The Hypocrisies of Professional ‘Leaders’

Aren’t we overdue to acknowledge that constantly repeated patterns of history show leaders are among the most damaging factors with which people of any country must contend? It is not as if we are unaware of the damage done by the ambitious, including, uncomfortably close to our time, the Hitlers, Stalins, Pol Pots, Maos and Osamas. What about Islamic countries whose fundamentalist leaders ensure men have life-and-death control of their wives, sisters or daughters? What about the Iranian prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were minors – and where, only recently, a barbaric sentence of 33 years and 148 lashes was handed down to prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. Her crime: defending girls protesting Iran’s law forcing head coverings on women?

What are we to make of the fact that our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, wore such a head covering when greeting Prince William at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch? Ms Ardern has explicitly and repeatedly supported the Muslim community, yet she apparently has difficulty using the word Christian — notably absent when she condemned the Easter slaughter in Sri Lanka, confining herself instead to referencing an attack upon “Sri Lanka churches and hotels while people were in them”. Churches and hotels?  It was an extraordinary avoidance of the word Christian – given the clear intent of ISIS terrorists – and given Ardern’s specific references to the Christchurch Muslim community. It was as notable as the avoidance tactics of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and other prominent politicians invoking “Easter worshippers” – in contrast to Hillary Clinton’s claimed heartbreak, after Christchurch, for the “global Muslim community” – and Barack Obama’s specific Muslim reference.”

Western democracies tiptoe around condemning Islamic terrorism (or favour focusing on “white supremacists” ) – while seeing, on the grounds of condemning “hate speech”, politically useful opportunities to restrict the  freedom of speech essential to any free country. However, when it comes to the appalling treatment of those such as the brave Nasrin Sotoudeh, sentenced in Iran to imprisonment and the lash, they maintain a shameful silence. Where is the condemnation of all the targeted bullying of fellow men and women worldwide – including today’s increasingly brutal behaviour by Communist China’s hierarchy, with its repressive measures now reportedly at the worst levels since Tianamen Square? Where is the disgust at the monitoring of individuals’ day-to-day behaviour (with ubiquitous social media surveillance and face-recognition technology) and the ominous ending of presidential term limits by Xi Jinping? While there was widespread sympathy for Christchurch’s Muslims, how is that the persecution of more than a million Uighur Muslims in China’s northwest Xinjian region goes almost entirely unremarked?

None of this prevented Ms Ardern, who has lectured Australia about its confinement of boat people and whose rule has been characterised by emotive calls for kindness and well-being, from making a recent whirlwind trip to China to celebrate New Zealand’s “special relationship” with the Middle Kingdom. We are assured on such occasions that issues of human rights are always mentioned, supposedly behind the scenes. If these diplomatic rebukes are indeed delivered we can only assume Beijing’s rulers regard them as Western leaders’ lip service — pious platitudes to be ignored as easily as they are uttered.

Worldwide, recognition is bedding in that international relationships are conducted as an amoral and cynical game. However President Xi’s call for a “comprehensive strategic partnership” with New Zealand over-reaches in assuming this wish is mutual. Concerned Kiwis have been well ahead of our political parties in pointing out the undesirability of selling the best farmland, scenic and strategic assets to Chinese companies fronting for Communist interests. An almost incredible proposal by a former National Party minister that New Zealand should commit to a strategic defence alliance with China can only be viewed as, at best, extraordinarily naïve or treasonous at worst. Moreover, there is the shunning of Dr Anne-Marie Brady, a highly respected authority on Communist China and its aim to establish worldwide domination, who was initially and quite deliberately excluded from the Justice Select Committee set up by Ardern’s Labour Party to investigate foreign-money interference in our the most recent elections. Miss Ardern shows a strange indifference to acknowledge Dr Brady’s findings.

The hypocrisies and windvane ethics of those who have climbed ambition’s ladder to the very top may well be swinging public opinion in the West against the very concept of leadership, at least as traditionally understood. Angela Merkel in Germany, while hailed by the Left-liberal media’s choir for admitting more than a million migrants, is on the nose with her own citizens. In England, Theresa May’s pretense of implementing the Brexit vote she opposed while making sure the process goes nowhere has reduced her popularity to such an extent that she is clinging to power and her Tories are facing electoral oblivion. It should come as no surprise that France’s narcissistic President Emmanuel Macron, unable to grasp why he has become so despised in his own country, is now being joined by Ms Ardeen as co-chair of a meeting in Paris on May 15 that aims to control violent extremism and terrorism on social media platforms.

Is it time, I wonder, to require leaders to hold office for a year only, after which he or she must stand down while another cabinet member steps up?  Switzerland has long opted for just such a system. Perhaps we should give it a shot.

Amy Brooke lives and writes in New Zealand

5 thoughts on “The Hypocrisies of Professional ‘Leaders’

  • ianl says:

    The Brexit vote result, a plebiscite, in 2016 greatly alarmed the power lusties. Putting a real question to the general populace is considered stupid.

    Since then, there has been a noticeable reluctance from the self-proclaimed elite to discuss or debate real policy in the open and an enthusiasm to play superficial media games with the populace. Adern’s smug moral vanity reveals the egotistic arrogance of power and its’ unaccountable abuse.

  • Salome says:

    “Is it time, I wonder, to require leaders to hold office for a year only, after which he or she must stand down while another cabinet member steps up?” We’ve just had a sort of a trial of that one in Australia.

  • SB says:

    It’s not the only smart thing they do in Switzerland:

    “Switzerland’s Direct Democracy”

  • lloveday says:

    It is the 13th day of Ramadan, with Muslims fasting, importantly including no liquids, from sunup to sunset for 30 consecutive days (up to 15 hours 10 minutes in Australia depending on the date and place, less this year as it falls in Autumn). I have seen Muslims faint in consequence of fasting.
    Do you want someone who has not had a drink or food for many hours driving your taxi, bus or train? Piloting a plane? Diagnosing your medical condition, preparing your prescription or performing surgery? Investigating a crime, chasing a criminal or securing a public event? Teaching/child-caring your children?
    If you can’t fit into the Australian work environment, it is difficult to see how you can fit into Australian society other than as a welfare burden or on permanent night shifts.
    We should have a right to know if someone whom we are entrusting with important tasks, even our lives, is fit for purpose, and someone who has been working for say 8 hours on a hot humid Darwin day and not had a drink for say 12 hours is not fit for almost all work purposes.
    Look at the Middle East where the numbers of traffic accidents and deaths jump drastically during Ramadan.
    Fasting is a safety issue, and the government should prevent people working when fasting just as surely as when they are drunk or high, and if they won’t do that, we should at least have the right to know whether people serving us are fasting (and telling us the truth!).
    A Christian who has a glass of wine with lunch commits an offence if he drives a cab or train, even a fork-lift, but a fasting Muslim can drive while more seriously affected with impunity.

  • Biggles says:

    lloveday – Surely there is a simple solution to the safety question you raise; excuse all Muslim men from work during Ramadan and compensate them for loss of income by granting them the equivalent of the single age pension during that time as a lump sum amount. Surely we have enough virtue-signaling, bleeding-heart lefties in government to bring this into law. And think of the boost to the economy all that bulk cash could produce!

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