there was always at least several fathers on session.

              More and more men are now allowing themselves to be nurturers. It is insulting and ignorant for you to try and say that science says men can’t do this.

              And science no design stuff neither.

              • RedLogix

                In evolutionary terms nurturing started with breastfeeding, not birth. And human infants, because they are born so relatively undeveloped, demand unconditional care and attention if they are going to survive the first year or two of life. This was the unique role only women could effectively do, and it’s not surprising they evolved temperaments that are generally better adapted to it than men.

                Having said that the two sexes have more in common than than not, and there is a lot of overlap between them, so many men can indeed take on the role of caregiver if necessary (especially now breastfeeding is not mandatory).

                But in practice there is little chance most women will allow any man to get between her and her new baby 🙂

                • solkta

                  Says the guy who thinks sex and gender are interchangeable terms.

                  • RedLogix

                    Says the woman who forgot about breastfeeding …

                    • solkta

                      so you think calling me a woman is an insult??

                    • RedLogix

                      You are playing silly games now. Bye.

                    • solkta

                      You call me a woman and the accuse me of playing silly games????

                      Fuck, i think this is one of those sorry to be a man moments.

                    • RedLogix

                      If you don’t make your sex/gender clear in your language, you cannot really complain when others get it wrong.

                    • marty mars

                      @ solkta – this is what happens with this commenter.

                    • solkta

                      It is more than obvious in my 9.2.1.1.1.1 post that i am a man. There would be no point in my pointing out how nurturing i am otherwise.

                      I’m a man who has the strength to be himself without the need to change his ‘gender’ in order to comply with socially constructed norms.

                      I think you know what i think you should do with your biological determinism and dualism.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ soltka

                      OK so now we have that confusion out of the way, assumptions having been made all round.

                      If there is no such thing as biological determinism (which to be clear I’m defining as the belief that genetics determines behaviour), then what does? It’s certainly not solely ‘environment and social constructs’; social researchers showed this could not be wholly true at least a decade ago.

                      Most people, including myself, finish up leaning on some indeterminate mix of genes and environment as the best explanation we have. And to my best reading, even to date any accurate or repeatable answers to this question remain very elusive.

                      As for ‘dualism’ I can only repeat the observation that there is at least a 99% correlation between biological sex and gender roles. Of course on a planet of 7 billion people, the fractionally tiny number of people who don’t align with the usual pattern, still amount to a lot of people, and their particular concerns have every right to be heard.

                      But, and this is the point I think we can agree on, gender roles are not a prison. Nor more importantly is there a binary divide between the temperaments associated with gender roles.

                      Peterson has used the simple example of aggression many times; if you take a random man and woman from the whole population, 60% of the time the man will be more aggressive to some degree, but 40% of the time it will be the woman. That’s a huge overlap.

                      Something similar applies to the traits associated with nurturing, women will for good evolutionary reasons tend to be stronger on this (women who were poor at nurturing babies simply didn’t pass on their genes) but there remains a considerable overlap with men. Some men, like you, will be very good at it.

                      And incidentally while I am well past the age of looking after young children, so was I. I was actually trying to back your point, but for some reason we got our wires crossed.

              • Bewildered

                Your Medals in the post

                you know very well where red is coming from and there is some truth in his comment but nor is it black and white Likeeise you throwing out the latest woke buzz word does not mean you are right either

                • solkta

                  What are this “latest woke buzz word”? Oh, toxic masculinity. While it is a relatively new term the idea has been around a long time. Suggest you start with the book A Man’s Country?: The Image of the Pakeha Male – A History by Jock Phillips.

                  • Bewildered

                    I dont think I will Got paint I have to watch dry but thanks any way, i have paced your medal 😊

                    • solkta

                      Then i respectfully suggest that you shut up, if you have no interest in learning about the subject.

                      If you change your mind and get through that one i can offer other references that look at gender in different historical, ethnic and class settings.

                    • Bewildered []

                      i respectfully decline your respectful request

      • Bewildered 9.2.2

        Yep and I am sure Winston Churchill weepy and tearied eyed was just what Britain needed in it darkest hour I actually found all the blubbering by pm and journalist a bit off putting

        • Anne 9.2.2.1

          I actually found all the blubbering by pm and journalist a bit off putting

          Diddums can’t take it eh… how can I counter all the praise? I know , I’ll infer she’s
          been blubbering all over the place.

          I haven’t seen her blubber once.

          How about some empathy for the victims. Or is that asking the impossible from sociopaths?

          • Bewildered 9.2.2.1.1

            Steel, grit, stoicism and reason is what I look for in leaders not blubbering and emotion My preference does not have be yours, you may like a good rom com as well, not for me so settle petal By the way public blubbering, shaking and weeping is not necessary empathy, look at Mark Lundy Donating is a far more practical and useful empathy I found

            • D'Esterre 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Bewildered: “…. public blubbering, shaking and weeping is not necessary empathy, look at Mark Lundy”

              Heh! Indeed. Who could forget that?

            • McFlock 9.2.2.1.1.2

              strength isn’t the same as being unfeeling.

        • Higherstandard 9.2.2.2

          I assume you are aware that Churchill was very lachrymose during his later years and especially during his time as PM. Nothing wrong with showing one’s emotions.

      • D'Esterre 9.2.3

        SpaceMonkey: “… how would’ve Bill English or even John Key have handled it?”

        I was thinking about that a day or so ago. I’m an old lefty, never voted National, never will. But in fairness to the former Dear Leader, as I recall, when he responded to the awful destruction and deaths in the ChCh earthquake, he got his “tone” pretty much right. I don’t remember too many complaints, at least from the general public. Though there may well have been a few on this and other left-wing sites.

        With regard to the PM, in my view her response has been for the most part faultless; no tone-deafness in that neck of the woods!

        My only quibble with her has been her introduction of the hijab and Islamic prayers. In addition to being old, I’m also an atheist; NZ is supposed to be a secular state. I don’t see the need for religious symbols. Note that I also want the parliamentary prayer gone, ditto reference to god in the national anthem.

        It’s the fact of NZ’s status as a liberal, secular state which attracts refugees and migrants from repressive regimes and conflict zones, and allows them to live without the bloodshed and persecution which prevails in so many other parts of the world. Until this dreadful event, of course.

        • McFlock 9.2.3.1

          Don’t really care about the prayer.

          One thing I do recall from the EQ was the flurry of ministers all looking to have their photo-ops in hardhats and fluoro vests. But the biggest problem was watching “whatever it takes” turn into “mo’ money”

    • North 9.3

      Yeah well we’ve seen leaders without half-decent EQ and IQ plus advisors
      and imagine having Stephen Miller your advisor.

    • barry 9.4

      many of these guns will now go under ground
      As they say happened in Australia after the Port Arthur killings. The point is that there is a reason this happened here and not in Australia.

  10. Adrian Thornton 10

    “Exceptional leaders are those who leave their mark. They stand on clear principles, they effect change and they make the world a better place.
    Labour has had a few, Michael Joseph Savage (of course), Norm Kirk for too short a time, David Lange (I can smell the uranium on your breath) despite the rogernomes, and more recently there was Helen Clark.
    And to their ranks can be added Jacinda Ardern.”

    Wrong.

    You seriously put Ardern in the same category as Savage and Kirk…exactly what of substance has she done for the people this country…wtf.

    I mean seriously what a ridiculous statement, so Ardern shows some compassion to the victims of a tragedy and suddenly she is catapulted to the level of leaders who have actually made a real and tangible difference for the lives citizens of this country..get back to us when she actually does…but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was you.

    And by the way…

    Fuck David Lange, a weak man and weak leader who abandoned workers to the ‘markets’ and The NZ Labour Party to the Neo Liberals.

    Fuck Helen Clarke who never saw a free trade deal she didn’t like…Clarkes legacy is The Warehouse…well done.

