Chris Trotter looks at how different generations see and judge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and weighs up what this means for both Labour and National heading into the 2020 election

Chris Trotter looks at how different generations see and judge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and weighs up what this means for both Labour and National heading into the 2020 election

Chris Trotter*

“Brand Alpha” – sounds like something out of a political thriller. It is, however, a very real business entity, dedicated to tracking the “authenticity of brands across the Asia-Pacific region”. For this research, New Zealanders now have special reason to be grateful. Just one week after the Christchurch Mosque Shootings, when the New Zealand Prime Minister’s image was, quite literally, up there in lights all across the world, Brand Alpha made the decision to investigate the authenticity of “Brand Jacinda”.

As is so often the case with fascinating tit-bits of otherwise unnoticed information, Brand Alpha’s report caught the eye of one of this country’s more attentive and perceptive financial and political journalists, Fran O’Sullivan. Her opinion piece (“For Labour, Ardern is the brand that keeps selling”, Weekend Herald, 14/9/19) highlighted the most interesting findings of the company’s research firm, Principals.

If asked, most New Zealanders would probably assume that the demographic segment most supportive of “Jacinda” would be her own: the 35-to-54-year-olds who make up Generation X. Those same Kiwis would likely be equally pre-disposed to assume the demographic segment most critical of the Prime Minister’s performance would be the one encompassing those born prior to World War II, and the Baby Boom Generation.

Most New Zealanders would, however, be wrong. According to Principals’ research, the opposite is true. It is the older generations who are most in love with “Jacinda”. Her own generation, the Gen-Xers, are not only primed to expect more from her than any other generation, but they are also the most disposed to criticise her when she fails to meet their expectations.

These findings assume a critical importance as New Zealand enters election year. Certainly those who may have been banking on older voters seeing through “Brand Jacinda”, and remaining loyal to “Brand National” – of which they were overwhelmingly supportive in the 2017 General Election – now have a very good reason to reconsider their position. Equally, all those Labour Party strategists working from the assumption that Jacinda has Generation-X in the bag would be wise to tear up their plans.

Judging by their on-line targeting of middle-aged mums and dads struggling with high fuel costs, high rents, and a housing market that is still unaffordable, it would seem that National’s pollsters have detected the same distribution of generational loyalties as Principals’ researchers. Social media is currently awash with National Party ads which go straight to the heart of the grievances of those who consider themselves members of the “unlucky” generation.

O’Sullivan quotes Principals’ research finding that: “Gen-X is the least optimistic generation when asked about their futures and less practically and emotionally supported than all other generations. So they have particular expectations of all politicians.” National seems intent on convincing these voters that not only has the Ardern-led Coalition Government failed to meet their expectations, but that she, and it, never really had any serious intentions of doing so.

Convincing the Gen-Xers to vote against “Brand Jacinda” will thus depend on National successfully highlighting the enormous gulf between what she promised her age-group and what she has delivered. Principals’ research confirms that Ardern’s greatest vulnerability is to the charge that she is all style and no substance. The policy debacles represented by KiwiBuild, the abandoning of the proposed Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and the Government’s lacklustre response to Climate Change (the issue Ardern insisted would be her generation’s “nuclear-free moment”) are not the least bit helpful in this regard.

Equally unhelpful, at least in the eyes of her “toughest audience”, will be Ardern’s handling of the charges of sexual assault involving members of the Labour Party. “Me Too must become We Too”, was the New Zealand Prime Minister’s impassioned appeal to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Accusations of insensitivity towards, and a cover-up of, the accusations of young female complainants are difficult to reconcile with “Brand Jacinda’s” ideals. The intense scrutiny which she has had to endure from female Gen-X journalists has been especially wounding to the Labour Leader and her team.

But, if the “financially-squeezed Gen-Xers” have much to complain about from the Ardern-led Government, the “greatest” and “luckiest” generations have a great deal to be thankful for. The Government’s “failures” over KiwiBuild and the CGT look remarkably like successes to the Baby Boomers. The last thing they need is a sudden inrush of affordable houses to a market that has served them exceptionally well. Equally unwanted is a large tax bill when the time comes to cash-up their rental properties. As for Climate Change: well, as the 16-year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg, so succinctly put it: “They probably think, ‘We’ll all be dead by then – so screw it!’”

There may, however, be something more than straightforward generational selfishness to the Baby Boomers’ love affair with “Brand Jacinda”. It is just possible that in the young, unmarried, career woman who stepped-up to meet her party’s need in 2017, at least some Boomers saw a person who recalled for them the confidence, idealism and unbounded optimism of their youth. In their young Prime Minister’s determination to have it all: the relationship, the baby, and the Ninth Floor of the Beehive; they may also see the living vindication of everything they had fought for. After all, “Girls can do anything!” was their slogan – and haven’t they been proved right!

For Labour strategists, therefore, the prospect looms of an electoral grand alliance between these nostalgic Baby Boomer grandparents and their idealistic Millennial grandchildren. An electoral pincer movement against the grim pessimism and bitter disillusionment of the middle-aged and desperate generation hemmed-in between them. Older people are notoriously conscientious voters – much more so than those aged between 35 and 54. With “Brand Jacinda” breaking-up the over-55s – to National’s disadvantage – Labour’s ally, the Greens, can be encouraged to concentrate all its resources on convincing the Millennials to vote for a much more forceful approach to Climate Change.

National’s success thus hinges upon its ability to generate sufficient fury among Gen-Xers to vote against both their parents and their children. They must be encouraged to call down a plague upon the houses of both the old and the young, so that, finally, a government can be elected that listens to them; delivers to them; and only to them. Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett will bend all their powers towards convincing Generation X of the old adage: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

“Brand Jacinda”, they will say, “is all style and no substance. Don’t be fooled again!”


*Chris Trotter has been writing and commenting professionally about New Zealand politics for more than 30 years. His work may be found at http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com. He writes a fortnightly column for interest.co.nz.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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156 Comments

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14
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All true , Chris ... very true ... this coalition government has an astonishing series of disasters and back downs behind them ... its amateur hour .. ideologues who have precious little real world experience...

... and yet , what is the alternative ... Bridges & Benefit .... B & B anyone ???? .... lawdy , NO ! ... sigh ...

The only hope is that National promotes the ex Air NZ CEO fast. Other than that, we may as well leave the Beehive empty.

That would be best - the country may actually run quite well without politicians interfering. Ideology is dead.

11
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Not convinced about that, based on feedback from folk in Air NZ. A good salesman, so it's said, however it sounds like Fyfe would be a better option if he was willing (he hasn't shown interest in the past). Not sure we need another salesy type who aspires to be PM but won't spend political capital doing anything.

Reckon an Air NZ CEO ought to make the economy fly ...

... I'd be worried about the Gnats pre-election advertising though ... anyone wanna sit through endless repetitions of something that looks like an old Air NZ inflight safety video .... Nooooooooooo !!!

33
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As a single middle aged white male I am struck by the complete lack of parties to vote for, all the free money being handed out is handed out to groups which I'm not a member of.

The Labour party is hiding behind jacinda ardern's virtue signalling and very little else.
The national party leadership has all the authenticity of a used car salesman.
Winston peters is going senile and I'm not shaking Shane Jones right hand no matter how many times he washes it.
The green party is environmentalism light plus extreme socialism.
The ACT party is like Highlander there can be only one!
And TOP, well without Gareth Morgan nothing is going to happen there.

Same problem I've got as 40-something, child-free, female, business-owner.

Who to vote for?

Tempted to vote Labour just to keep the rent rort going though. Labour's incompetence has been the best thing ever for land owners.

Rock and a hard place. Gareth Morgan arround and the majority walk or not arround and nothing gets done.....
The public still perceive him to be there out of sight and that is why his party will never gain any ground. That's why he had to depart in the first place.

Great assessment

I do wonder if disillusionment is starting to set in - could this be the start of the end of partisanship?

New Zealand People's United Party is coming ...

The party will unite and work for ALL New Zealand citizens.

The party will prioritise education by investing heavily on talents and creativity.

The party will adopt a Singaporean style immigration system, only bringing permanently the brightest of the brightest.

The party will adopt a lower minimum wage for non citizen and non residents.

The party will recognise the importance of primary industry including oil and mineral extraction, food industry, tourism industry, and international education industry as foreign currency earner and to New Zealand economy and create better business environment for them.

The party will recognise New Zealand's disadvantage in high-tech development and prioritise to establish extremely close relationship with Scandinavian countries, the UK, The US, and China.

The party will look into adopting a German style of rental system.

There are so many more ...

13
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"The party"
"The party"
"The party"
"The party"
"The party"
"The party"
"The party"

One get's the sense that this sort of mantra is more common in mainland China than here.

The first line of the chorus of the party song of the Communist Party of the GDR was "the party, the party is always right" (oh the irony)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lied_der_Partei

I agree Rick. What we have in New Zealand is democracy at work. It looks messy and polarizes the populace but you can only appreciate the mess when look abroad at the alternatives:

China--------------an autocratic dictatorship by a committee unelected by the populace
USA----------------a plutocracy (essentially government by a monied elite)
Russia-------------an oligarchy ( government by a dictator with a few boot-licking extremely wealthy cronies )
UK-----------------purportedly a democracy but still maintains the class-ridden House of Lords. The class system still exists if you lift up the bonnet.
Scandinavia-----probably the last bastion of true democracy, (in the 1950s almost all New Zealanders held the Scandinavians to be the people we would most like to model our country on.)
Australia-------- this what a democracy looks like when it becomes a 'basket case.'

... is this a new party , or a rehash of the New Zealand Peoples Party , which appears to have disbanded recently ?

If you propose to lower the minimum wage for non residents and non citizens ... employers will want them first ... and boatload more to come here ... regular kiwis won't get a look in !

If I understand the CCP Parody Bot correctly, it wants to bring in "the brightest of the brightest" but at slave labour rates. Better than Uber drivers, hospitality staff and cleaners at slave labour rates? But the Bot proves that we've still got some ways to go with machine learning.

Bang on. I'm a Gen Xer and willing to look past the window dressing to see what Labour has actually delivered, which is bugger all, especially galling when set against all the hype and hope. Like most others struggling with high housing and living costs, and getting tired of Jacinda getting the gushing adulation overseas when she should be here making NZers lives meaningfully better. National Party a dud with bridge to nowhere and they sold us down the river with the housing crisis. TOP at least has a sensible policy on immigration.

Heard of the saying..'If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys' ?

And sometimes if you pay more than peanuts, you still get monkeys! Check out Fonterra situation elsewhere on this site..

11
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JA is probably the only PM in world that got elected not by majority of people but by a calculating politician with questionable reputation.

It seems that each election either parties are setting up another record low standard of governing.

14
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Indictment of those who voted for her, thinking she would somehow miraculously heal all the world's ills.

Or at the very least walk on water.

Labour is now the party for government employees and beneficiaries, not the workers and tax-payers.

Labour: more of a spiritual calling and ideology than serious political party.

She would be able to do more without the Winnie handbrake

10
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Which ironically is exactly why he received the votes he did.

Winnie saved her on CGT. He is the hand break for a lot of incentives that are doomed for failure. Her political capital is bad at present, if he hadn't been there she would be close to gone by now.

Winnie is the hand that rocks the cradle ... not only was he the fairy godfather who placed these babies into the political crib , he watches over them , and prevents them from self harming themselves ...

rocks? or robs?

And still they manage to screw up.

Indictment of those who voted for her, thinking she would somehow miraculously heal all the world's ills.

Or at the very least walk on water.

Labour is now the party for government employees and beneficiaries, not the workers and tax-payers.

Labour: more of a spiritual calling and ideology than serious political party.

I'd hazard a guess your statistics are way off the mark.

New Zealand probably hasn't had a PM elected by a majority in quite a while. Under FPP it was even worse.

Trump is not a PM, but a president...He was also not elected by a majority, but was in part elected by a calculating politician with a questionable reputation.

Great piece and it certainly resonates with me as a Generation Xer

10
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Will be voting for National, its come to the point I cannot stand the sight of JA who is only interested in being in the global limelight standing on her soapbox and doing what she does best, just talking. Was going to not vote in the next election but the COL has to go, it simply cannot get any worse. If National put in Luxon it would be a massive landslide victory and they can also kick Winston down the road by taking off the Kings crown and robe and giving him a court Jesters outfit.

18
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I will happily vote for Labour and the Greens to form a coalition to cancel you out, it is way past time to be getting A into G over climate change and while I don't believe they will go far enough, soon enough, I know for certain the Nats will go in the opposite direction. I cannot think of a more cynical bunch than them to be honest.

I'll break the deadlock with a household of four all voting right of centre. The only problem is whether it's ACT or National. I may very well vote National, against my wishes, just to thwart the zealots on the Left.

12
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Haha I have an entire family of left/green voters, along with their spouses families as well. Everyone of them has enough clarity of vision to see that we absolutely have got to do things differently or the human race is toast along with much of the rest of the species on this planet. All the garbage that is going down at the moment, from the razing of the Amazon to the world edging ever nearer to the brink of war is coming from the RIGHT. I am sure you are proud of that.

Kids still haven't bought themselves a house yet?

No, they figure that they are covered with their eventual inheritance. That plus it's highly unlikely they will settle down in NZ. They don't have cars or even learner licences, don't watch broadcast TV, listen to Radio or read physical papers/magazines. YouTube and Reddit are their information sources. When the Boomers start to die in numbers the world that they support economically won't be like it is now.

They havent figured out Labour will take a cut of their inheritance if they stay in yet.
Amd devalue house prices further than they need to go due to not being organized.

Labour might decide a solo mum of eight sitting on the HNZ waiting list is more deserving of Expat's estate than his own children.

If it looks like Labour/Green will win I'm probably going to have to hold my nose and vote National. (Even though National would probably undo the few good things Labour have done.)

31
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One problem - is it National Party policy to make NZ a puppet state of China?

You'd be forgiven for coming to that conclusion

... only after volunteering to spend 6 months in a commitment to the state mental realignment camp deep in the forest near Tokoroa ...

JA cannot even remember what country she is in, how can it get worse than that ? We will have to get onboard with China when it comes to trade, like it or not unless we want to slip into third world economy status. Americans have stuck their heads in the sand for decades, look where its got them.

13
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And BeijingBridges cannot even remember his own deputy's name, 1 each

18
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JA cannot even remember what country she is in, how can it get worse than that ?

Quite clearly it can get a lot worse than that.

National will unfortunately continue to sell New Zealand out from under New Zealanders.

And they will have voted for it. SMH

Thank-you for your post. You have read my mind.

.. I'll vote for whoever takes a scientific approach to " climate change " ... and addresses solutions to its one true cause : the sun ...

Put that sun out !

I will vote for whoever will take it seriously enough.

Give everyone sunglasses and slip, slop, slap. Plus some warm clothes when it gets colder.

Me to I'll vote National to rid us of this horrid COL !!

The current team has screwed it, so bring in the next.

Was there ever any doubt you'd vote Nat? I never doubted for a moment.

National will give us two women who are only interested in being in the global limelight standing on their soapbox and doing what they do best, just talking.
I am voting NewConservativeNZ.

