COMMENT: I avoided weighing into the D-Day commemorations saga because I was, in a way, hoping there might have been a pretty solid explanation as to why our Prime Minister didn't represent this country on the 75th anniversary of one of the most important days in history.
I had assumed, perhaps naively, there might be something fairly obvious, or reasonable, that we could accept as being a proper explanation. I also wanted to avoid a bit of a pile on - poor old Jacinda Ardern is under a lot of pressure these days for a lot of things that look increasingly ragged.
But when the explanation came it sadly, yet again, gave you the sense she is either fantastically out of touch, or really isn't all that invested in the job (or perhaps doesn't quite get the weight of the position).
"I can't be every where at once." That was it, and that is Ardern in a nutshell.
Stating the bleeding obvious, no she can't be everywhere at once, none of us can. But the places we are at, at any given time, is decided generally on a basis of importance: we prioritise.
Every parent has been through it a million times. We can't be everywhere our kids want us, our employers want us, our partners want us. This if life, so we work out what matters.
I would argue D-Day matters. And it matters more than what she decided mattered more, a meeting in Marlborough spruiking her Wellbeing Budget. In fact she might be the last one standing arguing that a meeting spruiking a Budget beats the commemoration of a significant day in history.
Which is why I raise this now - we need to have something better from her.
"I can't be everywhere" is a fob off.
Why was she allowed to fob it off so badly? Why is a one-liner, a glib top of the mind one-liner, allowed to pass from a Prime Minister as even remotely acceptable?
Why doesn't the media ask a few follow up questions? And more importantly in asking those follow up questions, aren't you fascinated to know just how something as significant as D-Day got dropped down a list of things to do, or places to be?
Not in Portsmouth, not in Wellington, why? The event has been in the calendar for 75 years, so short notice isn't a reason. Did someone in her office not think D-Day mattered?
Is she surrounded by millennials that have never heard of D-Day? Was there not a single person in her life that at some point alerted her to D-Day, its significance or wondered out loud, perhaps even in an alarming fashion, that maybe D-Day beats Marlborough?
Why, dare I ask, didn't she all by herself instinctively know that what she did that day was an extraordinary mistake, if not an insult?
Lest we forget how that day shaped this country, all allied countries and because of the bravery of those men, the world changed. If we don't have the humanity to mark that at the highest level, what was the point of the fight?