    • Bewildered 10.1

      Agree done bugger all but been nice in public, launched a plethora of working groups, a bit of a celeb, saved labour as a result and a big love crush for Mickey but real achievements, nup Jk had to deal with a lot more re GFC and EQs Troubling as last week has been on scale of real impact in nz it is not up there re a country crisis in the true sense Again breath people

      • alwyn 10.1.1

        I really do wonder about Micky these days.
        He has the air of someone who wants to become an MP and knows that the only way to do so is to act as if totally besotted with the current leader.
        Surely you aren’t thinking of giving up the law for a back bench seat in Parliament?
        Tell us it isn’t so Micky.

        • Ankerrawshark 10.1.1.1

          Alywyn many are besotted with the pm at the Monet for good reason. Read the overseas media

          It’s probably quite hard for National supporters at the moment seeing the PM excellent.

          Have a nice day

          • alwyn 10.1.1.1.1

            “besotted with the pm at the Monet”
            I haven’t been there this year yet but I find it very easy to become besotted while spending an afternoon looking at the Monets in the d’Orsay or the Marmottan-Monet museums in Paris.
            That is what you mean I assume? It is the only interpretation that makes any sense. Why else would one have “pm” in lower case?

            • David Mac 10.1.1.1.1.1

              You know exactly what they mean. Pretending you don’t does you no favours Alwyn. It’s humour by David Brent.

              • alwyn

                And who is David Brent?
                Am I supposed to recognize the name?
                And don’t tell me to google it. Why should I have to?

                • alwyn stopped watching TV when they ruined Coronation St by showing it in colour. He also misses the documentaries Love Thy Neighbour and Mind Your Language and will fight with anyone that claims Alf Garnett was a satirical character.

                • David Mac

                  Going to stay in character huh?

                  The longer you take to look the more delicious it is for those of us that are familiar with the character of David Brent and his cringeworthy attempts at humour.

                  It’s just not funny Alwyn. It does nothing but stink of being a cheapshot at Ankerrawshark. It’s not the work of a funny guy, it’s the signature of a bully.

                  • alwyn

                    Run away now. I’m sure you will be able to find another episode of your favourite program Shortland Street being broadcast somewhere to keep you amused until mummy comes home and warms your bottle and changes your nappy.

                    • David Mac

                      I’m sure you don’t want to be perceived as a nasty arsehole. Nobody does. Straight after ‘the cheques in the mail’ comes ‘I don’t care what people think of me.’

                      You have the potential to be a charming and valuable contributor to these threads Alwyn. Every sensible person is keen to hear a counter view.

                      But you’ve got an undercurrent of arsehole Alwyn. I’m sure you don’t want to be perceived in this way and I don’t believe it is where your heart lies. I like you.

                      But belittling people? You’re bigger than that man, stand up straight.

                • North

                  If you’re interested you will…..expect you already have. Let me know will ya.

                  • alwyn

                    I assume that this means something to you.
                    It makes about as much sense to me as did a chap I met in Wales who tried to talk to me in y Gymraeg. For some reason he thought I could speak the language. It sounded wonderful but I’m afraid I didn’t understand a word.
                    Just as I have no idea, and don’t actually care, what you are blathering on about.

            • Ankerrawshark 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Alywyn your response to me is facile. That’s all you’ve got.

              Jacinda ardern has just been praised by the Turkish PResident who says Muslim terrorists are the same as alt right terrorists.

              Jacinda has been nothing short of inspirational. That leaves right winger types like you no where to go other than having a dig at (busy business owners) people like me

              • alwyn

                Are you really happy that we are approved of by the dictator of an ever more authoritarian state?
                You have got to be kidding. Do you know anything at all about the current Government there?
                Have a look at this story while you are looking at what is really going on there. Just have a look at what Erdogan is saying in his own country and what he is saying in the US papers. See any resemblance?
                https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/03/20/498308/turkish-president-using-attack-for-political-gain-no-surprise-expert

                I agree that Ardern has handled this calamity very well. At least there is something she can do. The rest of her activities as PM have been generally pitiful.

                If you are really a busy business owner I suggest you get back to work. Have you worked out how to get a realistic value on the business as a lead-in to the CGT Cullen favours to punish you “rich pricks”?

                • Ankerrawsharkal

                  Alwyn I am grateful that the president of turkey thinks highly of our PM.
                  I he is a dictator and I don’t support him at all. I was thinking about how important it is we stay on side with him. Unlike Morrison whose rhetoric might have inflamed him. Many kiwis travel to turkey and there is no point inflaming things.

                  Your entitled to you views on ardern.

                  Yes I really am a busy business owner and I have no concerns about a cgt. I like to comment on the standard. I mostly appreciate the community here. And yes when busy I sometimes don’t check what I post.

            • North 10.1.1.1.1.3

              Mischievous there Alwyn. ‘Monet’ meant different to me. My grapes were not sour. Nah, there are countless Nats feel the same as everyone else, business owners CEOs whatever. Forget about the binary lower case/upper case Jacinda Ardern stands out for her presence and it’s remarkable. As evidenced by all the remarks. That’s the sense of it for me. You’re welcome to the non-sense view.

        • Incognito 10.1.1.2

          That is a considered and intelligent response to the OP.

      • Ankerrawshark 10.1.2

        Bewildered your comments are exactly in keeping with what you come to do on this website.

        Have a nice day

    • mickysavage 10.2

      Thank you for your thoughtful contribution.

      • alwyn 10.2.1

        Now that reply I like.
        It has a true touch of slightly scornful class.

        • Siobhan 10.2.1.1

          I misread that and thought you said “a true touch of “the” slightly scornful class”, to which I would have agreed wholeheartedly.

          Though maybe Adrian could cut back on the potty mouth…but then again, given people are living unnecessarily thwarted lives thanks in no small part to the neoliberal leaders of the Labour Party , who can blame him for feeling high emotion.

          Political Restraint and niceties are for people with comfy lives and warm feet, who can look at others with a certain distance, and can afford to be philosophical and ‘pragmatic’ about other peoples crap lives..

          • greywarshark 10.2.1.1.1

            It’s so nice to be nice, when everything is nice, and you’re feeling nice, and nasty people shouldn’t come along and disturb your peace, that’s not nice.

          • alwyn 10.2.1.1.2

            I really was meaning to compliment him.

            How about the classic touch of mild scorn which leaves the recipient unsure about whether he is being patronised or genuinely thanked.

            I think Adrian deserves it for his language, if not for the merit of his argument.

            • Adrian Thornton 10.2.1.1.2.1

              @alwyn, Why don’t you point out what exactly it is that you disagree with in my statement?

              • alwyn

                I don’t disagree with anything you said.
                It was only the language you used about Lange and Clark I find offensive.
                And, incidentally, the first Warehouse opened in 1982 when Helen Clark was a very junior, and very naive back-bencher.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  While that is true, her free trade fanaticism cemented forever The Warehouse the crappy NZ institution it is today, which has probably been responsible for more domestic plastic waste in it’s short history than any other NZ retailer…and she most certainly wasn’t naive when she signed those trade deals that spelt the final death nail for so many local manufacturers large and small.

        • patricia bremner 10.2.1.2

          Why is it people with no class at all set themselves up to be critics?
          Have you met and talked with Jacinda? No!! That is evident in your comments.
          Further, those of us lucky enough to do so really rate her, Bewildered and Alwyn. So your prods and pokes are sad.

          I do understand where you are coming from Adrian, but I think you are a little too underwhelmed, which indicates bias? Which I might add you fail to declare. Honesty in what your own beliefs are, and that you see Jacinda as a “light weight neo lib”,which would explain your bitterness, and give a better frame.

          I am Labour, but I am not blind. Until I met Jacinda Ardern, I liked Andrew Little as a person, but failed to imagine him as PM, but I could see Jacinda in that role. She has “Cut through” as leaders do. She clearly sees the big picture, and is quickly learning to deal with the detail.

          You take away from her excellent Leadership during this crisis with your comments An earthquake is impersonal…in that no one is to blame. The failure of the money system was caused by our general greed, as is climate change. This a gunman killed and wounded 100 innocents, and she had to step up and did.

          Eight years on people are still waiting for help after the earthquake!! That will not happen here. Everyone has donated, ACC has stepped up, and the few hiccups like Air NZ and Immigration have been directed to assist. Whether we like to admit it or not we are walking on eggshells. Racism Religion and Guns!! Could it be made worse? Definitely, imagine poor or undermined leadership.

