Monday, September 27, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: Sir John Key is on the money, but will the Government listen?


Sir John Key’s piece yesterday was so good it ran front-page across two rival news websites. If you haven’t read it, look it up. It’s refreshing. You can’t argue with common sense, and it was so fortifying to see someone being ambitious for our country, someone being sensible and forward-thinking and optimistic, someone not bogged down with fear and a hermit mentality.

It laid bare what we’ve been missing all this time. Grown-ups. People with proper ideas and tangible solutions.

When inexperience is at the helm, you get bogged down in the minutiae of laborious detail. The same way you get dragged into an argument with a toddler who refuses to put clothes on to go out into the cold. You find yourself pointlessly arguing at their level a thousand different ways. And I feel like that’s what’s been happening in the last few weeks with our Covid response. We’ve been getting bogged down in flawed ideology peddled by an inexperienced unambitious government, which has left us dissecting and debating stuff that isn’t even worth the effort.

When a grown-up steps in and says, ‘cut the crap, this is the way forward’ and it makes sense, it’s like a light goes on.

Both Key and Michael Baker say it’s a ‘marginalised’ group holding us back. That’s politically correct speak for ‘gangs’ and people who can’t be bothered. Those people are costing us mentally, psychologically, economically, and they’re threatening our health system. So drill down on it. Forget the 1 pm sermons to the converted, forget the expensive ad campaigns on mainstream media outlets that these people will never tune into. ‘Get into the weeds’ as they say in the corporate world.

Most of the preaching about vaccinations is into the ears of the 80 per cent. We need to get into hard and fast detail on who this 20 per cent is, and target them at grassroots level. How old are they, where do they live, what’s their level of education, are they in paid employment, do they have a criminal record, what’s their health status, are they anti-vax, vaccine-hesitant, apathetic, afraid, anti-social?

Use carrots not sticks. Punishment and fear is not working, and we’re sick of it. Give them money. Look at what this is costing the country every day we’re locked down. Estimates say Level 3 costs Auckland 350 million dollars per week. You can take your Shot Bro bus anywhere you like, it’s not going to cut the mustard. We need more.

So what’s the government doing about it? 

How much research are they doing into who these people are and how to target them? Asking the hard questions and doing the hard work is our only way out of this. The time for spin, feel good cliches, cutesy bus names and modellers waving alarmist horror graphs is over. It shouldn’t have ever got the airtime it did. 

The only way out of this is to wake up, get detailed, and get serious.

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


DeeM said...

The government's set a ridiculously high vaccination target of 90%, and that may well have to apply to Maori, not just the population as a whole which means the real figure will be over 90%.
So they've tried bribing the unmotivated with a free brekkie but Kate's solution is to pay them now. Well, if simply chucking them $20 or $50, or maybe it's negotiable, then clearly they can't have any real concerns about the vaccine. Knowing they'll get paid to have it, unlike at least 80% of the rest of us who turned up for free, means it's in their interest to hold out for as long as possible. Obviously, this would be much cheaper than locking down but what happens when booster time comes around about 6 months later. You might find a lot more people need some monetary incentive rather than doing it for free.
Is this really the message we want to encourage?
Instead of paying a large number of people to turn up for a FREE vaccine to achieve a target that nobody else in the world is trying to meet, perhaps the government should ditch the ridiculous Covid models that drives their every decision, except when it's politically expedient to ignore them.
This is really about control and the rules will keep changing to ensure the government can keep telling us what to do whenever it suits them. They've got a taste of absolute power and they can't let go.

Janine said...

Both the media and politicians seem to think they know better than the rest of us. People should not be bribed to have a vaccination, that is totally absurd. Commonsense has well and truly flown out the window. Democracy has also flown out the window. Most intelligent people do not trust politicians or the media and rightly so. The self interest is appalling.

People have a right to make their own medical decisions. Maybe these people are missing out on their overseas travel. Who cares?

Until they present people with all the information they won't get the desired result. Why aren't Kate and co.delving into the facts? All they are doing is pressuring people without giving them any information. There are no credible news outlets worthy of the name in New Zealand.

Alexandra Corbett Dekanova said...

Well said, DeeM. Instead of chasing unreachable percentage the responsibility of the government is to give everybody fair chance to get vaccinated. When this has been provided it' s up to every individual to decide for himself or herself and for theit children. If they decide not to get vaccinated it is their responsibility. The state can be opened, no lockdowns and open borders.
The problem is that this government did not do their part in securing enough hospital beds, ICUs, ventilators, doctors, nurses, they did not teach people how to adapt their lifestyle to boost their immune system, they did not buy enough drugs to treat the ill etc. though they had at least 10 months and "emergency money". They declared climate emergency instead of healthcare emergency. That is why they maintain lockdown policies and insist on unreal percentage of vaccinated.
The second fact is that they are what they are - a socialst government - which means that the government is omniscient, the government has all power, the government will care for all, we need not bother, the only thing we have to do is to obey them.
Alexandra Corbett Dekanova

Ross said...

Sorry to burst your bubble Kate, but John Key does not have “the answer”. He like most commentators and politicians are hooked onto vaccination being the answer. It is not because the vaccines are not fit for purpose. To say they are “leaky”, to use the medical term, is being generous. If they worked then why are boosters needed? Even Pfizer says they lose their effectiveness after 4-6 months. They also admit they do not stop you getting the virus and do not stop transmission. That is, they do not give you immunity, which is what most people think a vaccine should do.
Just look at what is happening in Israel, the UK, the US and now Singapore. All highly vaccinated countries but they are still having big problems. So, getting NZ to some magical figure of 80 or 90% vaccinated will not return life to normal.
The NZ border workers and frontline medical workers started getting vaccinated in April/May. Before Christmas they will all be essentially unvaccinated. If the boosters do not arrive and are administered before the end of next autumn most of the double jabbed NZers will be effectively unvaccinated. I cannot see this Government being that well organized to do all this on time.
Until people start talking about using effective medications for people when they first show symptoms or test positive nothing will change. Medicating people to avoid hospitalisations, just like we do for any other disease or medical issue is the only answer.
Vaccines alone, vaccine passports, withdrawing freedoms etc. is just a waste of time and will lead to a destruction of our democracy and country.