Tuesday 5 September 2023

What Sort Of Election Is This?

Change? Restoration? Status-Quo? With the 2023 election just six weeks away, what is it that most New Zealand voters are seeking? From this distance, it is very difficult to identify anything more dramatic than a desire for stability – and normalcy. Act, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori may be seeking “real” change, but the rest of the country appears to be asking itself just one question: “Is Christopher Luxon likely to make a better fist of sailing our battered old ship-of-state than Captain Chris “Chippy” Hipkins?”

HOW WILL THE GENERAL ELECTION of 14 October 2023 be remembered? Will it be included among the great “Change Elections” of New Zealand political history? As a “Status Quo Election” that leaves the incumbent government and its policies in place? Or, is 2023 destined to be a “Restoration Election”? One that returns the country to the status quo ante – how things were before.

More often than not, New Zealanders deliver “Status Quo” election results: opting to keep incumbent governments and their policy agendas where they are. Having elected a political party to power, most New Zealanders are reluctant to acknowledge their poor judgement by throwing it out again just three years later.

Nowhere was this Kiwi preference for maintaining the status quo more in evidence than during the extraordinary 12-year stint of the National Government led by Keith Holyoake and (briefly) Jack Marshall from November 1960 until November 1972. Nine year terms are not, however, uncommon. Generally-speaking, a New Zealand government has to work pretty hard to secure its own defeat.

At this point, students of New Zealand’s political history will raise the examples of the two short-lived Labour Governments of 1957-60 and 1972-75. Both of these examples require explanation – not least because the first is an example of a “Restoration Election”, and the second of a “Change Election”.

The First National Government was in power from 1949 until 1957. Its leader, Sid Holland, was a hard-bitten and ruthless right-wing politician who had once been a member of the quasi-fascist New Zealand Legion. The Labour Government he defeated in 1949 had been in power for 14 years (including the six years of World War II) and Holland was obliged to pledge allegiance to Labour’s Welfare State before the New Zealand electorate would countenance his party’s victory.

By far the most significant episode of the First National Government was the divisive Waterfront Lock-out of 1951. Had the Social Credit Political league not entered the electoral fray in 1954 (claiming 11 percent of the popular vote!) it is probable that Holland’s government would not have lasted more than 5 years. Certainly, by 1957 New Zealanders were ready for a “Restoration Election” – voting (albeit narrowly) to return the Labour Party, of happy memory, to office.

Though led by Walter Nash, one of the leading lights of the First Labour Government, the Second Labour Government proved to be an austere, sharp-elbowed administration, quite willing to implement the unpopular measures needed to steady New Zealand’s wobbly economy. Finance Minister Arnold Nordmeyer’s infamous “Black Budget” of 1958 was not what Labour voters were expecting from their old “friends”, and two years later they took their revenge by restoring Holyoake’s National Party to power.

By 1972, however, Labour voters and a large chunk of the electorate (especially those under 30) believed the country was long overdue for change. Norman Kirk, a curious blend of social conservatism and economic radicalism, and a bona fide visionary when it came to charting a new course for New Zealand in the wider world, was ready and able to lead Labour to a crushing election victory.

Tragically for Labour (and some would say the nation) the “Oil Shocks” of 1973, compounded by Kirk’s sudden death in 1974, caused the electorate to veer wildly away from Labour to embrace the fierce populism of the new National leader, Rob Muldoon, who promised to give them “New Zealand the way YOU want it”.

The fate of the Second and Third Labour Government’s drove home the message that when New Zealand voters say they want change, what they really mean is: change that doesn’t cost too much; change that leaves them better-off. When they vote to restore the status quo ante, however, they show very few signs of knowing what they want. No single voter’s nostalgia is ever quite the same as another’s, and no government can ever honestly promise, or successfully deliver, the past.