          This could be a possible crisis of faith in our democracy and system which has been challenged by a white supremacist trying to begin a race/religious war using the underbelly of racism and religious bigotry we have to admit is in our society.

          Our Prime Minister has deftly found the right way to draw everyone together and deny him success. This is admired around the world. Even in spite of her skill and the public support for the Muslim community we have to note awful behaviour towards Muslim women in traditional dress and a fundamental group threatening retaliation, because we were looking “the wrong way”

          Please realise, we are on high alert because of these fears. Jacinda has shown us how powerful love is. All major religions are based on that. Keep your criticism sensible and constructive please. Too much depends on it.

          • alwyn 10.2.1.2.1

            “Have you met and talked with Jacinda?”
            Well yes actually. And I was not impressed with what she knew about things that a PM should know.
            I realise I am, or at least was, an economist and would notice these things but I was truly horrified that she does, or at least did, not know what GDP is and that it is a different thing to the Government Financial Statements.
            How can our PM really be so ignorant?
            And why is she completely unwilling to admit to such an error?
            So no. I am not impressed with her performance overall.
            She has, as has Simon Bridges, done very well in their behavior after this disaster. The empathy displayed was very impressive. However that is not enough to perform her job. Winston simply rolls right over her.

            • patricia bremner 10.2.1.2.1.1

              Ah yes now I understand where you come from Alwyn. That stumble came through a poorly asked question and a redirection if I remember correctly. You have not talked to my points about the fragile nature of this situation.
              But then “Winston rolls right over her” tells me so much about you. Much more than Jacinda’s stumble tells you about her I think.
              “Disaster” no no “Terrorist Attack” please.

              • alwyn

                Actually that was a very clear question. Ardern even asked did he mean GDP in a tone that illustrated that she didn’t understand the question and was looking for help. She was simply told yes, the question was about the GDP numbers. Then she started to waffle, as she so often does, in a way that showed she hadn’t the faintest idea what GDP was.

            • woodart 10.2.1.2.1.2

              love it..was an economist… then either realized my life was meaningless, or was sacked for getting the decimal point in the wrong place….either way you seem to have put your entire opinion of jacinda on one point. that says more about your extremely narrow view of the world….news flash. their is more to leading the country than being an economyth er economist…..

          • Adrian Thornton 10.2.1.2.2

            Yes I meet her, wasn’t really impressed, I also thought her speech at the time was just all platitudes and very little substance (not much has changed it seems)..actually Andrew Little was far more impressive, a really great orator, and seemed to enjoy a very lively debate with me for quite an extensive time post speech.

            Look I am sure Ardern is personally a real nice person etc and so forth, but that is not what this debate is about, Mickey equated Ardern with Savage and Kirk, and I refute that proposition 100%, that is all this about, nothing more or less.

            • patricia bremner 10.2.1.2.2.1

              That is interesting, because I found Andrew 1 on 1 really good also. During their tour when she was his Deputy he often got lost in his delivery and she would support. She was growing into the role. Thing is Andrew rates her, so perhaps you should consider why.

            • Skunk Weed 10.2.1.2.2.2

              Jacinda is streets ahead of any other Leader this country has had for the past 40-50 years including the Pony Boy John Key who many New Zealanders just adored.

              • woodart

                yeah but he could waffle on endlessly about the gpd er pdg, gdp. made wonks happy, they all of a sudden thought they were important…..

      • Adrian Thornton 10.2.2

        mickysavage, no seriously, you do the memories of our great New Zealand Labour leaders a real disservice by so easily invoking their great legacy’s to prop up your thoughts on a leader who so far has done sweet FA to fix or even repair all the damage inflicted upon our country and it’s citizens by the ideology of free market liberalism.

        But then again how could she or NZ Labour fix the revolting scourge of liberalism that is ravaging our country when they are themselves free market Liberals, thereby toothless to enact any real deviation to the shitting path their ideology dictates to them…shame.

        Turn Labour Left!

        • McFlock 10.2.2.1

          I’d say that her compassion and sense of how to treat people makes her more “left” than you.

          • Stuart Munro. 10.2.2.1.1

            I don’t know about that. The Left is founded on ideas along the lines of there being no social justice without economic justice after all.

            Thing is we’ve had a dearth of both, and Jacinda represents a refreshing change. It shows how very far astray our country has gone over the last few decades, that decency and humanity are viewed as extraordinary in our political leadership, instead of being basic qualifying minima.

          • Adrian Thornton 10.2.2.1.2

            @McFlock
            I would say her policies don’t reflect that whatsoever…tell me, when are going to see all her unbridled compassion express itself in actual policies that radically change the direction of NZ towards a more equal society, with affordable housing as a right and not a privilege, fair pay and hours for all workers…it’s not going to happen under Ardern and this liberal Labour party that much is for sure…so in short I would say it is very very easy for anyone who has even the slightest bit of compassion and empathy with working people and the poor to be very Left of Ardern.

            Although she does talk a good game…pah

            • McFlock 10.2.2.1.2.1

              The first step to having those objectives is to actually empathise with people and genuinely understand how to engage with them and identify their needs.

              That’s what Ardern has, and Savage, Kirk, and Lange had.

              You’re too obsessed with your own idea of what the true left is to look beyond your own ego.

              Trees, rail, and even housing are already being implemented. There will be bigger stuff in this budget, too. There is finally movement on new hospitals around the country. State housing stock is increasing again after a decade of shrinking. Not bad for a government that needs an old school conservative party in order to be in power. But because a tripartite coalition isn’t left enough for you, everyone in it are liberals or neoliberals. No true lefty would be in coalition with NZ1 – much better to be a true lefty and spend eternity in opposition, huh.

              • Charlie

                The comments of Adrian Thornton here are so far left they have almost caught up with the attitude of the right.

              • Adrian Thornton

                Well McFlock seem as you are (as usual) so quick to jump down the a hominin rout..
                The Labour party offers workers and the poor crumbs and you gratefully accept and even kiss and lick the hand that offers that insult…this is what I hear when you talk..it’s pathetic…

                • McFlock

                  This entire subthread is ad hom.

                  If the Labour Party wanted to immediately implement the policies you espouse, not only would it not be in government tomorrow, in 2020 it would barely be in parliament. That’s the reality on the ground.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Wrong, now is the time for a bit of honesty in our politics.
                    Everyone instinctively understands that the gigs up, our system is broken…houses are selling for over half a million dollars in Hastings…just say that out loud, we are living in a self induced delusional fantasy and everyone deep down knows it

                    Most workers have seen little to no wage increase growth for many many years (despite what statistics might say).

                    I could go on and on..but you get the drift I am sure.

                    Now why do you think that the post 2017 election speech that grabbed the most attention wasn’t Arderns pragmatic nonsense, but was Peters (sort of) anti Liberal/capitalist speech…I will tell you why, because many many workers, the poor, students, the disenfranchised are just waiting (I would say many don’t even know they are waiting, but they will spring to action when they hear a leader with a vision for their futures) for that one politician and/or party to have the balls to tell the truth, and to have a vision that leads the way out of the obvious dead end of liberalism.

                    I just hope that person and vision comes from the socialist Left, because the obvious alternative is awful.

                    • McFlock

                      Peters was the kingmaker (again). He was signalling that national could go fuck itself. That’s newsworthy.

                      Yeah, when the masses actually look like voting, leftwing politicians move left – look at the dems at the moment. And I think as things improve this term, Labour will move farther left as labgrn support grows. But Winston isn’t a revolutionary socialist and never was.

                      Kiwibuild will ramp up, and when state houses get to pre-2008 levels at the same time then housing pressures will ease. But expecting Labour to snap their fingers is bullshit, because even if they got it past NZ1 then the reorientation of the economy would cause massive hardship within a year, and so fuck them at the following election.

