NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT

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.

83 Comments

Well said again Sir Robert. A lot of discontent down South.

Thank you Bob. Your clear and piercing mind is a gift to all of New Zealand. May all and everything bless you.

I hope you are right about Jacinda getting the short shift in September.

Catherine Aitken May 7, 2020 at 9:40 am

Spot on!

I notice the front page of the Herald featured the Auckland drought rather than their usual sycophantic article on Jacinda and Ashley.
I suspect they are furiously deciding whether to continue their blind support or to start backing the questioning re the uphill economic recovery and the government’s failure of delivery that this crises distracted us all from.

Lord Sumption explains the national overreaction to the coronavirus.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHE3OerDKEY
I do not agree with his comment that ‘The pressure on politicians has come from the public, they want action, but I agree with his other comments.
This current event fits in perfectly with other events in history.
My favourite book is [ my bible ]
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841.[1] The book was published in three volumes: “National Delusions”, “Peculiar Follies”, and “Philosophical Delusions”.

Yes you are dead on regarding the mood (surprising for some one whom I assume , does not read social media posts- where it is very evident ) . You echo exactly what most of the people i know . Excluding the left , who for some unknown reason cannot see that the core people they stand up for are most likely to become the worse off in all this fiasco, while the divide between skilled and unskilled opens up more due to skewed unemployment for two years. You clearly have extremely good vision but I cannot see the depression you say. I suspect more likely two economic affected classes -one class (professionals , supply chains) who feels little effect in the short to medium term and the other (unskilled) who takes a short to medium term very hard hit . Of course this will be a slow trainwreck so in medium to longer term lack of growth and reduction of spend Sept 20 on (e.g: when reality hots home for a few when govt, mandated mortgage payment hold stops ) will start impacting more people
.

While not having work to go back to at this point, I would hardly carry a torch for either National or Labour (which to be fair was true even before this). I will think of something.

So right, sad indeed. Simon trying but struggling and Jacinda unable to govern and tell Ashley who runs the show…. not just the 1pm PR exercise…. the bloody country! Never mind, Aussie will soon be able to join the bubble and continue to send back all those poor miscreants who are no longer entitled to welfare over there. Accomodation and hand out together with mental help will be available when they come home. 14 days in a good hotel on arrival will allow them to see the error of their ways and allow them to start enjoying our screwed economy.

The mindless digging same hole began in late February/early March. Testing is just one of several examples. NZ testing was the only country that stayed focused resolutely on symptomatic testing even after the initial WHO advice that asymptomatic transmission was rare was proved wrong. Crisis management leadership 101 is to be steadfast about goal, not strategy, so the strategy should have pivoted immediately. Either as Sir Bob says, the Plan B suggestion, or mine long ago, for all-population testing at scale, cycled 7/10 days. We might have avoided lockdown entirely. Or, come out of it very quickly, never to go back in, and open with confidence. In “Let’s Do This One Thing to Combat COVID-19, Globally” (https://bit.ly/2xC6xM3). And “Open Letter to Jacinda Ardern” https://medium.com/@ronald.pol/dear-jacinda-ardern-prime-minister-of-new-zealand-e8dc2f5450e. We would have fewer deaths and saved the economy from most of the harm The arguments that testing at scale is too hard is nonsense. Likewise the PM saying contact tracing apps have problems. They do, but they are fixable. It’s about setting the strategy and execution follows, not setting the strategy by some perception about implementation being difficult.

The tragic irony about the current angst about NZ being way down the list for vaccine is that we could have (and, possibly, still could) be second in line for just about every vaccine being developed now. All-population testing delivers a roadmap for how the virus gets around. That’s invaluable data for every country, and for vaccine development. Trouble is, by not testing properly, ever, and the long lockdown, have reduced the value of the data, all for the meaningless pretence of artificially suppressing case numbers. (The true number of cases was much higher, but most people with it had mild or no symptoms and got better, and testing only symptomatic meant case numbers were suppressed. Everywhere else that artificially suppressed case numbers by a slow start to real testing had a higher death toll, eg Italy, Spain, UK compared Germany with a leader who knew that high case numbers is a good sign because it means finding people with it and treating or isolating them and stopping transmission, so they had far fewer deaths than other countries. NZ deaths are low, but one day an inquiry might be able to say that [10? 15? 21?] of them were avoidable, if we’d pivoted strategy with the known science and first tested all health care workers and everyone in rest homes in the first wave of all-population testing, in early March).

NZ is unique: (1) We have NEVER tested properly, and still aren’t. (2) We also have lockdown as THE strategy. No-one I know seems to have realised that the government’s profoundly unimaginative “suppression” strategy simply phases back and forth through lockdown stages “until a vaccine is developed [or the] pandemic has passed.” Even if a vaccine is available early 2021, current indications are that it won’t be ready at scale until late 2021 or into 2022. I hope someone has been tasked to turn out the lights. (3) Refusing to pivot strategy even now locks in WORSE health outcomes as well as the worst economic outcomes. A pivot now would lock in the health gains and retrieve some economic value, but with lockdown as ‘the’ strategy every time between now and 2020 we have to increase levels to suppress transmission, that’s more cases, and deaths. They are avoidable. We are not avoiding them. The economic damage is remediable. We’re not avoiding it. (4) The economy or health dichotomy is indeed false, as the PM says. She uses that as a club to beat anyone saying we should look at economy. Trouble is, putting health first (which sounds sensible) is part of the same false dichotomy. That’s the thing about false dichotomies. Both are false. Health first is not actually better for health outcomes (as above), and locks in a cratered economy. All along, the strategy should have been health AND economy, not health THEN the economy. Optimal outcomes for BOTH were possible. The only way to salvage the best possible for both now is to pivot strategy to actually make it happen, not keep digging in with what was wrong since early March, and is starting to be more widely seen as flawed, at least while something can still be done and not just in the books laying it bare in 2 years time. Otherwise, shovel ready may be the epitaph for more deaths and the economy.

    You do know that 5 million people left Wuhan between January 10 (the start of the Chinese New Year travel rush) and the Wuhan lockdown on January 23? They headed to all parts of China. They did this when the epidemic was already 3 or 4 weeks old.

    These 5 million did not appreciably spread the disease.

    Yet the disease spread very rapidly in Wuhan over the same period.

    How’s that?

    It is simple.

    The disease has almost zero transmission rate, so did not appreciably spread to the rest of China.

    The disease was deliberately spread in Wuhan, hence the high transmission rate there.

    http://www.preearth.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1184

      Fuzzysnuggleduck May 7, 2020 at 8:45 pm

      …Or that most the 5 million who fled didn’t have the disease, to spread it – they ran early enough. Or that people can be asymptomatic or recovered, and didn’t register as statistics for Cov-19, Or that the sick went into hiding, due to the repression or stigma against those who fled, Or that the CCP is not being honest with the infection figures or death rates, Or some other reason, Or all of the above. None of this needs to point only to ‘Cov-19 is a hoax’, as per your web link.

I could not disagree with you more Sir Bob. It’s very easy to make these comments in hindsight but had we not acted swiftly and decisively we were on the same trajectory as Italy. The government response has been stellar and you hope of a change in September badly out of step with public opinion.

    Fuzzysnuggleduck May 7, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Ross, on what basis can you assert we were on the same trajectory as Italy? That is the myth the Hugzilla needs to continue to dupe us with.
    NZ’s population density, age demographics, smoking rates, housing/cultural practices, are all completely different to Italy!
    The problem is the media focusing on fear-porn reporting on New York City and Lombardy- Italy to the exclusion of success cases like Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand (populous Asian nations which have done better than NZ!).
    The underlying health, average age, dense housing, close contacts, reliance on public transport, smoking habits, even air quality of these- all contrast NZ; e.g. something like 18 people per square kilometre, with New York City, with over 10,000 per square kilometre, or e.g. hard hit regions of Italy were over 65 year-olds are a quarter of the population.

    Jeez, son, you seem to have missed a lot of factual detail and nuance that it available outside the 1pm pronouncements.
    Like the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland, you must be able to “believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast”.
    When Jacinda tells you that NZ is Best In The World, practicing Gold Standard testing, we have plenty of PPE, flu jabs ans swabs, and asserts that 80,000 kiwis will die if we don’t obey – that is enough for you, huh? And we couldn’t possibly quarantine earlier, or even lock the border sooner, and we have to be in this level of internal lock down, a pamphlet for new arrivals & then send them on, because…..well, Hugzilla said so.
    Take a look into the modelling done in Auckland by the ‘Centre for Research Excellence’ (LOL) or the Otago Covid Research Group, and you will see how the least sober and least likely outlying scenarios they could use levers to contrive were latched on to, and used to justify the government lock down: economic hari-kiri.
    The economy IS people’s health, silly-billy. The lock down will also lead to premature and excess deaths. Lack of funding for Pharmac, Health sector, delayed consultations and surgeries, reduced wealth, impacts on mental heath, dare I suggest suicides.
    This is negative impact is going to go on for years – so time enough for you to learn a little, look around, or just await some of the excellent books will be written about this age of collective madness.

Fantastic. Sir Bob, so glad you are writing regularly. So over the sycophantic Jacinda-loving media and child journalists unable to ask intelligent questions.

It is interesting to read in The Herald today, that the Government suspended the Official Information Act due to the perceived emergency. So they think that when there’s an emergency, the public and the chairman of the Epidemic Response Committee (Simon Bridges), whose job it is to oversee the national response, have less right to know what’s going on. This is outrageous. Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield need to get their marching orders.

    Do you have a link?
    Unable to find any mention of suspension.

    Wow, thanks Michael. It was almost understandable when they suspended the need to assess the impact of economic measures, scrapping financial oversight. That was merely dictatorial, “we know better what to do with your money and your economic future than you and we won’t be questioned,” but the OIA is the bedrock of a democratic society. Even just floating the idea to scrap OIA through some hapless officials, as seems to be the case, leaving Kiwis no idea of what’s really been happening, beyond the intensely controlled official narrative, is astonishing in a democracy. That’s something even Trump couldn’t do. Politicians will likely distance themselves from it, fast, or they can hardly point fingers at China’s initial cover-up if they want a systemic, institutionalised, state cover-up here. Wow.

Never a truer word spoken – summerised to perfection Sir Bob.

Extremely well written.

Never a truer word spoken – summarised to perfection Sir Bob.

Hardly surprising when we have a government that is full of people who have experience of university, perhaps a union, and then politics, and a feeble opposition desperate to be liked and thus never willing to saying anything that may ever offend anyone.

He didn’t make these comments in retrospect Ross. Sir Bob was one of the brave few of us who made them at the time this nonsense was unfolding.

I acted swiftly and decisively and ignored Winston’s demands to come home and got immediately on a plane to Thailand where it’s sunny, warm and as Sir Bob has written – virtually Covid free. Even compared to NZ. We also now are virtually Russian and Chinese free which at this time of year is uniquely pleasant.

Sadly the locals are also income free thanks to “first world” lockdowns and facing more poverty than ever but no one in NZ will care about that as “being kind” and “we are all in this together” seems only to apply behind the giant moat of “covid free” level 3 NZ.

    Exactly right Cactus Kate. Many like Sir Bob were saying it back then, but everything “off narrative” was ignored, or people saying it kicked to the kerb, and the media (with very few exceptions) questioned nothing and reported demonstrable untruths and sometimes dangerously misleading. Right too about other countries much worse, Brazil, India, African nations, etc. I wrote ages ago about a baseline of harm caused by the virus itself, all the rest was caused by its mismanagement. I called it the Trump Effect. NZ is nowhere near as bad as that, but is nowhere near the baseline either. Viet Nam may be a candidate. But there too, as you see in Thailand, the destruction of economies by leaders like Trump and Boris affect even the few countries that handled the virus well. Sir Bob is right, we seem headed into a dark place economically but only a small part of that is caused by the virus.

Any chance of resurrecting your party and standing for election ? You would have my vote. Good to read common sense commentary, but then common sense is not common, particularly with this mob.

    Please Colin , aren’t we suffering enough already ?

      markscreaminggoosearmstrong May 8, 2020 at 9:40 am

      Oh c’mon GWHA, the entertainment value would boost our economy no end. Sir Robert is always worth a listen or a read and I would welcome more from him whether I agree with his views or not.

I think the whole idea of going from “flattening the curve” to “elimination” is horribly misguided. There was no discussion, just one day suddenly “elimination” was the goal.

Here is why it’s stupid : In the long term, every country will have herd immunity. This thing ain’t going anywhere. How a country gets herd immunity is not sure. Might be a vaccine, or might just be that the majority of people in the country contract it.

And I see no plan to get from “elimination” to “herd immunity” apart from a vaccine. A vaccine that quite possibly will never come, and even if it does, may take another year or two. And if it doesn’t (like with AIDS, which incidentally has killed 587,000 so far this year, compared to 286,000 for covid…) then we are left with “flattening the curve” (ie what we should have been doing from the start.)

We could easily find ourselves in the position in a years time that many other countries are back up and running normally, living with a low level of infection, mitigated by their herd immunity, but we will have to continue to “hold our breath”.

Another possible scenario is the virus strikes us during the winter here, once the economy has been flattened. Would have been so much better to deal with this with a decent economy and a non-immune-depressed population.

I’ve never seen so much stupid masquerading as kindness.

    But you must admit it’s been artfully messaged! Even the truth behind the “elimination” strategy, which sounds like a good thing, was obscured by the fuss about its epidemiological definition differing from common usage, and is in any event cover for what is called a “suppression strategy.” So it means that no-one’s talking about indefinite ‘Hotel California’-style lockdowns, which is what the current strategy does, simply phasing up and down through lockdown stages indefinitely or “until a vaccine is developed [or the] pandemic has passed.” Currently anticipated to be widely available late 2021 and into 2022. Here’s the briefing paper, see the bullet points on the last page: https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/52SCEP_EVI_96420_EP18/1b89a81ce848cbeb471631b68c878304e70b3dc2

Frederick Williscroft May 7, 2020 at 11:19 am

I nodded in agreement with nearly every sentiment. The only exception is that even under Level 4 National were arguing that more businesses should be allowed to open provided they could prove they could do so safely and were certainly advocating for a earlier move to L3/L2 during this period. Those who say we were on the same trajectory as Italy is the height of absurdity. I suggest they read Bob’s earlier column explaining why Italy had such a high death toll. There is no doubt, despite the best effort of One News, sentiment is rapidly turning. People can now see that this is turning into a vanity contest for the PM and she is blind to the damage her govts policies are inflicting on New Zealand.

Hear hear. Common sense opinion from someone that isn’t taking money from the government (all major media) or any other special interest groups. Social media echo chambers must hate you as much as they do with anyone that isn’t towing the Labour/Greens line.

Keep up the good work.

Was too slow and sloppy with the border and then has kneecaped the economy necessarily. The planning which was supposed to have been in place since 2001 was inadequate and found wanting. We have literally been killed with kindness.

Exactly. The election should be deferred until sometime next year. Ardern has had the most free opportunity to grandstand we have ever seen in an election year. The opposition were on a hiding to nothing but nevertheless should have calculated the damage the government’s actions was doing & changed their tack & stuck to it. It is not too late & Bridges is starting to say some stuff that is unpopular with the chattering classes. He should become more vociferous, stick to his guns, call for an election delay and a return to normal conditions while all our efforts & $ should be directed at the elderly & compromised who are vulnerable to further outbreaks.

Totally agree and I’ve said most of this from the beginning, except for the masks. That’s a psychological sop for the benefit of the masses. The only people who need them are those who are sick (who should actually stay at home) and those treating the sick.
Otherwise good article, oh, the comment about “tattooed classes” was neither accurate or needed. Just a snide remark showing unwarranted contempt for a perceived “class” of people. Doesn’t help anything or anyone and doesn’t make the country a better place, comments like that just increase the “class” divide. I suppose it amuses a few of those idiots on the right who feel smug and superior, but not needed really.

    Since a large proportion of sick people do not know they are sick, wearing a mask as a matter of course for everyone will reduce the likelihood of transmission.

      There is zero evidence of that, there are a number of opinions, none proven. If it makes you feel better wear one. Like vaccination, as long as you’re protected why would you care if someone else is or isn’t? Leave Darwin to do his thing.
      I didn’t say I was opposed to masks, I’m trying to figure out if and when there is any point in wearing one.

    Saying that about masks is just a violation of all common sense.

      Being anti-mask I mean

      Really, you’d better have a word with the World Health Organisation then. I’m pretty sure Ashley Bloomfield said something along the same lines.

      https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

      If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19.
      Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
      Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
      If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

      It’s very simple so I’ll spell it out for you:
      – germ theory: infection happens via particulate matter
      – filtration: tightly woven physical layers capture some degree of particulate matter
      – diffusion: when one exhales/sneezes/coughs, the velocity is reduced and decreases the potential range of dense particle clouds.

      Even if a mask is, say, only 30% effective – if everyone wore one there would be a greater-than-the-sum-of-it’s-parts exponential effect of an over 90% reduction.

      The fact that the various authorities like the WHO said masks are ineffective is just proof of their incompetence and dishonesty. The agenda likely being covering for their own lack of supply and preparedness. Explains all the masks don’t work but health providers need them nonsense then all the subsequent 180s.

      And yet all the Asian countries all wear masks – are a billion asians wrong?

      The rest – handling, salting of masks etc. is just details.

    Good article Bob, largely agree. Agree too Kayaboosha about the unnecessary comments re tattooed classes. Those long queues for takeaways I took as a good sign. Good for the vegetable growers, truck drivers, flour/baking industry, franchise owners, landlords, staff….etc etc. But more than that I saw it as a positive sign of a tremendous desire by ordinary kiwis to get back to a normal life, whatever that means these days. If the desire to tolerate longs waits for fast foods with money that may not be easily replaced is an expression of people sick to death with this utter bullshit from this incompetent and appalling government then bring it on.

The big shutdown is a fine example of how top down political systems don’t work. The globalised centralised system is a bust, again, sigh. These deaf tyrants should be put in padded cells for a few years.

Thanks Sir Robert, for a well written article. As has been the case for decades,you have a finely honed appreciation of the issues affecting Kiwis,and the ability to articulate cause.
As has been pointed out above,only a govt almost totally removed from economic reality could ever have considered, that shutting the whole productive workforce down,would ever have results other than catastrophic,and as you note,the discontent is just stirring.
The fawning “St Jacinda” attitude of most of our media is also culpable.Nowhere else in the western world is there such a predominantly left leaning and compliant media,
unfortunately most Kiwis have no point of comparison on this issue.

Dont what that Ross chap is on but if this carries on much longer we may all need to take some to have a little break from reality which could be brutal and very challenging especially for some as Sir Robert points out so clearly.

I am just looking forward to on one of those cold nights when we are all completely screwed that Jacinda will offer to come around tuck me in and read me a good night
story (lets face it shes good at telling a ‘good story’) and tell me that everything’s going to be alright (she’s good at that too!)….where’s that Tui billboard?!!

Terb Terbwood 7th May 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm

Well said uncle Bob. Right on the money. Does anybody remember how Jocinderella and the lesbian horde were doing prior to Covid? $52 million and counting on the dead bodies in Pike River…will we also be spending the equivalent per soldier berried overseas ??? How many billion will that cost Jocinderella? : Does anybody remember the left wing media in a frenzy about the starving children in New Zealand prior to Winston duping the whole country?? Following the change of government they utterly vanished in to thin air…not a word from the lefty media.: Housing crisis ??? what an utter disaster : Rapists in the Labour party …completely hushed up and Jocinderella the only person in the country unaware anything had happened : Rapist in parliament…well done our utter moron of a speaker Daffy ” Nut-bar” Mallard….hushed up: Ihumapotatoe , our PRIME MINISTER IGNORES LAW BREAKERS all private land in this country now at risk of illegal occupation …police ignore law breakers: The most disturbing and worrying development of this is that again our prime minister has ignored the law breakers with gang members accosting people at illegal road blocks. This is just total corruption and the police have lost the respect of many people for ignoring the law breaking. New Zealand MUST throw out this loonatic bunch of intellectual retards. We could not perceive the anarchy of what will follow should we give them mandate to continue.

In a sane country, the Government would focus on its core responsibilities – namely controlling the borders; identifying, testing and quarantining infected individuals; providing necessary supports through its departments and agencies; and keeping the public fully informed of the latest and best information about transmission risks and solutions.

It would then allow individuals and companies to make their own decisions about how to manage their risks and run their lives.

Here we insist on the tragedy of central control as usual blind to its costs.

this is also a response from a customer we have in Northern Europe which i found quite interesting….
Hello guys,

Hope this finds you well!

