We’re like a puppy with two tails here in New Zealand at the moment. Umair Haque, journalist, has petted and praised us so much in the article below, we can hardly contain our delight. I mean, who doesn’t love a lovely pat on the head like this? A small country on the edge of the world goes unnoticed a helluva lot more than it gets noticed, so when we get a good ol’ lashing of public praise on the world stage we do tend to get a tiny bit delighted. So sue us 🙂
However, we Kiwis know that we have our problems in New Zealand, too, the same as anywhere else. So, although we’re pretty stoked with Umair letting loose with his compliments and congratulations, we also appreciate that it doesn’t give us a free pass to perfection. And many of the ensuing comments about the article – a number of which were typically abusive comments ‘special’ to the online arena – let him know this.
One of the problems was that he didn’t just praise New Zealand as a country, he upset some people terribly by praising our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. Jacinda Ardern isn’t perfect either and has made some mistakes, as a person who has been unexpectedly thrown into leadership, not only of her own political party, but of the country, will do. On a personal level, there are some specific aspects of her policies that I don’t like, so although I like her and her style, I also know that she’s just human. What I do like, though, is the complete change of direction from the ‘strongman’ type of politics and leadership becoming more and more prevalent around the world – and which we’ve had here, too, to a certain degree at times – which has led to nothing but feckin disaster. Plus, Jacinda is a woman, and boy do some people hate a woman being in charge!
If anyone wants to know what kind of abuse a women in any position of authority or power, or who just has a public persona, has to put up with, just ask them if you can have a look at their social media feeds. If you think that the comments on online public articles are bad, you’ve seen nothing until you’ve seen the comments on these women’s social media feeds and in their emails. Men in the public eye get abused as well, but the best(?) is definitely and definitively saved for women.
I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that right-wingers tend to favour ‘strongman’ leadership and politics more than left-wingers do. Which is not to say that left-wingers have the march on being faultless, but the world simply can’t tolerate much more of right-wing rapaciousness, so which is the worst of the two far-from-perfect systems?
In his article, Umair praises Canada as well, and believes that New Zealand and Canada have much in common. He uses the two countries as a springboard in his article to make some really great points about the world in general. They lurk in there very cleverly amongst the frills and fluff, so keep a sharp eye out for them. One of my favourites is, “You can have a democracy or a patriarchy, but you can’t have both”.
Here is Umair Haque’s very readable article:
The New Leader of the Free World
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Remember to give him a ‘clap’ at the end of the article, whether you read it all – or read it at all – or not. ‘Claps’ determine how much the writer gets paid.