              • alwyn

                “Trees, rail, and even housing are already being implemented”.
                Really? I believe the Kiwibuild numbers, after 17 months are 74 built and 39 sold.
                What rail lines have been started that weren’t already in the plans of the last Government?
                How many extra trees have been planted? And I wouldn’t count the
                million or so seedlings they bought without having arranged anywhere suitable to plant them?
                Remember this?
                https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12157577
                Progress my arse.

                • McFlock

                  Even the attempt is more than national ever bloody did. So either the govt is attempting the impossible, or they’re trying to do stuff for NZ that national was capable of but chose to avoid doing. And the traction on things like Dunedin Hospital is undeniable.

                  • alwyn

                    I suggest you look at what the then National Government were doing.
                    They weren’t perfect but they were vastly more effective than the current rabble have been over the last 17 months.
                    The current pack of idiots spent 3 terms, nine bloody years, making no plans at all.
                    I thought a change of Government was desirable, given that the last Government was tired.
                    However I feared, and I have been proved correct that the current pack of idiots were simply incapable of being an even half way competent Government.
                    They had no idea when they got in about what to do. They haven’t got any better. Why, for God’s sake did they dump Shearer? He would have made an excellent PM but the idiot Cunliffe stabbed him.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      You are dreaming.

                      The Gnats were running a scam – mass, uncontrolled immigration, and a real estate bubble based on it.

                      They were so bad that Twyford’s achievement of maybe 10% of his target dwarfs Nick Smith’s nine year total.

                      Take out the migrant capital inflow and National took us backward for nine long stupid years. The Gnats were a comprehensive failure by rightwing standards, never mind the higher standards of the Left. And you fake rightwingers still sing their praises – loyal to the point of uncritical gushing – no substantive examination of policy.

                    • McFlock

                      I’ve got ten imaginary bridges and land bought for a hospital building site that say you’re full of shit.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      “Why, for God’s sake did they dump Shearer? He would have made an excellent PM”…because he wasn’t a free market neoliberal ideologue like them that’s why.

        • patricia bremner 10.2.2.2

          She is working at it in a Coalition. As she says consensus is her job. What are you doing Adrian apart from shouting into the wind. Even if she wanted to change things round she has to win enough power to do so. Will you help?

          • Adrian Thornton 10.2.2.2.1

            If I really believed that Ardern or Labour had any intention of moving New Zealand in another direction than that of free market neoliberalism that they are ideologically tied too, then yes I would give them 110% and more.

            But as I keep saying on this site again and again, this government, like all democratic governments, is bound too and dictated to act in accordance with it’s economic ideology, that is just a truism that cannot be altered, Labour NZ today is also Neoliberal party that is also a truism.
            So if the above is true, then by extension no matter how compassionate you might think Ardern is, she and Labour are not going to change NZ for the better in any substantive way, so sure they are better and more compassionate and empathetic seeming than National…but that isn’t saying much is it, no we need radical change and soon, Ardern will not and cannot unfortunately deliver that change.

            New Zealand’s Neoliberal Drift
            Jacobin
            03.15.2017
            https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/03/new-zealand-neoliberalism-inequality-welfare-state-tax-haven/

            • patricia bremner 10.2.2.2.1.1

              Thanks for the history. I have actually lived it all at 77. I remember shouting at Prebble!! how right I was that right wing Feck!!

              Also meeting Lange at a Labour do with the Hunts, and him saying in a sneering way “Hope you like what I’m doing in Education!” He paused when I looked him in the eye and said “If it is good for children, you might keep my vote” Boards of Trustees wasn’t and he didn’t keep my vote.

              So like you I think about things. Adrian she has to take the public with her, and I think she has softened attitudes by putting a framework in place through which actions have to be considered. It might not be as far left as we would like to go, but if our numbers improve we have a chance to influence far more. Don’t under estimate her. What do you think of Chris Fafoi? Cheers

              • Adrian Thornton

                ” I have actually lived it all at 77. I remember shouting at Prebble!! how right I was that right wing Feck!!”

                You know I am sure that if went went back in time 35 or so years, this Labour party would in many aspects be to the right of the then National party..that is how far right the political norm has now shifted.

                If you were to come on to this Left wing site and say you think the the Labour Party should come up with a long term plan and then borrow as much money as needed to solve the housing problem quickly for the working poor and poor, so they can live with long term security in a warm and healthy home, you will get quickly shut down hard by so called Lefties…go figure.

                I would like to think that if I were with you back in the day, I would have joined in on the shouting at Prebble.

            • Peter 10.2.2.2.1.2

              “… she and Labour are not going to change NZ for the better in any substantive way…”

              What substantive changes should happen, specifically, and how should they be introduced?

              Can they be introduced in such a way that Labour would stay in power to institute them? Would initial steps of introduction mean that party being cast aside and what they’d started being discarded?

      • greywarshark 10.2.3

        MS definitely MP material. ITNF?

    • Ankerrawshark 10.3

      Adrian words fail me when i think about responding to your comment,……..

      Have a nice day

      • Adrian Thornton 10.3.1

        No please you go right ahead find those words..

        • Charlie 10.3.1.1

          Suggest these words…

          Adrian Thornton – now there’s a cunt

          • Adrian Thornton 10.3.1.1.1

            Nice, now how about critiquing my augment, or are you all talk.

            BTW Charlie I am at the Little Red Bookshop, 205 Heretaunga East, Hastings, if you ever come to this town, come in and lets have a little talk pal…

            • Charlie 10.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s clear who is “all talk” here today Adrian.
              Bad timing to malign our PM, perhaps you need to get out of your little bookshop more and see whats happening.

              • Adrian Thornton

                Like I said, lets see your critiques of my arguments, or is that is beyond you, it seems that it could well be.

                • Charlie

                  The topic of this post was titled “the power of compassionate politics”

                  The author mentioned previous Labour leaders and compared the PM, and went on to say:

                  “Jacinda Ardern has been extraordinary in her handling of the Christchurch Mosque attack crisis……”

                  This being the bit you conveniently left out in your rant on how “wrong” the author was.

                  • woodart

                    yes, comes across as a very bitter person, who will never be happy, even if the world was nationalized and everybody without calluses was imprisioned…

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      @woodart, Your comment seems to that of an idiot, it is little wonder you so easily agree with Charlie boy.

              • Adrian Thornton

                @Charlie…Or how about this, you give me your name and address and I will visit you next time I am in your town for a little chat if that would suit you better?

                • Charlie

                  You already know my name and giving a ranting raver my address would hardly be synonymous with intelligence, would it.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    @Charlie,
                    I see, just so we all understand who you are, and who we are dealing with, lets unpack your tirade today shall we…
                    You like to call people cunts and insult them from the safety and anonymity of your computer, but don’t have the back bone to say that thing to that person’s face…so in other words, just a gutless piece of shit, just as I thought.

                    And also all talk of course.

            • left_forward 10.3.1.1.1.2

              I was surprised by your comment to Charlie, so I went back to check – and sure enough you didn’t make an argument but just as I read it the first time – you were unjustifiably vulgar in your comments about some remarkable people – people who deserve greater respect.

              You just got back what you put out AT.

          • Siobhan 10.3.1.1.2

            Seeing as this comment has been up for over half an hour I’m assuming using the word ‘cunt’ as a term of abuse is now okay.

            I’m sure Helen and Jacinda would be blushing with pride at the vocabulary of their defenders.

            • Charlie 10.3.1.1.2.1

              Has a similar ring to it as ‘fuck’ would you not agree. Now, where did I see that written here today.

              • Siobhan

                No. Not really. ….In fact not at all.

                And I did earlier call Adrian out for Potty mouth, simply because it often derails conversation…case in point.

                On the other hand, the word ‘Cunt’ is beyond the pale.

                Plus, and most pertinently, Adrian did in fact use the word as part of a thought out argument, whether one agrees with him or not, whereas you Charlie boy, have simply popped out from under a rock to call him a ‘cunt’.

                That simply shouldn’t be ‘a thing’ on The Standard.

                • Charlie

                  Ok Siobhan “girl” perhaps you have a point, he may be just a bit of a cunt.

                  • McFlock

                    dude, seriously?

