Jacinda Ardern has taken a 20 per cent pay cut – and she’s showing up other world leaders

New Zealand’s popular prime minister clearly hasn’t read the guide on how to be a modern world leader in a time of crisis

James Moore
Wednesday 15 April 2020 14:34 BST
New Zealand prime minister and top officials to take 20% pay cut

Straight to the back of the class with you Jacinda Ardern – and see me afterwards to discuss your detention.

Taking a 20 per cent pay cut in “solidarity” with your people? And having all your ministers and top officials do the same? I’ve never heard the likes of it from this generation of World Leader School pupils and frankly I’m beyond outraged.

When your health minister took it upon himself to break your lockdown you duffed him up in front of everyone on the playground, didn’t you? Yes, we need to talk about that too.

You need to re-read the syllabus we sent you when the people of New Zealand handed you the top job. It’s clear that we need to set you up with some private tutoring, like the kids of most of your peers while they’re in lockdown.

Now see young Michael Gove over there in Britain. Never heard of him? He’s the bloke with the specs and the smug grin. That’s right, the one who’s about to stick that carving knife into the boy in front of him. I know he’s not in the top job yet, but he got a place as the top wannabe and he’s an example you should follow. He did what today’s leaders do and put himself and his family first by getting his daughter a coronavirus test when Britain’s healthcare workers have to catch Harry Potter’s Golden Snitch after a 12-hour shift to get so much as a sniff of one.

But when Boris Johnson – I’m sorry he can’t be with us because he’s recuperating in comfort at his country pile, as he should – saw what Michael did, he had his people steam in to defend his pal’s indefensible conduct. It’s because he’s a world leader and that’s what world leaders are supposed to do!

I think I need to have you shadow Donald Trump here. No, no, no, I won’t hear another word about how embarrassing it is to be seen in public with someone who uses cosmetic treatments to make themselves look like a space hopper. See all those gold stars on his desk? They’re there because Donald knows how to do the leadership thing. They’re there because he blows his own trumpet until it sounds like a cat being strangled, throws the sort of hissy fits that even movie stars would find embarrassing, and then makes other people take the rap for all his cock-ups. Like dumping on the World Health Organisation and cutting its funding for issuing clear warnings and advice in plain English he and most of the other students ignored.

Because that’s what a modern world leader does. Calling Covid-19 a “Chinese virus”? That’s what a modern world leader does too.

You’re not supposed to be showing solidarity with your people, you’re supposed to be setting them against each other. You’re supposed to be having them beat up on each other, and especially you country’s minorities, now that everything’s going pear-shaped. For homework, I want you to read some of Boris’s old Daily Telegraph columns.

Now I know the planes aren’t flying at the moment, and America’s a long way to go. And you’d probably embarrass the school by doing something like flying economy class so you could talk to the real people your fellow pupils prefer to talk about.

So if we can’t get you to shadow Donald, you should at least be able to find a donor somewhere to lend you a private jet so you can get to Australia. Young Scott Morrison – he’s next to Donald there – could then show you all about the three Ds he made use of when the bushfires were burning his country. Deflect! Deceive! And if that fails: Dammit, run away from the angry little people and take a holiday in Hawaii!

Jacinda, if you carry on like this you’re going to be replacing Tom Hanks as the people’s top choice to be President of the World, and our training school just can’t have that. You’re letting the side down. Goodness me, you’re even succeeding where the other pupils have failed in the battle against the spread of coronavirus itself.

At this rate you’re going to have voters looking at what they’ve got and asking why they can’t find anything even half as good from among their much larger populations. You’re going to have them asking whether they can’t do better than electing people who behave like entitled flatulent arseholes.

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