I mentioned the quote that leads this post in my first political blog, published on Tuesday. It was said by Judith Collins to Jacinda Ardern during the leader’s debate. I want to dwell on what the quote means. It tells us much about character and values. It reveals the soul of its author.

On the 15 March 2019 New Zealand was attacked by a right-wing Australian terrorist called Brenton Tarrant. In the early afternoon Tarrant entered the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre and murdered 51 people and injured another 40. It was a stunning and obscene act, made even worse by the peaceful setting Tarrant chose. The contrast between his act and the peaceful nation he attacked highlighted its obscenity.    

New Zealand was hurt. Our people had been brutalised. The demands on our leaders were without limit. And Jacinda stood up. She delivered. She was compassionate when it was needed. She was strong when it was required. She saw the blood and she sought to heal the wound.

Here is what the Washington Post said about Jacinda Ardern.      

Ardern’s performance has been extraordinary — she will be lauded for it domestically and internationally,” political commentator Bryce Edwards told Reuters. Wearing hijab was “a sign of respect,” wrote Negar Mortazavi, an Iranian American journalist. Adil Ray, a British actor, said he was “really impressed” with Ardern for her “swift, strong leadership.” Cihangir Islam, a Turkish lawmaker, praised Ardern. She “says to Muslims in pain, ‘You, you’re us!’ Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a professor of political science in Dubai, said she was “stoic and firm.” “Can you imagine having a leader of a country showing this kind of empathy? Thank you, Jacinda Ardern, for reminding the world what a Leader is and could be,” London literary agent Jonny Geller wrote in a post that has garnered 58,000 likes. Faiza Ali, a community organizer in New York, called Ardern a “remarkable leader.” The Crisis Magazine, the publication of the NAACP, also tweeted, saying Ardern showed “Dignity. Grace. Courage.”

And then we have Judith Collins. The woman who, in the leader’s debate on Tuesday, said to Jacinda, “Go home if you can’t handle bloodsport.”

What a disgraceful act. What a piece of vermin. To use the word bloodsport to the woman who cared for the gallons of blood spilt in Christchurch. Some subjects are beyond despicable. The fate of Jews in the Holocaust. Any comparison with Hitler. All Black coach, Ivan Vodanavitch, made the same mistake when he said the 1971 test against the Lions was going to be “another Passchendaele”. Comparing a game of rugby with the 500,000 (including 5300 New Zealanders) killed at Passchendaele was and is disgraceful.   

These are subjects to avoid. But Judith Collins chose to go far beyond all that. She chose to question Jacinda’s courage in the face of danger. She chose to tell Jacinda to go home if she could not handle a bloodsport.

Well Judith Collins let me tell you this, Jacinda did not go home when there was blood spilt in our land. She boarded an airplane and flew into the devastation. Jacinda was tested in a very real bloodsport and Jacinda came through. I doubt you would show half her courage in the face of a real bloodsport trial.

Many years ago I was staying in the home of a university friend. Her father was a hardened King Country farmer. We sat up most of one night discussing life. He was full of homespun truths. In the early hours he gave me this advice. I have never forgotten it.

“David,” he said, “If you ever want to know who to have as a friend, imagine yourself lost in the bush on a dark, wet night. Is the person you are with the sort of person you would like to be with you. If the answer is yes, have them as a friend. If the answer is no, find someone else.”

As things stand now, lost, cold and wet, in the deep bush halfway up Mt. Ruapehu, I’d be happy to sort it out with Jacinda Ardern. Judith Collins though, is not made of the same stuff. Trust Judith Collins lost at night on Mt. Ruapehu – not bloody likely. And that I guess is why I will not be voting for Collins to be Prime Minister.

I’ll leave you to figure out who I will vote for to do that job. Let me give you a clue. It is the same person who helped our country home on the 15 March 2019 when we were lost on a mountain in a very dark night.     

0 responses. Leave a Reply

  1. Swimwatch


    Be the first to leave a comment!

Comments are closed.