I am healthy and staying/working at home. 8 „positive“ people at the plant, several of their closest colleagues quarantined by the authorities. None have needed breathing aid or intense medical care. Some are cured and returning to work, it has been a while. Production is functional and running full speed.

A depressing read Bob.

But it’s reality unfortunately, would love to hear more specifics about your opinions on the looming economic oblivion with regard to house prices as well as cities/regions of NZ which you believe will be less effected than others economically.

Apt that the Winter of Discontent also refers to the 1978 UK Labour govt. industrial relations debacle which involved goofy economic management.
Plenty will be hoping for it to be made glorious summer, but we may have to settle for trying to halt barking dogs.

When I went into lockdown my rationale was to do it well and hopefully once only.However ,the poor example from the Minister of Health,Hone,vigilante road blocks etc caused me to see the farcical side of the situation.Social distancing was a farce,I seemed to be the only one creating distance.Enforcement of distancing rules at the Supermarket I go to here at Windsor Invercargill was virtually non existent,but my pet hate was seeing customers dig into loose mushrooms with their bare hands and put them into bags supplied.This seems to be a common practise,with a pandemic supposedly stalking the country, absolutely apalling.There are a number of small changes we could make that perhaps,would make a difference out of all proportion to their minor inconvenience.Thankyou Sir Robert for making forum available.

You know, from the very beginning Jacinda had the right idea. She told us that it was pretty much “just a flu”, and the focus was to flatten the curve so we didn’t overload the health system. All of which, of course, would have only taken level-2.

But then someone or something got in her head. What happened? Did our cover-your-ass public service capture her? Did someone from the UN give her a wink and tell her that if she played ball, she would be the UN queen of the world and not just New Zealand?…inducing her to rationalise the right way? Who knows.

What the government should have done:

Head-hunted a ‘dream team’ of heavily experienced experts from over the world. Pay them a million dollars a month each, if need be (chump-change on this scale). The team should be made up of total social health analysts, virolists, epidemiologists, and economists, etc. Work with these “champions” all together to find the best policy for New Zealand, appreciating TOTAL social costs, long and short term, and on a living standard and life-years lost basis. And then tell our one-track public service exactly what to bloody do.

Then this disaster would never have happened, I am sure.

    Yup, a multi-disciplinary group with health and economic outcomes as goal – drawn from health (public, mental, etc), economic, crisis management, procurement, policy effectiveness/outcomes, social, Maori/Pacific, etc, disciplines – could have produced optimal outcomes. Health can be lead discipline too, but when it’s the only one, narrow views prevail. Even Dr Fauci recognised expressly that he only advises on public health and it needs economists etc to complete the advice for informed decision making (not so easy in the US right now, but his concept was right). Multi-science-informed enables optimal outcomes across the spectrum, taking all into account as you say. Uni-science-led only guarantees sub-optimal outcomes.

    The Jokcinder definitely has some sort of agenda, When you have that fake hollywood crowd singing your praises, you know that something sinister is behind it. I don’t trust her as far as I could throw her.

Jacinda of Ardern to be burnt at the stake September 19th, 2020? No way, expect a Labour victory. 2023, yes. But by then, the Princess will have tired of looking after us mere mortals and will have long since departed our ruined shores, to be lovingly ensconced at the UN, preaching empathy and compassion to all that will listen.

The puerile ‘Be Kind’ slogan adopted by the government as part of it’s COVID19 campaign has been exposed for what it is: a simplistic, jingoistic nonsense completely at odds with the stress, suffering and tragedies caused(and no doubt which will continue to be caused) by the draconian measures undertaken.

One thing that doesnt seem to come under scrutiny..
Are Governments decisions with an eye on getting elected in September (ie Keeping teh Sainthood story going) or for the benefit of NZers.
I suspect that all decisions get run past the reelection committee before they are finalised.

The tide is turning .

It will be very hard to hear some of the hardship people have endured over the coming days/months as a result of this mono strategy , I could see Taxcinder packing it in, albeit to late .
This illegitimate government is all Winston’s fault .

    I wonder if hed mind doing the decent thing and withdraw from the coalition… now that would be the legacy he so seeks

At the beginning of the crisis, I said NZ would come out of it one of the best, because New Zealanders are sensible and pragmatic people.
Boy, do I feel stupid.
Actually, my main emotion is searing anger, mixed with a huge dollop of frustration.
There was such a fantastic opportunity to do minimal economic damage, and achieve much better health outcomes.
Level 5 for over 65 year olds and people with certain pre-conditions, and level 2 for everyone else was a formula which could have been world beating.
As for the next election, I think National will get the most votes, but I don’t discount the possibility of another coalition of losers.
Now I just feel sick and depressed.

She has a lot of support. Sadly, when I discuss this in my family the reaction is ‘so you want ten’s of thousands to die?’
One consequence of the governments recent announcement to change the notice of breach period in commercial leases from 15 to 30 days has meant a national tenant deciding they will no longer pay rent in advance and instead pay in areas, meaning they save two months rent. The premise is before you can evict payment can be made on the last day. This inspire of the fact that parliament hasn’t passed the legislation yet. Small landlords are going to get screwed all over the country.

BREAKING: The lockdown and forced closing of businesses was illegal. The govt and police knew but did it anyway:

https://thebfd.co.nz/2020/05/07/leaked-crown-law-advice-to-police/

Terb Terbgrains 7th May 7, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Good comments from everybody. I hope for the country’s sake many other people feel the same.

Are you aware that she is now saying that taxes won’t be going up to get them out of the shit? What sort of a fairy tale will she be telling baby Neve tonight?

I can understand the first 2 weeks of lock-down. Then it was so obvious we could change tack then…… and save as much of the economy as possible. This was a Labour face saving and bureaucratic driven response, when billions of dollars could have been saved from our children’s debt.

I don’t think we are about to enter the “greatest depression in our History”, thou I have no idea how much of a contraction there will be.
They say ..” generals always fight the last war”. The GFC created the template and the last 10 yrs has fine tuned it. In NZ, the stage is set for the full force of Fiscal and Monetary policy largess to counter the collapse in private sector spending. (The two most powerful economic forces are Govt and Central Banks.) I think they will open the “floodgates” to mitigate the private sector downturn. End result will probably be a new sub-normal growth ( not vibrant ) kinda economy, with alot more debt. It aint going to be pretty.
I’m not saying this is what should happen, I’m guessing this is what will happen.

In a way, precedents have already been set so there is absolutely nothing to constrain ethier Govt or the RBNZ from using both conventional and , (no longer), unconventional means to stimulate aggregate demand….
Ponder the idea that over $10 trillion of Global debt earns -ve yields and one gets a sense for the extreme capacity for debt that the world has. ie. It takes alot for the “market” to lose confidence in the Fiat monetary system.
I’m guessing NZ has a very good capacity to take on alot more debt, which might get us thru another business cycle.??

just my view…

Sent you another post from bob,I hope he is not right about the severity of the economic downturn I don’t think it will be that bad as the wage subsidy will save most businesses ( although that has been terribly abused by a lot of businesses that weren’t really affected) I’m just hoping that we see a change of government for the fear of two rabid socialists in James and Jacinda,bringing in wealth taxes that will greatly affect both you and I The fact that aussie,only went to a mild level 3 at a much less cost to its economy,with having about the same cases and deaths as us ,should make people ask questions at election time It was but my rough calculations,a 10 billion dollars mistake To be continued tonight over a curry and red wine ( worried about the curry not the wine) ha!

Sent from my iPad

>

I don’t believe the economy will be as devastated as you do Bob as the wage subsidy will save a lot of small businesses but the huge government depts will make us all poorer for a generation I have never seen NZ go ahead like in the last 10 years,but we are about to go back to a crawl,like in the 80 s and 90s
Hopefully,by election time ,people will be better able to analyse the approach by the government to the whole virus affair,and look to Australia,who were nowhere near as severe in there lockdown, with similar cases and deaths, and has suffered far less in their economic fallout
I bet the Labour Party is furious Aussie has done so well, making NZ look pathetic again. This may well see a change in government,and we have the aussies to thank for it I can see a whole stream of wealth taxes coming in from Jacinda and James ,our two young ,naive,and rabid socialists And therefore another exodus of our greatest resource ,quality people, to Australia again

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