Friday, February 18, 2022

Barry Soper: The longer this goes on, the harder dialogue will become


Normally politicians are scrambling over each other to get out on the front steps of Parliament to address protesters. 

It's a political skill to be able to handle vocal critics, which the anti-mandate camp dwellers out on the front lawn of Parliament and beyond most certainly are. 

But across the political spectrum they've decided those who have been singing and dancing out the front are a bunch of low lifes, white supremacists, Māori separatists and everything else in between. It seems they've come to that conclusion by looking at them and reading their placards from the safety of their offices because they most haven't been outside to find out. 

Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard even justified turning the sprinklers on them because he saw them defecating and urinating on the lawn.  There have been reports of kids wallowing in mud and portaloos stinking to high heaven. There have been claims from the Prime Minister they've abused passers-by who aren't wearing masks and of kids being prevented from going to schools in the area. 

She's even suggested they're funded from overseas, citing the Trump flags, whatever they are. 

There was a glimmer of hope late yesterday though when word went around that Mallard had put on his big boy pants, talking to the politicians and encouraging them to engage with the protest leaders. But that was quickly quashed by parliament's landlord, which is what Mallard is, with him saying there'll be no dialogue while vehicles are blocking streets, the camp is dismantled and while they stop intimidating Wellingtonians. 

Mallard seems to have forgotten the much more violent protest he was once involved in, back during the Springbok tour of 1981, where they camped on Parliament's front lawn for the more than the 40 days the rugby players were in the country. 

I've been down on the forecourt every day with a mask on and only once have I been told to go and do something unpleasant to myself. The rest of the time they have been willing to engage and until the politicians do the same, chances are they'll be there for some time to come. 

The camp's become a well-fed, ordered, hippie village of sorts including one protester, Tracey Jane, a medic from Tauranga who brought around 150kgs of avocados with her. She was asked to drop them just up the road from Parliament at what she describes as a massive garage warehouse full of food being prepared by volunteers. Jane says there are another two in the city. 

Down in tent city there's everything from a medics' tent to a barber, a child care tent to a laundry where bags of clothes are picked up in the morning and delivered back at night. If you need a towel or a sleeping bag, they're available, all free of charge. 

They're flying in from all over the country, staying in nearby accommodation. 

It was unruly last week, this week there's an air of permanency and the only thing that'll disrupt that is dialogue. 

The trouble is the politicians have painted them as illegal, dangerous radicals which, having talked to many of them which the politicians haven't, isn't the case for the vast majority of them. 

The longer this goes on though, the harder dialogue is going to become. 

Barry Soper is a New Zealand political journalist, and has been featured regularly on radio and television since the 1970s. Currently, Soper's main role is political editor at Newstalk ZB, a radio network in New Zealand.


Anna Mouse said...

Proof I guess that what the politicians say, the MSM media parrots.

The question is why has Barry posted this on breakingviews? Would his article not be published by the people he is employed by?

The country is a shambles and it starts at the top and works its way down from there.

With no mention in their campaign of their over-reach and their hidden agenda for an econometric reset, co-governance and continued lies this so called government was not fit for purpose.

They cannot back away from this now because it will break them politically and now it will come down to strong arm tactics like Canada.

When you read that the Scottish Health authority is no longer providing covid stats on the basis that the anti vax band will use them badly tells you that the inconvenient truth that are statistics is about to be hidden.

The question for all New Zealanders is this. What has been hidden from us by our duplicitious leaders who speak of transparency but are opaque every day?

Janine said...

Barry you must be aware of the anti- MSM sentiment in New Zealand. A government bought propoganda media is not to be tolerated by most Kiwis. The MSM is perpetuating lies daily about Kiwis and the protest. Kudos for you for what you are doing.

It is totally understandable for Kiwis to vent their frustration on the media when the opportunity arises. Verbally not physically.

Kiwis have, for the past two years, all found their own source of truthful information and its not the MSM. The MSM will become totally irrelevant if they keep going down the same path. At this stage they all seem blissfully unaware of that fact.

Watch Chantelle Bakers coverage for a truthfully heartwarming and more accurate assessment of the situation.

This could be solved peacefully by Ardern lifting all mandates. She won't do it though. Pick headed or is there something more behind this?

Its definitely not about health.

Fred said...

This is no criticism of Barry Soper. Instead of trying to identify loonies and racists, the MSM should address the issue as to the effectiveness of mandates in light of Omicron and where we will be in a couple of months time. Mandates are corrosive and are being removed in Europe. I'm kind of delighted that the PM can't read the tea leaves.

Ross said...

What Mallard, Seymour and Luxon signed yesterday demonstrates the arrogance of NZ politicians. In summary it says do what we want you to do, remove the cars, tents etc. and we will talk to you.

Anyone with knowledge of disputes will tell you that you talk and listen to the opposing side and then you hopefully come to a mutually agreed position.
You do not layout conditions for any initial talking first, which in this case says remove your position "of strength" first.

The protestors in their letter laid out their grievances and what would be required for them to move on, but they were not preconditions to start talking with the Government.

Delwyn said...

The politicians complaints that the protestors are limiting access to the area and causing some people to be bothered seems trite compared to those without vaccine passes, for many reasons, have their access to so much of society limited. The media forgot to report on all THOSE people's feelings, or perhaps their feeling weren't important. The lack of access for the unpass people has never concerned the media but suddenly its so dreadful that people around parliament are inconvenienced? Come on and see the hypocrisy!

Unknown said...

Did you honestly think you could fire 10% of the population, remove any future jobs from them, coerce another 30% to take multiple jab, especially for children who are practically immune from covid, and honestly think there would be no push back?