As we approach the end of the year, we are repeating our twenty most-read articles of 2023, in reverse order. This is number 13 and it was first published on January 19.
NEW Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigned last night after months of rumours. Ardern, whose popularity has plummeted during the last six months, told us she ‘had nothing left in the tank’.
The backstory to this resignation is a tale of woe. Ardern said she wants to be remembered as someone who tried to be kind. The subtext is: the country is in an unprecedented mess but don’t blame me. School attendance is running at just 67 per cent on any given day. Machete-wielding teenagers are ram-raiding liquor, tobacco and luxury stores daily in an unprecedented crime wave. The health system is overwhelmed. Ardern’s government promised to build 100,000 new homes over three years. It has delivered 1,500.
Our tourist, farming and hospitality industries have never recovered from lockdowns and border closures. It takes months to get a visa to visit NZ and the government says it only wants rich people to come. Ardern insisted on universal Covid vaccination mandates. There is a suspicion that our 90 per cent vaccination rate has left most people in a lethargic fog. Excess all-cause deaths are still running 15 per cent above the long-term trends, and it is not Covid.
History will judge Ardern harshly, but don’t blame her alone. This was a Parliament who woke up on all sides of the house to the weakness of our constitutional arrangements (there are none). The Bill of Rights was tossed aside and no one in Parliament cared.
The leader of the National opposition Chris Luxon said if he was in power, he would withdraw benefits from unvaccinated single mothers. David Seymour, leader of the ACT party, said those losing their jobs through vaccine mandates only had themselves to blame. Labour’s coalition partner, the Greens, led by example. They encouraged mothers in labour to ride to hospital on a bicycle.
Revelations this week (here and here) that Ardern personally overruled her scientific advisers who were expressing doubts about the safety of Covid vaccines for young people and the wisdom of mandates have circulated very widely and no doubt this further undermined confidence in the government.
Political insider and right-wing commentator Cameron Slater published an article ten days ago saying that out of all the politicians he has known (and he has known most since Muldoon in the 70s) Ardern is the only one he rates as truly evil.
Ardern introduced ‘rule by regulation’. Adopting the enabling model favoured by fascists in the 1930s, her government has empowered authorities to tell us all what to do, when to stay at home, and where not to go. The courts, the Human Rights Commission and the broadcast regulators have all followed the government line meticulously which has had a devastating effect on business, families, communities and professions. To cement her policies, Ardern introduced massive government funding of our media and broadcasters.
Ardern’s government, in an absurd overreach, funded a nationwide effort to discredit critics of policy, labelling them terrorists. This has divided a formerly egalitarian society, instituting a Stasi-like snitch culture that encourages us to report a neighbour. Government Disinformation Project employees appeared on funded films aired on television labelling knitting, blond hair, braids, vaccine hesitancy, love of natural foods, yoga and motherhood as signs of terrorism that should be reported to the intelligence services (view it here if you can stand watching this nasty piece of propaganda and hate).
Why did Ardern suddenly change overnight in August 2021 from being a kindly figure saying she would never mandate vaccines, to being one of the world’s most draconian proponents? We can only speculate. NZ is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence network. Given the Pentagon’s recently revealed massive involvement in US Covid policy and gain of function research funding, was she fed information that a bioweapon was in play?
For a couple of weeks now government announcements and advertisements encouraging vaccination and boosters have been conspicuously absent. Has the penny finally dropped? We doubt it. It will take an honest, intelligent politician (are there any?) to roll back Ardern’s dictatorial powers and kickstart New Zealand. Why would any aspiring newby give up that much power? The prospect will be too intoxicating.
Ardern was a protege of Tony Blair and Klaus Schwab of WEF. They must bear some blame too. What fantasies of global power did they offer to a young person who was given to idealistic dreaming that segued into fanaticism?
Our final verdict: It is not Ardern but the whole NZ Parliament elected in 2020 that will be judged as the worst in our short history as an independent island nation, formerly famous for championing the underdog and offering opportunity to all. Ardern’s resignation has lit the bonfire of modern democracy.