Jacinda Ardern - winning
As a result, he has produced a piece for the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, in which he has passed severely adverse comment on New Zealand’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Never mind that her Labour Party won a majority of seats for the first time since a new electoral system was introduced in 1996, and the country had eliminated Covid-19 from its territory, Clark was not happy.
“Jacinda Ardern is no hero … Jacinda-mania has taken hold on the Left, but New Zealand's Prime Minister has pursued a disastrous Covid policy”. What is he supping? It must be something strong. New Zealand has had 25 Covid-related deaths. The UK declared six times that number yesterday - IN ONE DAY. The officially admitted running total of deaths stands at over 43,500 - and may be significantly higher.
Ross Clark - whining
In addition to that, New Zealand does not need to impose any restrictions on socialising, sporting events, travel within the country, indeed, anything that would harm the economy. The economic hit that the country took in tackling Covid-19 was less than that taken by the UK in not tackling it - indeed, Clark admits as much in his article.
This passage tells you all you need to know. “Yet for squashing Covid-19 flat, Ardern’s New Zealand has paid a terrible economic price. In the second quarter, GDP fell by 12.2 per cent. That’s smaller than Britain’s fall, but it is a horrendous collapse considering the far lighter footprint of coronavirus in New Zealand. The economy has been impacted in this way because of the heavy-handedness of lockdown restrictions. In August, while the UK was tentatively reopening, Ardern threw Auckland, her capital city, back into a full lockdown over just four reported cases”. Let’s pick the bones out of that.
One, Clark admits the economic contraction in New Zealand has been less than in the UK. Two, NZ has eradicated Covid-19 from its territory (did I mention that?). Three, reopening of the UK economy has now resulted in many tens of thousands of new Covid-19 infections, hampering its ability to compete with countries that have the virus under control.
And Four, Auckland may be New Zealand’s largest city, but it is not the country’s capital: that status belongs to Wellington. That’s the kind of basic research fail that suggests the Tel has joined the club of papers which have dispensed with sub-editors.
Jacinda Ardern showed real leadership when confronted with the Covid-19 pandemic. That is why she was so decisively re-elected two days ago. Until Ross Clark can get his head round this straightforward reality, his contributions are worthless. No change there, then.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at