Cometh the hour, cometh the woman. Jacinda Ardern won her spurs last week – and that of all New Zealanders – with her response to the Christchurch atrocity. But the world’s praise for her eloquence and compassion missed the point.
Ardern was different. She fought from the start like a real politician, scorning the killer, attacking racism, slapping back at Erdogan’s revolting election propaganda – which used the murderer’s own video – and then hitting out at Trump. And insisting that New Zealand’s gun laws would change forever.
That was the measure of her. Humanity came armed with political leadership. And what a sorry lot Ardern showed our own hapless “leaders” to be.
Most of them have reacted to mass murders with instant clichés of sorrow and endless waffle about “terror”, and then operatic – and often inappropriate – praise for security forces who have in most cases failed to prevent the crime from taking place. In Christchurch, the cops appear to have driven the murderer off the road before he moved to a third mosque.