Winston Peters is 100% right. End this unbelievably foolish lockdown right now.
Overnight the WHO expressed alarm at the historically unprecedented incidents of family violence, a euphemism for angry home imprisoned men beating up their wives and children. I can’t believe they were surprised. I predicted that two months ago.
The utilisation of a law none of us were aware existed, whereby our democracy can be transferred to a dictatorship by a single unelected bureaucrat, has had disastrous consequences for New Zealand, exactly as I predicted 6 weeks ago on this blog.
I also forecast 25% unemployment, a figure worse than the 1930s depression.
I’ve since watched with amazement diverse bank economists predicting 7% unemployment. They live in fairyland.
The Reserve Bank has now predicted 18% unemployment, a figure still too light.
Meanwhile all about us is economic devastation. Thousands of small businesses (our largest employer sector) have been wiped out. The continuing absurd lockdown is simply masking the degree of the damage.
The much vaunted leadership by Jacinda has been a disaster for in reality she totally abdicated it to an unelected official while promoting an absurd panic in the population.
We’re four months out from an election. Call me cynical but I can’t help suspecting the government is deliberately pro-longing the lockdown to avoid exposure pre-election of the economic devastation their mis-management has caused.
The Nats are equally culpable for in their time-honoured fashion they simply ran along with it, as they’ve always done with Labour government initiatives, both good and bad.
But the cold hard fact remains that our small population, isolation and young average age, were all factors that meant we didn’t face the problems of the likes of Italy and had no need for such extreme measures.
It’s fashionable in New Zealand to treat New Zealand First as a dubious proposition, and not without justification.
But one salient fact remains and that is they’re earthy realists, as evident by Winston now going public on his Party’s opposition to the ridiculous and unnecessary hibernation inflicted on the nation.
The teddy bear in the windows, Easter bunnies, infantile “Be Kind” messages and similar mush, no longer washes with thinking people.
It will take five years of misery and hardship to restore our nation’s health. Prolonging the current lockdown is either political cynicism or sheer stupidity.
The new National leadership should seize the opportunity to attack this continuing hibernation. That would be historically revolutionary for the Nats to be so bold but they’ve got the facts on their side.
Meanwhile, all credit to Winston for going public about his Party’s opposition in cabinet even if it breaks political convention. They deserve public support in the election for doing so.
Meantime, I’d remind the government of the recent victory day reminiscences on the 75th anniversary in London.
The royal family with Churchill on the balcony and massed crowds praising the PM as the saviour. Not long afterwards they voted him out.
Future commentaries will expose the government as the most inept and destructive in our history for the disastrous way they’ve handled the virus threat.
Sir Robert,don’t you think it is merely Winston Peters tapping into the public mood and going with it.This is an old strategy of his,and quite successful.By such proclamations,he appears relevant,and is able to demonstrate points of difference from the Labour Party.Normally rhetoric like this increases in direct proportion to the closeness of an election,causing me to say to myself,here we go again.At least the man is transparent.
Fair call. Political differentiation is the lifeblood of all parties. This is why if you get a sound party, the others have to go mad…like Labour has done. National is so centre now (or even centre-Left) that Labour had to go borderline true-blue socialist. And now we are crying.
What a horrible thought, “taping” the public’s desires and giving them what they want. How quaint.
YES, YES, YES.
The CDC reports that the current best estimate of the Symptomatic Case Fatality Ratio in the USA by COVID-19 is 0.004% https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html
This means that if New Zealand opens its borders now, then an estimated 200 people may die, and NOT the 80,000 deaths predicted two months ago.
We need to open our border NOW.
What’s with false binary between ‘dead’ and ‘fine’ that people seem to have?
I mean yes anything is good relative to death, but there are plenty of accounts of otherwise healthy people of all sorts of ages getting severely sick for weeks (8 seems to be a common average) and gaining persistent morbidities. There’s a lot of space on the continuum between the two extremes.
The downstreaming nature of contagions is what make them concerning, the knock on spread can mean you are indirectly responsible for the harm and/or death of a vast quantity of people. The cells in your body only have a finite capacity of repair over a life time, each incident of damage draws you one step closer to the grave.
This is all what makes for example the American partisan derangement so concerning. People are going mad and coughing at and spitting on others. And they have somehow politicised masks.
We give the virus more evolutionary design space the more we let people to be exposed to it.
Anyone that pretends we have a solid understanding about the nature and behaviour of this novel virus is kidding themselves.
Whats your point exactly Caleb? You need to be a bit more clear on what you are advocating for? A continuation of the existing lockdown or such like? The economy that supports our various medical systems has a finite life also. Like a lot of quite reasonable people, I don’t think the response has been thought through at all. There is simply no point installing a generation long financial crisis on everyone to avoid a health crisis that impacts a modest section of the community. If you think the current lockdowns need to be continued, please explain for how long and how you plan to keep paying for people to eat?
Yes wasn’t as clear as I should have been. That’s not what am saying at all, or even have said in the past. I’m on record at least a week or two ago now of saying things should tentatively start to reopen here with precautions like masks etc.
Call me a devil’s advocate if you want, but I’m trying to realistic about the nuance and overlooked costs that will be incurred in both dimensions (which are tightly intertwined). Two camp binaries need to utterly rejected by anyone with a head on their shoulders.
Now granted, there are things that appears to be the case, like it seems better to be outside than inside contrary to government directive, but this is quite literally an evolving situation. Letting Covid become endemic is a disaster even if we potentially end up there by default.
As far as inevitable outbreaks go, it could be a lot worse sure, but definitive statements about severity are biologically ill-informed.
As for lockdowns, in most countries they have been largely ineffective aping of Asia/China without the authoritarianism/technical proficiency/collective cohesiveness. But that said, many seem to be overlooking that it is/was possible to stomp this thing out just like with SARs. We in New Zealand just got lucky because we were far away/’early’/and sparsely populated. That’s good for us now, but it depends how the rest of the world fares whether that continues to be the case. It’s hard to say either way.
5 weeks ago actually now that I check, time flies.
Correction: CDC 0.004 fatality rate = 0.4%
Thank you for the accurate correction.
That is the symptomatic infection fatality rate. The actual total infection fatality rate will be much lower.
Still unknown. From what I’ve seen, not much evidence of undetected asymptomatic infections here or reporting of detected ones. However our fatality rate is running a lot higher at about 1.3%. A poor effort at protecting the elderly despite a lot of self-congratulation from our political leaders and useless media.
The correction on my CDC fatality rate on symptomatic COVID19 cases (thanks to Alan Wilkinson) is 0.4%.
However, further detail is that the CDC estimates that 35% of cases are asymptomatic. Therefore the estimated mortality on all COVID19 infections by the CDC is currently 0.26%
And then there is the CDC estimated R0 Value of 2.5 which means that Herd Immunity is reached when 60% of the population is immune.
So 5,000,000 NZ population x 60% = 3,000,000 x 0.26% = 7,800 estimated deaths in NZ if we open our international borders.
Wasn’t the problem everyone was whining about believing the numbers of the projection model estimates in the first place?
While impressions are still shallow, I’m surprised at my tentative but mildly favourable reaction to the National leadership change.
I’m too am concerned about too much ‘playing safe’ however.
For one thing if New Zealand thought like a startup we could radically alter our fortunes. The workforce of the digital marketplace is opening up completely to the entire globe now that remote work is leaping ahead years in traction. Being a backwater becomes less of an issue. For the limited time we are a ‘green zone’ we have the perfect opportunity to attract talent and investors here because of our unique merits as a place to live. The interest is clearly there.
In addition properly incentivised, even free, technical education for any citizen who wants it would set us up further for success. A technically literate workforce is the new literate workforce. It just depends on having the vision and speed to execute.
As to other points, I feel obliged to mention in epidemiological management there is a fundamental asymmetry between harder measures that can later be walked back on and softer ones that can’t.
Also a fact that never seems to get mentioned about domestic violence (as proved by the Dunedin study for example) is that it is typically reciprocal. The WHO certainly has little credibility at this point.
That suspicion of yours is cynical, but Labour would have to be brain dead not to realise that the sooner the election the better for them given the bubble of public approval.
NZ First and the Greens will seemingly need a deathwatch if they don’t do something.
It’s funny, I have seen the Churchill comparison elsewhere but it’s escaping me exactly where at this moment.
And your point is?
For which part?
Correct as usual, although Winston is starting to grandstand his difference to labour as the elections nears, if he was truly wanting a change he would approach National to force a change.
So, Winston is bulls***ing as per usual.
100% absolutely accurate description of the current situation we are all in, as a small business this government has done nothing for us ! I still have to pay GST, Provisional tax, and all my other outgoings while my business is being strangled out of life, with ridiculous and nonsensical requirements supposedly designed to stop the spread of a virus which has effectively being eliminated already ! Never mind all the increased costs of PPE gear which I have to provide for all my staff and myself which have literally tripled in price if you can even source it.