Cannot understand why National dragging the chain on rolling and replacing Soimon.

Luxon doesn't finish at Air NZ until the end of this month. His going away party was a very select affair with none of the predecessors hype. I think he will do well with those that vote for both values and substance, because the COL offers neither. Watch this space.

19
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Having known plenty of folk inside Air NZ I don't know why folk outside are enamoured with the idea of Luxon as PM. The worry is we'd simply get Key 2.0: aspires to be PM, does nothing, doesn't spend accumulated political capital, relies on selling land and assets plus massive immigration as only economic plan. Short-termism without a better plan.

Great article.
Jacinda turned Labour’s fortune in the last elections. Her appeal or “brand” was youth, promises of positive change, hope, and being one without past baggage.
Unfortunately there is the growing realisation - especially with failures and the impossibility of pleasing all - that these are not about substance. As for any product, whenever the appeal is one of perception over substance, damage to and loss of positive perception is usually irretrievable if not fatal.

10
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Labour I think is the Cowardly Lion that needs to find its Courage again.

They have things they've campaigned on that they could choose to implement, but they seem to have lacked the will or courage to do so. Including more sensible numbers on immigration, which both they and Winston campaigned on. Including measures on housing, beyond Kiwibuild or the Foreign Buyer Ban (to their credit, a good step they have actually taken for the future of New Zealanders).

National will be far worse for young New Zealanders, unfortunately. But Labour still needs to find its courage and act. New Zealand does not need another Key to campaign with great ideals and sincerity and then never act.

Greta Thunberg's words will resonate everywhere in the world. Old right wing f..ts who think we can grow forever in a finite world and vote away climate change, get out of the way, including you Mr Trotter, change has to come, I just hope there is enough left of the world before the young are in a real position of power.
And if anything untoward happens to her, you all know where that will come from

14
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Greta is a useful idiot; a puppet. Youth unquestioningly believe what they are told, having not developed necessary critical skills or sufficient cynicism and skepticism when being sold a story. They are made into cannon fodder for older revolutionaries who manipulate them. Revolutions and political movements that manipulate, indoctrinate and otherwise utilise children, adolescents and young adults as their power base should be viewed with extreme suspicion of their ideas - if sound they would have widespread adult support. They have a long history of ending in massive death and disaster.

I don't think she is anything of the sort, she is a phenomenon, however. As I said, get out the way, the future is theirs not yours, or mine. If you think we can carry on without doing anything, then it is you who is truly deluded, because we cannot.

The thing that will end in death and disaster is doing nothing!

And yet you support Greens who refuse to mention population control; who think flying is fine as long as you buy a few fake offsets; who oppose nuclear power which is the single most effective way to reduce carbon emissions (in a global context) using technology already available; and who oppose GM. Not to mention all their other stupid and unscientific policies (organics anyone).

National mentions population control? Here is the Greens policy on that, they are the only party that I can identify that has a dog's show that actually talk about this https://www.greens.org.nz/page/population-policy
Nuclear power on one of the world's more shakey countries, yes brilliant, check Fukushima.
Oh and we have nowhere near the population to warrant the use of nuclear power, population control anyone?
And yes, organics, given it's the most sustainable way to operate.
Oh and by the way, populations will control themselves as women become more independent and have choice about when or if they reproduce. See Japan.

Yes, it's no coincidence that the first out of the trenches are always the young. No sane adult would do it.

It is the last throw of the dice when you have to use children as your front line warriors, the last days of the Reich, Africa's children's armies etc.

Dale, a dreadful comment that reflects very poorly on you. And a Godwin's Law moment - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

No it's not.

The citing of 'Godwin's law itself can be abused as a distraction, diversion or even as censorship, fallaciously miscasting an opponent's argument as hyperbole when the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate.[10] Similar criticisms of the "law" (or "at least the distorted version which purports to prohibit all comparisons to German crimes") have been made by the American lawyer, journalist, and author Glenn Greenwald.[11]

Mike Godwin himself has also criticized the overapplication of Godwin's law, claiming it does not articulate a fallacy; it is instead framed as a memetic tool to reduce the incidence of inappropriate, hyperbolic comparisons. "Although deliberately framed as if it were a law of nature or of mathematics," Godwin wrote, "its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler to think a bit harder about the Holocaust.'

Dale, sorry but it is completely unacceptable to compare children protesting against climate change with kids fighting for the nazis. If you don't like Greta Thunberg's cause that's your perogative and please just say so. We try to maintain basic standards here. Our commenting policy can be found here https://www.interest.co.nz/news/65027/here-are-results-our-commenting-policy-review
Cheers.

The cause has nothing to do with it.

The comparison is adults who get children to do their bidding, by any definition that is not a good standard, basic or not. To suggest that this is OK, is what I'm calling you out on.

If fact my observation is that any good message to be told about human caused climate change is being completely undermined by lowering the standards of using children as not only spokespeople, but as sources of 'evidence,' as in if children say it, it must be true.

True science doesn't need to hide behind children, if you wanted to put doubt into peoples minds, just keep on doing this.

I remember the other day when Yvil claimed to show his/her daughter a photo of Megan Woods and Marama Davidson "They look like Kindergarten teachers" as a means of discrediting Labour.

