I try not to pride myself as a political prognosticator: for all the times I’ve guessed right, I’ve as often been wrong. Fairly early I predicted that Jacinda Ardern’s media lackeys would turn on their fairy princess, just as they did with Australia’s Kevin Rudd. Clearly I was wrong. Or at least, wildly optimistic.

But then, $55 million buys a lot of loyalty.

On the other hand, the problem with bribes is that you have to keep paying them if you want to buy continued protection. So it’s perhaps notable that a growing number of mainstream NZ media articles and journalists are starting to ark up. But is it the beginning of something more ominous, or are the media thugs just waving showing their knuckles and warning that it’s a nice little government she has, there: be a shame if anyfink were to ‘appen to it…

Whatever the case, even Stuff is getting in on the act. The mainstream media are nothing if not pack-hunters, after all.

A supposedly disillusioned Stuff contributor has published her cri de coeur to her beloved Jacinda:

I have, up until now, been a supporter of Ardern and the Labour Government and am not one to speak up. However, my position is wavering and I worry that you are out of touch with what many New Zealanders are seeing and feeling right now.

What follows is a litany of complaints against what has been Ardern’s heretofore greatest strength: her (however undeserved) posturing as the Covid Queen of the World.

The BFD. Photoshopped image credit Luke

First off: “alimminading” the virus and the disastrously botched vaccine rollout.

It was and is naive to think we can stamp out this virus. Why weren’t we fully vaccinating months ago and building a hospital to cater to people with Covid in the future? A vaccine is not going to be a magic bullet. People will still get Covid when vaccinated. Where are we going to put them all when we loosen the rules/borders? Our hospitals seem to be struggling enough as it is and will not cope with more cases of Covid-19. And why oh why do we still have all of our MIQ facilities in downtown Auckland?

This is ominous stuff for Ardern, who is sticking with her elimination fantasy when even the Stuff hacks can see that it’s failed.

The fangirls are even starting to suspect that Ardern the Wise and Powerful actually has no idea what she’s doing. (No!)

What are we working towards, what is the plan? As above, people get vaccinated, but then what happens when we still get Covid? What about the economy, jobs, businesses? Do you think they’ll all just bounce back?

Your decisions now are changing the trajectory of our country forever. I am worried, a lot of people are worried. We are losing faith in your plan, as many of us don’t know what it is anymore […]

The lack of strategic and long term thinking seemingly going on is unnerving.

Stuff is even dimly cottoning on to what The BFD has been writing about for over a year: lockdowns are making things worse, not better.

It appears this can’t be about just saving lives. Lives and livelihoods are going to be lost because of this path we now find ourselves on.


It’s too much to hope that the mainstream New Zealand media are finally seeing through the clouds of fairy dust and glitter. Certainly, this momentary fit of reason from Stuff generated furious pushback from their Twitter followers.

On the other hand, the article rightfully touches on much that we’ve long reported at The BFD: the Ardern government is hopelessly at sea and its apparent Covid success was good luck rather than good management – and New Zealand’s luck is running out. The return to Level 4 may have been a game-changer.

But the wistful, begging tone of the Stuff piece doesn’t bode well for a genuine change of heart. This is the begging of a doormat media who want to be convinced of the wonderfulness of their fairy princess, no matter what their lyin’ eyes tell them is really going on.

Another $50 mill or so ought to wash away any media doubts, I’m sure.

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Are the NZ Media Really Recovering from the Jacinda Effect?

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...