Never was this proposition more rigorously tested than by Muldoon, who ended up twisting New Zealand into all kinds of economic and social knots in a doomed attempt to leave the country in no worse condition than he found it. By 1984, after nearly nine years of “Muldoonism”, the desire for change extended right across the ideological spectrum. Partly, on the strength of David Lange’s rhetoric, but mostly on account of it not being National, Labour was swept into power. With a turnout of 93.7 percent, 1984 was indisputably the biggest Change Election of the post-war period.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins spoke no more than the truth this past week when he warned those berating Labour for failing to deliver the “transformation” promised by his predecessor, Jacinda Ardern, to be careful what they wished for. As he rightly pointed out, the government of David Lange and Roger Douglas really did transform New Zealand – and it’s the consequences of that transformation (inequality, poverty, homelessness) that are driving the present demands for a new transformation.

The Neoliberal Revolution of 1984-1993, and its constitutional offspring, MMP, complicated but did not obliterate the basic typology of New Zealand elections. For a fair proportion of the past 40 years, a not inconsiderable number of New Zealanders have been searching for a combination of political parties capable of restoring the New Zealand that neoliberalism destroyed. How else could the redoubtable Winston Peters and his NZ First party have arrived, departed, and returned so often, were it not for the enduring nostalgia for pre-1984 New Zealand? In its earliest incarnations, even Act was a restorationist party: hungering for a return to the days of Sir Roger and his all-conquering policy blitzkriegs.

The problem, of course, was that the revolution of 1984-1993 had well-and-truly put the New Zealand electorate off the whole idea of mandating “Big Change”. No matter how earnestly Jim Anderton’s Alliance and the Greens may have hoped that 1999 would signal major economic and social change, Helen Clark’s and Michael Cullen’s Labour Party understood that its job was simply to deliver a more respectable status quo.

After nine years of Labour rule, National’s John Key was similarly convinced. “More of the same – but without Jim’s, Winston’s and Don Brash’s antics!” That was the message Key received and understood. Between 1999 and 2017, a period spanning 18 years, there was only one change of government – from Labour to National in 2008.

What’s more, and in spite of its eventual outcome, the election of 2017 was also a Status Quo Election. Had Peters followed the precedents of MMP, he would have thrown in his lot with the National Party’s 44 percent, not with Labour’s 37 percent.

Those who lament “Jacinda’s” failed promises should be more forgiving. The momentum for change: that sense of pent-up energy just waiting to be unleashed which was there in spades in 1972 and 1984; was nowhere to be found in 2017. On Election Night 2017, Ardern comported herself like a woman who had saved her party from humiliation, but lost the electoral contest fair and square. Winston’s decision may have been a triumph for electoral arithmetic, but it was also a sad defeat for political common-sense.

And then came Covid-19, and common sense – along with just about everything else – went out the window.

With the 2023 election just six weeks away, what is it that most New Zealand voters are seeking? Change, Restoration, or the Status Quo? From this distance, it is very difficult to identify anything more dramatic than a desire for stability – and normalcy. Act, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori may be seeking “real” change, but the rest of the country appears to be asking itself the same question as Winston Peters: “Is Christopher Luxon likely to make a better fist of sailing this battered old ship-of-state than Captain Chris “Chippy” Hipkins?”

Here’s hoping that all of us get it right.

This essay was originally posted on the Interest.co.nz website on Monday, 4 September 2023.


Archduke Piccolo said...

I think it should not be forgotten that Rob Muldoon survived 9 years in office owing to the gerrymanders that permitted National's occupation of the Government benches from1978 to 1984. Yep, in both elections, 1978 and 1981, National did not need to receive even as many votes as Labour did in order to return to office with a large majority of seats in the House of Representatives.

I think most voters want, by and large:
(a) tomorrow to be better than today;
and failing that...
(b) tomorrow to be no worse than today.
Ion A. Dowman

John Drinnan said...

Labour's incompetence is the issue, coinciding with the failure of the public service. It is more of an issue than broken promises These are commonly expected by anyone who is not a party true believer. There has been transition - but it has made New Zealand worse and deeply divided.,

new view said...

