Megan Markle was the guest editor of British Vogue magazine in 2019. The famous September issue is said to have been the magazine’s most important issue for that year. It was an honour for the new wife of Prince Harry to be asked. The Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle, chose 15 women whom she felt were trying to bring big changes to society and placed their photographs on the front cover.     

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Who are the women on the British Vogue cover?

Greta Thunberg – climate change activist

Jacinda Ardern – Prime Minister of New Zealand

Jane Fonda – actress and political activist

Salma Hayek – actress and human rights campaigner

Laverne Cox – actress, transgender woman and LGBTQ+ advocate

Jameela Jamil – actress, presenter and body positivity activist

Yara Shahidi – actress and campaigner for education

Gemma Chan – actress and gender pay gap campaigner

Christy Turlington – model and public health activist

Adwoa Aboah – model and mental health activist

Adut Akech – model, refugee and campaigner for racial equality

Ramla Ali – boxer, refugee and first Muslim woman to win an English boxing title

Sinead Burke – writer, disability advocate and academic

Francesca Hayward – principal ballet dancer in London’s Royal Ballet and star of Cats film

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – author and feminist advocate

The cover line-up of women includes New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, along with a transgender, a ballet dancer, a boxer, an author, and the teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg. Many in New Zealand ‘fell in love’ with Jacinda, the big smile and the kindness – indeed a breath of fresh political air.  

The BFD. Photoshopped image credit Luke

The world was in love with Jacinda Ardern.

A young single mother, who previously worked in a fish and chip shop in the rural town of Morrinsville, who rose to become New Zealand’s Prime Minister. People love heart-warming stories of success.

Jacinda won world acclaim for hugging Muslim New Zealanders after the atrocious shooting at the Al Noor Mosque, in Christchurch on Friday 15 March 2019, where 51 people died. She also won world acclaim for the way she protected New Zealand from the deadly Coronavirus, with her “hard and early” intervention and lockdown.

This world acclaim has helped New Zealand and New Zealanders to win respect on the world stage. A man I know has an interview coming up for a significant international job, partly because right now it is an advantage to be from New Zealand.

Not everyone was in love

It must be stated that many New Zealanders were not enamoured with the new Prime Minister. She didn’t earn the role in their eyes but was handed the role by Winston Peters; making her the new Prime Minister and himself the deputy. Kiwis were aware that National won the most votes but lost the election because Bill English was unable to negotiate a coalition deal with NZ First. That is how MMP works but many were very unhappy with the result.

There was concern by conservative, hardworking and tax paying voters about the direction Jacinda’s Labour Party would take the country. While some Kiwis could not care less, many knew that in 2008 Jacinda Ardern was elected President of the International Union of Socialist Youth and we watched the video of her presiding at an AGM. Jacinda said this was her proudest moment and when asked, agreed that she still adheres to those principles.

May 16, 2020, Steve Elers of Stuff, wrote, “It’s Important to Understand What Drives the Prime Minister”. 

Official records of the meeting give us insights into Jacinda’s political ideology.  For example, the documents of the union’s World Council Annual Meeting, state the aim of the Union is to “defend and spread our core socialists’ principles”.

The concerns were exacerbated as the magnitude of the economic downturn beggared belief, and New Zealand’s isolation from the rest of the world post-COVID-19 was bewildering.  Lightweight rhetoric and the realism of a socialist agenda sank in and began to hit the fan. 

The BFD. Cartoon credit BoomSlang

It is winter in New Zealand and dismal days do not help. Those who ‘fell in love’ with Jacinda Ardern are starting to realise that yes, we are COVID free, but economically we are a mess. The National Party are shedding leaders and floundering around with Todd Muller giving away his leadership yesterday morning after only a few short weeks. 

Jacinda, as Prime Minister, does not know what to do. The country is experiencing an economic shock, with high debt due to frivolous spending of billions by the government. New Zealand’s GDP will shrink by 8.9% according to Shamubeel Eaqub, an economist. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 9.8%. Businesses have closed, promised projects have been dropped and there are no more tourists. Jacinda’s “relentless positividdy” seems to have diminished as she has no answers about debt management or economic growth or what to do about the closed borders. 

Jacinda fans have gotten quieter. Some no longer feel safe in Jacinda’s “hugs”.  One, with the Vogue September magazine proudly on her coffee table, used to fondly say, “My lovely Jacinda”, but now she says she is worried about New Zealand and Jacinda’s lack of answers. 

Kiwis are “falling out of love” with Jacinda Ardern.   

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