John Key is 100% correct. The economic crisis lying ahead is immensely greater than the health (covid) threat. The latter can be managed but requires realism which is sadly lacking.
For months numerous different experts have claimed a vaccine will be found/won’t be found. So what if it’s not? Is New Zealand’s future to be a defacto closed-off society from the rest of the world?
There’s a pervading placidity in New Zealand, what I’ve earlier described as a phony war mentality, as in 1939. But what lies ahead in terms of unemployment is horrific.
Economic contraction feeds off itself and 2021 will be a year of continuous disastrous economic news. The major employment demand will be for police and prison officers as crime surges. The signs of that are already there.
The 14-day imprisonment for incoming folk cannot continue. I’ve said it before. There’s an easier way, such as issuing a covid card in which incoming passengers have 2 weeks apart checks signed off by a doctor before departure for New Zealand, and then one on arrival.
Tourism was our biggest export earner but literally no-one will come if they have to endure the 14-day nonsense. The unique thing about it is it provides thousands (200,000 in New Zealand and an estimated circa 100 million in Europe) of relatively low-skilled jobs.
Italy, Greece, France and other European countries run by grown-ups have recognized the John Key reality and now have the welcome mat out. Sure, there will be periodic covid breakouts which will be dealt with when they arise, without permanently closing down the nation.
The current strategy is simply untenable, namely fingers crossed that a vaccine will be found. But what if it’s not as many experts predict? Do we sink into a 1980s like Albania, locked off from the world? Well, count me out as I want no part of that.
There’s a limit to how far smiling sweetly can be passed off as good government in a crisis. But managing anything, be it a business or a nation, often-times call for hard trade-off decisions to be made. Locking up the country and raising tens of billions of debt to spray about and mask the underlying economic crisis, is simply a short-term cop-out. Given no rescuing vaccine arising, it will ultimately be exposed by its disastrous unhidable and long-lasting consequences.
New Zealanders have always been easy to regiment. For example, if the British government introduced an insulting advertising campaign of a mushy woman wringing her hands and saying, “Be Kind,” there would rightly be a massive public uproar. The responsible Minister would be forced to resign and spend the rest of his life, Profumo-like, in charitable endeavours.
As for the Scoutmasterish “we’re a team of 5 million,” words fail me. That would bring the total collapse of the British government and rightly so.