I'm calling you Jacinda. Oh dear, is that patronising? I mean it's always two names for blokes: Blinglish and Andrew Little not Bill and Andy. He was Mr Little not Mr Big, so maybe the name was the problem all along? But then I guess Winston is just Winston so first name usage could be a sign of having a distinctive moniker rather than unreconstructed hiya-cupcake sexism. Anyway, Jacinda-Madonna-Beyonce if you don't mind me calling you that, I want to thank you. Because your rise to the top Labour job has taught me some things. (Oh dear. I just re-read this and am worried it sounds like I am being sarcastic. But I'm really not!)
1. Blessed be the fruit
Good news, folks! We don't live in Gilead, the totalitarian society depicted in The Handmaid's Tale. Thus, thank you Jacinda - also Jesse Mulligan - for sparking a conversation which hopefully has helped our wider culture to conclude women are capable of doing a job without having to account for what they are planning to do with their womb. Under his eye!
2. Janusian thinking
In one of her first interviews as Labour leader Jacinda talked about relentless positivity and being a pragmatic idealist. Both these things combine opposites. This is a process known as Janusian thinking, named after Janus, a Roman God who has two faces, each looking in the opposite direction. Janusian thinking is the ability to imagine two opposites or contradictory ideas, concepts, or images existing simultaneously. Researchers have found geniuses resorted to this mode of thinking quite often in the act of achieving original insights. Jacinda's use of Janusian thinking makes her less tribal than some of her colleagues. You can be both this AND that.
3. The Matthew Effect
This is a concept named after the parable in Matthew. "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken even that which he hath." Sometimes it is summed up as the law of why the rich get richer, but it may also explain why parties that are already polling strongly then attract more voters - so if Labour's polling shows a lift from the Jacinda Effect it may create a positive feedback loop. It is possible I am overstating this as I am the sort of person that feels sorry for restaurants that have no one in them.
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Last week I took my 12-year-old daughter to the dentist. She is terrified of getting braces. Every middle class child seems to have braces these days, but it is my position she doesn't have to get them for aesthetic reasons. An overbite is no impediment to success. Another thing to thank Jacinda for.
I used to think churches were like Hotel California. (You can check out but you can never leave....) If you grow up in a home of religious zealots, as soon as you can think for yourself you can choose to stop going to church, but it is much harder to undo the insidious brainwashing, especially things like splitting (this means seeing things in black and white terms, sin, Satan and all that). But Jacinda, who was raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka a Mormon), left the church 12 years ago and has demonstrated it is possible to transcend this sort of programming (See point 2).
6. Just do it
In a week Jacinda has ditched her party's campaign slogan, come up with a new one, hired a new PR adviser and thrown down the gauntlet to Green co-leader Metiria Turei. I am a chronic procrastinator. I could take a leaf out of Jacinda's book.
7. Don't be a bitch
Jacinda has helped me realise it is high time I stopped being a cow and sneering at younger women. I noticed my initial reaction when she was catapulted into the leader's role was - as per- to be a bit snarky, along the lines of Jacinda Ardern! She's all show and no substance; what's she actually done in policy terms in eight years in Parliament; she seems a bit too fond of a photo opportunity. And please, do stop showing off with the hipster DJing. Well, not any more. I have taken myself in hand. I don't want to be one of those bitter old radishes, denigrating younger women because I'm secretly jealous that they are sassier, cooler and more sorted out than my generation were at that age. Why shouldn't young women be able to hold high office, have shiny hair and like obscure electronica? Good on you Jacinda, I'm interested to see what you've got in store. For my next trick...peace in the Middle East?