                    You’re being as bad as Adrian is in that subthread. If you can’t think of an accurate and actually insulting word to address someone you don’t like, crack open shakespeare or urban dictionary.

                    But the novelty of “cunt” as a naughty word wears off pretty quickly. It’s a good, strong word that is sadly used to label almost everything except the thing it specifically denotes.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      What do you mean ‘as bad as Adrian’ when have I ever called anyone names? yes I swear a bit, but never at people.

                      And btw I happen to really like cunts, so am not insulted by that one at all.

                    • McFlock

                      In response to a post about a politician showing genuine compassion and empathy in after a tragic crime, you got into an infantile bro-down because of your obsessive outrage that no NZ politician is “left” enough for your particular taste. Which frankly makes most rude words look calm and dignified.

                      That’s what I meant by “as bad as Adrian”.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      No, as per usual you don’t even appear to have read my comment I was responding to this statement from Mickey savage…
                      “Exceptional leaders are those who leave their mark. They stand on clear principles, they effect change and they make the world a better place.
                      Labour has had a few, Michael Joseph Savage (of course), Norm Kirk for too short a time, David Lange (I can smell the uranium on your breath) despite the rogernomes, and more recently there was Helen Clark.
                      And to their ranks can be added Jacinda Ardern”

                      I was rightly taking exception to Mickey Savage comparing Ardern to Savage and Kirk, when she has done nothing to date that I am aware of to warrant that comparison.

                    • McFlock

                      Because that’s totally the issue, innit… /sarc

          • Ankerrawshark 10.3.1.1.3

            No Charlie those are not the words I would use with Adrian.

            I could be wrong about this, so excuse me if this is the case Adrian. I think you must feel very hurt and let down. I think this may cloud you view on things. I mean this well. I am sorry if this is incorrect or causes in hurt.

            May peace be with you

            • Adrian Thornton 10.3.1.1.3.1

              Yes you are wrong and right, I would say that I am not hurt but feel more constantly annoyed and yes let down by all the centrists lefties on this site that have allowed their aspirations for what this country could and should be set so damn low, and then defending that lack of vision so passionately, and quite bizarrely (IMO) defending what is obviously a broken political paradigm…imagine if they channeled that passion into pushing Labour to be brave and fearless, a Labour that inspired workers and the poor and disenfranchised to work and fight hard for it…but no instead they would rather defend a Labour that is pathetic and weak, and a Labour that most workers. the poor and disenfranchised could give a fuck about….if that wouldn’t make you a little bit angry and ‘let down’ well then I don’t know what would.

    • D'Esterre 10.4

      Adrian Thornton: “You seriously put Ardern in the same category as Savage and Kirk…exactly what of substance has she done for the people this country..”

      I agree with you, but it seems to me that it’s possible to acknowledge that she’s responded sensitively to the shootings, while at the same time not putting her on the same pedestal as Savage and Kirk.

      “…David Lange, a weak man and weak leader who abandoned workers to the ‘markets’ and The NZ Labour Party to the Neo Liberals.”

      My view as well. History hasn’t been kind to him, regrettably. On balance, though, I’d be a bit more forgiving of Helen Clark, even though she did things with which I disagreed. And failed to do other things that I thought she should have done.

      • Adrian Thornton 10.4.1

        Well you are probably right, as usual I come on a bit strong, but I find it very frustrating when smart people like Mickey Savage use something like this tragedy to promote their political view, which by aligning Ardern with Savage/Kirk at this moment he was blatantly doing, so really in my opinion he was more out of order than me, but of course not many on this site will agree with me there.

        It is a shame about Lange, he was without doubt one of New Zealand’s most charismatic leaders, best orators and genuinely funny…but then again I used to deal with a lot of Mongrel Mob Chapter Captains, and many of them had those same qualities, but they were still bad men when judged by their deeds and actions, as they should be.

        As far as Clarke goes, I feel no forgiveness for her, I would save any feeling I had for the thousands of New Zealanders who lost their lively hoods and businesses as a direct result her free market fetish.

        • Grant 10.4.1.1

          Good for you. Nice to see some fire in the belly a clear head and a functional moral compass.

          • Adrian Thornton 10.4.1.1.1

            Cheers for that, bit of a tough day in the trenches on the standard today, nice to get a bit of encouragement.

            • Grant 10.4.1.1.1.1

              I’ll drop in and buy a book and say gidday if I’m ever around your way.

            • KJT 10.4.1.1.1.2

              It needed to be said.

              Though I think Jacinda Adern is doing a fine job at this time. And, i think her heart as actually in the right place.

              And may well do some of the changes you ask for. Anyone progressive has a hell of an uphill battle in Parliament. The inertia and resistance is overwhelming.

              I have first hand knowledge of Helen Clark’s intentions when she entered politics. I think you are judging her too harshly. Sometimes you have to do the possible, not what you really want.

              • Adrian Thornton

                “Anyone progressive has a hell of an uphill battle in Parliament. The inertia and resistance is overwhelming.”

                You are exactly right, and that is exactly why I don’t believe Ardern is the person needed on the Left for this moment in history, liberalism/capitalism is without doubt on very shaky ground world wide, both internally through reaching it’s own limits of growth and externally with many citizens around the world starting to reject it’s ideology outright.

                Citizens all over the world instinctively understand that the political ponsie scheme that seems to be the underlying foundation that this neoliberal project was built on, is coming to it’s natural conclusion, the rich got richer, middle class home owners generally made lots of capital gain trading domestic housing ..while everyone else is left with stagnant wage growth, underemployment, student debt, unaffordable housing etc and so forth..so what now?

                Sorry to say this, but Ardern and NZ Labour as they stand today cannot answer that question for us, how could they, they are a Liberal Free market political party themselves, so by extension part of the actual problem that we all face.

                We really need a person and a political party (hopefully Labour) with a real and tangible vision for NZ going forward, a vision and a plan that would mobilize, invigorate and ignite workers, the poor and disenfranchised in such numbers that their momentum would roll right over the inertia you mentioned and break the resistance that exists as you rightly point out.

                and I am sure you already know this, but if this movement doesn’t come from our side, it will most certainly eventually come from the right..which is why (IMO) we must turn Labour Left.

                Here is an excellent talk from the excellent ‘Against the Grain’ that discusses and covers some of the hurdles that the radical Left face when taking power..
                KPFA Radio
                Against the Grain – 03.12.19
                Should the Left Engage With the State?
                https://kpfa.org/episode/against-the-grain-march-12-2019/

                • Pat

                  You may be correct about the alignment to neo liberalism but you must admit that JA certainly has the right empathies

                • KJT

                  Much as I agree, and, there are many people who cannot afford to wait, I think we will not have the true measure of this Government, until after they win the next election.

                  Watch the Green space around the, totally irresponsible, budget responsibility rules, for one.

        • Pat 10.4.1.2

          How well did you know Clark, and did she really have a free market fetish?

          • Adrian Thornton 10.4.1.2.1

            Look Helen Clarke pushed through a free trade deal with a country that she and we all knew used child slave labour, refused it’s workers the right to organize,,,enough said.

            Chinese leader praises Clark’s ‘far sightedness’ in trade deal
            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10502548

            Of course she quickly let all her principles fall to the wayside once she converted to the cult neoliberalism….
            “Uncomfortable as it is, New Zealanders do expect their governments to represent our views on human rights breaches – whether they occur in Indonesia, China or anywhere else.” (Speech to NZ Institute of International Affairs, May 1995.)

            And she forcefully backed TPPA..
            Former PM Clark backs controversial TPPA trade deal
            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/72604363/nul

            Like I said earlier Fuck Helen Clarke, she has been a class traitor to NZ workers and Chinese workers, she is like NZ’s very own Tony Blair.

          • KJT 10.4.1.2.2

            I knew Helen Clark well when she first entered Parliament.

            Certainly good left wing principles and ideas.

            I see that most in Parliament caught up in the “groupthink” after a while.

            Which is why I don’t have high expectations. The place is a human mincing machine.

            Another reason not to give them the power we do.