Sir Bob, I thoroughly enjoy your perspectives being a relatively new reader. What confuses me, you call yourself a “libertarian”. I understand the left side who call themselves libertarians, of which I am sure you are not. Politically I see you centre right with minimal government and freedom. NZ centre right politics normally cover this though they drop the wokey ball at times. Peter G
The left call themselves liberals, while the conservatives call themselves libertarians. Both are misnomers. They are outdated labels and so difficult to define they are close to useless.
Have you missed even Phil Goff has slumbered awake and said we should now let international students in. Must be causing severe consternation at Labour HQ that the relics around the country are stirring and now
joining the commercial chorus
This Labour Government really love a crisis don’t they! Why else would they drag this scamdemic out like they have. Control freaks and the sooner they are gone the better.
Those saying this two months ago in NZ were talking into a head-wind. The High Priestess was being worshipped under the shelter of her shaman. The show must go on.
Meanwhile, in the UK, their clown prime minister took advice from Imperial’s randy modeller, who threw the bones on the ground and forecast a half million deaths in the UK alone. The mob in their terror obeyed, despite Lord Sumption and other prominent citizens, together with an array of eminent scientists, speaking sense about the disaster befalling lock down nations and the reckless stupidity of a national quarantine.
We have SpongeBob spawn running the world.
Jacinda and her mob need to keep us protected from this “pandemic” as should we get a 2nd wave we will not be in a position to vote. Any delay in the election reduces the ability of them to get back in. I predict that due to this the border between NZ and Australia will be kept closed until just before the election or else after it.
All decisions being made by this Government at present are about re-election and nothing to do with what is good for New Zealanders.
Oh and be kind out there !
Yes agree that what Winston is saying is correct. We should of course end the stupid lock down ( Incredibly trendy description for curfew) now and should have just copied the Ausy version in first place. How would wonderful Jacinderella be in line for her next Nobel nomination if we had just copied those beer drinking white chauvinists? That was never going to happen. However as much as you are the original proven free spirit Bob, I’m going to be gob-smacked at people believing anything Winston says has anything to do with the benefit of this nation !! He has utterly shafted this country for years and is the biggest criminal b——t artist we have ever known. He kind of reminds me of peoples blind belief in some religious script based on the number of big words you can ram into peoples minds…just a bloody con artist that probably can’t believe himself the media actually listens to his w–king dribble….actually in thinking about what you’ve teased here Bob , I recon your winding us up…surely ?!?
Winston is nothing more than a political charlatan.
The MOH originally recommended 1 month of level 2 which would not have destroyed our economy, family businesses with the ensuing bankruptcy and personal mental health issues.
Instead, and with Winston’s vote ,the PM roared into level 4 which was totally unnecessary and at odds with official advise.
Winston is also directly responsible for the two week delay in closing our borders which greatly exacerbated the situation.
I wish him and his party gone in September.
My grandchildren’s children will be paying for his actions in propping up the most hapless and destructive administration in history.
Yes he is grandstanding. He has the balance in this awful govt. He used it to stop the dictator going ahead with her capital gains tax. If the only real reason he went with labour was the promise of a billion against nationals 400 mil, then that tells you something. Which we always knew about him. His NZ First outfit appears to be under the gun again for $170,000 odd which went to party hacks instead of where the people who donated it thought it would go. He is using the usual peters tactics of finding a diversion, as in appealing the decision against him over his superannuation payments. As in making a noise about level 2 when he could force the dictator to back down. But he wont. What we have is a dictator having adoration heaped on her by a compliant state funded media. Now where’s my little red book.
Unlock the country and for those opposed to this they are welcome to stay in isolation. If superannuitants decide to stay home it will have very little effect on the economy. All the nutters living in fear because of Jacinda and the mad scientists may stay isolated at their own cost if they choose to. I suspect this would be of huge economic benefit to whoever they work for.
What a horrible thought, “taping” the public’s desires and giving them what they want. How quaint.
Peters probably has the go ahead from Jacinda to try and differentiate himself from Labour. He could have vetoed any of the lockdown votes. Doesn’t he have the balance of power?
Agreed though, even though businesses are allowed to open Jacinda and her henchman Bloomfield have scared so many people into staying home, they won’t even go out and spend and a lot of small businesses will go under as a result.
We will never really know the real unemployment rate. Labour won’t be counting all the people on training schemes who are recieiving the benefit.
