TIME FOR SANITY

A few days back I forecast a revisionist backlash against the government’s ill-thought lockdown would occur, once the realisation of the absence of any sensible reasoning became evident.

Then lo and behold, the very next day a group of New Zealand academics covering health, viruses, economics etc, came out, publicly echoing my sentiments. Well done! The same kickback is occurring in Europe by various medical specialists.

In my article I mentioned Roger Douglas’s observations about incoming Labour governments. In the post-war years all have gained office after a long period in opposition and have no governing experience. Add to that their backgrounds are rarely commercial but instead from academia, unions and the like, thus Roger noted their first term tendency to rely heavily on experts. That’s occurred here resulting in numerous health academics, we’d hitherto never heard of, become regulars on television.

Note also, that as guests on shows, and especially in America, their “thanks for having me” remarks. In short, they’re human, are loving the limelight and don’t want it to end.

It’s responsible to seek experts input. But, management requires judgement in taking advice on board, weighing it in the overall context and making decisions taking every element into consideration.

That hasn’t happened in our relying solely on the health specialists and not looking at the wider implications. The result; massive economic destruction.

I drew the analogy in comparing it with eliminating our annual 350 road deaths by banning cars. Obviously that would end the road toll, but, also take us back to a standard of living of a century ago.

So we try and reduce the road deaths but certainly not at the price of economic vandalism. It’s a trade-off government must weigh and in our coronavirus case, has failed miserably.

This blog is a small private fun activity. I don’t promote it. Yet the reaction with over 110,000 folk picking it up within a day and its huge endorsement showed people are not stupid and are concerned at the inanity of what’s happening. Simply aping other countries in which a host of vulnerability factors I outlined don’t apply to New Zealand, represented a terrible misjudgement.

The lockdown should be ended now and the government start governing.

I’ve dealt with a range of specialist professions for 60 years. Architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants, valuers and many others. They make advocacies, we weigh them and too frequently say in respect of problems, but why not this?

The answer I’ve heard hundreds of times has always been the same slightly sheepish, “We could look at that”, code for why didn’t they think of it.

Specialists can be dumbly narrow. Consider this.

In the epidemic of health academics dominating our media, a British virus professor had his place in the sun a few days ago. He told the media that the virus is primarily spread by tiny spray from coughs and sneezes. But, he added, it was a myth that summer’s warm weather had a reduction impact. He was in short, too dimly specialised to connect the dots.

Contrary to his assertion summers do reduce the contagion for the obvious reason that people have colds in winter, thus the sneezing and coughing. Predictably the press didn’t pick him up on this.

A FINAL OBSERVATION

The world-wide shut-down has resulted in no sport or things happening. Thus the news is dominated by the virus. This in turn has spread fear out of all proportion to its danger.

What’s evident by now is the death toll will not match the annual flu death figures.

When it’s all done and dusted and analysed, it’s my pick that the Swedes, who have taken a grown-up approach and got on with life, will produce the best outcome. While they’ve tried to protect their vulnerable, it’s impossible to do so totally. In essence they’ve got it all over with up front. This was not a reckless experiment, rather instead a totally rational approach by a rich nation renowned for its sophistication, high education standards and welfare structures.

The Swedes response will be rated top and given our huge head start advantages, ours will be rated the worst and most certainly the most mindless.

 

 

43 Comments

Hallelujah for your thoughts if only we had a wise government 😢. Sadly when I look online at comments when anyone speaks out about getting out of lockdown ASAP and the effects on the economy the masses cry out ‘ but I will listen to jacinda and you are only interested in money not life’
It makes me want to scream we are surrounded by her ‘sheeple’
I can only hope they more will see the light
Praise be Bob ( not in a religious way of course 😊)

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It’s time to put the ‘cradle to grave’ mentality behind us.
We can and must take responsibility for ourselves.
Having the authorities tell us what’s safe is slowing our recovery. I believe most businesses can be opened if we trust ourselves to look after ourselves.
The proof of that is in the low death rate and high recovery rate.

