VOLTE-FACE ON LOCKDOWN

The World Health Organisation has, to its great credit, now reversed its position on lockdowns. “The only things lockdowns achieved was poverty. They make poor people even poorer,” WHO Dr David Nabarro said.

I predicted this conclusion on this blog back in March, easy of course for a by-stander not bearing the responsibility.

Nabarro is just one voice. Scientists, epidemiologists and other relevant personnel are now nearly universally slamming lockdowns.

In Britain, the standout best brain on this topic all year has been Oxford University’s Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford University. She’s an extraordinarily clever woman with form in calling things right.

Boris wanted to follow her advice but was persuaded to run with the London fear-broker who had established disastrous form in getting things wrong.

To make things clear, Nabaro is not slamming lockdowns totally, but instead as, in his words, a “primary approach,” rather as Germany has done. Thus instead of blanket lockdowns, confine them to centres of outbreaks.

The economic toll is currently being smothered by printing money.

In New Zealand, the always wrong economists claim we currently have a 4% unemployment rate. That is ludicrous.  

For years we’ve struggled to obtain receptionists in our Wellington office. The capital as an administration centre is never hugely impacted by economic downturns and enjoys full employment for office workers.

Well, a recent advert for a front desk receptionist elicited an unbelievable 226 written applications, some from really talented girls who we’ve taken on anyway and created useful and immensely more interesting jobs befitting their abilities.

As I’ve written before, we’re in the phoney war stage. Next year will be hellish, thanks to the unnecessary and destructive blanket lockdowns we adopted.

Typical of the backlash against ill-thought mass lockdowns is the article below by the Australian newspaper’s Economics Editor.

Such arguments are now daily events in Britain’s serious press.

24 Comments

Excellent. This is something I have argued all along to my supposed intelligent colleagues, but do you think any of them would consider my hypothesis?…NO, rather they have run with the sheep from the wolf in Jacindas clothes. Bob I implore you to get this article out into main stream media so at least the general public can start to make up their own minds as to the way forward with C19…..it certainly IS NOT any future lock downs!! & hopefully make an intelligent more informed decision at the polls.

Protect the vulnerable, wear masks if you’re scared, practice good hygiene and just get on with it.

Ive been abused by a few ‘friends’ for taking this stance since March…. But we don’t shut down for lots of other viruses including Flu, which takes the vulnerable every year.

Labour were going backwards in the polls driven by their failure to deliver their key policy promises… The Covid scare gave Labour a perfect platform to be the saviour in a crisis… Even though the ‘crisis” is largely a mirage

Bob, you say that next year will be “hellish” in an economic sense and you may be right. Maybe I have missed an enlightening post from you but I don’t know what your reasoning is for the “hellish” comment. Will you give us the benefit of your analysis? Cheers,
Kenneth

    Ken,
    I don’t know if Sir Bob will respond but here is some of my reasoning as to why he is 100% on the money and this is from someone who started at the bottom in the finance industry and stopped at Senior Mangmt level.
    What you have at the moment is a totally false economy driven by printing (creating) money from nothing. This would have lead to a loaf of breading costing $50 if were not for the fact that most of the world has played the same game. Check the few that haven’t!
    The money scramble has created a totally false economy throughout the world and logic would say, it cannot last. And as soon as Saint Cindy has won the picnic is over and you will have two parties of abject incompetence making bad decision after bad decision while real unemployment will surface at 15%. You simply cannot lose 20% of your income i.e international tourism without effect. Can any business afford this? As unemployment balloons people start to worry they are next and so stop spending and this is on top of the unemployed who just can’t spend. From there it is a down hill spiral. As people stop earning and stop spending so to does the Govts income from the PAYE take and GST on items not being purchased. And then there is that mountain of debt that needs to be paid back.
    Unless the Labour/Greens coalition changes its spots on foriegn investment, and they won’t, then the opportunity to exploit the position we are actually in, of being a very desirable country to be in, will be lost. I can tell you of several multi million dollar opportunities this group of nobodies has already stopped at great cost to capital spends and jobs.
    The simple fact is we would have had a 30’s like depression had the money printing not happened. Trippling NZs Debt to GDP, with more to come, has staved off the depression but not the recession NZ is about to enter. Further money printing which the Greens will advocate for (just as they did at the start of the GFC) Out of ignorance and fear of failure of their dream policies, I believe Labour will agree leaving a much bigger mess for National to clean up in 3 years time. The Greens will see increased dependency as a path to higher taxes which will suit them perfectly.

