The attacks on Parliament’s Speaker Trevor Mallard by National’s Chris Bishop and ACT leader David Seymour, were simply party politics. They know full well that the Speaker has sole jurisdiction over Parliament and its grounds.
I’ve been a huge critic from the outset of the government’s hermit kingdom policy which ostensibly lies at the root of this protest. But not so Bishop and Seymour, with their fingers to the wind, who did the memory of Neville Chamberlain proud with their appeasement support of those policies at the time.
Now with a huge mood change across the nation and the gilt-edge certainty of a landslide change of government in the next election, they’re speaking up.
Mallard was 100% correct to give the protesters notice to leave when they began impeding Parliament, hurling abuse at the public and blocking the city streets. They’re mostly riff-raff spouting nonsense and displaying offensive and threatening signs. They’ve destroyed the huge Parliament grounds. Their tents are illegal.
I was attacked on this Blog last week for abandoning my libertarian beliefs, I have not. As said, I’ve openly criticised the government’s ill-considered hermit kingdom approach from the outset.
But libertarianism should not be confused with anarchy. To the contrary, it accepts the need for some rules failing which we descend into chaos. I can’t choose to drive on the right hand side or not pay taxes just because I sometimes disagree with how they’re spent.
If anything Mallard can be criticised for being too soft with his good humoured, imaginative music approach. So too with the sprinklers which was a device not to harm the riff-raff but to drive them away.
I await in vain for messis Seymour and Bishop to tell us how they would handle the illegal and damaging situation prevailing in the city. For my part I’d be tempted to opt for Macron’s tear gas approach if in the government’s shoes, but that’s not the New Zealand way.
Absolutely agree with you, everybody has the right to protest, what they do not have is the right to stop others going about their lawful business – blocking the streets with illegally parked vehicles, or to damage property, or to threaten others with execution. I like the tear gas option.
“Now with a huge mood change across the nation and the gilt-edge certainty of a landslide change of government in the next election, they’re speaking up.”
As long as we could successfully eradicate outbreaks and with no vaccine available the “hermit kingdom” strategy had merit.
According the the stringency index chart at Our World in Data NZ had less restrictions than virtually any other Western country during the 18 month long pre-vaccine period.
Now the game has changed and an immediate change in policy is required. The virus is in the country to stay and society needs to get on living with it here as we do with other contagious diseases with low fatality rates.
The mandates initially had some merit in pushing up vaccination rates, but now that some people will not get vaccinated no matter what, continuing to punish those people for their insolence is just the thuggishness of beating up on people out of frustration or just for a thrill.
Disagree, have a look at how long Auckland has been locked down and the effect of that lockdown, have a look at the drop off in GDP (Aust V NZ) is enough to frighten any financial person, its over $2500 since Covid became a pandemic, all under Jacinda’s non leadership. Read the report in the Economist which attributes total Covid related deaths to 50 per 100,000 in NZ but only 10 per 100,000 in Australia. The world bolstered ICU capacity, Aust went to over 9 beds per 100,000, Nz might have finally reached 3.6 as they pursued a futile Elimination strategy.
Add whichever countries you like their index shows NZ to be under less restrictions than virtually any other Western country.
The NZ drop in GDP is modest compared to other countries, though making meaningful comparisons is difficult due to everyone proping up their economies through government spending.
“Read the report in the Economist which attributes total Covid related deaths to 50 per 100,000 in NZ but only 10 per 100,000 in Australia.”
I’ve no idea what that’s supposed to mean, NZ currently has 1 covid death per 100,000, Australia far more per 100,000.
I agree NZ should have done more to lift ICU bed numbers, fortunately that failure hasn’t been a problem so far.
You’re missing an important point that many thousands of kiwis support the thousands of those protesting peacefully attending the protest and across the nation. Sure there are a few nutters ruining it but on the while it’s genuine kiwi’s wanting an end to stupid mandates, MIQ and travel restrictions shouting loudly, Good on them. While Jacinda continues to dismiss them, as you are, things will only get worse. Someone in Parliament needs to start listening and show some guts.
“While Jacinda continues to be missing”, is I think a better reflection of the situation
Hello from the UK
Quite so. I find it bizarre that no one in the government sees fit to have a quiet chat with people protesting. But that is democracy for you and freedom of choice.
Or in the NZ government’s case ‘freedumb’, freedom to be dumb or silent when it comes to having a sensible conversation with protesters about the blindingly obvious that mandates are pointless.
I wrote about Trevor ‘duck the issues’ Mallard in my most recent post if you are interested. I am not PC.
The tear gas option might be a tad extreme, Bob, but a 500-word pierce on ‘freedom’ and ‘human rights’ as a prerequisite for A & E treatment when they next need it sounds about right to me.
