Jacinda Ardern was the winner last night – even though it seems the announcement from Winston Peters was as much of a shock to her as it was to the National party. A former Mormon from Morrinsville is now in the most important position in the country – how will this change her life?
Her rise to stardom has been nothing short of meteoric, but I am sure she has dreamed of this day – it is after all, the pinnacle of any political career. From now on everything she does is up for public scrutiny – so let’s hope she has learned from ‘Loo-gate.’ Illegally installing a toilet during renovations of her Point Chevalier house, and then calling it her ‘proudest DIY moment’ led to her being investigated under the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act. Fortunately she escaped with a warning – being charged for it would have been fairly embarrassing for our Prime Minister.
So, from now on how will life change for our new Prime Minister? Possibly not as much as it did for Barack Obama – he can’t use an I-phone as he was never allowed one for security reasons. It is said that Prince Charles does not even squeeze his own toothpaste onto the brush – this small task is performed by his valet. Cher complains that can’t even order a pizza delivery – they won’t believe it is her.
But will we see Jacinda trailing around the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon, trying to decide between butter and margarine, or Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, with her bodyguard and a scrum of paparazzi following her? Can she text a girlfriend on Saturday afternoon to get together for a quick lap of the mall, and a latte at Coffee Club? Are any of us likely to look left from the basin at the hairdresser and see her laid back in that peculiar position we all have to adopt when we are getting our roots touched up?
Jacinda is a big fish in a small pond now, and she will have to accept the perks – and the pitfalls – of being in the spotlight. She will get warm smiles from strangers, she will be asked a hundred times a day to pose for a selfie, her smallest whim will be granted. But on the other hand, unscrupulous reporters could go through her wheelie bin looking for old bank statements or overdue bills, they might comment negatively on her appearance and her dress sense, and they will definitely amplify any of her political setbacks.
When fame comes, it comes at a cost. Julia Roberts summed it up – ‘I don’t think I realised that the cost of fame is that it’s open season on every moment of your life.’