Jacinda a standout performer?

The fluff pieces continue… but this particular fluff piece from a newspaper seems to me to have no factual basis at all. I really do think that the media just make stuff up sometimes but see what you think of this: quote:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is seen by many CEOs as the standout performer in the Coalition Government.

Just one year into the country’s top job, her charismatic persona, youthfulness and communication skills have marked her prime ministership.

CEOs in the 2018 Herald survey marked trustworthiness as her leading attribute — rated at 3.17/5 on a scale where 1=not impressive and 5=very impressive — among a range of other attributes. end quote.

You will note that this article is very vague about who is actually claiming that she is so good. ‘CEOs’ gives me no confidence. How about actually naming someone?

Oh, here we are. quote:

A banking boss says Ardern has been a far better Prime Minister than expected. “Labour inherited a country that had been neglected for nine years. She is an amazing communicator and front person for the Government.” end quote.

A ‘banking boss’? Who is it exactly? Someone from the Bank of Islamabad? Either these Jacinda fans don’t actually exist, or they are not prepared to be identified. So, I have a very good reason to think that this article has just been completely made up. quote:

But there have been incidents lately that have knocked her political capital, which some respondents to the Mood of the Boardroom survey say she should be cognisant of.

Though Ardern is given credit for making the best of the cards she was dealt on election night, her Coalition management skills have been found wanting. Business leaders say she must do better when it comes to managing the relationship of the Coalition partners and ministers, and make the “hard calls” when necessary and rated that attribute 2.74/5. end quote.

So, she is a standout, but… her coalition management skills are lacking and she can’t make the ‘hard calls’. Doesn’t sound like a standout leader to me at all. quote:

ICBC NZ chair Don Brash says Ardern has a very tough job “being in a position where NZ First holds the whip hand on every issue not specifically covered in the coalition agreement.” end quote.

Ah. So finally we have named someone and he said that Winston Peters is running the show. Not a standout leader then, is she? quote:

Ardern’s natural ability to communicate was frequently raised by chief executives, but they have concerns her aspirational messages can raise expectations without necessarily transferring into operational performance. end quote.

In other words, with absolutely no apologies to Lizzie Marvelly, she is guilty of ‘too much hui, not much doey’, as Christopher Luxon has already pointed out. Where is all this ‘standout’ stuff then? quote:

Of the attributes CEOs were asked to rate, Ardern’s strategy for New Zealand received the lowest rating of 2.16/5. end quote.

Really standout. quote:

“It would be good to see a stronger decisive approach to the ‘bigger’ issues — infrastructure, health, housing, education — than jumping on the bandwagon of populist policy,” says Mainfreight CEO Don Braid. end quote.

Ah. Another one named… and he has nothing good to say about her at all, does he? quote:

Says another CEO: “The smile got her into government, but she is deeply inexperienced and is taking New Zealand down a dangerous path. Sloganism is a terrible way to run a nation.” end quote.

Let me just correct you on that one, Mr A. N. Other. Winston Peters got her into government. Nothing else. quote:

But a company director says we need to give the Prime Minister room to breathe: “I think you have to admire her, whatever your political perspective. Being Prime Minister, being female, being young, means she will be under attack more than others would be. end quote.

I disagree with this, yet another unnamed commentator. First of all, I don’t admire her in any way whatsoever. Secondly, there is no reason at all why the fact that she is young and female means she will be under attack more than other leaders. If she was competent, she wouldn’t be constantly under attack for a lack of management skills or for the fact that she can talk the talk, but that’s all. All of those criticisms listed above are totally valid and to me, that means the headline of the article is completely misleading.

No… wait. The headline is not misleading. It is misspelt. They did not mean she was a standout performer. They meant she was a standup performer.

Well, I can’t argue with that.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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