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The only upside in the Government’s actions is it eventually maybe the catalyst for getting rid of them.

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Well said Sir. The tide is turning but unfortunately it will be too late. And history will show we did what we did for something akin to the same risk most motorcyclists take of dying in a crash each year.

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Oh and don’t forget that banning use of motor vehicles we can all feel re-assured that we will be meeting our carbon emissions reductions. Just another thing for which the world will toast to Jacinda for her diligent foresight!

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Frederick Williscroft April 16, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Great work. The more that people learn of the absolute nonsense pedaled by this government and these “so-called experts” the better. They truly are the worst government of my lifetime.

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    So let’s see. You must be younger than 45, to have missed the spectacularly entertaining years of Wallace Rowling as P.M. conducting an orchestra of clowns.

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      Frederick Williscroft April 17, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      I was going to actually mention the 1972-1975 Labour government as the only other contender for worst government ever, but went for brevity. Thanks for raising this. They were so bad that it took them 9 years to get back in power again.

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I have said it once I’ll say it again the comparison to car accidents is an idiotic one.

There’s always a trade off between risk and function, but car accidents are idiosyncratic, viruses are not. Systemic and multiplicative vs individual and static.
Again it strikes as a complete failure of reasoning when measures to prevent something are put in place and then when it doesn’t happen saying ‘Well that wasn’t necessary’.

When talking viruses and temperature it broadly depends on whether they are waterborne or airborne. Waterborne do well in warm climates, Airborne in cold. In cold temperatures people spend much more time indoors. Sunlight due to the radiation drastically reduces the half-life of virus cells.

You are right about experts.

It’s not over till it’s over.

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    Good points – ambient humidity has an effect on virus life and transmission too, doesn’t it? NZ has a lucky ambient humidity most of the time. And this also translates to ease of achieving the right humidity indoors, in contrast to some countries where HEVAC experts are now correctly pushing the use of very expensive systems that control humidity as well as temperature – expensive plumbing to introduce humidity where it is too dry; or expensive “drying” systems where it is impossible to achieve this with simple heat.
    Our own unfortunate “clusters” may have involved venues where humidity went into optimum conditions for viral spread. The epicentres like Northern Italy and New York probably have indoor venues and homes literally everywhere at this time of year, that turn into Petri Dishes. I’m not sure that even cruise ships are as bad as the worst urban locations.

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But we are still going to widen the footpaths right?

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More weasel words from today’s Govt briefing, it is now thought Covid-19 was probably introduced into St Margret’s rest home from the outside by either staff or visitors. Well done Dr. Bloomfield I am so pleased to hear Bat soup was not being served in this rest home.
18:48 – 19:23. https://youtu.be/gzSSieBtDVE
Locking down the healthy and not doing enough to protect the infirm will be this Govts legacy.

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    I can also help the good Doctor Bloomfield. This virus which has infected some people at St Margarets Rest Home has occurred as a result of some person who has returned to New Zealand brought the virus with them and was not put into quarantine and has gone on to infect others. our economy has taken a double whammy because of this incompetence.

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Might pay to check out the Swedish death toll Bob?

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Bob
The Prime Minister repeatedly says her intention is to “eradicate” Covid-19. Her lock down plans are predicated on “eradicating this virus”. Who in the world has led her to believe an influenza virus can be “eradicated”? Even with vaccines, seasonal influenzas persist in every country in the world. What makes this coronavirus uniquely able to be “eradicated”? Her goal. as expressed, is clearly unachievable. There is a frightening naive infantilism at work here. If she continues to think this way, we will never return to a position of having a functioning and sustainable society.

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    Ah, you know influenzas from one year to the next are not just a single virus but a group of viruses that change from year to year right? So eradicating a single virus is not the same thing as eradicating all flu viruses. You are also aware disconnecting ourselves from the rest of the World and doing a National lockdown is different from how we mitigate against the annual batch of flu viruses that come or way, right? I’m not so sure the PM is the naive one in this conversation. To answer your question, what makes this virus different is the extreme measures being taken to attempt to track it and eradicate it.