He might be talking sense now, only because he needs to get his polling up to over 5%. He is the sole reason we are in this mess. He went with Labour. Typical Winston, I have watched for years. He will start hammering immigrants soon, typical playbook. Hopefully New Zealand will be rid if him for good in September.
actually he only needs Shane Jones to beat Kelvin Davis
I am sure you observe more than you say, Bob. Winnie First is reacting to what he is hearing, as he always has, by grabbing straws to get votes, but this time his base ( including me and many ), are NOT being conned by the con-artist. The other point you made about our lovely cindy continuing with the debacle is NOT caused by stupidity or her socialist leanings, but by the orders received from her masters, nW o and uN, which she is hoping to get the same job uncle Helen had.
The Reserve Bank has not predicted 18% unemployment. They have predicted 12% unemployment. The 18% you refer to is the Reserve Bank’s very severe scenario, known as their Stress Test. It’s all there for anyone to see on page four of The Reserve Bank’s May Financial Stability Report.
Winston and his massive ego is totally to blame for the government we have and the mess we are in so doesn’t deserve the tiniest scrap of credit for his belated grandstanding. Hopefully this time the voters will finally consign him and his band of incompetent corrupt misfits to the dustbin once and for all.
Jeez Bob, Cinderella could not have pulled this off without a pliant populace willing to roll over to authority. Sometimes it’s Mr. Plod telling us to dress appropriately when we head off to the bush, sometimes it’s a lecture on morality from a reverend, sometimes it’s your unelected bureaucrat and his dictates. There’s always somebody eager to tell us what to do – and always people ready to bow to those above. Over and over again they vote against their own self-interest, I’m betting she’ll waltz in mate, recession and all…
Sir Bob .. it is absolutely imperative that we talk. For the sake of our country. I need your help. Please phone me 021 403 927. Thank You. Kind Regards, Stewart Hydes.
I struggle to understand why most New Zealanders think Jacinda has done a magnificent job of dealing with this crisis I can only imagine the labour loving media, has so perfectly painted Jacinda, as our saviour and saint ,and crucified anyone, who dares to question her
If she had shut the boarders down 3 weeks earlier, when we had our first case ,and quarantined and tested all kiwis coming home , we wouldn’t have needed a lockdown at all ,and saved billions of dollars,a few lives ,and tens of thousands of jobs That would be a 10 out of 10 and deserving of another term in government HongKong and Taiwan were a couple of the few nations that did exactly that and didn’t shut down their economy
The second major mistake was the severity of the lockdown. Australia has about the same deaths and cases as us , per capita ,and were at level two and three ,with far less economic damage and potential unemployment ext than us , Why is this not screaming across our newspapers and televisions It is so obvious and apparent ,this was a major mistake ,that will have caused long term damage to people’s lives ,and yet not a whisper from our media
I watch how the media have concisely gone out to destroy the new national leader Todd Muller ,who dares to confront their saint Jacinda , and you realise that the media has now the power to elect the government ,with its manipulation of facts and figures and just plain lies
See the article in yesterday’s The Australian newspaper about NZ’s prospects. Reinforces what you have and are describing – but emphasising the disastrous economic impact on the zero health risk controls. No mention anywhere locally in the ‘bought’ media on these matters -apart from your own articles. Very disturbing consequences economically & socially
ahhhh…. “wine box inquiry …sub judice say …no means yes…Jacindamainia”….thanks you prick Winapeed; how many millions (billions actually) have you wasted for this country and how stupid are your followers FFS ?!
More gold from Bob.
I just can’t believe it !
If you use sweden(no lock down) as a proxy for likely deaths in NZ and adjust for difference in population size and age, likely deaths in NZ would be around 2,000. If you use Japan(no lock down) the number would be 100. So somewhere in between those two numbers. The R0 of a constant is completely discredited as a concept for calculating herd immunity as of course it reduces during an epedemic as people become aware and not every person is equally socially active(it spreads in social networks). Latest thinking is closer to20% than 60%. BTW Sweden had more April deaths in 1993, 1996, 2000, 2003 and 2009 than this covid year. Economy didn’t stop then, why now?
Comrade Jacinda’s ideology requires that the old system burn down, like Minneapolis. The protracted shutdown, illegal and immoral, has achieved its main aim – to crush the economy and the people of New Zealand. Brace for a raft of draconian new laws, the abortion killings, involuntary euthenasia, the gun grab 2, more race baiting and arrests, hate speech laws, Jacinda’s enforcers kicking in your door, firewall censorship, massive indebtedness, bought off media praising teddy bears and kindness. This is the real destruction and the laws have been enacted to quell dissent. The goblins are here.
Bat man,I used the word tapping ,not “taping”