    I’m not optimistic about the coming few years either Ken. The repercussions from covid and our approach to it coupled with the return of a government of incompetent, clueless ideologues don’t bode well for a bright and prosperous future.

    Assuming Labour are returned (and even more so if in concert with the Greens) we’ll see high and rising unemployment, a collapsing economy, mass businesses failures, declining prosperity, a desperate and counter productive hike in taxes, the possibility of a currency collapse/crisis, mass exodus of our competent and aspirational, yawning current account and government deficits, impoverishment and loss of ownership of our key earning industries – farming in particular, rights and freedoms destroyed, high crime rates with criminals and criminal gangs operating with impunity, further inroads into the value of familial and cultural traditions, the subversion and indoctrination of our children so they hate their own ancestors and culture – unless they’re Maori. Expect Maori to be showered with government largess until they are fully converted into whining infantalised failures.

    All of the above have either been signaled as policy or are the inevitable consequence of their mad ideas.

I don’t for a moment think that anyone will really know the correct response/course of action until this is all over. It may be that it is different for each country. It may well be that Sweden has chosen the correct path. That said, if time was frozen and judgements were made here and now, Sweden’s figures are simply dreadful from a health perspective and only defended by business journalists, who make salient ‘bottom line’ observations. Regardless, an open mind as information is learned is extremely important. There is a temptation to defend one’s original position – which may have been correct originally – rather than evolve to adapt to changing circumstance.

    Andrew,
    If you actually read Adam’s article above you will see their death rate is less than previous years from “mormal” influenza.
    Sweden will be, like Taiwan, Hong Kong the success story out of this stupidity.
    Now you have a communist in sole charge of NZ driven by pathetic people living in fear. Many many white feather winners.

An excellent article, thank you for sharing it Sir Bob. As for New Zealand’s unemployment rate, the low four percent is due to creative accounting by Mr Robertson. Those folk on the Job Seeker Benefit are not counted as unemployed because they are actively seeking work, or so the story goes.

    Equally concerning mortgage deferrals are excluded from RBNZ underperforming loan data. Fair enough for a Govt to say it won’t count against banks’ capital requirements, but excluding it from the data hides reality.

    This is not a Lab/Nat comment, and may just be how bureaucrats structured it and it just happens to paint a rosy lie, but it undermines purported public transparency of the banking system. In the only OECD country with no deposit guarantee it also makes a mockery of any capacity for the public to have any meaningful knowledge about the health of banks. (Being published months late probably makes it useless anyway, but useless and wrong offers the transparency of mud). But somnolent media means somnolent politicians, and we doze into, what, exactly? Who knows…

markscreaminggoosearmstrong October 12, 2020 at 3:02 pm

Nah Covid economic damage will be globally widespread and therefore make way less impact on any country with a half decent economy than expected. I reckon the truth is if all world economies are in trouble little changes on a global scale. I welcome education on this matter if i’m wrong. (I was wrong back in ’67 in ‘Nam but they forgave me for that solitary indiscretion after I carried the remaining living members of my regiment to safety on my back – after I’d put them in my downed, scorched and trashed Huey so i had to carry that wreckage as well).

It’s a bit like the mystery that all of the rich western countries are in significant debt so I ask again – and the silence from you econo-capitalist geniuses is deafening me – who the hell is lending us all the money? And if the World Bank and IMF are effectively printing money why shouldn’t I set up my own mint?