The majority of NZrs most likely believe this country needs a socially minded government that is economically and administratively sound. Those people will know that this Labour government although socially minded in theory can't or won't deliver whats required. Even those with a left lean can't possibly be happy with this government, those who would vote Labour anyway will, and some who would normally vote labour but know deep down they shouldn't be re elected wont, and some may not vote at all. The Greens and TPM will pick up some of those votes but those parties have issues of their own and in some ways are as unattractive as Labour. This will be Labours weakness. All from the right will vote but not all from the left. With NZ1 looking like getting over the line IMO there will be a change of government. This will be a spiteful election with policies from both major parties being questioned and identity politics in full flight. Who ever wins will face empty coffers and no chance of pleasing anyone. I'm from the right but in some ways wish Labour would win because it is definitely a hospital pass for an incoming National coalition.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

As someone put it the other day – the only way to keep ACT out of government is to vote National. I have some sympathy with that opinion. Act having more than a very, very marginal influence on a New Zealand government would be an unprecedented disaster. Pretty much on the level of what Roger Douglas did. And that buggered the economy for at least 10 years.

John Hurley said...

As always the election is about the growth juggernaut

John Key Property Predictions | Stonewood Key
Super rich thru property
John newspapers biggest income property
Max: Property course said in most of the world people don’t own houses (so much for home ownership)
Arguing property won’t go down. [30:00]
Guy with 60,000 apartments
[41:00] Huge migration
[54:00] Key in 2008.
[1:00:00] Not Foreign Buyers Is interest rates.
House prices will be higher: bet my life on it.


The status quo landlords are a big block.
Then there are feel good progressives (on good incomes). "More people isn't a problem" - Green Party.

Populism wont get a voice because that is fascism. But what about all those people at the bottom and their aspirations. The politicians modus operandi is fix problems ("warm dry housing" - expensive dog-kennel), and these are problems they created.

sumsuch said...

Fair narrative from the one who knows.

The Greens say the truth but we don't want it.

Cormac McCarthy's'The Road' in my lifetime unless a technological innovation.

Going along triennially when time is up is not ... rational. You're happy with it, Chris? Then I'm not happy with you. I'm unhappy with all 3 NZ Left blogs. You've gone off into cul-de-sacs. Why we look to Reich and Sanders from the American plutocracy. They've been forged in tougher furnaces. Reality first and last.

DS said...

It's a "can't they both lose?" election.

1993 or 1996 is probably the best analogy.

The Barron said...

There is something arbitrary about Labour's approach to this election. It does not seem to be principled, nor is it unprincipled. Free dental care for all was the final wish of the late Jim Anderton. It has been a strangely absent part of our state health system which has long promised care for all health issues, but dental. This differs from almost all comparable welfare states. The creep of the provision to age 18 has been welcome, and can be justified as to the development and dependency of those deemed children or young adults. It is difficult to understand the arbitrary view that 18 - 30 year old are privileged over an other age band. This is not a needs based analysis. It is in part universal, but in part randomly targeted. This lies alongside the removal of GST off fruit and vegetables, yet no discussion of other life essentials for families low income or otherwise. Again, arbitrary.

Is this populist? Only perhaps to the tertiary students the bulk of the caucus used to be elected officers for. I am more than happy to reveal that I am in favour of universal free dental care, similarly, in favour of removal of regressive taxation from essential products and needs. I draw no arbitrary lines, but hold that tax take should not be targeted to the needs within society and spending should be to provide for societies needs. It is a fallacy to suggest we cannot budget and afford what comparable countries provide. It is always a matter of priority.

This is not to say that the dental care provisions and GST reforms are not welcome. While personally excluded from the dental criteria, our society is better for the new provisions if implemented. It just seems that inclusion / exclusion is a workshopped Venn diagram developed from marketers to suggest brand Labour without being too Labour. This leaves many of us having to say better than the alternative. Hardly inspiring.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