Anyone who needs to resort to using kids as pawns in the political arena are losers.

Dale, you are not calling me out on anything here. As the editor of interest.co.nz I am trying to get you to toe the line on our basic commenting standards. If you prefer to talk past me, so be it. But we certainly prefer your more thoughtful comments to smears like nazi comparisions. Cheers.

Does your use, in the standards, of the German word 'Verboten' have anything to do with it?

Foyle; "Youth unquestioningly believe what they are told." Really? Do you have kids?

Depends whose doing the telling (hint, not their parents).

Most of the kids I know are as capable, if not more so, than adults of making their own decisions. 

Making a decision is not the issue, making the right one is.

National made a decision to do nothing to make housing more affordable, that was the wrong option.
Labour made a decision to do something to make housing more affordable, they chose the wrong something.

This young girl is not working in a vacuum, she is surrounded by adults that are 'supporting' her.

Anyone with a little bit of rational thinking, can see this is the methodology of the desperate. That they need to use this method of delivery red flags the weakness of their facts.

I can hardly wait until they roll out the precocious 5 year old as their spokesperson.

I can't wait till people accept the overwhelming science instead of thinking that they vote it out and that it is somehow some sort of conspiracy. Yours is the conspiracy, mate, yours.

Never send a child to do an adults job.

What makes you think anybody "sent" her. She is doing what she believes in, and more power to her.

What she believes in at 15 years of age is what certain adults have been telling her for the last 15 years. Being indoctrinated is hardly any power of worth to anyone.

What is laughable is the fawning adults, that need a child to tell them to 'believe the scientists,' not being one herself but somehow well qualified as a child to make the statement as to validate the science.

That's about as unscientific as it gets. You don't even need to know what the cause is, to know that if the message has to be delivered through a child, it is wrong.

Nope, continuing to do nothing about the state of the world is wrong. End. of. story. I have had a gutsful of inaction and continuing denial in the face of science and if a 16 year old manages to stir the world into action, then so be it.

Denial and obfuscation obviously needs something like anger to be pushed aside.

Ah, the old 'end justifies the means' argument.

And re your anger issue, if your response when you are angry is not the same as the response you would be prepared to make as when you are not angry, then your actions are probably devoid of any rational thought.

Children, and angry adults should never go together.

Your child worship is painful to read. If it was an old white man crying about climate you wouldn't be this passionate. Why don't you cite David Attenborough once in a while - he's been around the world 100 years saying we need to protect this and that, but you're pushing this chick who's flown more air miles than I ever will (for the climate of course) and saying she's got the answers because.... feelings. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

People have been citing David Attenborough's work plenty. See his recent work in Our Planet.

Also, check your facts / talking points. Greta Thunberg didn't fly to the UN.

And what too many others believe today seems to constitute talking points pedaled by vested interests, rather than having any alignment with the scientific community.

The Death of Expertise is a worthwhile read on this tendency today to undermine valid expertise and replace it with something else, whether in anti-vaxxing crowds or climate change denialism or many other areas. https://www.amazon.com/Death-Expertise-Campaign-Established-Knowledge-eb...

Expertise is hardly enhanced by having an inexperienced 15 year old deliver it.

Neither is the validity of expertise undermined by someone pointing out that attention should be paid to it.

If your best spokesperson to deliver it is a child - yes it is.

Facepalm. She's clearly neither the only nor the best but merely one more voice being raised to highlight the issue.

Why are people so desperate to ignore the scientific community on this, vaccinations, flouride etc?

There's real irony right there. You make yourself sound quite the useful idiot. Seems most of that comment describes talkback-spouting folk who persist in denial in the face of widespread agreement coming from the scientific community.

While the World Meteorological Society is highlighting the accelerating effects of climate change, useful idiots continue to spout talking points maintaining there's no such issue:
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49773869

Denial "think tanks" and "foundations" have received more than $900 million from sources they've been trending toward hiding, but oh no, it's the science community that is wrong.

Creating useful idiots to rail against climate science is certainly de rigeur in the USA, undermining trust in science:

A 2010 Stanford University survey found "more exposure to Fox News was associated with more rejection of many mainstream scientists' claims about global warming, [and] with less trust in scientists".

Greta Thunberg is at least aligned with the scientific community on the urgency of climate issues. More than be said for folks who have been thoroughly convinced into rejecting the scientific community's insight.

We need less unquestioning acceptance of Leighton Hosking talking points and more alignment with actual science.

Ad homs as usual Rick? Going with your tribal emotive abusive reaction because you can't understand data? As a useful idiot you are so childishly credulous that you swallow the antediluvian tradition of prophets preaching imminent armageddon and demanding tribute and sacrifices to avert it. A few hours looking at every touted metric; rate of air temperature rise (~1.3°C/century), rate of sea temperature rise(~0.15°C/century), sea level rise (~1-2mm/year for subsidence corrected tidal gauges, <1mm/year ice melt), greened world with >15% increased photosynthetic output, uselessness of GCMs that can't model water phase transitions or air convection, data analyses that point to ever lower values for ECS and awareness of imminent transition to electric vehicles all put a lie to the catastrophist narrative from those that profit from the scare. The world is warming, but if you understand the historical context it's no big deal.

