Jacinda Ardern's enthusiasm for so-called 'decolonisation' was not enough to make her turn down a damehood.

THERE WAS next to no chance that the former pinup girl for the political establishment was going to turn down a damehood from that very same political establishment. Nevertheless, and still playing to the gallery, Jacinda Ardern did suggest she had been thinking about turning down her honour: 'I was in two minds about accepting this acknowledgement. So many of the things we went through as a nation over the last five years were about all of us rather than one individual,' she said in a carefully word media statement.  But, in the end, her damehood was indeed all about her. 

Even Ardern's enthusiasm for so-called 'decolonisation' was not enough to sway her from accepting the award, even though it remains a potent symbol of the British Monarchy. Jacinda Ardern will not be joining the list of notable women who have declined a damehood including Glenda Jackson and Vanessa Redgrave. Nobel Prize winning writer Doris Lessing rejected a damehood in 1992 commenting that it was 'in the name of a non-existent empire'. 

But since her Labour Government has embarked on a cultural project of 'decolonisation', but without upsetting the economic and political status quo, perhaps it was only appropriate that Arden should accept her gong. A damehood is nothing if not an award for services rendered to the political establishment. 

But not everyone has been thrilled for the former Prime Minister. This came as something of a shock for several mainstream outlets. RNZ and Stuff agree on a lot of things these days (decolonisation, gender ideology, identity politics) and they often republish each other's articles. RNZ republished on Monday a Stuff article on Ardern's damehood which declared that 'an underlying theme of negativity surrounded the news on social media across the country today.'

The article also said that 'Stuff has chosen not to repeat the online vitriol'. While some of the commentary was vitriolic (we are talking the social media after all) some of the comments were legitimate criticism. To describe Ardern's time as Prime Minister as 'a total disaster with her over promising and huge under delivery' is not vitriolic. Neither is the comment that 'Ardern oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the country's history'.  Or perhaps Stuff and RNZ agree with the person who tweeted that the criticism of Ardern came from 'a right-wing desperate to destroy Jacinda Ardern's legacy. It's an ongoing threat to their fascist plans for Aotearoa New Zealand.' 

Personally, I agree with author Zadie Smith who once said, 'Don't confuse honours with achievement.'


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