Mainstream politicians and media, meanwhile, went wild for New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, after the latter showed a degree of sympathy for the victims lacking among more conservative pundits. In The New York Times, for example, Sushil Aaron wrote an article entitled "Why Jacinda Ardern Matters", hailing the PM as a "progressive antithesis to right-wing strongmen like Trump, Orbán and Modi". And in Britain's Guardian newspaper, Suzanne Moore opined that "Jacinda Ardern is showing the world what real leadership is: sympathy, love and integrity" and even went so far as to claim that Ardern "has given us a vision of a better world". Memes depicting a sorrowful Ardern wearing a hijab circulated on social media, captioned with lofty panegyrics to her compassion and - that word again - leadership. In an astonishing letter co-signed by British Labour politicians Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry, Ardern was even lionized as "an inspiration to the international working-class movement".
In reality, Jacinda Ardern is anything but a working-class hero. Ardern was an advisor to the well-known peacemaker Tony Blair and is known for her policy of reducing immigration into New Zealand. Together with their far-right coalition partners New Zealand First, her Labour Party has been whipping up anti-Chinese xenophobia, nationalism and militarism (New Zealand forces have played their part in the murderous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere). While much of the press in New Zealand have argued that Christchurch represents an "end of innocence" for the country, New Zealand is fully implicated in the horrors of imperialism and its Prime Minister, like any other capitalist politician, represents a system of nationalism, exploitation and alienation that cannot but give rise to explosions of violence across the globe. What neither the liberal nor the right-wing media will tell you is that only way to halt to this violence is for working-class people to come together and end the system that produces it.