I went down to the protest for a while yesterday. These people have suffered much under the mandates; they have lost their jobs and they have been ostracized from their communities at the government’s direction. It’s actually a violation of international human rights law to coerce people in this way. Those I saw were behaving peacefully and they were courteous to visitors. The government and its helpers are smearing the protest as “threatening” or”imported” because they fear the spontaneous emergence of a Working Class voice that doesn’t toe the Labour Party line. And they can’t cope with opposition. All this would have been so unnecessary if rapid testing had been made widely available months ago. A major fail from which Ardern is trying to divert attention.
‘Odysseus’, given the nature of your past travels, I imagine you walked down to the protest but if you did drive, did you decline to wear a seat belt and to limit your speed because your government requesting that you do so constitutes a breach of your ‘international human rights’?
And out of interest, what is a ‘Working Class voice (your caps, not mine)?
And when you say ‘those I saw were behaving peacefully and they were courteous’, do you refer to those you encountered or those you actually saw and in the event of the latter, did you not see the others?
I agree with your general comment regarding rapid testing, save that testing does not of itself curb the spread of the virus. Rather, it’s what you do when you’ve established who’s positive.
Somewhat agree with you Sir Robert especially the way some of the protesters have behaved in disrupting businesses around parliament ( as portrayed by our media) however I can’t help but feel that in someways the government’s chickens have come home to roost so to speak in that they showed a hands of approach when during our various lock downs we witnessed a sub human species of New Zealanders namely gangs not abiding by the law at the time by social distancing etc and carrying on like rock apes at there various intimidating public gatherings. That was the time our government should’ve practiced with tear gas and water cannon
I am a sympathiser and if I could I would be with them. I am old enough to remember the springbok protests. I am an electrical engineer and some may describe me as a successful entrepreneur. I value freedom of speech and the value of thought, religion and medical autonomy. I can no longer eat in a restaurant, get a haircut or until recently leave my home city. My kids cannot participate in their sport or go to university. I see no credence in any of the conspiracy theories that abound however I can see why people gravitate to them. They have been told that 2+2 now equals 5. Can you not see that this division is extremely dangerous for society as a whole? I have not only met some of these folk but actually employed some. They are standing up for what they believe in as they have lost their jobs. I have options. What options do they have and where do you think this hard line stance is going to lead us?
It’s time to recognise that Covid is here to stay and we must adjust to living with it, even here in the Hermit Kingdom of New Zealand as the rest of the World seems to be coming to acknowledge. We will all probably succumb but vaccinations should minimise its impact. However if people choose not to vaccinate for whatever reason that is their prerogative and they must recognise that the consequences are on them if they suffer a more severe impact.
Meanwhile the poster child data seems to be ignored. Israel the most vaccination country in the world has a death rate spike higher than any of the previous waves. Hang on moment, say what! They are now well into their fourth shot for the vulnerable. Please tell me if these dam things are so effective why is this happening?
Israel has one of the lowest covid death rates in the OECD, only countries that largely succeeded in keeping the virus out for most of the last 2 years – like NZ, Australia and Iceland have lower covid death rates.
Protesters just about by definition have to be disruptive, whether Hikoi, strike or political. If they weren’t nobody would notice.. The govt subsidised media will show the ‘appropriate’ angles, they always have.
The government and the media are failing as usual, to discuss the central point behind the protest which is the demand for an end to vaccine mandates.
It is clear now that the Pfizer vaccine does not stop or even impede transmission olf Covid 19, and its efficacy in reducing symptoms wanes dramatically within the first few weeks after vaccination.
Pfizer themselves admit the current vaccines are largely ineffective against the Omicron variant which for healthy people generally does not cause severe illness in any case.
As of 8 weeks ago 46,000 vaccine related injuries and 133 deaths had to been reported to the MedSafe CARM registry system. Pfizer which I understand has been fined over 3 billion US dollars over the last couple of decades for various forms of malpractice and misrepresentation has been granted immunity from prosecution for vaccine damage related issues in New Zealand.
So where does that leave us? With large question marks hanging over the claims that these jabs are safe and effective and no case whatsoever for a mandate.
It is always fun to call dishevelled malcontented miscreants riff raff. I would never discourage this kind of cheerful coconut throwing. However, on this occasion the riff-raff are raising questions which require answers.
Your figures are a complete exaggeration.
Looking at the CARM figures; of the 133 deaths only 2 are definitely due to COVID vaccinations, 19 are still under investigation and 58 could not be determined due to lack of information. Its a fact of life that people die, often unexpectantly.
What must be considered is the relative risk of dying from the vaccine (very small) or dying from Covid (small). In my case – 65, overweight with high blood pressure not so small.
I think your enthusiasm for the vaccines gives you a different viewpoint on this from me, it’s very important the message of anti Government intrusion is sent. We only have to look at Canada to start kicking the tyres around this pandemic. I have a fairly broad network, yours must be broader. Anyone you know taken before their time by Covid? Kids? Younger people? I draw blanks on that