Monday, August 23, 2021
Ross Meurant - Chaos on the HorizonLabels: Covid Mismanagement, Jacinda Ardern's Labour Government
It has been said that COVID is like a creeping pressure on one’s ability to breath.
It is also said that COVID restrictions on communities are a creeping form of suffocation. Like a python, slowly but surely, strangulation.
A quote from a Hungarian Jew from the documentary, “The Last Days”.
‘People wonder, “How is it that we didn’t do something?”. We didn’t run away, we didn’t hide. Well, things didn’t happen at once. Things happened very slowly. So, each time a new law came out, or a new restriction, we said, “well, just another thing. It will blow over. When we had to wear the yellow star to be outside, we started to worry”.
Is this what we now experience?
“Executive” decisions by Cabinet, some of which in the opinion of one who has been advising the Government on Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, are impossible to enforce “and may be illegal”.(1)
Wear a mask or starve? Get a QR or stay locked out? Get a vaccination or be ostracised?
Let’s get one thing straight. I am not anti vax and some time ago had my second dose. I am required to (and do) wear a mask in a public facility because, it’s “just another thing” to quote the Jew above. However, I question the outcomes of being restricted to a 5 kilometres travel ban, denied the opportunity of employment and total shutdown of borders to trade and dare I say it – international travel.
Meanwhile, the machine rolls on.
Last week the West Australia Police said the Commissioner did not have the power to mandate that officers be vaccinated.(2)
However, Police Commissioner Chris Dawson successfully quashed this objection from the Civil Service Union before the state’s industrial relations arbitrator. From Monday, all Police staff who refuse COVID-19 vaccinations will have to wear a mask.
Compromise? Problem solved? You be the judge.
Sydney and Melbourne are experiencing the worst riots in decades.(3)
Thousands protest, but only “hundreds” arrested.(4)
Of course, this rebelliousness is not confined only to Aussie. France has been in a virtual constant state of protest – for months – which for some banal reason, NZ main stream media seem to avoid.(5)
Will these examples, both near and far from our shores, impact on what happens in New Zealand?
Many New Zealanders of core European stock hail from “downstairs” - “Great” Britain. They who paid their own passage or were “steerage class” to New Zealand, knew their place and that survival was best achieved by being compliant and not rocking the boat.
An enduring legacy, in my view manifest in that too often timid Kiwi response to a challenging question: “Everything’s fine” – rather than say what is their real opinion.
The Pacific Island community – which is made up of more recent immigrants, is also a compliant community – largely it seems due to religious fealty. Based on my experience as a cop and an MP, I dismiss the main stream media profile of Pacific Island gang members, as distinct from Maori, as not being a true and accurate reflection of the larger Pacific Island communities.
This mixture is unlike our closest and most valuable neighbour, ally and trade partner, Australia, whose core population base evolved from white convict transportations and many Irish. Implicit in that pedigree (in my assessment) is a sentiment to challenge; to fight for principles.
That pedigree produced a population today – which when combined with a large component of immigration from troubled lands – Sudan to Syria, reeks of passion to fight for one’s rights.
Regrettably, I do not see that spirit of fight for principles and to protect rights, in many New Zealanders. The hereditary “know your place” prevails.
Note: My pedigree includes Māori, Irish, Scottish, Norwegian, French/Australian (6).
However, there are exceptions. Thankfully. Welcome Damien Grant who pens(7):
“When these lockdowns were first imposed it was to ‘flatten the curve’. Remember that? We were delaying the onset of Covid-19 so our hospitals wouldn’t become over-run. This was probably a realistic objective.
“Both here and in Australia this morphed towards elimination. This was never achievable, although our success has been impressive and at a far lower cost than our western cousins.
“The failure of elimination as a policy objective in most of the world has been total and many governments have abandoned it.”
And finally, Grant does present a sensible solution: “It is time to consider returning to the original strategy, of introducing measures that slow the inevitable spread of Covid-19, rather than pursue elimination.”
Surprise of the day comes from Granny Herald: Running an article which captures the concerns I express herein, that NZ’s strategy is crumbling.(8)
Right at this moment it seems to me that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has worked out that long term lockdowns are not the solution and hints at opening the country once 70% vaccination has been achieved.(9)
New Zealand is a long way from that vaccination goal but a hint of concurrence with Morrison’s goal, I may have scented from Mr Hipkins.
What NZ does need at this time, in my view, is not meek subservience but the fortitude to challenge this government and its strategy.
For example, why is my local butcher denied the right to sell product yet the nearby Supermarket is permitted to sell meat and reap the financial reward of Lockdown?
Same applies to the local bottle store. Supermarkets can sell grog but not the person who has mortgaged his home to buy a shop where he can earn a living to support his family without the usual drag on social welfare pay-outs which ultimately come out of the taxpayers’ pocket.
This selective preference to some retailers may be seen as unfair to many. Others may consider the elevating cost of food within that “commercial bubble”, as a variation of conduct by Pfizer and Moderna raising EU Covid vaccine prices.(10)
Or, furthermore, the scenario of Mr Bloomfield delivering a vital COVID message at 1pm on Sunday 22 August and intermittently revert language use that 90 percent of the country don’t understand and (unless government has missed the message) who find it offensive to be force fed a language of highly questionable value off a marae and consequently, “turn off”.
Let’s keep focused.
For a start, stop mixing policy messages.
More importantly, re-set the compass. As CEO and trustee of substantial capital investments in NZ which have poured millions of dollars into a regional city i.e., employment for many, and which depends on export trade (in our case, forestry) to continue contributing to the local economy, I am firmly of the view that that the damage from Lockdown 4 far exceeds the benefits.
MPs come and MPs go and prevail only at the voting public’s discretion.
Meanwhile, our sanity and economic survival depends on their decisions which will endure as damage or deliverance for the country.
MPs are not a God. They can and should be challenged – without fear that to do so means, one risks going to jail.
(6) To dispel concern that I might be prejudiced against the original white arrivals in Australia and Irish - my great x 4 paternal grandfather, Ferdinand Meurant – a French Huguenot escaped the Catholic persecution of the time, to land in Ireland, but ended up transported to Aussie on the Minerva – after being sentenced to life imprisonment for forging British currency. https://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/settlement/display/23173-ferdinand-charles-meurant On my maternal side, my grandmother was Irish pedigree - Dalice Brady – catholic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqs4EbU02As
Or that I might be anti-Maori, view my royal Maori heritage at paragraph 23 https://www.nzcpr.com/a-step-too-far-bi-cultural-partnership/
Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies; currently Honorary Consul for an African state Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interests.
at 4:00 PM