Remember how I said it was astounding that Australia was so Covid free? The Screaming Goose reckons you should take a gander at what I’m saying and cut the censorship; I do not, will not, and have not abused or denigrated anyone, but I have perhaps bruised some egos…

    Hmmm! Your argument is a little like saying having a 1.8 mill mortgage on your 2 mill house is the same as having no mortgage. Losing $6,000 a month paying to “the bank” is ok if you earn $20,000. Not so good if you earn $7,000. And that seems to be what you and people like you, don’t get! The money has to be paid back and while paying it back you can’t use that monthly pmt to “the bank” to buy or build or develop things. No holidays, no fun. In News Zealands case because we have groups, races and histories of non workers and welfare abusers our productivity per person is dropping. Our GDP is not increasing at the needed rate. Going back to the mortgage situation above it is like having 2 incomes to service the mortgage above but one of the earners gets cancer and can’t work so the needed income is lost. Welfare is our economies cancer. Until we address that, capitalism is doomed to fail which is exactly what any health communist like Ms Adern desires.
    Ohhh! Add interest rate increases to the above equations. Ooooops.

Sadly, Sir Bob, no-one was listening in March. I wrote this in March too. “Why lockdowns are necessary, and wrong. And why leaders need to get out of a lockdown mentality, fast  –  to save lives and economies”. https://medium.com/illumination/lockdown-ed354abde04a.

The lockdown groupthink was overwhelming then, silencing all alternatives, despite clear opportunities for better health and economic outcomes. It still seems strong, despite more pieces like this appearing now.

frederickwilliscroft October 12, 2020 at 4:06 pm

Another pertinent commentary Sir Bob. Unfortunately NZ has a large population of people with sheep like mentality who still think that thousands would have died, that we should close our borders indefinitely until a vaccine is found, that we can’t look for innovative solutions. I have given up arguing with these people. Their inability to look at the long term ramifications for our economy and society beggars belief.

Unfortunately we have a supine media who are either incapable or willfully ignorant of presenting a different perspective. You won’t be seeing many stories of the increased numbers living in abject poverty. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

With Sweden it should be pointed out that even if they had a lockdown they probably would still have a large number of deaths. The virus ripped through care homes at the very early stages of the outbreak. I note that Sweden was initially in the top 10 of cases per million. Every day they improve their position and are now 47th in the world. Below age of 60 – only 241 dead. Below age of 70 – 640 dead. Of those dying 1537 were 90 or older. 2441 – 80-90 years old. These figures need to be taken into perspective. Currently Sweden has a moving average of 1 death per day.

The above correspondent Andrew Fyfe is an example of how a person with no objective intelligence can remain unswayed by clear evidence. Luckily for Jacinda and her team of misfits almost all of the sheeple in NZ have the mathematical and scientific intelligence of 6 year olds !!! That is one advantage for the politicians of the massive failure our education system has become, a complete lack of critical thinking from the populace.

I agreed with Sir Bob’s argument against lockdowns; and I regard it as inexcusable that anyone still advocated them after the end of March when the experts worked out from early antibodies testing of appropriate groups of people: cruise ship passengers, the entire town of Vo (Bergamo region), evacuees from Wuhan – that there was a very high rate of asymptomatic infection with this virus. The Wall Street Journal published this in the third week of March. This good news alone should have made all the so-called official experts back off from their wet dreams of totalitarian ordering society around.

Since then, there has been one burst of good news after another, all assiduously ignored by the alarmist complex who are exploiting the monstrously ignorant belief that this virus is the apocalypse, or at least 1918 all over again. A communicator of the calibre of David Lange could have got everyone to pull themselves together in a 5 minute TV appearance. I am saying that this thing is now impossible to explain by incompetence or even “excessive caution”. Many people who should know better are just falling for the hype, crediting the official experts with good faith when they do NOT deserve such credit; but so called “experts” cannot possibly believe their own hype now in October 2020. They cannot possibly still believe that people must be penned up inside rather than TOLD they SHOULD get out in the fresh air and sunshine! (NZ fortunately is past this stage for now but Victoria is a disgrace to the Enlightenment).

Now we have official experts in some countries pointing to high levels of positive TESTS as a cause for continued repression, when they KNOW the new PCR tests that are being used, detect virus fragments in people who were infected and RECOVERED up to months ago! They know that hospitalizations and deaths are NOT going to match the alarming new “positive test” numbers. They can only be trying to run out the clock keeping the economic and social harm going as long as possible, for whatever motive.