Ad homs as usual Rick?

Spurious accusations as usual, Foyle? Harden up, mate. No sense squealing like a stuck pig when your own description of useful idiot is shown to reflect back at you rather too well.

I've merely pointed out the irony in your post, highlighting its lack of alignment with the scientific community on the issue and strong alignment with others who research shows have made great efforts to create useful idiots. Hope that helps.

Some mighty upset in both your posts considering the way you came out swinging at Greta Thunberg as being a useful idiot - someone against whom by your own standards you were indulging in ad hominem in doing so.

Have you got any evidence to support your ad hominem against Greta Thunberg?

Moreover, your own post is again rather ironic in its resort to name calling.

Lastly, "If you understood the science you'd agree with me, not with the scientific community"...yeah, well, that sounds pretty convincing indeed. Arguing that the useful idiots are the ones who align with the scientific community and not the ones who align with Fox News and its New Zealand equivalents...good luck with that, buddy.

"Have you got any evidence to support your ad hominem against Greta Thunberg?"

I will help you out there ...

"
According to her mother Malena Ernman (48), 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg can see CO2 with the naked eye. She writes that in the book ‘Scenes from the heart. Our life for the climate’, which she wrote with her family.

Greta was diagnosed as a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder and Asperger’s syndrome, just like her younger sister Beata. T
"

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/05/02/quote-of-the-week-greta-thunberg-...

Which useful idiot process is this actually an illustration of...? Greta Thunberg...or the right wing talking points process?

Of course the ongoing hate campaigns never rests…
There is at least one new conspiracy theory a day.
The latest - and perhaps most entertaining - spin is that ”I can see CO2 with my own eyes”.
This is of course a metaphor from a book taken out of it's context, taken from a German newspaper.
No one has said that I can literally see CO2… that is beyond stupid.
This should of course not be necessary to mention but since some respected newspapers have written about this without realizing that this is a fake news campaign I thought it was best to point this out.
While I am at it I also want to point out that when I say that ”our civilisation is almost like a castle built in the sand” or that ”our house on fire” these are metaphors too:)

PS This book is written by my family and our earnings from this book will go to charity.

Thanks for the good illustration of the Fox News / talkback talking points process, I guess.

This has nothing to do with Fox news etc. etc. - you know this of course.

She and her handlers made those idiotic claims ( among others .. ) - now the claims have become embarrassing and are suddenly mere metaphors.

The whole thing is child exploitation , pure and simple ... made worse by the fact that she is a seriously sick child .
This is what you are actively supporting.

Right....

That was a terrible example you chose with which to attack the source, really. Embarrassing.

Good illustration of the latching on to anything to undermine the source though.

Embarrassing for you - you have nothing of substance to respond with , hence Fox news references etc. etc.

Really, mate? Folk can read these conversations here, just so you know.

You've latched on to a patently stupid example of ad hominem against Greta Thunberg. Must be some folk feeling rather too threatened by a 16-year old girl to be that desperate.

Must be some folk lacking rational arguments - and resorting to indoctrinating a sick child. Desperate and shameless indeed.

No need to resort to really weak ad hominem to undermine her then, if that's the case.

Neither an ad hominem nor weak - her own absurd claims , quoted.

And the absurdity of that attack then highlighted. Thanks again for the illustration of silly ad hominem.

My goodness, when that's the quality folk are reduced to to try to undermine someone's efforts to get the experts listened to.

The claims are absurd - highlighting and criticizing them is not ; and you are not "quality folk" - do not flatter yourself.

They say its desperate old white dinosaurs who have too much invested in the status quo to face reality.
Trump is a case in point.

Can't foil the Foyle

Remember Malala ?

PocketAces, your statement is appalling.

Regardless of ones beliefs on climate there should always be mutual respect between peoples differing positions.

I'm not old or right wing to be clear.

Time is up for that, and I guess you haven't been keeping up with the stuff the deniers spout?

Sounds she needs a holiday.

20 years sounds about right to gain some life experiences other than a F&C shop.

JK wasted a good recession but got a helping hand in the Christchurch Earthquake disasters that has pumped about 50 billion, so far, of added stimulise into the economy, with much of that being overseas insurance money.

Christchurch has given again, this time for Jacinda with the Christchurch shootings. But rather than being at the UN, I would like her back in NZ as the answers to a lot of what happened are to be found here. For example how is it a foreign national can get a firearms license and then use that to buy a firearm of the type he did?

Vote for Bishop Tamaki!

I'll grab the popcorn...

10
up

Right, so National are going to convince me to vote for them based on the cunning little ploy of -"Labour has done nothing!, VOTE for US we will do less!"

Hmmmm.....

Just not so sure about SB and his lieutenants. A little bit shifty IMO! Crushy Collins might be a better bet for the Nat..

I don't think helicoptering-in another corporate into the National leadership will work so easily again. Maybe.

I'm looking forward to local elections, participation rates, age demographics etc,. There's a rising mood of political urgency with under 25s and teenagers not even yet allowed to vote. The main parties will have to address them through policy or become increasingly left behind by public/world opinion. SEE UN CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT

Collins would be the butt of just as many, if not more jokes than BeijingBridges and she will deserve every one of them.

