OPINION: The Prime Minister’s politics — including her stance towards the Mongrel Mob and the Taliban — can be baffling. Graham Adams reckons answers lie in her past as a Mormon.
Graham Adams is increasingly becoming a must read Blogger over at the Democracy Project, he often writes well outside the narrative bubble and provides an enormous amount of insight and oversight.
His latest piece on the role of Jacinda’s Mormon upbringing in her semi-religious kindness art installation performances is interesting.
I’ve known Jacinda for over a decade and while her kindness ethos is genuine, I think a greater influence in her values was when she was the president of the International Union of Socialist Youth. There she had to find values that could encompass middle class socialist aesthetics with people who planted pipe bombs. Kindness as a virtue was the only way to get that stray cat army to move in any one direction.
The Ardern philosophy is less religious and more a ‘I am my neighbours keeper’.
Being a good citizen has been remolded as being a good neighbour. To reach out with generosity so that every successful recycling is a prayer, every offer to mow another’s lawn the daily sermon.
It’s an agnostic hyper Ned Flanders style of being but there is also a streak of the unforgiving puritan in this which is why Jacinda resonates so deeply with the Woke.
Jacinda’s termination of a Minister over an affair and her single minded desire to enforce kindness across all speech have all the wide eyed certainty of Ned Flanders at an exorcism.
Jacinda has repurposed leadership in a very female way by using kindness as a positive political tool without losing any of the power. She makes every kiwi woman stand 2 inches taller and has reset definitions of power, but she will punish without mercy those issues she finds fouls her kindness.
The inevitability of a Mother of Dragons moment can’t be ruled out.
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