We are not in such a parlous state as the US or Britain, where a vote for a Republican or a Conservative could almost be considered treason. It wasn't so long ago that if an election had been held in Britain the Conservative clown car would have maybe been down to one or two seats. The sheer incompetence of the Truss government would be hard to beat anywhere. Even the Trump administration didn't ruin the economy, although it did little positive. I have American acquaintances who are lamenting the lack of actual policy in American elections at the moment. Apparently it's simply being in run on emotion. They regard the Republicans – and some of them used to be Republicans – as bogged down in anti woke, anti-LGBTQ, culture wars rhetoric with no policy whatsoever. And I must say what little I've seen seems to suggest they are correct. At least Biden has come up with some infrastructure improvements – and if it's anything like when I was over there, desperately needed. But the very nature of the US government makes it reasonably difficult to implement policy – sigh.
Always amuses me when people on various NZ websites slag Biden off, considering he's probably a shade to the right of national. Not much knowledge or much thought going in there.
On the other hand, we are being over policy that seems to me – though can't complain I've often criticise them for not being explicit about policies. But both major parties seem to be promising stuff they can't deliver. Labour in typical Blairite fashion is tweaking the neoliberal paradigms around the edges, and National doesn't seem to have disappeared down the ACT rabbit hole quite yet. But still showing a reasonable amount of incompetence in their costings. Which is funny considering how conservatives have droned on and on about how efficient and competent national are compared to labour – not a really high bar though is it?
Unusually I simply don't know who to vote for. I know who not to vote for but just at the moment I'm thinking a plague on all their houses. Except perhaps for Te Pati Maori, which at least seems to have some vision of a fairer society. Along with some quite odd ideas though, but let's face it the odd ones are never going to be put in place even if Labour does form a government with them.

Odysseus said...

This election is the most important New Zealanders have ever faced. The question we must answer is whether New Zealand will remain a democracy based on equal rights for all its citizens, or will it be ruled by a tribal oligarchy and a cabal of student politicians? That is the choice.

Dirk said...

Sigh - I have never been so underwhelmed about an impending election as I am about this one. There seems to be just a generalized stumbling and staggering towards the election day by the parties. Having lived through Rogernomics I find the 'grand plan' style of politics concerning, impacting disproportionately on the working class as it invariably does. But the 'business as usual' model is also completely underwhelming. I have been a Labour supporter most of my life, but the managerialism approach to politics that has infected the party, leaves me cold. Take the free dental care - is it a good idea? Probably. But we all know that if Labour were to be successful in the election, the policy would be nibbled away at until it bore little resemblance to their original promise. Nor am I an anti-vaxxer by any stretch of the imagination but when Hipkins denied that there were vaccination mandates in place during the height of Covid, he was only technically correct. There was no actual mandate; but try holding a job in the public service (as I did) at the time. Someone in the same team as myself, who sat not a dozen feet away from me, was told in no uncertain terms that if she didn't get vaccinated by a certain date her employment would be considered at an end - and on that date, she was gone. It was only through a subsequent court case that she was reinstated to the job. Try getting into pharmacies at the time without showing your vaccine passport. And that is the problem I have - half truths, selective facts and deliberately obscured lenses through which to the view the world. It's all become so . . . grubby and pointless and reinforces for me Lord Acton's famous quote about power. God, I'm getting old!

Anonymous said...

After just spending more than 2 months in the country after last being back 5 years ago l am saddened how most Kiwis keep looking at the UK or USA as the model for the country, what happened to the idea of NZ following a more Scandinavian type society ? Somehow it’s all about «  plenty of coin » and maintaining a totally unreal house market and bugger the rest. Hard to understand and even harder to follow is why Kiwis are still so accepting and placid about it all, is that a good thing ????

John Hurley said...

In 2011 Paul Callaghan said tourism didn't earn enough to maintain current GDP/Capita.
A report from Queenstown I saw 2020 said it was 75,000.
Meanwhile property prices shoot through the stratosphere.
Unions aren't the answer the problem is that we are a land based economy and each additional worker has a lower marginal product.

sumsuch said...

No one with half a brain will vote for Labour. 'Experts' say people will vote against Labour. There is a huge neglected field however to vote 'against' the Right. Their neglect of ... reality. It's a free field to shoot the pricks down in. But we haven't bred rational talkers for a long while. My g.grandfather disallowed from the upper house in 1935 for his talking. Proud of the prick, glowering down at me from the wall.