        • D'Esterre 10.4.1.3

          Adrian Thornton: “As far as Clarke goes, I feel no forgiveness for her…”

          Yup. On reflection, maybe I was being a bit too kind to her. Our country certainly need to trade, though we sure could have done without the neoliberal free trade policies.

          At the time, I was irritated at the abandonment of the “closing the gaps” policy, though I’ve come to realise that it would have been ineffective in any event.

          And I was infuriated by the foreshore and seabed furore.

          And I viewed as a massive policy failure her government’s refusal to raise benefit levels. We’re still feeling the effects of that.

          However. At the time, I was relieved that her government refused to supply troops to GW Bush’s insane adventure in Iraq. Protested at parliament over it, even.

          Of course, they subsequently – and without much fanfare – sent the SAS there. Didn’t find that out until quite a bit later.

  11. esoteric pineapples 12

  12. David Mac 13

    Life takes on a new complexion when rather than hate we see the opposite of love as fear.

    When viewed as hate, our only option is doubling down with counter-hate.

    When viewed as fear, lasting quality options open up.

    I don’t hate my cheap secondhand car, I’m fearful it will let me down again. Setting it on fire is my inclination, no good will come of doing this.

    Tarrant wasn’t seething with hatred, he was seething with fear of what his world may become.

    I dig Jacinda because I think she agrees with me. It’s not a common view.

    • WeTheBleeple 13.1

      The Hatred was there alright. To be pedantic… The fear was the underlying emotion. I think you are correct that fear was a driver – but I’m not sure the terrorist has the emotional capacity to recognize that.

      There is also extreme narcissism.

      Fear and previous trauma are exploited by recruiters. It was clearly revealed in the documentary on white supremacists I watched yesterday… Part of the title was ‘know your enemy’… It was uncannily accurate to watch from way over here in NZ – the symbolism and BS are pretty much the same, and the MO. The disarming of some of these guys (vile and evil) attitudes was amazing and relatively easy. They befriended the muslim reporter and realised they were wrong.

      I’ve talked a couple of guys into leaving local (not white power) gangs. One got his throat slit for it (he lived). Fear of reprisal is a pretty shitty method for bonding but it keeps people from talking about it; thus fear keeps the circles closed allowing further atrocious behavior from the more psycho members or those they instigate.

      The empowerment of festering fringe fuckers via Trump is of huge concern. And their disempowerment here is long overdue and one would hope, going to be a systemic overhaul. Australia’s got plenty of issues. One man’s shown the way. In a time of grief and fear and feeling hopeless comes Eggboy. – SPLAT.

      Fraser’s thugs couldn’t wait to demonstrate they ‘had what it takes’ to choke out a kid – they were scared when their man was egged. They thought they had a powerful ally, they were wrong.

      Ardern, too, is a light in the darkness. An exemplar. I am proud and grateful to have such a leader.

      • David Mac 13.1.1

        We’re never going to change someone’s mind while we refer to them as ‘fringe fucker’.

        What do you think the Trump fringe fuckers are fearful of ATB?

        I think that’s where solutions live.

        • WeTheBleeple 13.1.1.1

          I can’t be bothered trying to have conversations with people whos talking point is my language surrounding fucktard white power extremists.

          • WeTheBleeple 13.1.1.1.1

            So I won’t be volunteering to talk them down…

            I get your point, a respectful dialogue, I have no respect for them at present. Please excuse me aiming this anger at you.

            • WeTheBleeple 13.1.1.1.1.1

              “What do you think the Trump fringe fuckers are fearful of ATB”

              Fairly typical stuff, the fear of not being enough => thus being rejected => thus being alone. The spectre of economic insecurity due to the ‘shadow of Islam’ is total BS and not reality for them – many people gladly believe BS if the narrative is more interesting/convenient than reality. This often starts in childhood with trauma.

              For some in the documentary, the reporter was ‘their first muslim’. Poor white trash in backwood towns. Boredom, insignificance. No context of the wider world. It’s the one’s in suits coming out of the woodwork to be real wary of – agendas and means. Supreme assholes and absolutely repugnant. All supremacists are blind and really do believe the most preposterous shit – but many should be reachable if they are reasonable. The unreasonable are the sociopaths. But they’ll pretend to reason. The assholed entitled who think the world is theirs as well, sociopath or general capitalist opportunist. They have legit armies, shadow stirring agencies… but who are these poor white thugs to the rich, these thugs who Trump won’t call out.

              The sociopaths can say what you want to hear if they’re good. The sociopath is the real dangerous bastard in the mix. The most affable should be monitored the most. The meatheads are at least malleable.

              That being said, Aspies are not bloody sociopaths! We auto correct as we go in our dealings with others as we are crap at reading the room. As I so in-eloquently demonstrated this morning in open mike.

              Bit off topic now aye. Hope some of that had something for ya.

            • David Mac 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Hi WTB, sorry about the response lag, I’m busier than a Damascus meter reader.

              No offence taken sport, only sad animals make me cry.

              Thanks for acknowledging what I’m on about. You know, getting in someone’s face and bellowing ‘You’re Scum’ gets us nowhere, it’s gasoline on the fire.

              There’s so much more to be gained from the “I’ve got a couple of cold ones in the fridge, lets sit down and tell each other some lies” approach.

              But hey, you’re a smart guy, this ain’t news….sometimes we need reminding…your shout.

        • greywarshark 13.1.1.2

          David Mac
          I don’t see that the shooter was fearful. He was full of resentment, and
          contempt and mission. It was his mission to ‘show these people’ that they were not acceptable and accepted.

          I am the one who is fearful. Looking and listening to what is going on, seeing the rigid beliefs roll out. People making knee-jerk judgments about what is going on, not trying to understand, to learn and prevent more in the future.

          There are people who want to give way to emotion, and think that talking about love will make everything right. Very hippy-like. And forgiveness, no. Now that is the opposite to hate I think and it isn’t appropriate to forgive murder, nor to forgive hate. One has to deal with the outcome of murder, and try to make better, and try to avoid hate; turn it to sorrow.

          • McFlock 13.1.1.2.1

            He was scared of a guy with an EFTPOS machine.

            Nazis (and the semantic distinction between “Nazis” and “white supremacist” is only of importance to someone with either a professional interest regarding, or a personal inclination to support, either) are full of fear. Fear of replacement, of their own inadequacy, of everyone else.

            Nazis are afraid of everyone else because they think everyone else would treat Nazis in the same manner as Nazis treat everyone else.

            • WeTheBleeple 13.1.1.2.1.1

              While lacking nuance, I like your description.

              And yep, he was shown up to be a total coward and the Muslim men brave heros.

            • Rosemary McDonald 13.1.1.2.1.2

              “He was scared of a guy with an EFTPOS machine.”

              Perhaps he was genuinely surprised by the guy with the eftpos machine?

              He’s a terrorist remember. Those he was terrorising were supposed to be paralysed with fear.

              Reading his manifesto, well some of it, folks fighting back was not part of his plan.

              And of course, in his world, his plan was the only plan.

              Including being caught alive.

              Fear is a human emotion…I wouldn’t ascribe it to him.

              • D'Esterre

                Rosemary McDonald: “Perhaps he was genuinely surprised by the guy with the eftpos machine?

                He’s a terrorist remember. Those he was terrorising were supposed to be paralysed with fear.

                Reading his manifesto, well some of it, folks fighting back was not part of his plan.”

                Exactly. He had a script – his manifesto – and these people weren’t following it. Neither was anybody else, of course. I believe that his goal was to provoke bloodshed in the US. Spectacularly unsuccessful, thus far.

                I’ve read somewhere that serial killers and serial sex offenders – including paedophiles – also have a (mental) script which they’re following. And the reason that they offend serially is that their victims don’t know the script, so they don’t follow it (and of course wouldn’t, even if they did know it). Thus the offender is always looking to commit the crime according to the script; and it never works that way.

                • McFlock

                  There was an interesting documentary about a guy who tried to hijack a plane in 1974 and force the pilots to fly it into the White House to kill Nixon. Needless to say, his plan went to shit on the tarmac and I think almost everyone except him and one or two others survived a full on shoot-out. The reason I bring it up is that they had a wonderful phrase for the actuality not matching the plan, and unfortunately I can’t remember what it was. Something like “objective visualisation disconnect”.