I am in agreement with the network of lawyers and doctors around the world whose spokesman is Dr Reiner Fuellmich, when they say this is a crime against humanity and responsible people must be held accountable by whatever means possible under legal frameworks – tort law, class actions, etc. They say “politicians are on notice: they can admit they have trusted the wrong people and been deceived, or they can choose to go down with these criminals”. It is not as if there have been experts all along, in large numbers, pointing out what is wrong with the official narrative; NZ would have been far better off to listen to Simon Thornley and colleagues from as far back as possible, and this reality is duplicated in virtually all countries, Sweden and Japan being good examples of exceptions (there may be more, including among US States). Japan, unlike Sweden, saw through the WHO narrative about way this virus spreads, and relied on making people alert about fresh air and ventilation instead of the absurd fetish for washing and cleaning of hands and surfaces.

The lesson we need to learn from this goes beyond the medical and health expertise that has been so absent among the cabal of official experts; we need to have a serious look at how influential official-expert positions are filled in the first place (in all disciplines) and how do the worst (incompetent, agenda-driven, whatever) people end up in those positions rather than the best ones? In a crisis we should listen to all the experts and discount the “official” ones, not the non-official ones!

Total incompetence, by this hopelessly inept government, lead to the lockdowns in this country, the border was not managed at all in February and March, the measures were an absolute joke, all was missing was a billboard with “Welcome Covid 19 to New Zealand” we basically invited it in. I entered the country on March 25 in Auckland to the slackest border controls I have ever encountered, as a regular, I have never been through Auckland immigration as fast. Other countries in our region and third world ones at that have done a far better job, with far less resources.
The action at our border was a disgrace, we have one of the easiest borders to look after and they couldn’t even get the basics right, leading to the devastating economic and health system failures caused by these lockdowns.
Further glaring failures with both the MIQ system and the discovery of non testing of border staff, then the NZ public was repeatedly lied to, that measures were taking place, have further risked us going into further damaging lockdowns

Roys the name truths the game October 12, 2020 at 7:29 pm

Lets hope the elecion will get rid of the fear regime and restore some sanity to the Covid 19 response.
I see the government is slowly loosening up the borders letting in 250 PHD/Post graduate students.

It depends Bob, it depends. Not necessary in New Zealand – isolation, limited ports of entry, dispersed population, etc etc. But we we were in New York City in March – a lockdown was essential there, then…

Michael Sommerville October 13, 2020 at 8:24 am

There will be more PhD gained from study of this disease, its effect on populations and economies. At the end of 10 years of study I hope there will an answer as to how to handle these situations in the future. Will there be any consequences for those who took the wrong direction? I doubt it.

New Zealand could definitely do with more bearded lesbian left wing overpaid academics and hysterical naive Cindy-mania school-girl reporters kept in check by Don Winston and his mafia thugs.
What a brilliant combination. Add to that an over-inflated stock market , QE truck loads of currency being poured in every day and an over inflated housing market. Then invite the Greens in to shut down any business initiative as the free market economy is evil.

Result…
El Salvador , Guatemala, Venezuela , Bolivia ….New Zealand. At least Cindy will get her United Nations appointment.

Dr Margaret Harris, spokesperson for the World Health Organisation says he was referring to countries locking down the whole country instead of using contact tracing, testing and distancing.

“He certainly wasn’t referring to New Zealand.”

My Father was 13 years old when world war 2 ended. He said everyone thought that they would be speaking Japanese as an invasion of New Zealand was imminent.
Dad said young men went off to war and the family’s did not know if it was the last time they would ever see their loved ones.
After the war , there was rationing for things like sugar and petrol well into the 1950s.
He said they not only did New Zealand have the war and the after effects of the war to deal with, but also viruses to contend with. Measles and polio, along with Tuberculosis where rampant, but the People of New Zealand carried on. There was no locking down of schools, railway stations, the local butcher, green grocer and golf courses. There was no hand sanitizer or wearing of masks or people hiding under their beds.

New Zealand carried on, they had a country to re build.

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