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    Good comment. Remember when Jacinda was on TV telling the country her Government’s policy was to “stamp out micoplasma bovis” by slaughtering millions of dairy cows. Micoplasma Bovis remains widespread in NZ. Jacinda hasn’t learnt. Covid19 will not be eradicated it must be managed.

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I for one would like to know what the infection tree for New Zealand looks like. Who got it, how, when, who did they give it to, and why? I think that will tell us a lot about how well the shutdown measures were implemented (Auckland Airport?), which are necessary and which aren’t. That data will also tell us if Sir Bob is right and large groups of Kiwis could be trusted to exercise good judgement. I suspect it will tell us the opposite and he is being to kind to us Kiwis, as usual. 😉

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If they must continue with a lockdown then they should do so with the tiny areas where the virus is still active only, and set the rest of us free – surround them with the army if they must. Lockdown 3 for the whole of NZ is an extremely idotic thing to do after a 4 week level 4 lockdown.

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Did Sir Bob Jones just praise Sweden’s education and welfare system, a country where 46% of GDP is collected in taxes?

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More great posts from Sir Bob! We ned to share more of these with family & friends, we need to wake up more people to the fact that this Government is draconian & basically evil, all done under the guise of keeping us safe.

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the first casualty of war is always the TRUTH
sadly it seems so when we hear the new figures released
By not taking into account OTHER health issues these people had
or living conditions people endure
remember leaky homes with toxic mould causing respiratory problems??
as a classic example

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It’s heartening to know that there are a few individuals out there that still have a couple of brain cells to rub together and are not afraid to think for themselves. I strive to do the same. I too am not in favor of draconian lock down measures but I am not surprised that they have been implemented by this government. There has been very little pushback so far from the citizenry and this is what fear will do. The media does not report news or investigate exhaustively to uncover the facts but creates a story that draws people into the drama day after day. It is concerning to me to see that the Prime minister is on first name terms with members of the media in a press conference, far too friendly, far too familiar. Are you really going to grill the prime minister if she is your “friend’? Has a stringent lock down really been necessary? That would depend on if the contagion is an indiscriminate killer from the very young through to the very old, fifty precent of us being cut down unless we isolate. Is that what we are dealing with here? We cannot even trust the numbers of positive test results as the leading diagnostic test the PCR test can false positive. If we could trust the test results alone we wouldn’t need clinical assessment and social history to complete the diagnostic picture. In the future all hope is being placed on a vaccine. This “solution” is always sold to the public as being one hundred percent effective and safe yet this is simply not true. There are no vaccines that are totally effective and without risk. Will this government trample on the Nuremburg code and try to mandate full compliance for vaccination? How about your privacy? Who’s happy to have Big Tech companies colluding with government to track your movements via your smartphone? Freedom is rapidly being eroded and dependency on Big Government is being engineered at a lightning speed.

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Unfortunately there is a % of people in the country who cannot manage themselves and continuously rely on someone to tell them what to, or who to vote for or to negotiate their pay via a union. If the incumbent government does not fulfill a leading role then we will have the sheeple doing whatever the hell they like and that outcome would probably be worse. We all get caught in the net set to catch the idiots who cannot control or manage themselves and have no respect for consequences.

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Excellent points made in this post. For depth on the failure that is this lockdown (and much else that has plagued us politically in recent decades), I recommend this: https://risk-monger.com/blog/

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    So this guy is a GMO activist?
    The best it seems you could say is that he’s not even wrong.
    Seems like he thinks the burden of proof is on the natural which is exactly backwards. The Chesterton’s fence conservatives talk about comes to mind. Fat tail risk and second order thinking blows apart the ‘reasoning’ that he seems to be displaying. There’s a trade off between risk management and pragmatism, but a lot of consideration is to do with how complex system interactions given fragility and disturbance can easily cascade wildly out of control towards system failure. Any ‘genie out of the bottle’ scenario encapsulates this well, if you can’t revert something, seriously think twice about messing with it. Pandora’s Jar is a classic story about this sort of thing. That doesn’t mean never take any risk as there are immense benefits when they pay off, just be wary of ruin/absorbing barriers/non-reversibles. Many aspects of life are dominated by enormous extremes. A consequence of this is there’s an asymmetry between lots of small failures with a few huge successes vs lots of small successes with a few huge losses. This becomes clearer in mathematical terms because you can only ever lose 100%, but you can potentially gain ∞.

