Back in May 2020 we highlighted the “single source of truth” claims made by the Prime Minister:
This has recently surfaced in US media with the Daily Wire also highlighting it:
And an article appeared in the Spectator‘s Australian site, entitled “Government is not the divine source of ‘truth’”. The article assaults Ardern’s divine prognostications.
‘Unless you hear it from us, it is not the truth,’ declared New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in a chilling speech related to Covid health advice.
The 2020 clip was dug up by The Daily Wire yesterday, reminding the world what the crucible of government overreach looked like from the sober reality of 2022.
And it is not a pretty sight.
The hubris, delusional self-importance, and elevation of government to a position of ‘absolute unquestioned truth’ is a sign that New Zealand’s leadership has gone beyond its charter and waded into a China-style system of absolutism.
They were not alone in this behaviour.
There is no clearer indication of an authoritarian sickness taking hold than comments like this from the Prime Minister.
‘You can trust us as a source of that information. You can also trust the Director General of Health and the Ministry of Health. For that information, do feel free to visit – at any time – to clarify any rumour you may hear.
‘Otherwise, dismiss anything else. We will continue to be your single source of truth.
‘We will provide information frequently. We will share everything we can. Everything else you see – a grain of salt. And so I really ask people to focus.’
We will continue to be your single source of truth? At no point, for any reason, should a government in a civilised nation declare itself the final word on ‘truth’. It is why the video clip of Ardern grinning her way through this fit of egotism has gone viral.
Which is why we highlighted it at the time. It seems the rest of the world is now waking up to the control freak narcissist that governs these Shaky Isles. The Spectator article goes on:
Government is a service. An administrator. A protector (but not a parent). And a law-maker – although it spends far too much time doing this.
Since the pandemic, ministers have grown to crave the spotlight while the bureaucratic underbelly has found a power-niche latched to the public interest by fear. It is not a good combination.
It is easy enough to point out the obvious flaw in Ardern’s reasoning. Health advice coming out of governments around the world – including New Zealand – has been wrong. Repeatedly. And it is never corrected or the state-issued fines returned with an apology.
That is without considering the undemocratic nastiness that the government’s position led to where epidemiologists were quoted as saying horrific things like ‘with no jab, no job, no fun’ or inaccurate alarmist predictions like ‘if 95 per cent of the population is vaccinated, there will be death, disease, and hospitalisations for the last five per cent’. This is not being reflected in figures.
The last two years have revealed the weakness, not strength, of centralised expert opinion.
All of this is of course alarming to the narcissist in charge. She thought she had the media tamed and only her version of the “truth” was ever going to be told.
At least in New Zealand, that is the case, and immediately proven true by Ardern’s little helpers at state-funded and bribed The Spinoff running to her defence right on cue.
Jacinda Ardern’s comments about being the “single source of truth” have done the rounds on the internet once again, prompting an official factcheck from online service Snopes.
The comments were originally made at the very start of the Covid-19 outbreak, when the prime minister advised worried New Zealanders to follow official advice and not buy-in to online misinformation.
“We will continue to be your single source of truth,” said said. “Unless you hear it from us it is not the truth.”
As is typical for the Covid-era, those comments were then quickly dissected, shared online and became misinformation themselves.
Just yesterday, American right wing blog The Daily Wire shared an extract from Ardern’s 2020 messaging, initially omitting the fact the speech was given more than two years ago. The video also avoided the context – namely, that it was at the beginning of the pandemic and very much connected to Covid-related misinformation.
Snopes? That well-known leftist dribble-fest. Of course, they ran interference. But The Spinoff also left off the context.
The true context was that there were rumours about an impending lockdown. And that little speech was made to tell us all that the rumours were untrue. Of course, it was a lie at the time, because just two days after she made that statement Ardern was plunging New Zealand into the first of its many draconian lockdowns for just one case.
The Daily Wire and The Spectator rightly criticise the claims, but it must be noted that Ardern wasn’t the only one making those claims, they also came from Peeni Henare:
and Chris Hipkins:
The Spectator article was dead right though, Governments never ought to make claims they are the one source of truth. That is the domain of despots and dictators.
Ardern’s statement in particular undermines the founding principle of science – which is that science is an evolving system of knowledge whose expansion and advancement relies on diversity of thought, competing ideas, fresh data, and open challenges.
The suggestion that a government has some sort of special ordained knowledge on the subject, as though the Moses of Wuhan dragged a few plastic tablets down and laid out the divine law to Ardern’s advisers, is a nonsense.
What about the Ardern pursuit of a Covid Zero New Zealand? How many press conferences were given insisting that New Zealand had conquered the virus and that government measures would protect New Zealand forever? These policies are now being labelled as ‘absurd’ and ‘damaging’. Most disagreed with the government advice at the time and warned that they were living in a fantasy bubble, prolonging and even worsening an inevitable outbreak – which is exactly what New Zealand is experiencing now with one of the fastest growing outbreaks in the world.
And as for vaccines – that house of cards is crumbling, globally, where adverse reactions and the deaths of young, healthy people pile up around leaders who mandated compliance against every social norm.
You could say that these were mistakes, but a government with absolute truth does not make mistakes. The presence of these grave errors prove exactly why the earlier statements should not be made.
There’s a reason governments are desperate to become the central source of information and truth – fending off opposing thought requires evidence and robust debate. Ministers do not want health policy challenged on merit because it would lose. It signals political weakness.
There are none weaker than the fascist mob in charge at the moment, closely followed by two more efficient fascist mobs entreating us to vote for them when, for all intents and purposes, they are just as wrong as Ardern, just more efficient at being wrong.
Hopefully, more of these clips will resurface so that those who promoted vile segregation, outrageous infringements on civil liberty, and general cruelty toward their fellow human beings can be remembered. Revisiting what happened in 2020 is the only way to stop it happening in the next pandemic.
Hearing the near deification of government should send a warning signal to every citizen that their democracy is heading in the direction of authoritarianism under the guise of ‘safety’ and public health.
The government can declare itself the source of all truth, but that does not make it true.
No, it does not. If only our own media had the gumption to tell their readers, listeners and viewers the unvarnished truth: that our Government lied to us, the scientists and health bureaucrats lied, and it has all gone wrong, and that they as well as their political masters are sorry.
But we all know that for them, they went all in on the pandemic, and so sorry seems to be the hardest word.
Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE