Not a smart strategy, Jacinda
Somehow there’s a kind of mean-minded feel about what, according to the New Zealand Herald (“Jacinda Ardern has made a ruling”) is presented as our Prime Minister’s sole decision to lift the level 4 lock-down, as hoped for. And it’s interesting to note our left-wing media are pumping up Ardern as the world’s most successful leader – with one photograph of her in front of a picture apparently representing her with a halo…somewhat reminiscent of Barack Obama’s haloed presentations.
The country has held its breath for this four weeks to end on Thursday. But wait…it won’t be happening until next week. And not at the beginning of the week. Why 11.59 pm on Monday night? And it has not gone unnoticed by New Zealanders that Ardern’s pronouncements in relation to covid-19 initially tended to be delivered as what she — rather than the government — had decided. Too many “I’s” is never a good sign.
And now? The country has sighed. Not a fresh start to a new week, but what to many inevitably seems a niggling postponement of the hoped-for move down to level three until next Monday night at 11 59 pm, nearly midnight. The exasperation felt by many is inevitable. Why call it Monday? Moving down to level 3 lock-down with one minute to go on Monday night won’t start a fresh week off until Tuesday. Is the country meant to be grateful that at least it’s pre-dawn? Mike Hosking rightly challenged Ardern’s assertion that there were only two more business days to wait. Thursday until Tuesday encompasses more precious days when businesses would undoubtedly take advantage of the weekend opening to try to prevent their looming economic collapse.
Ar a time when, even before the invasion of Covid-19, a growing restlessness has spread across countries questioning the dominance of their political hierarchies, it’s more timely than ever for governments to remind themselves that they are expected to govern with the consent of the people. When this consent begins to be withheld, civil unrest spreads. And we have always the reminder that when any government assumes for itself emergency powers, calling on the police to reinforce them, history shows the temptation to retain some of these when the emergency has passed. It is also, as now, can show the willingness of some police to overstep the mark.
Throughout Western democracies, when a growing number of that sleeping giant, a hitherto non-engaged public, has woken to unease, moves like Ardern’s cause resentment. And from that great champion of freedom, Frederick Hayek, comes the reminder that ” Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded — and once they are suspended, it is not difficult for anyone who has assumed such emergency powers to see to it that the emergency will persist.” It is as relevant today.
How many are even aware that the Australian government, having initially proposed that Australians volunteer for a monitoring app for phones to track the spread of this coronavirus, has so quickly moved with regard to suggesting merely (and foolishly) volunteering As writer Bill Muehlenberg notes: “Mobile phone tracking software could be compulsory if not enough Australians voluntarily download the application to help in coronavirus case tracing. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says at least 40 per cent of the population needs to use the app to make it effective.” Muehlenberg warns that is always the danger that it will become compulsory. And what about Bill Gates’s proposal – that people should be micro-chipped with his pompously named “quantum dot digital tattoo implant to track Covid-10 vaccine compliance”?
Compliance? There is an unpleasant echo here of the former USSR, or today’s horrific situation in China. A brave new world indeed – and another splendid opportunity, no doubt, for the tyrannical and brutal Communist Chinese government to impose even more controls over its shockingly oppressed people, dominated by Xi Jinping, who has assumed more arbitrary powers than any ruler since the equally brutal and tyrannical Mao Zedong.
Yet, oddly enough, our former Prime Minister John Key, who is now again moving back into the limelight with his expressed praise for the Prime Minister’s policies, and whose party reportedly received backing and funding from Communist-backed Chinese business interests in this country while in power, has more than once recently expressed his admiration for this oppressive ruler. In October 2019, while China was cracking down on the dissidents in Hong Kong desperately attempting to block its removing established rights from Hong Kong citizens, Key congratulated China on its 70th anniversary and said he would continue to play an active role in promoting the “understanding and cooperation” of the two countries.
However, a Chinese state media report on John Key’s visit to President Xi Jinping contains a ringing endorsement from him that’s absent from the English version reduced to the above.
According to Stuff, in a Mandarin story from Xinhua, China’s state-run press agency, Key was quoted as saying: “History will prove President Xi Jinping’s foresight and wisdom and outstanding leadership, and I believe that President Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road initiative will inevitably succeed.”
In 2018, two years after he resigned as Prime Minister, Key said: “Xi Jinping’s going to go down in history as a good leader of China.”
Really? But public perception is everything, and the price our former Prime Minister got for selling his house certainly raised a few eyebrows, as it was reportedly sold to an unknown buyer from China who paid $20 million, even though it was estimated as worth $12 million at most – and he was said to be keeping part of the grounds on which to build another house. Concerns were also raised about the CCP-underpinned Chinese business support he constantly received for sponsorship at special lunches, queried donations to the National Party, the creation of a National Party List placing for a Communist Chinese spymaster who was arguably duplicitous in the CV he advanced – but who has never subsequently been expelled from the party. Not a good look. Nor was the then Prime Minister’s attempt to remove the Union Jack from our flag… let alone the selling of New Zealand businesses and our prime agricultural land — which can apparently be put to more problematic uses.
Interestingly, this former Prime Minister has recently been appointed “China representative” for Zespri, apparently to help Zespri get its kiwifruit into China…for which he is handsomely remunerated by Zespri. Apparently he is on very good terms with Xi Jinping who reportedly received him privately in Peking only a few months ago. Key is also apparently employed by Comcast of the USA to do their China business, for a considerable fee.
It appears that under John Key, National seemed to have no idea of how the party was being used by Communist Chinese interests. And It also appears doubtful that their MPs today have woken up in this respect.
China it is certainly still intent on buying up as many of our failing businesses and assets as this Communist country can swallow up.
The irony is considerable, given that many of them are now close to ruin, if not actually destroyed, as a result of China’s duplicity over the Covid-19 virus. And the longer this coalition government keeps the country in lock-down, the higher the price so many New Zealanders will pay in ruined businesses and ruined lives. It is now a question of lives versus lives.
At any rate, there never was a more urgent time for New Zealanders to say that they simply will not put up with the tyrannical Communist regime, which oppresses and tortures its own citizens, siphoning up even more of what we have left in this country.
Meantime, while our local hospital is extraordinarily empty, with only 50% of the beds being used even in the acute ward, the editor of the Spectator, Fraser Nelson, reports a sharp rise in non-covid- 19 deaths in UK rest homes.
What is happening to all the people who should be receiving urgent hospital treatment in relation to cancer, heart, kidney and mental health problems…?
Again, what about that question of lives – the balance is extraordinarily important. And it is ultimately the community which has to decide this – not yet another hierarchy of experts…
© Amy Brooke, Convenor, The 100 Days. See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through my BOOK Page at www.amybrooke.co.nz, or at Amazon’s Kindle.