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      Did you read it? He’s actually pro-GMO (because it’s managed to be safe). He’s – rightly – against organics (because it’s less safe, and is environmentally and economically less effective and efficient). He, again rightly, disdains the nut-wearing beard-eating precautionarista idiots. His point is about identifying hazards, assessing risk and then appropriately managing the risk. All the things that should have been done with SARS-CoV-2 – but none of which were because we have an elected government of ideologues and a public service of weak-minded and/or weak-willed bureaucrats. It wasn’t that long ago that officials could and did tell Ministers to piss off. They still can – but they no longer do.

      The Risk Monger (did you get it? vs Fear Monger) understands – as do I – that the massive problem with those in health is that they don’t understand the difference between evidence and science. That’s why narrowly-informed people like Michael Baker leap straight to nonsensical precaution, as he did with his call to ‘ban’ (they all want ‘bans’) fresh chicken to prevent campylobacteriosis. In case you’re wondering, the correct course of action was educating and informing product users of the hazard, the risks it poses, and how to mitigate the risk, combined with similar interventions at control points along the production chain.
      Oh – Pandora’s box (it wasn’t a jar) is Greek mythology. Much like the majority of what passes for health ‘expertise’.

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      First of all it is a jar, ‘box’ is a common mistranslation/misconception. Part of my education is classical so make of that what what you want.
      I did read it, (the pun is patently obvious) there seems to be a fundamental confusion about the precautionary principle – there are two kinds: naive and non-naive. Non-naive is the kind that has relevance here not the abundant and criminal failure of the ‘expert’ classes. Things that stand the test of time have more weight for basic evolutionary reasons. Naive scientism and interventionism introduce risk because of long term unforeseen consequences. That’s the point about fat tailed risk, over long enough time series any even extremely unlikely event will occur, so it matters whether that is a positive or negative blowup. The less well we understand something and/or the complex it is – the more ways there are to go wrong.
      This is something GMO activist fools don’t seem to understand. There are ways to manage the risks of GMO crops in theory with proper border control by isolating them in a type of greenhouse for etc. much like deadly pathogens are isolated in containment facilities. In evolutionary terms novelty is high dangerous and will fail spectacularly 9/10 times and succeed massively the remainder. We need to be as much possible picking up new fellow travellers in terms of organisms because once they crop up we are effectively stuck with them forever. SARS-CoV-2 as a novel pathogen is the failure case of the moment, but any kind of gene editing whether human/animal or plant is the same. People are going to do it anyway and the technology is going to improve so we can’t exactly ban it and leave things to the bad actors, but proper risk management is required. This is why I say he’s not even wrong, the reasoning and certain conclusions are all sorts of backward, but other parts are sound like testing, isolation and so on.
      This has event had only emphasised the fragility of systems as currently arranged. There are ways to rectify this so we become far more robust such as with decentralisation and proper acknowledgement of appropriate levels of scale.

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      ‘Scientism’ as a pejorative! Bingo! 🙂 https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Scientism

      As for ‘unforeseen consequences’ – that’s EXACTLY the point of why precaution is to be avoided at all costs. Risk management uses science to determine consequences and assign probabilities, interventions, costs, benefits etc. It leads to the best outcomes.

      Knee-jerk (precaution) leads to worse outcomes and bigger problems (ref the environmental and health damage from improper reaction to Rachel Carlson’s ‘Silent Spring’ fiction, and the millions of premature dead and as many unnecessarily blinded from the ‘banning’ of Golden Rice.

