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Jacinda Ardern's response to Christchurch puts other leaders to shame

4 101 3256
21.03.2019

Cometh the hour, cometh the woman. Jacinda Ardern won her spurs last week – and that of all New Zealanders – with her response to the Christchurch atrocity. But the world’s praise for her eloquence and compassion missed the point.

Ardern was different. She fought from the start like a real politician, scorning the killer, attacking racism, slapping back at Erdogan’s revolting election propaganda – which used the murderer’s own video – and then hitting out at Trump. And insisting that New Zealand’s gun laws would change forever.

That was the measure of her. Humanity came armed with political leadership. And what a sorry lot Ardern showed our own hapless “leaders” to be.

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Most of them have reacted to mass murders with instant clichés of sorrow and endless waffle about “terror”, and then operatic – and often inappropriate – praise for security forces who have in most cases failed to prevent the crime from taking place. In Christchurch, the cops appear to have driven the murderer off the road before he moved to a third mosque.

“They are us,” Ardern said of the Muslims slaughtered in her country. It’s the sort of remark we might have expected from a Justin Trudeau, even a Macron – but we shouldn’t get caught in the comparison game. Ardern was on her own. And she talked in global terms. If the rest of the world is happier talking about “global jihadism”, she talked of global white supremacism.

When Australia’s own racist senator Fraser Anning – he who once spoke of a “final solution” to immigration – blamed the Christchurch........

© Independent