                  But confusion explains a change in behaviour, not running away. Even going by the surprise theory, running away was the fuckwit’s impulse, but running towards the danger was Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah’s impulse, and that of several others.

                  Fear is a human response. Sadly, the fuckwit is human. But so are the people who ran towards him, and helped the injured and dying, and shed tears for their fellow humans.

                • Ankerrawsharkal

                  I was attacked once, guy in a mask and I fought back all be it feebly and it really caught the guy off guard and I managed to get away. It wasn’t part of his script and so it threw him. Coward. As this recent perpetrator has shown himself to be

                  • KJT

                    One of my female cousins was confronted by a man exposing himself.
                    When she was about ten years old.

                    Having a robust sense of self, she burst out laughing.

                    The guy fled.

                    • ankerawshark

                      Good on your cousin.

                      Yes these creeps don’t expect if when it doesn’t go according to their script.

                      There was an article by someone served time in jail saying the perps
                      life there will be horrific. I hope this is some sort of deterrent to other white supremicists.

          • David Mac 13.1.1.2.2

            Hi Grey, we don’t just flick a switch and hate. We get carried to that state of mind, what transports us there? What drives us to hate? I think it’s what we fear and when our fear cards stack up like Whatisname’s did, we can explode.

  13. Peter 14

    I found this piece in the Washington Post interesting.

    “Speaking on the condition of anonymity to Today’s WorldView, one Western fund manager with dealings in the Asia-Pacific region scoffed that Ardern “was just a less annoying Justin Trudeau with an easier country to run” — a jab both at her and the Canadian prime minister, another darling of the center left who critics argue has traded too long on his rosy image rather than actual policy achievements.”

    Interesting because it highlights that if you want to get a real picture of something, want to get a true sense of what something or someone is about, want to really put it into real context, you need to go to someone who doesn’t just live in the real world, but lives in the only important world: a fund manager.

    It brings to mind the old saying, “I live in a society, not an economy.” I’m pleased in the aftermath of the tragedy our Prime Minister reflects that.

    Some anonymous money manager who’d rather she be in Wellington being a genius working on the books, and being an arsehole tweeter, to the world?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12214366

    • Adrian Thornton 14.1

      That anonymous hedge fund manager makes no sense, leaders like Trudeau and Ardern run free market economies that allow and encourage people like him to function globally, the only politicians that he should fear in the west are Corbyn and Sanders who are both openly hostile to his lowlife breed…

      UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned Morgan Stanley
      “So when they say we’re a threat, they’re right: We’re a threat to a damaging and failed system that is rigged for the few,”

      https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-politics-banking/corbyn-tells-morgan-stanley-were-a-threat-idUKKBN1DV3Y3

      PS. You see what an actual real Labour leader who “stands on clear principles” sounds like Mickey.

    • David Mac 14.2

      “Ardern was just a less annoying Justin Trudeau with an easier country to run”.

      Ha, that’s witty.

      Yep, through the eyes of a hard-arsed businessman Jacinda would possess few redeeming features. I think we live in a country where a majority of us would see much of his list of shortcomings as assets. I don’t think we’re after a PM that can tap dance around an EBIT spreadsheet. We had that for dinner last night.

  14. Sometimes , as we go to sleep… and possibly wake up at 3.15am ,…

    We stare at the moon and wonder whats happening on the other side of the planet… some might in a meandering sort of way ,… wonder about giant hominids [ ie Sasquatch and Yerin, Almasty or Swamp Ape or even Maero ] and the Darwinian snowflakes and their precarious grip on nihilistic humanism , …yet still others might wonder about geo political issues,…

    But ! , – when we read about characters who show mass murder scenes to garner political votes,… we would not be criticized to wonder ,… just how earnest they really were when a short time before…they were saying things like THIS :

    Turkish President warns NZ over mosque attacks, invokes Gallipoli …
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12214162

    And then magically, … almost as if a switch was turned on and in their security in winning the election all was forgotten and then we see THIS :

    Turkey’s President Erdoğan praises Jacinda Ardern in an op-ed for the …
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12214589

    What is it?

    The fact that the votes were secured or that the reality of blunt facts would be presented to them?

    In the form of the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand?

    In which case it would seem, that they owe the most dutiful protection of our Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Relations Minister the best of platforms, the most ardent of hospitality’s, the most gracious of receptions, … as their greatest asset.

    Winston Peters,… does it again… without having even left home.

  15. Good Lord we have a remarkable team with Jacinda Adern and Winston Peters.

    Absolutely we have.

    Australia reviewing Anzac travel to Turkey over president’s ‘offensive …
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/australia-considers-expelling-turkey-ambassador-over-presi…

    • RedLogix 17.1

      And to be fair Scott Morrison has held up his side pretty well too. Considering the political chaos which saw him elevated into the role, and the limp, wobbly govt he leads, for an accidental Prime Minister he’s making a reasonable fist of it.

      • WILD KATIPO 17.1.1

        I feel sorry for Scott Morrison. I think he is a man of gentility and compassion, yet one of patriotism.

        It annoys me he seems to have been dragged down into this mire by the comments of unhinged foreign politicians that use hatred to win votes.

  16. She’ll be right , eh?

    Pray , send your best wishes to Winston Peters.

    Why?… because from small beginnings come gargantuan outcomes. And we don’t want that. Godspeed.

    A Shot that Changed the World – The Assassination of … – YouTube

  17. Oh dearie , dearie me…. what have we here ?

    No less than a totalitarian state with one of the worst human rights records on earth presenting a comment and offering an opinion….

    Christchurch terror attack ‘exposes flaws’ of the ‘weakening’ Western …
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/…/world/…/christchurch-terror-attack-exposes-flaws-of-th…

    • Mark 19.1

      Actually an excellent article. Thanks for drawing attention to it WK. Agree entirely with this point:

      “in the absence of institutional reform, Western society relies on its established advantages of the past few centuries, but distorts emerging countries’ achievements. The West’s lack of development vigor compared with emerging nations has been ascribed to the latter’s so-called unfair competition and even conspiracy. Double standards are widely applied by the West. “

      btw here is the link to the original article:
      http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1142399.shtml

  18. Michael 20

    I don’t have much concern for Winston’s wellbeing when I recall his track record of racist dog-whistling but I do think Jacinda could enhance it by giving him his marching orders from her government. As far as Jacinda’s effectiveness as our national leader is concerned, I think she is failing because she allows right-wing racists (f not alt-right) to keep her in office (in not in power) when she could easily obtain a mandate to deal to the alt-right if she went to the country. Keeping the bosses of SIS and GCSB in their overpaid jobs is another fail.

    • Are you a clown?

      Do you really think Labour would have got in if it wasn’t for NZ First?

      Do you lay down in a field of daisy’s and dream, mate?

      Is it Jacinda who is going into the heat of Indonesia and later to Turkey, clown?

      In other words,… cant you , wont you ,.. for just one minute realize that the coalition is Labour and NZ First ? Are you a blockhead ?

      Don’t you get that her Deputy PM is going into the goddamed Lions den for your precious Jacinda?

  19. So just where are you now with your identity politics , your free markets and your globalism , Left and Right neo liberal New Zealand?

    Strangely silent.

    What has it gotten you barring hiding behind the headlines or waiting on the next cue they give?

    Not even a breath of courage as you avoid your computers and offer not a word… all those high minded sanctimonious moralistic tirades you were all so passionate about when playing kiddie politics when John Key was in power for NINE LONG YEARS…

    This is the price you pay for selling out , for rort, for lying and for following an ideology that observes no loyalty barring your own narcissistic self advancement. Three decades of it.

    Both Left and Right neo liberalism… you make us all ill.

  20. Siobhan 22

    Ardern is doing no more and no less than one would expect in this day and age, especially from a Prime Minister of a Labour Government.
    Banning the weapons involved is a no brainer. Even the Tories managed that one after Dunblaine. Its what any ‘normal’ ‘civilised’ country, that’s not actually at war or collapsing under economic and civil unrest, would do.