      “Precaution developed in the EU as an expedient tool to make issues go away. It essentially short-circuits the risk management process by rejecting any substance or technology that could not prima facie be proven with certainty to be safe (two emotional, non-scientific concepts).” https://risk-monger.com/2020/04/17/post-covid-19-blueprint-2-2-docilian-deathtrap/

      I could address your other statements (loss >100% is common; evolution is always successful (research evolutionary mechanisms). But I won’t, as I have important things to do. I recommend Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” which may assist you in identifying and addressing cognitive biases.

      Fortunately, facts don’t give a damn about opinion.

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      Except what I have seen so far appears to fall for Scientism mistake numero uno: confusing absence of evidence for evidence of absence.
      I am familiar with the work of Kahneman/Tversky, a solid recommendation nonetheless, but there is a decent amount of cognitive bias research (like that of Paul Krugman for example) which is riddled with cognitive bias. Understanding ergodicity (such as the work of Ole Peters) makes sense of this with proper probabilistic rigour. The classic example is the prisoner’s dilemma, which seems like a problem until you realize all such ‘games’ are iterative in real life.
      Anyway, it is epistemological arrogance to be sure of we think we know all about the details of a decision. The difference between so called ‘known unknowns’ vs ‘unknown unknowns’ in other words.
      That doesn’t mean always do nothing, but most people have problems conceptually and in-practice with the doing nothing/that which doesn’t happen, especially after the fact, even when it is more beneficial not to do something. By removal is a more robust heuristic than by addition. The term iatrogenics or ‘harm by the healer’ is another angle on this.
      The point about evolution is not that it is always ‘successful’ as you seem to mischaracterise. Most things fail, it is a selection mechanism. Such a process has a longer history to support its products than anything else ever will. Human intervention is the opposite. This doesn’t make ‘nature’ ‘good’ and humans ‘bad’, only that one is proven and one is not. One is the null hypothesis, one isn’t. For all our brilliance we can’t hold a candle comparing our products to those of evolution (including ourselves) which is why biomimicry is a thing.
      Pedigree dog breeds illustrates this point. A dog that struggles to breath through its own squashed nose is a fragilising distortion we created compared to a wolf. Given enough time anything fragile will break/collapse/die off.
      Human introduced invasive species is the real comparison to make. Maybe it benefits us in the short term for reason x or y? Very possibly, but the knock on consequences of disrupting a complex ecosystem can spiral out of our control in unpredictable ways. As a related example take the Four Pests campaign in China.
      The environment is always the easy case, whatever you think about it, it behooves us in the long run to find sustainable practices.
      Proper risk management is in one sense about reducing complexity (and where possible decisively), not introducing more.
      The statement about 100% losses isn’t perfect (depending on the context) I am well aware – debt, imaginary numbers etc. All truth is said in gist. It makes the point about risk of ruin though, and simple things are more robust. Lose 10% you need ~11%, lose 20% you need ~40%, lose 50% you need 100%. The Kelly criterion or as traders call it ‘uncle points’ are further ways of thinking about it and that’s a fact.

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Looking at this and all it’s permutations one of the most Important things that has come out from it is ” How New Zealanders are fed what they think you might want to think and a condescending attitude by Government and in particular the MSN, TV news is like a rehearsal for some appalling like Project show with strolling news presenters and every evening a new reality show.It’s like a ventriloquism group .
I guess in these circumstances a good straight presenter reading the news does not qualify, the news might be true.
To get the summary of the situation and inputs of what is happening coming from Sir Robert is indeed essential and so welcome. Please continue , it’s badly needed..

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The other reason that cold’s and flu diminish in summer is because of the increased exposure to sunlight, which increased vitamin D in the body which in turn fights off viruses.