Sorry for my family pride whiling me away from the main point. The free firing field of the Right's anti-rationalism just needs someone to fire on the main stage. If that high-coiffured git in the noughts could get on in a TV debate why not a Lefty. And if they fail, Fascists will do better, having no morals.

Anonymous said...

Who are the he strange new breed of third party players in elections?


Guerilla Surgeon said...

This is an interesting take on why people have supported populists particularly Trump. If what he says about relative wages and so on is true, it's hardly surprising that people are feeling pissed off. The US is a nightmare when it comes to employment. I think 90+ percent of jobs are "at will". I'm pretty sure that's what act would love to see, but it hasn't done a lot for wages.
And with it comes the usual racism – because people need someone to blame. And they often don't blame the people who are actually in charge, but want some sort of a scapegoat that they think have gained something at their expense. So they blame black and brown people, gay people, feminists, liberals. Anyone but the real culprits right?

"Know your culture wars are there to distract while libertarian billionaires avoid paying tax" Billy Bragg


Loz said...

"We recognise that the antagonisms which divide society today into classes are economically foundationed, and we are going, if we can, to change those economic foundations". Sadly, there is no Harry Holland, or promise to change the economics of our country today.

There is something dark about this coming election. The economic foundations of the nation are rotten with dire current accounts and non-existent exports looking a lot like the ill winds of 1975. More than half of the country are now in financial stress and falling international demand offers little hope for trading our way to prosperity. With our debt servicing in US dollars, the falling exchange rates and dollar shortage due to lack of exports guarantees that the next government, no matter who it is, or what they promise, will be rationing social services when increasing numbers of Kiwis need help the most.

This election is devoid of hope for everyone but the politicians eyeing a $300k Ministerial salary. We will simply choose a poison, either as a slash and burn to social services in a fractured and impoverished nation or as the permanent abandonment of Liberty, Community and Equality as the basis of government itself.

John Hurley said...

You might like this state of the art NZ First Speech Chris?

DS said...

Nor am I an anti-vaxxer by any stretch of the imagination but when Hipkins denied that there were vaccination mandates in place during the height of Covid, he was only technically correct. There was no actual mandate; but try holding a job in the public service (as I did) at the time. Someone in the same team as myself, who sat not a dozen feet away from me, was told in no uncertain terms that if she didn't get vaccinated by a certain date her employment would be considered at an end - and on that date, she was gone. It was only through a subsequent court case that she was reinstated to the job. Try getting into pharmacies at the time without showing your vaccine passport.

Anti-vaxxers are deliberately endangering public health. As such, they have no place in the public service. They are also confounded morons. As such, they have no place in pharmacies.

Really, consider it an IQ test. A nurse who opposes vaccines should not be a nurse. I have no sympathy for anyone who lost their jobs because they decided to go down that path.

sumsuch said...

Just another bullshit election when reality is needed. The Greens say the truth but mortgagers don't care for that. The first law is reality, that you don't care for that is against your principles. Our principles. Your art of the possible leads us to hell. So you're released from that, as our great orator. Anti-philippics all the way.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"what happened to the idea of NZ following a more Scandinavian type society ? "

Roger Douglas.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Anti-vaxxers on this site keep saying that the sign of a civilised society is that we don't force people to undergo medical procedures they don't want to. That's bullshit of course but let's assume it's true. The corollary is – the sign of a civilised human being is that they don't put the vulnerable in society in danger. Those people who because they are very young, very old, or immunocompromised – cannot be vaccinated. I'd be raising the roof of I was in hospital and I found that some of the nurses hadn't been vaccinated. As DS said they are endangering public health – but also specifically mine.

MCA said...

Train wreck, that's what we'll get.

Gary Peters said...

"Anti-vaxxers", the slur of the ignorant.

I allow I've had more genuine vaccinations than many on here with the exception of a couple of the older "salties".

Those of you that happily supported the victimisation of those of us who decided to exercise our guaranteed free will should be ashamed of yourselves, especially as now reality has hsown us that the pfizer and moderna treatments neither prevented transmission nor stopped infection from covid so you who pretended to be "vaccinated" were just a slikely to "kill granny" as the rest of us.

It easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.

Just because new Zealand is a tad behind to rest of the free world there's no reason to remain ignorant of the very visible and verifiable facts.

For the record, there never has been and there never will be a viable vaccination for an airborne respiratory virus despite what you were told. If there was the common cold, being a corona virus, would have been irradicated decades ago as would have annual influenza.

From the NZ govt website.

"Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold. Other recent diseases caused by coronaviruses include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)."

It used to be that "thinking differently" was not a crime. I wonder what the slavish adherrents of the ardern regime will think about themselves in a few year's time when they have grown up a little.

Dave said...

Is the writer not aware that the current government has been ruthless in its determination to radically remake NZ government institutions according to its neo-racist co-governance ideology?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

" pfizer and moderna treatments neither prevented transmission nor stopped infection from covid so you who pretended to be "vaccinated" were just a slikely to "kill granny" as the rest of us."

Wrong. Not sure if this is misinformation or disinformation. Either way you should be ashamed of yourself for promoting it. And Chris you should be ashamed to publish this bullshit.

The coronavirus is only responsible for about 20% of common colds, the rest are rhinoviruses, of which there are 160 different type. And they simply mutate too quickly for us to have a vaccine.

"For the record, there never has been and there never will be a viable vaccination for an airborne respiratory virus".

Checkable and also completely untrue. I suspect this is disinformation rather than misinformation which means you should be even more ashamed of yourself.

"It used to be that thinking differently was no crime"? Anyone who lived through the 50s 60s and 70s could easily put the lie to that.

Gary Peters said...

"The clinical trials did not assess if the vaccine could reduce transmission, and neither the companies nor the government ever claim they did.

“At this time, data are not available to make a determination about how long the vaccine will provide protection, nor is there evidence that the vaccine prevents transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from person to person,” the FDA stated when it announced the emergency use authorization. "

Well I guess the FDA are just plain liars then.

And yet

"une 22 (Reuters) - U.S. scientists are expanding a government-funded study that aims to directly answer the question of whether Moderna Inc's (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine curbs the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

The study, backed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was launched in March to determine if Moderna's vaccine can prevent coronavirus infection, limit the amount of virus present in the nose and reduce transmission from vaccinated individuals to their close contacts."

Pretty sure that study hasn't retunred a result yet and again, testing for transmission after the fact.

I lived through most of those decades and debate was encouraged on most subjects yet you seem to hanker for more historical times.

Gary Peters said...

As an addendum and anecdotal of course, neither my wife nor I who both rejected the pfizer/moderna treatment have ever contracted any of the "varieties" of covid yet every single member of my extended family, all of whom did take the treatment, have contracted covid at least once and passed it around amongst themselves without managing to infect us.

Weird huh?

So again you can label an opinion contrary to yours as misinformation or whatever but I know the claim "safe and effective" is rubbish and I post under my own name, just like Chris Trotter.

greywarbler said...

GS Thanks for bringing some stern surveillance on vaccination to this post - which all appears to be based on reason, observation and fact. It is important to remind ourselves of scientific findings about memory and how things tend to lodge at the back and be part of understanding even when they have been received as incorrect, but particularly if possibly or partly correct. And also the propaganda effect - that if something is repeated enough by enough people* then it becomes part of the memes** of society.

** Meme - an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means. (Oxford Languages thru Google)

*What is the repetition induced truth effect?
The illusory truth effect (also known as the illusion of truth effect, validity effect, truth effect, or the reiteration effect) is the tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure. This phenomenon was first identified in a 1977 study at Villanova University [Pennsylvania Catholic] and Temple University [Pennsylvania Baptist]...

In a 2015 study, researchers discovered that familiarity can overpower rationality and that repetitively hearing that a certain statement is wrong can paradoxically cause it to feel right.
Illusory truth effect - Wikipedia
Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Illusory_truth_effect

... "Repetition makes things seem more plausible," says Lynn Hasher, a psychologist at the University of Toronto whose research team first noticed the effect in the 1970s. "And the effect is likely more powerful when people are tired or distracted by other information." ...
Repetition is what makes fake news work, too, as researchers at Central Washington University pointed out in a study way back in 2012...

