Monday, August 17, 2020

Kate Hawkesby: Combating Covid 19 requires competence

The danger the complacent Government is walking into right now is believing its own hype. 

It seems to be taking to heart the groundswell of staunch and active support it has across social media at the moment. The left have mobilised into a tribe of such determined one-eyed acolytes that their entire focus right now is to hunt down anyone daring to question the Prime Minister's moves or decisions, and basically to eviscerate them.

Questioning the Government makes you either a hater; a conspiracy theorist; a troll; or, quite simply, unpatriotic. 

This venomous lobby group includes many across social media but most of the mainstream media has fallen under the spell too. You'd think the media and Government had almost forgotten about the existence of the silent majority.

Those not on FB or Twitter; those not doing Instagram selfies with the PM; those regular everyday working mum and dads who are looking down the barrel of an extremely grim economic future, and are worried sick. 

If people were allowed to dare question the Prime Minister, without the rabid left calling for them to be cancelled for doing so, here's what needs answering: Should Chris Hipkins be running health, when he is also the Minister of Education, State of Services, and Leader of the House? We've already been through one incompetent health minister, have we not learned by now that it's surely a fulltime job needing his full attention? Could I suggest this may even be a contributing factor as to why the ball was so badly dropped on the border testing?

Why isn't our contact tracing gold standard? They've had months to get it right. What's our Plan B beyond elimination? Why aren't we tougher at quarantine hotels? Why have we come so late to the mask party?

Why is the chain of information from officials to government to public so slow? How can we trust a government which got the availability of flu vaccines, testing kits and PPE gear so wrong first time round? 

I'd also question the North Korea vibe coming from the 1pm pulpit. "There is only one source of truth," Hipkins keeps reiterating in the manner of an annoyed dad. 

Unfortunately, not all their facts are accurate, just ask the seething principal of Pakuranga College. 

Likewise, many of the "we're the first/best/only in the world" statements, are not quite accurate either. It's a tad Trump-esque. But it does play to an adoring base programmed not to question anything. 

But the team of 5 million feels a little more divided this time, and I don't just mean regionally.

Sure, if you're after smiles and warm fuzzies, the PM's a good communicator. But good communication must also contain facts, trust and honesty. 

This was supposed to be "the most open, honest, transparent government ever". Turns out that message has conveniently changed to "kind". 

But what we'd really like to see now in all honesty, is competence.

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Ray S said...

I have a very bad feeling that we will see no change to all that after October. In fact, the PM spin will be operating in top gear to convince us about the need to tax to pay for the recent expenditure.

Anonymous said...

Shocking incompetence has unnecessarily wiped billions of pounds from the UK economy
"So now we know: Sweden got it largely right, and the British establishment catastrophically wrong. Anders Tegnell, Stockholm’s epidemiologist-king, has pulled off a remarkable triple whammy: far fewer deaths per capita than Britain, a maintenance of basic freedoms and opportunities, including schooling, and, most strikingly, a recession less than half as severe as our own."
Daily Telegraph, UK - 12/08/2020

Selective scientivism is not science and labelling disagreement as conspiracy ideation (Statist NZTV) is undisguised incipient tyranny.
The population of New Zealand is being coerced into believing that the country is marooned for its own 'safety', an ironic use of the word, in what might better termed 'coffin corner', an apt term borrowed from high altitude aviation, whereupon the smallest deviation from the correct airspeed results in destruction of the aircraft.

The metaphor applies to New Zealand doubly, because as was highlighted early on in the pandemic, it appeared inevitable that the novel SARS virus variant would become yet another endemic corona virus with a reasonably well defined infection risk profile and low mortality/morbidity similar to a notable seasonal 'flu, but with a somewhat differing risk profile.

Perpetual isolation and quarantine measures must therefore be considered impractical and unacceptable in a society that purportedly values liberty, prosperity and happiness. And it is by no means certain that the current infestation of neo-Marxist corporatist globalists in the NZ House of Representatives believe in such old school values. Such restrictions are not only unrealistic, they are unsustainable. The policy mantra of 'flattening the curve' has been surreptitiously replaced by, 'new normal', an implicit political justification for anything goes. Further, a vaccine remains a very uncertain proposition as it appears from a UK study that the longevity of post hoc immunity does not appear enduring beyond a few weeks, a finding also observed by the CDC in the USA, who say a period of 5 - 7 weeks. Reassuringly nonetheless, a second wave of 'cases' in Sweden, now at near zero mortality, shows a vanishingly low level of infection mortality.

Relying as New Zealand did on the flawed and rebutted modelling output of Professor 'Lock-Down', Neil Ferguson of Imperial College, also revealed by his own actions to be a deeply flawed, hypocritical individual, was not an encouraging start to NZ Government management here. Indeed, one is inclined to view such a start and the subsequent policy trajectory in the same light as the secret vote taken by the UN International Health Rules Committee that delayed its recommendation to the WHO to issue a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), a vote upon which PM Ardern has still declined to make any comment, even when asked specifically and directly. The secret machinations of this UN committee were not science, nor were they an expression of democracy. They were unadulterated politics of the worst sort, a fact that remains increasingly self-evident.

A generationally wrecked economy drowned by the concrete boots of neo-Marxist ideology - division, exclusion and inequality, should one disagree, stifled by debt and unemployment, and crushed under the ensuing inevitable struggle with on-going social, medical and economic consequences too dire to contemplate, or do we desire a resilient robust country that resembles the destination Sweden has achieved through the wise engagement of science and policy?

The choice seems all too clear.

maic said...

Now I can understand the Prime Minister taking a cautious approach when this crisis hit. The fear that our hospitals would be overwhelmed was a reasonable fear.
However the time has come to look objectively at other options besides lockdown.
From my reading of other sources some things stand out:
1. Some medical experts state that the virus cannot be eradicated by lockdown and that the focus should be on protecting the vulnerable while others get on with their lives.
2. Other commentators make the reasonable case that the economic and social costs of a general lockdown cannot be sustained and that the country should carry on while protecting the vulnerable. Let's face it - in this matter there is no cost free option.
3. Our health experts and politicians should take a close look at the ways in which Sweden, Taiwan and Switzerland handled this crisis. My understanding is that they did not go into general lockdown, their economies did not tank - but yes, there were some deaths.
4. My concern is that those in charge may be unwilling to admit that what they have done was not after all the best option. Vested interest and reputations at play here I suggest.
I say that the National Party in particular has a constructive role to play here - doing its research and setting out in Plain English a clear policy on this issue.
5. Finally I agree with the writer who points out the attitude and messaging of many in the social media.
Sure, they have freedom of speech but no one elected them to govern the country.