Heather du Plessis-Allan: Why a pregnant PM trumps Curran and Ross

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Sunday, 23 December 2018, 9:25a.m.
Jacinda Ardern met the Queen earlier this year whilst in London. (Photo / Getty)

For even the most geeky of political nerds, it's been a tiring year.

The political assault came from both sides. Sroubek, oil and gas, Clare Curran. Jami-Lee Ross, Simon Bridges, Judith Collins. Shane Jones, a government finding its feet, plastic bags.

But, let's be honest. Few of us will remember the events of this year even this time next year. Most of us will have to google Jami-Lee Ross to remember exactly what he did.

It's easy, when you follow politics almost too closely, to get engrossed in the scandals and controversies.

But, really, they are blips on the radar screens of history. A generation from now, only the most well-read political science professors will recall the Sroubek saga.

You know what we will remember? Photos of a pregnant Prime Minister in a korowai walking through the majestic courts of Buckingham Palace.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends The Queen's Dinner during The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace. Photo / Getty Images

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends The Queen's Dinner during The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace. Photo / Getty Images

Or the footage of a world leader delighted to see her baby at the United Nations. Or even the simple news that a woman was expecting a child. And that woman was the Prime Minister of New Zealand. And that woman was unmarried.

Never mind what the PM says, the nuclear-free moment of her generation isn't actually climate change. It's having a baby in office. If David Lange is remembered for his decision to ban nukes, then Jacinda will be remembered for being the first modern PM to give birth.

Having said that, while we are still in 2018, we should appreciate the year we've had.

Quote of the year

In third place, Jacinda Ardern for "read between the lines".

A useful go-to line for any awkward decision you can't be bothered explaining/can't be bothered being held to account for.

In second place, Paula Bennett for "That's it, I'm loioving". Excellent dramatisation of a West Auckland teenager mid-tantrum.

In first place, Clare Curran for "to the best of my recollection, um, ah, ah, I haven't, um, I haven't used my, um, I've answered um OIA, ah, ah, OIA responses and personal, um and parliamentary questions correctly and to the best of my recollection, um ah, you know, that, that has, that's what I've done". Just, wow.

Distraction of the year

Iain Lees-Galloway's beard. He really does put a lot of effort into that beard doesn't he? Is he a secret hipster? His beard and related hipster credentials might have helped save him from the firing he still deserves over the Sroubek snafu.

Clanger of the year

I'm probably not in a position to hand out this award this year.

Awkward moment of the year

When you fire the leak in your party, only to find out the leak in your party is still there.

Politician of the year

Judith Collins. For her surprise creep up. Judith shouldn't be sitting at 6 per cent in the preferred PM ratings. She's not even officially in the running to take over as National Party leader. She's just a rumour. Plus, we're not even sure 6 per cent of the caucus likes her. How did 6 per cent of the country catch her vibe?!

Winner of the year

It could be Winston Peters who had six weeks in the top job and surprised critics. It could also be Ardern who is an international it girl. But really, it's us. For surviving the Chinese curse of living in interesting times and still making it to Christmas in one piece.

Meri Kirihimete. Merry Christmas.

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