Guerilla Surgeon said...

You know what, this place is turning into an anti-vexed cesspit. I'd be out of here if it wasn't necessary to counter the bullshit. I don't care whose name you publish under Gary, but you are either disingenuous and missing out context, gullible, or an "plain liar".

"The FDA stated in a Dec. 11, 2020, press release announcing the authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine that “at this time, data are not available to make a determination about how long the vaccine will provide protection, nor is there evidence that the vaccine prevents transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from person to person.”

''' A Pfizer spokesperson told The Associated Press that its clinical trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine in preventing disease caused by the COVID-19 virus, including severe illness ...

“Stopping transmission was not a study endpoint,”

"While the vaccines do not eliminate all transmission, they can help. Studies done after distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines began, including research by Pfizer, did find that the company’s shot reduced asymptomatic infections in addition to symptomatic cases with earlier variants of the virus. Researchers in the United Kingdom reported in a February observational study that Pfizer’s vaccine helped cut transmission of the alpha and delta variants."

The vaccine was rushed out because it was an emergency. The studies for transmission were done later in real-time.

... For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in an August report that being up to date on the recommended COVID vaccine doses "provides a transient period of increased protection against infection and transmission after the most recent dose, although protection can wane over time." ...

''' “Our study from earlier in the year shows that the Pfizer vaccine reduces transmission from people with breakthrough infections, at least in the 3 months post vaccine which we studied,” Dr. David Eyre, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study, wrote in an email...

"As an addendum and anecdotal of course,"

Well, if we going to be swapping anecdotes all my family are vaccinated, none of us have caught the disease at all. And neither have any of us had a cold since we started sanitising our hands at the supermarket.
Doesn't mean a damn thing just like yours.

Gary Peters said...

Wow, personal abuse really triumphs in an argument.

I am not and never have been anti vaccination.

I am anti mandates for any medical treatment experimental or not.

Despite all the palaver and a 90% take up rate for the pfizer and moderna treatments over 2 million people still managed to become infected and a few, treated and untreated died.

Yep, safe and effective.

I don't need to cite medical journals merely did so to prove to you that "stopping transmission" was never a goal yet for every other vaccination that is currently available that is the primary goal.

It is easier to con people that convince they have been conned.

You do what you want with your time but in time you will clearly learn that this was never a "vaccination" programme, merely a semi effective treatment that may or may not reduce the effects from a fairly regular virus.

Statements made by the then director general of health that infection did not generate "natural immunity" was patently false yet was supported by the media and the government yet is now being acknowledged as wrong.

I have repeatedly stated I have no desire to be drawn into the debate around the various treatments for covid because as I said above many are still unprepared to acknowledged they may have been had but to this day I do not believe in any democracy any medical treatment should be mandated and if being untreated by pfizer and others meant I was required to avoid contact with people such as yourself then I would treat that as a bonus.

Loz said...

It's such a tragedy that discussion so often descends into abuse - there is no need for it.

At this point, we should have a reasonable discussion on covid with the hindsight of information that was not available in the past. Vaccinations didn't end Covid as we were told but they did provide some protection against the two variants their spike protein was from. It also just meant that variations would fill the void of the original variants and worryingly, variants that "escape" the antibody response from vaccines would emerge. You can accept that vaccines saved many lives and also recognise that MRNA has troubling elements with autoimmune inflammatory disorders that shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

I was horrified to hear the CEO of Pfizer state under testimony that the company had never tested the impact of the vaccine on Transmission. Pfizer’s argument was that the successful vaccine trial was to minimise the likelihood of death and hospitalisation from those vaccinated, not to test if it stopped the carriers in spreading the virus. So when governments were promoting mandatory vaccinations as a means of protecting the most vulnerable, it was on the basis of assumption not any demonstrated evidence.

