Wellington: That famous adage that a week is a long time in politics was on perfect display last night with a humiliating and rather sad public appearance by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Ms Ardern was visibly under the weather, shocking patrons when just after dusk she stumbled into the Backbencher, the historic gastroenteritis pub opposite the Beehive, the national parliament.
It was quickly clear that the latest results from national pollster Kia ora-off ! that her star was finally waning after a blinding start to her time as the nation’s 40th leader are having an adverse effect on the mother-of one. The poll shows that the 108% approval rating Ms Ardern garnered when she first attained the role of PM just last year has been cut by more than a half as New Zealanders have begun to see her more and more as very much an accidental PM.
“I’m not pussed,” the now 38-year-old and the nation’s third female leader shouted as she stumbled from table to table, holding a 2.2 litre jug of Mac’s Gold in one hand, a pint glass in the other and one of the brewer’s caps on backwards.
“Kia ora. I’m Jay-A, she told the first group of startled diners. “Okay, it’s not perfect but I’m working on it.”
She then offered to sign beer coasters with her fancy new Jay-A signature before suddenly declaring: “Who wants to bit thet I can’t drunk a punt of thus shut in luss than tin suconds?” before filling the glass and drinking it in one go once everyone had their cameras ready .
Spitting on the floor, wiping her mouth and scratching where she imagined her balls would be if she had any, she continued: “I’m here to lusten. Thet’s what I um: a lusterner. Till me what you want from me. I’m here to learn thungs.
“I gut down on my knees and cry and pray for you people every sungle night!”
After harassing diners at a number of tables, a clearly shocked Ms Ardern paused under an effigy of herself on the pub’s dining-room wall and shouted: “My teeth aren’t thet fucking bug!” before throwing a pint of beer over it. Pub security then escorted her from the premises.
To show the image problems Ms Ardern faces as she tries to rebuild political capital, condemnation from diners came swiftly after her departure.
“She’s such a fraud,” said one. “I saw her in a pub in Palmerston North yesterday and she was wearing a Tui cup beckwards and drunking thut shut.”
Another added: “End the day before thet she was wearing a Speight’s cip beckwards in Dunedin.”
“Besides,” said another, “who could drunk a whole punt of Mac’s Gold without spewing?”