We’re about to enter the greatest economic depression in our history. But make no mistake, it’s not been caused by the coronavirus but instead is entirely man-made, singularly attributable to cop-out mismanagement by the government.
From time to time we all face difficult decisions with no easy answers. Invariably they involve a trade-off or compromise. Anyone with any life comprehension knows that a lockout, such as has been and continues to be dictatorially inflicted by the government, would have devastating economic consequences. That said, I have the impression the government is only now, in the face of increasing criticism, waking to what they’ve done in pretending this was solely a health issue.
In making that decision they took an easy cop-out approach by simply aping other nations. But as I’ve explained before, the problems of Italy etc simply didn’t apply to New Zealand.
By the time this closure decision was made we were fully aware of who the virus hit, namely the elderly, mostly with underlying debilitation issues. We should have promoted the distance rule, issued face masks and concentrated on protecting the vulnerable.
Winter is about to hit us, and in particular the poorer sectors of society who will not be able to pay heating bills. Additionally, and unnecessarily a huge percentage of them will be unemployed.
Sickness, family violence, depression, suicides, crime and every other negative you can think of will dominate the news – all totally unnecessarily. This will be, to quote Shakespeare, our never to be forgotten winter of discontent.
And let’s get this clear. It wasn’t just the government at fault. The Opposition initially gave it 100% tacit support. But at last they’re on the attack about this appalling blunder, I suspect as a reaction to increasing anger from their supporters. Better late than never. The shift in the public mood is now clearly detectable, as is the evident edginess of the government.
A return now to normality and getting those still with jobs back to work, will not stop the inevitable depression but will at least diminish it. For thousands of small businesses it will be too late.
Ending this ill-considered economic closedown now will see a lift in virus cases. But again, with the exception of the elderly with underlying conditions, they’ll get over it. The evidence clearly shows many will scarcely notice.
Instead we’ve had the Prime Minister, showboating daily on our state television, this in an election year when such publicity is invaluable. That amounted to an abuse of democracy. In so doing she created a climate of fear with her utterly unnecessary daily “updates” while simultaneously enforcing a dictatorial Police state on a servile public. But the tide is detectably turning.
Political support is notoriously fickle. The queues outside fried fat dispensers serving the tattooed classes last week, were I’d guess, probably mostly conventional Labour voters. I would not like to place reliance on their support if I was a politician.
And notwithstanding the extremeness of the New Zealand lockdown, we’ve not performed as exceptionally as has initially been publicised. Thailand for example, with 14 times our population has a death toll from the virus of just over twice ours. I could cite many other cases.
A month back when Jacinda was being feted as our Joan of Arc I was scoffed at for predicting an outbreak of revisionism in the months leading up to the election. I was wrong. In fact it started the next day and has gathered momentum ever since. Now it’s a daily occurrence everywhere and governments are beginning hasty retreats. But in New Zealand, ignoring the hole they’ve dug themselves, the government has mindlessly kept digging.
Literally everyone I know is furious about what has happened and the damage it has done. And I’m told MPs are now receiving angry mail from constituents.
History, as so often will repeat itself and in that respect I’d point out that after a brief place in the sun, Joan of Arc ended up being burnt at the stake. Metaphorically that will be Jacinda’s fate come election time.