Our ‘forgettable’ Prime Minister

John Roughan writes in a Newspaper that we have a forgettable prime minister. He says that she doesn’t really say anything memorable.  I can think of plenty that is memorable, just not for the right reasons. She of course gave a ‘rock solid guarantee’ that there would not be more strikes under a Labour government.  That was memorable.  It was also completely false. I’m also sure that the oil and gas industry has not forgotten her words when she axed exploration permits with no warning.

John goes on to sing her praises for one of the few times she said something that was memorable to him.   Quote.

At times this year I’ve been very proud of our Prime Minister, never more so than when she made a public apology to the parents of Grace Millane at her post-cabinet press conference. That was a fine thing to do and she did it so well, with the genuine feeling every parent has for those who suffer such unimaginable loss, and with the shame we all felt that it could happen to a beautiful and vulnerable young visitor to this country.

I’m not sure it would have occurred to any previous Prime Minister to do that.  End of quote.

It also did not occur to Ms Ardern to weep over any of the other 4 murders that occurred that week. Only for the murder that involved a pretty young woman and had the international media watching.  Quote.

But at other times I have been disappointed in her. Such as on Tuesday morning when she was challenged on Newstalk ZB about the sentencing of a teenaged driver to home detention for causing the death of a cyclist. I forget what Jacinda said but she certainly didn’t say she thought that was probably the right sentence. […]

[…] I forget what Jacinda said. Too much of what Jacinda says is immediately forgettable.  End of quote.

That’s because she is the master of using lots of words that contain no substance.  There is nothing to remember.  Quote.

Looking back on her first full year as Prime Minister, I’m surprised at how little we have seen and heard from her. Even making allowance for her six weeks on maternity leave, she is the least visible Prime Minister I can remember.

Maybe I’m looking at the wrong media, maybe she is always on Facebook and other online forums. But if she was saying anything interesting on those media it would be picked up by newspapers and television.

Weeks can go by without a glimpse of her on television. That’s quite hard for a Prime Minister, they get asked to comment on just about everything that happens and the power of their position makes their views news. Their post cabinet press conferences on Mondays are normally a feast for reporters at Parliament, often starting a story that lasts the week. Jacinda’s seldom merit a mention on Monday night.

When the year began, we all looked forward to the novelty of a Prime Minister having a baby and the National Party probably feared the prospect. But nobody could accuse Jacinda of exploiting that opportunity. In fact it’s remarkable how little we’ve heard about the baby. end quote.

You’re kidding!  Neve has been used as a political pawn many times over the last year, starting with Jacinda’s very first day back from maternity leave.  Whenever there is particularly disastrous news for the Labour party, you can expect to see a photo or a story about Neve to follow shortly after. Pimp the baby, distract the public from the important stuff.  You will remember how Trevor Mallard banned everyone from taking photos of Neve around parliament. In fact, we saw very few photos of Neve’s face until New York, with the world’s media watching, and then baby Neve was front and centre.  She was taken to UN meetings when the stay-at-home Daddy should have been her parent in the privacy of their hotel room.  Quote.

Now, leading a coalition with two parties from opposite ends of the spectrum, she may feel she is not as free as previous prime ministers to say what she thinks on subjects they haven’t discussed. But the public is going to get tired of empty phrases delivered in an anxious smiling rush.  End of quote.

There’s no ‘going to’ about it, we’re already completely sick of it.  Quote.

She can trust her own judgment, the coalition comes to the end of its first year in good shape, she can afford to relax and let us hear her think.  End of quote.

Given she considers politics her ‘lowlight of 2018’, and she has been the least visible prime minister in memory, with what she says immediately forgettable, I really do wonder why she is in the job.  Perhaps we would all be happier if she would instead be a full time Mum to her daughter, because she is clearly not managing both.


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