For Bridges to be taken seriously he needs to get rid of Colins. That would definatally get my attention.

Labour: "Our flagship policies are failures, but we're better at the status quo than National"
National: "We're the same, but different"

Here comes another one of my "wasted votes" in 2020, given I've never been able to vote for these dinosaurs....but I need to vote for something.

National: "We will rescind the foreign buyer ban to inflate our portfolios, even if it ensures more generations of young Kiwis are excluded from owning their own home."

My guess.

Not only rescind the policy, but close the loophole that allowed Labour a bit of leeway, thereby denying future govts from carrying out the wish of the people, they tried to do it once, they will do again.

A lot is changing. A slowing economy, increasing taxation on sales ("Amazon tax", fuel duty etc.) and a coalition government failing to deliver on progressive policies. The challenge for National is showing that their policies have changed and improved since the failure of the Key/English government.

If National really does want to get rid of the UN Global Migration Compact, that would be a good start.

As a former National supporter I grew dismayed by the inability of anyone within the party machine to question the failed policies that Key and his cabinet continued with through their 3 terms in office. Key was all style but no substance and he couldn't have summed his lack of character up any better than when he left office somewhere around the time the tpp hit the rocks and the panama papers scandal came to light. He's and most of his cabinet essentially were crooks and the voting public saw right through his smile at what he and the party were allowing to happen across the country. When I voted National out I supported the parties that could do something to address the nationwide emergency caused by 9 years of poor leadership and economic mismanagement. Now at least Housing New Zealand isn't evicting tenants so it can sell their house into private hands just to deliver a surplus to a government that is following a dreadfully misguided open market dogma. As for Luxon, a bald, middle aged white guy, wow...hows that for diversity? And whats he know about running a Country much less a political machine? He's been running a small regional airline part owned by the government....that ain't no Virgin Atlantic or Lufthansa!

Absolutely correct The-Forth-Estate. The Key government was a huge disappointment.

Thanks, I come from a deep blue family but absolutely value the importance of diversity in all aspects or you simply become...a cult. And if there is one thing cults are famous for its abuse that stems from unstemmed, unh inged and un moderated self talk. Aka persecution of beneficiaries and minorities. I think this news site could dig deeper on Nationals shameful time in office...

NZ is not known for investigative journalism or muckraking journalism. It is into spouting the business people's cause with some dose of oh so liberalism in entertainment and lifestyle sections.

John Key was never mentioned in the Panama papers ............... not once .

This is just fake news created by the Labour party , and it shows how low they are prepared to go

Will a NZ Trump emerge out of all these conflicting generations to appeal to the most voting group to win the contest ?
Would be interesting, to say the least...

Unlikely. Nzers are either too naive to realize they can argue against the status quo or they just move overseas to a friendlier country and rent out their house to a desperate immigrant.

Not a chance.

The trouble with Brand building is though they take time and effort to build, it takes very little to tarnish the iamge of the Brand. Circumstances at present don't seem to be favouring the further build up of Brand Jacinda. And the Election is coming in a year. Will Brand Jacinda be sold Overseas for an International Position ?

Brand - Jacinda my backside !

Its reputation is in tatters , they cant even organize a piss-up without breaking the law and a raft of sexual misconduct taking place , not to mention .........

Flip-flopping
Dishonesty
Vote bribery
treating the electorate as idiots
taxing everything that moves , farts or is edible .
Trying her utmost to destroy the Kiwi way of life
and kaiboshing the Kiwi dream

The list is endless

Just read Greta Thunberg's bio. Her opinions have zero credibility with me.

Oh well there is an entire generation (almost) and many older people who have been able to see the writing on the wall who do agree.

It comes as no surprise to me now that so many people would rather forsake the planet than do something about what we have done and are doing to it. I don't know who you are or how old, but it also comes as no surprise that the bulk of resistance is coming from older males who do not want to be put out to pasture by those wishing to get something done about life in the future.

There is no longer any argument about climate change, about our numbers, about the degradation of the oceans, about so many other species finding themselves on the brink.

We did all this, only we can undo it.

Malala was embraced by the West very quickly for its own purposes. Not so Greta. Because then they have to act on Climate Change. May be the East should embrace Greta and give the Magasasay Award quickly ?

Oh well there is an entire generation (almost) and many older people who have been able to see the writing on the wall who do agree.....and as individuals are doing absolutely nothing about it. The fact is that its all going to turn to custard at some point anyway and its more likely to be war or a virus or even an asteroid than the whole climate change thing finally timing out and significantly reducing the world population. There are whole continents that need to stop breeding, just people are having the largest carbon footprint of all. Pointless even trying to fix climate change, improving the situation will just enable even more people on the planet. Human nature they put their wants ahead of the planets needs.

She doesn't tout herself as an expert. She suggests people listen to the experts.

A far superior suggestion to the likes of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_not_a_scientist

And that's the whole issue.

The uneducated/ignorant/indoctrinated child saying that we should show deference to a 'higher authority' is not evidence that you should believe the higher authority.