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Clayton Coplestone April 19, 2020 at 8:39 am

Alex Davis is a business executive and director of several companies in New Zealand and overseas.
New Zealand just recorded a further four Coronavirus deaths. That brings the total to nine (as of 14 April 2020):
Woman, aged 70’s with an underlying health condition.
Female, aged 90’s with an underlying health condition.
Male, aged 80’s with an underlying health condition(s).
Male, aged 70’s with an underlying health condition(s).
Male, aged 80’s with an underlying health condition(s).
Male, aged 90’s with an underlying health condition(s).
Male, aged 80’s with an underlying health condition(s).
Male, aged 90’s with an underlying health condition(s).
Male, aged 70’s with an underlying health condition(s).
Interestingly, for all individuals from 3 onwards I had to burrow into the Ministry of Health’s briefings to determine that all had underlying health conditions. The mainstream media failed to report that key fact.
The death of any individual is clearly tragic – everyone is someone else’s mother/father/sister/brother and their loved ones will be heartbroken.
But we also need to place these unfortunate deaths in context. In 2017 (the latest data released 2019 from the Ministry of Health) 33,599 people died. That’s an average of 92 New Zealanders dying per day.
Of the 33,599 people who died in 2017 the top 5 causes were:
10,438 circulatory (heart) related diseases
9,368 cancer
3,234 respiratory-related illnesses
2,113 external causes (accidents, crime, etc)
917 diabetes
2017 also recorded 668 suicides and 378 road deaths. All those individuals were someone else’s mother/father/sister/brother too.
This means that since the lockdown started on 25 March (21 days ago) approximately 1,933 people have died in New Zealand. However, in none of these instances did the government suspend parliament, rescind fundamental civil liberties or lock down the country and the economy.
Every decision comes with consequences. The cost of this lockdown is roughly $1 billion PER DAY. The government itself is spending roughly $500 million per day directly. That means (so far) the lockdown has cost New Zealand roughly $21,000,000,000. To put this in context $21billion would pay for:
More than our entire health budget for the year treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/financial-management-and-advice/revenue-and-expenditure
42 times what we spend on cancer every year health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/new-zealand-cancer-plan-2015-2018
Our entire education budget for 1.5 years treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/interest-areas/education-and-skills
Roughly 10,500 km worth of median barriers (Auckland to Wellington 16 times) newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2018/06/revealed-govt-s-median-barriers-plan-to-make-our-deadliest-roads-safer
10 times the entire NZ Police’s budget (maintenance of law and order) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Police
525 times what was allocated as a boost by the government to the Suicide Prevention (remembering suicide claimed 668 lives) budget.govt.nz/budget/2019/wellbeing/index
Almost 15 brand new, modern hospitals health.govt.nz/our-work/hospital-redevelopment-projects/dunedin-hospital-redevelopment-project
And that is all in just 21 days. If the lockdown ends on time those numbers will have increased another 25%. How many cancer sufferers’ lives could be saved with this money? How many road deaths averted? How many suicides prevented? How many children educated? And all of this money will need to be paid back either via future taxes or reduced services (or both) for decades to come.
Well-intentioned people will, of course, argue that “we locked the country down to prevent 80K deaths.” However, based on offshore data it is now clear that this figure was almost certainly significantly inflated and is based on the increasingly discredited work of Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London which heavily influenced New Zealand’s own response.
When giving evidence in [the UK] parliament a few days ago, Prof. Ferguson said that he now expects fewer than 20,000 Covid-19 deaths in the UK but, importantly, two-thirds of these people would have died anyway spectator.co.uk/article/how-to-understand-and-report-figures-for-covid-19-deaths-
If Neil Ferguson is now expecting 20K deaths in the UK with a population of 66.5M then New Zealand with a population of 4.9M (13 times smaller) should proportionately have 2,711 deaths. This would be a tragedy, but first, this number is a long way short of the predictions of 60,000 to 80,000 the government used to justify the lockdown; second, even if we hit that terrible number it would be less than 8% excess mortality over New Zealand’s usual 33,000 deaths per year; and third, currently we have nine deaths.
In short, there is an increasing body of evidence from an ever-larger number of medical researchers, doctors and academics who are calling into question the proportionality of the response to the COVID-19 crisis.
According to data from the best-studied countries such as South Korea, Iceland(buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/coronavirus-testing-iceland) and Germany the overall lethality of COVID-19 is in the one per thousand infections range and thus about ten times lower than initially assumed by the WHO, and broadly in line with seasonal influenza.
A key study from Italy also found that 99% of those who have died had other illnesses and almost half had three or more co-morbidities. For an excellent summary of articles on this topic see here: swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/
The decision to enter (or exit) lockdown also needs to take into account the misery, deaths and collateral damage caused by the lockdown itself in terms of increased rates of family violence, depression and suicide (UK suicides are up 25%), business failure and unemployment. There is also the fact that delays to surgery and medical treatment will almost certainly lead to otherwise preventable deaths. How are these deaths and the grief of their familiar measured against COVID-19 victims?
As Michael Burry, the man who blew the whistle on the US housing market (made famous in the firm The Big Short), tweeted, “If COVID-19 testing were universal, the fatality rate would be less than 0.2%. This is no justification for sweeping government policies, lacking any and all nuance, that destroy the lives, jobs, and businesses of the other 99.8%.”
Finally, at an international level, Oxfam estimates the decision by developed nations to shut down the world economy in response to COVID-19 could push half a billion people (6% of the global population) into poverty, resulting in millions of deaths – the majority of them children and women – from unsanitary conditions, malnutrition and preventable disease.
The effect could be to set back the fight against poverty by a decade and as much as 30 years in some regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa. More than one million Bangladeshi garment workers (80 percent of whom are women) have already been laid off after orders from western clothing brands were canceled or suspended.
For a Prime Minister who claimed she entered politics “for one reason: child poverty” the actions of her government are curiously opposed to that goal: the lockdown is likely to lead the largest destruction of value (and consequently the largest increase in poverty), New Zealand has ever experienced, with all the associated negative social and health outcomes.
There is no question we are faced with difficult decisions and none of the foreseeable outcomes are good, but we can’t afford to panic. We need to balance the costs and consequences carefully and do what is right for all New Zealanders, young and old, healthy and ill. We need to maintain a sense of proportion. We are in great danger of being the elephant who, having seen a mouse, stampedes off a cliff to its death.