    And while I did initially wonder why this wasn’t a more visibly bipartisan affair, with both Leaders appearing together, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that our Leaders won’t be following in the footsteps of John Major and Tony Blair (after the massacre at Dunblane), both of whom, after a brief show of unity, quickly devolved into a school yard feud.

    “The wreath laid by Mr Blair, which was provided by the Government, was more modest than Mr Major’s”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/major-and-blair-in-dunblane-feud-1350416.html

    • Yes , Adern and Peters are more in accord than that.

      Again I say… we are blessed to have them.

      • SHG 22.1.1

        “They say – ah yes – but New Zealand has always been a nation of immigrants. They miss a crucial point. New Zealand has never been a nation of Islamic immigrants…”

        Peters also suggested that moderate Muslims were operating “hand in glove” with extremists.

        His exact words are worth quoting in full:

        “This two-faced approach is how radical Islam works – present the acceptable face to one audience and the militant face to another.

        “In New Zealand the Muslim community have been quick to show us their more moderate face, but as some media reports have shown, there is a militant underbelly here as well.

        “Underneath it all the agenda is to promote fundamentalist Islam.

        “Indeed these groups are like the mythical Hydra – a serpent underbelly with multiple heads capable of striking at any time and in any direction.”

        He went on to note that “in many parts of the world the Christian faith is under direct threat from radical Islam,” and said that he had sent a letter to all leaders of Islamic groups in New Zealand, calling them to name any “radicals, troublemakers and potential dangers to our society”.

        so blessed

        • WILD KATIPO 22.1.1.1

          OK,… time to call YOU out.

          Take Peters place, and then go over to Indonesia and Turkey and do a better job.

          And, – like Peters- go there with a minimum of a security entourage.

          Put your money where your mouth is.

          Ovb that’s not going to happen but you get the point loud and clear.

          And yes, we are blessed to have Winston Peters doing the job of Deputy PM and Foreign Minister.

          • Siobhan 22.1.1.1.1

            I bet Winston breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out the perp. wasn’t home grown…that Australian passport was Winston and NZF’s ‘Get out of Jail Free Card’.

            New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell wants to boot out migrants or refugees who don’t adhere to “New Zealand values”. So what exactly are New Zealand values?

            “They’re largely Christian-based, but not necessarily aligned to any religion,” Mr Mitchell explains.

            “They’re about respecting your mum and your dad, respecting women, respecting other New Zealanders, ensuring the people that want to be part of this country aren’t bigoted or racist or have any bad feelings towards others.”

            Why does the NZ First ‘values’ bill take aim at anti-alcohol immigrants?
            NZ First’s immigrant and refugee Bill ‘nonsense’ – expert
            Tracey Martin says NZ First immigrant and refugee Bill may not be needed
            The Respecting New Zealand Values Bill has the backing of the party’s membership, with one suggesting we had to learn from Europe’s recent experience.

            “If you bring millions of Muslims into Europe now and have problems, do they fit or not, are they fit for purpose – is that racism?“”

            I while back there was a clip on the news (which I unfortunately can’t find online) of NZ First supporters leaving a NZF meeting up North, at which Winston was the main speaker, and they were a bunch of old school racists who were simply brimming with joy and feeling very emboldened.

            Winston’s day job is neither here nor there in this issue…his racism is. We all have lives and jobs and many of us encounter potentially dangerous people and situations..that is no excuse for racism or encouraging an environment where racism flourishes.
            In this situation more than any other, we are not blessed to have Winston, and it just goes to show what a PR spin we are encountering that people actually think Winston is a good ambassador for compassion at this time.

    • One Two 22.2

      That commentators seek to hitch their sense of ‘self’ to [any other individual walking planet earth] is illustrated in misplaced euphemism for the current PM…

      Nothing more…nothing less…

      To be expected. The minimum.

      • WILD KATIPO 22.2.1

        No ones doing that , and the same charge could be laid with those talking up any other politician.

        But in the glowing adoration of Jacinda Adern so many are displaying, – lets be honest ,- its not her that’s going to these potentially politically dangerous and populous places after this incident …

        IS IT.

  21. CHCoff 23

    There are some very admirable and high qualities at the helms, no doubts there.

    But it is coming after the worst reductionist donkey era NZ has probably had and the breaking down of institutional mechanisms of societal cohesion and order – a basket case has been inherited.

    It is compounded by other ways of extreme dysfunction and entitlement looking at NZ’s relative lack of, as weakness.

    If the richness of NZ’s societal value and culture is not to be pillaged and lost, systemic updates are probably required.

  22. mosa 24

    I watched parliaments session yesterday and it was truly the house of the people.
    Some very fine speeches were given and for the first time in along time i felt that action will be taken and lessons learned and it gave me hope.
    Any kiwi that truly connects with what has happened despite their political viewpoint would acknowledge the PMs actions , words and leadership during this nightmare that has been inflicted upon our fellow citizens as exceptional.
    I remember Lange and his handling of the rainbow warrior terrorist attack that cemented his leadership and authority in 1985 but the compassion being shown now was not as evident then.
    We live in a different time now.
    She has a steely resolve that is right for the emergency situation that the country endures but her reaching out has shown courage and strength of character.
    Parliament was amazing yesterday day and it was a disservice that the news networks gave it so little airtime.
    March 15th has and will define Jacinda Adern and her premiership and not all leaders that are tested can rise to the challenge.
    She has and the country is in good hands.

    • SHG 24.1

      I remember Lange and his handling of the rainbow warrior terrorist attack that cemented his leadership and authority in 1985

      I remember the way he caved and sold the country out straight afterwards. Maybe not the best example.

  23. Mark 25

    She does have a Bachelor of Communication Studies. That helps.

    • SHG 25.1

      She still said “perpetuate” in the first speech when her notes obviously said “perpetrate”.

      GET IT RIGHT JACINDA.

      • WILD KATIPO 25.1.1

        You’d best ensure you never make a spelling mistake or grammatical error yourself from here on in, idiot.

        Ever.

        Have you seen the massive number of mistakes the media has made since last Friday?

  24. Cinny 26

    The way she has lead our country during this tragedy has set a precedent for leaders all over the planet.

    And it has been noticed by voters across the globe, so many on social media have stated… ‘I wish she were our PM or President etc’. Now that’s something to feel very proud about.

    Mighty proud of our Red Princess and our coalition government.

    Edit… Just wanted to add when nat supporters are also praising Jacinda for how she is handling the situation one knows for sure that Jacinda is a valued leader.

  25. Rae 27

    I don’t think any of her actions have been constructed.

    Some time between her taking over the Labour party leadership and actually forming the coalition govt, something happened, I can’t for the life of me remember what it was, but I saw the steel in her spine. Prior to that, I thought it could have been a disastrous move, her taking over the leadership at such a young age, and that it could destroy her. How wrong she has proved that thought to be.

    She has truly shone, I am duly humbled.

    • Sabine 27.1

      she had a baby. 🙂 and that pretty much changed everything.

      yes, she has been very good.

      • Rae 27.1.1

        Lots and lots of us have had babies, it’s a pretty natural thing to happen, having to lead a country through something like last Friday, thankfully, happens to few of us

        • WILD KATIPO 27.1.1.1

          Yes and shes not that young either ,… juggling all of that. The woman is our kind of ‘Queen Boadicea of Peace’. An extraordinary leader , actually .

  26. Ankerrawsharkal 28

    Jacinda has been exceptional and the whole world is seeing it

    • marty mars 28.1

      Yes – she is the leader we have needed and wanted. I am proud of how she is leading us.

  27. Reality 29

    Here in Australia Jacinda is earning high praise. Each day since last Friday there has been media coverage outlining her impressive leadership. So proud she is leading New Zealand through these terribly sad days.

  28. Ankerrawsharkal 30

    And yet here in NZ so little praise (Clare Trevitt excepted) for Jacinda

    And people like alywyn coming on to this site to say her leadership has been pitiful because because she didn’t know what gdp meant (sigh)

    • RedLogix 30.1

      Coverage in Australia is what I’m relying on; it’s been pretty damned good.

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