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  • rmacculloch

What's Eating Ardern? Linking NZ's First Female Finance Minister Ruth Richardson's budget to her neighbour's suicide 30 years ago is just awful.

Jacinda Ardern's international PR strategy is being unleashed. She's working on becoming a Great Ambassador for Herself and a Terrible Ambassador for NZ. The more she puts her good self up, the more she pulls NZ down & makes her fellow Kiwis look bad. I've not heard Helen Clark or John Key - our former PMs - upon retirement, ever get stuck into other Kiwis on the world stage. Not so Ardern. Her recent address in Bologna targeted NZ's first female Finance Minister, Ruth Richardson. Ardern said Richardson's "Mother of All Budgets came out", when she was 11 years old, cutting public spending. "I even recall seeing a cartoon as a child depicting the then-Minister of Finance [Richardson] standing over a large cauldron of soup with a child begging for more". Regards the "impact on people", Ardern recalls "the spread of illnesses associated with poverty .. I remember a neighbor's son taking his own life" (at 1 hour 43 mins into the video below). Ardern said Kiwis back then - of which I was one - called those on benefits "dole bludgers" & spoke of an "Asian invasion". In this dark story of our mean past it wasn't just Ruth who made us beggars, life not worth living & who spread plague, she had accomplices - Orks from Middle Earth with names like Richard Prebble & Roger Douglas. Apparently they deployed "fear" to do their dirty work. Stoking fear is not a thing Ardern would dream of doing herself, of course. She'd never tell 1.6 million Aucklanders that thousands & thousands of us would die, die, die - even though most of us were already vaccinated including all of the vulnerable ones - unless we did an almost 4 month lock-down in late 2021, the cause of today's cost-of-living crisis. Pity she put us last in the queue for the vaccine.

Why would an Italian audience even want to hear how someone called Ruth did a budget 30 years ago which somehow was linked to Jacinda's neighbor's son taking their life in Morrinsville? Ardern claimed high unemployment & debt in NZ in the 1980s to early 1990s arose from reforms that made us more "open" & less regulated. She conveniently forgot to mention the 1984 Foreign Exchange crisis caused by then PM Rob Muldoon and oil price shocks that came before. What was Ruth's legacy? When she started as Finance Minister in the early 1990s public debt was 40-50% of GDP. It fell over the next decade to less than 10% - until Ardern ramped debt back up to pre-Ruth 1990 levels, paying for all & sundry during the virus on borrowed money (see below). Ardern could only do so because of Richardson's championing of fiscal responsibility in prior years. The Italians I know who labored through Ardern's speech did get one thing out of it - they wished that this lady called Ruth would come fix their economy which has been broken by debt & red-tape. At least Ardern can return to writing more self-serving, shallow PR sound-bites at Harvard, creating a narrative for her mates in NZ's Big Media to embrace - namely that Nicola Willis is the new, awful Ruth Richardson. It is that pathetic.



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