And from a scientific rational point of view, it is appalling that this is put forward as 'evidence.'

How is the girl being put forward as evidence? That statement makes no sense. Might be worth removing the word rational there.

Evidence as in if a child says it it must be true, as in out of the mouths of babes, as in the emperor's new clothes. That's what she has been put up to represent.

Commenter (lastlegs) below is hailing her as a visionary, ie as some child that has seen the light, that can hear voices (of truth) that us rational mortals could never hear or understand.

And of course it might work as intended to as there is nothing like moral outrage (pocketaces has admitted above how angry he is to the point he just wants action) to stir the faithful which I'm sure the UN are wanting as justification to launch their 'they have weapons of mass destruction' excuse to invade the lives of everyone one they can.

And in the meantime we completely ignore some of the easiest basic ways of reducing our footprint, like making houses, warmer, drier, healthier and more energy efficient.

Evidence as in if a child says it it must be true

Right...I have never heard anyone say that if a child says it it must be true.

Might be a nice argument to argue against, but I'm not seeing it being made in the first place.

I have seen people celebrating young folk taking a greater civic interest in their own long term wellbeing and that of the planet including its animal life.

I have not seen people advocating ignoring ways of improving efficiency etc you cite. Have you examples suggesting these be ignored in the meantime?

'I have not seen people advocating ignoring ways of improving efficiency.'

I never said that they were advocating to ignore it, I'm saying they are not doing it, whatever they say. The evidence is the poor quality of our overpriced housing.

'Have you examples suggesting these be ignored in the meantime?'

The example for National is ignoring there was a housing crisis, and with Labour ignoring the advice they were given on how to solve, and doing it their way which was the wrong way.

Yeah, we're basically all on here advocates of improving efficiency eh. And agree National and Labour have been awful tackling the housing crisis.

Nothing to do with Greta Thunberg.

She doesn't just suggest people listen to the experts. She touts utter nonsense and doesn't get pulled up for it. Greta -"Even at 1 degree of warming we are seeing an unacceptable loss of life and livelihoods." vs. reality.
https://ourworldindata.org/uploads/2018/04/Global-annual-absolute-deaths...
Loss of livelihoods?
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-lifted-271-million-people-o...
I guess boring old facts don't sell newspapers.

http://www.newprogs.org/greta_thunberg_to_u_s_senate_on_climate_change

Utter nonsense is trying to connect overall deaths from natural disasters to loss of life or livelihood from climate change.

Why grab two very different measures? Absurd...Boring old facts not good enough?

You could always actually look at studies on effects of climate change on livelihoods and life rather than pulling up some other random unrelated point.
https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WGIIAR5-Chap13_FINAL.pdf

Yes, what does the IPCC say on livelihoods? 0.2 and 2.% loss of income. You would have to be desperate to scare children with that sort of data. "With these recognized limitations, the incomplete estimates of global annual economic losses for additional temperature increases of ~2°C are between 0.2 and 2.0% of income." https://archive.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg2/ar5_wgII_spm_en.pdf

"Under the no-policy baseline scenario, temperature rises by 3.66°C by 2100, resulting in a global gross domestic product (GDP) loss of 2.6%." 2.6% by 2100 - now that is scary!
https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/06/SR15_Chapter3_Lo...

How about from a Noble prize winner rather than a brainwashed 16 year old?
https://www.nber.org/reporter/2017number3/climate/climate4.jpg

Deaths from natural disasters have plummeted in the past century. Even a hand wringer should be happy about that.

Why bring up death from natural disasters again? How do you see that as relevant?

We're talking impacts on lives and livelihoods from climate change. Which is a good start. Now take into account other projected impacts of climate change the scientific community highlight too. Otherwise, it's yes, easy to say "why get upset over only 0.2-2.6% loss of livelihood. E.g. including GDP: https://web.stanford.edu/~mburke/climate/map.php

And GDP per capita being a measure of quality of life: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/20/climate-change-to-slow-global-economic-g...

The point is, again, actually listening to what the scientific community is saying.

Rick, can you not handle a 2.6% loss in GDP? Get a grip - that is about the same impact as a single recession and I'm sure you've lived through a few of those. Is it really worth scaring children over a 2% drop in GDP by 2100?Especially when they are going to be about 500% richer by 2100. You are akin to some one in 1900 fretting about cities drowning in horse dung.

Oh, looks like you missed half my post.

I saw your RCP 8.5 scenario dribble. You do realise RCP 8.5 has zero chance of coming to pass? Though I suppose if one was wanting to scare children, or get a grant, you would use RCP8.5 based models rather than the Noble Laureate William Nordhaus' meta-analysis I linked to above - note Nordhaus received the Noble prize for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis. I'll take that over CNBC.
https://www.nber.org/reporter/2017number3/climate/climate4.jpg

luckily for brand greta we are not the group she is targetting as she is aiming at people who will act not keyboard warriors.she is a visionary and the haters will come out in force.

I would rather pet a salt-water crocodile than vote for Jacinda ............ In fact I would be safer petting the crocodile that at awful, dishonest, smiley - faced woman.

awful, dishonest, smiley - faced

Hang on, weren't you a fan of John Key?