Corin is in Singapore trying to work out what the hell Trump is doing.
Jacinda is on for her last interview before the birth of her baby.
The panel is the ever excellent Dr Jennifer Curtin, that lovely Max Harris and Sir Don McKinnon.
Corin is trying to decipher the madness of Singapore. Trump is so erratic at this stage, trying to second guess whatever revenge fantasy brain fart he blurts out now isn’t helpful because there are no parameters any longer under Trumpism.
Trump wants a win so he can throw it in the face of the establishment whom he equally despises and wants respect from so he’s prepared to cut any deal.
North Korea are at the table because they have been convinced by China that Trump really was intending to launch a military strike against North Korea and that his erratic geopolitics demanded a completely different strategy. Their economy is in ruin, they need this deal as much as Trump does.
China can’t believe how utterly crazy Trump is and are too monolithic in their size and design to be anything other than terrifying and powerful so can’t do nuance in diplomacy. Whether they want to or not, china is being pulled into a geopolitical war with America and they are walking a fine line between preventing Trump from launching a military strike on their own border and allowing North Korea to give too much away.
Japan must be aghast at Trump’s idiocy but they have a President who seems willing to go to war to prevent Chinese annexation of the Pacific which will impact them the most so they have no choice but to back Trump.
South Korea just want peace and the fear that Trump seems to have no idea how North Korean artillery could flatten Seoul in 48 hours keeps them driven to cutting a deal, any deal.
How this meeting of desperate minds will end is anyones guess, and that is what is so frightening.
Jacinda’s reflection on her first 10months is helpful. She understands that transformative takes time, and I think that’s important. She must know now that the neoliberal public service is set against her, she must know now that they are doing everything in their power to shut down and kill off any actual Left wing agenda, how does she play chess against a political industry utterly opposed to real obligation and provision of services by the State?
She bides her time is what she does.
It must be dawning on Labour that Jacinda’s inclusivity is only going to get them so far. Grant bent over backwards with this budget to prove Labour will serve our corporate overlords well and not spook the horses, yet business hasn’t reciprocated and are still throwing tantrums.
At some point Jacinda has to stop showing she can take a punch and will need to start throwing some punches. We are talking power here and the right in NZ are invested in a free market neoliberalism that borders on religious, they won’t dump those visions for inclusivity.
There is a chat about the weird cult of motherhood we have in NZ. Every aspect of being a parent is photographed and judged and debated as if its all deeply significant and meaningful. Mummy bloggers will be in heaven.
That poor baby of hers will have been patted through her tummy about a billion times by now, it will be a child that everyone feels ownership in and it does give a spark of hope and significance towards the kind of change Jacinda needs to embark upon now.
An unmarried millennial juggling life balance with a stay at home fishing bloke dad, Jacinda and Clarke have managed to symbolise a generation change. For the sake of her winning 2020, that generation change better usher in a culture change and value change because if the poor who gave her their vote in the hope of real change are still homeless, are still picking up food parcels, are still concerned about climate change and still can’t buy a house.