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Bob Jones has presented blogs recently on why countries with older populations (mostly in Europe) are suffering badly from Covid19. When comparing Japans 119 deaths to Italy’s 21,069 (15/4/20 figures) and the fact that Japan has more than double the elderly occupants of Italy there must be more to this oversimplified picture. Cautiously coming out of level 4 makes more long term economic sense than following Bob Jones’ ill informed line which would undoubtedly have our hospitals inundated as they currently are in the US, UK, Italy, etc. (Just to be clear 68 people died in Sweden yesterday and they have had 1,400 deaths to date). We all want life to return to normal but not at any cost.

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My brother spends the European winter in sunny Spain where it is now spring. 348 people died of Covid19 YESTERDAY and 10,478 have died in total mainly because their hospitals have been inundated. Sorry Bob but your vitamin D theory doesn’t count for much in Southern Europe.

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Can’t help but notice the very mild treatment of lockdown abusers compared to the vilification of fire arm owners by this administration.Last year the Police minister (Stephen Nash) made numerous Public rants threatening incarceration,fines and God only knows what else if fire arm owners didn’t comply with knee jerk legislation reducing their rights.People who breach lockdown rules pose far more menace, yet Nash has been strangely silent about significant breaches of the lock down. An inconsistent and worrysome approach to say the least..

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Can’t help but pl notice the very mild treatment of lockdown abusers compared to the vilification of fire arm owners by this administration.Last year the Police minister (Stephen Nash) made numerous Public rants threatening incarceration,fines and God only knows what else if fire arm owners didn’t comply with knee jerk legislation reducing their rights.People who breach lockdown rules pose far more menace, yet Nash has been strangely silent about significant breaches of the lock down. An inconsistent and worrysome approach to say the least..

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It’s a bit late but Go Hard Go Early Simon (or go home)!

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