An interview the Prime Minister’s given on TV in Australia is being called awkward when it is really anything but.
In the viral clip, The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson asks Jacinda Ardern about comments where she called the deportation of New Zealand citizens from Australia corrosive to the trans-Tasman relationship.
Wilkinson challenged Ardern about the fact Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was the architect of the plan, and Ardern said that the fact our countries are friends means she can be frank.
That’s not awkward. That is called being found out. That is called being found out trying to run two different positions on the same thing
To New Zealand media, Ardern was describing Australia’s deportation policy as ‘corrosive’, and she was getting applause. People were saying how strong she was and how refreshing it was to hear a leader actually be prepared to say the tough things.
But to Australian media, she’s making excuses for the policy, saying ‘oh let’s put it in context, it’s been around for a while’, and ‘oh, it’s just a few cases here and there that we have a problem with, largely it’s totally fine if Australia deports criminals to New Zealand’.
Which I think is probably an insight into what she’s really saying in those closed door meetings with the Australians.
Truth is, we shouldn’t be surprised. What are the Prime Minister’s qualifications for this job? A communications degree and the ability to hold a press conference?
This is a Prime Minister who won the job by saying the right thing. She didn’t do the right thing, she didn’t actually do very much in the NINE years she was an opposition MP.
So, it shouldn’t take any of us by surprise when she says one thing to us to make us feel nice and make her look strong, and then to say something completely different to a different audience.
It’s just awkward that she was found out.