A number of New Zealanders weren't convinced over government approved messaging was the whole story - questioning official narrative is a hallmark of a healthy society. What troubles me is how quickly we were prepared to dismiss any validity of gaining consent from workers before invalidating their employment. It is a principle crossed that ideas of workers’ rights are meaningless if they conflict with the accepted wisdom of government.

We have readily adorned a cloak of bourgeois liberalism in dismissing proletarian consent as either a foundation of employment relations or a limit of coercive government power. In my mind, abusing and shrieking at those who feel aggrieved over the alienation they experienced is a brownshirt tactic that deserves to be called out as such.

Gary Peters said...

Well put Loz.

As I said, I did not want to be drawn into the covid debate as it is pointless but mandates and compulsion are a different matter.

However, I think your comment is a very well put rebuttal and like you I feel personal abuse should be refrained from, especially being posted anonymously. It smacks of childish keyboard warrior stuff.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

If I have abused someone by accusing them of being disingenuous, gullible or lying. Then surely Chris would – with my approval in fact – simply not allow it through. You haven't explained your reasoning and evidence enough Gary for me to figure out which of those 3 you are. However, if you haven't actually looked at the difference in the death rate between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, then you should. Because either you've left this out deliberately, or you haven't bothered. You choose. I would love to know one way or the other. Because if you checked you would have found that the death rate of the unvaccinated is 5 times that of those who have been vaccinated.

I don't know who told you that vaccination would end Covid, but no reputable scientist said this I'm sure. Certainly no epidemiologist. Everyone knows that vaccination doesn't necessarily stop a particular disease. Certainly not one that mutates often. But it does mitigate the effects and reduce the number of deaths. If it was said, it was almost certainly said at the beginning of the outbreak when we didn't know a great deal about how the virus could mutate. But if any epidemiologist said it it was unprofessional.

And as I have repeatedly said on this site vaccine mandates are perfectly legal, and have been established by various international and national courts. Going back to George Washington at least. You can argue against them philosophically perhaps, but equally one could argue that they are necessary for the protection of the vulnerable.
If the only people the unvaccinated affected were themselves I would be quite happy for them to "fuck around and find out." There is an Internet site full of people like this, who on their death beds say something like "I wish I'd taken the vaccine." The problem is of course that you put people who cannot be vaccinated for various reasons at risk, particularly if you are working in the medical field. Perhaps you could explain why you don't care about this?


Guerilla Surgeon said...

Part 2
"MRNA has troubling elements with autoimmune inflammatory disorders that shouldn't be dismissed out of hand."

God help us all, every vaccine has possible side-effects. My wife had some with her 3rd booster. But these are so rare as to be negligible. Particularly compared to the number of problems faced by the unvaccinated. This has been shown time and time again. Should we risk a million people's lives because maybe 12 people had some sort of reaction? This would be madness.

"Despite the increasing number of reports regarding autoimmune syndromes following vaccination against COVID-19, the incidence is very low, and the benefits of vaccines overcome such rarity."

"So when governments were promoting mandatory vaccinations as a means of protecting the most vulnerable, it was on the basis of assumption not any demonstrated evidence."

No it wasn't. The evidence was that vaccines – particularly for the elderly – reduced the symptoms, the need for hospitalisation (and remember we were worried about the hospitals being overrun, which in furrin parts they were) and the death rate.

Oh God, not the questioning the "official narrative" again. The official narrative was based on the best scientific evidence of the time. The official narrative did not as some seem to believe, want to kill off NZ citizens. Questioning it I don't mind so much as adopting some sort of unofficial bullshit narrative based on nothing but wild speculation by the ignorant. Resisting it in times of emergency could easily be dangerous. That in itself is a can of worms, but only if the government is not acting in good faith.

That sort of thing leads to really weird shit. I notice that Russell Brand fan boys are rallying round suggesting that all the accusations against him are nonsense because he "tells the truth" and "tells you what the government doesn't want you to know." If you want to go down that sort of rabbit hole, fine. But don't involve me, don't involve mine, don't involve other vulnerable people.



Gary Peters said...

Sorry, can't be bothered.

Your statements are not fact and those that are are easily disputed.

It is not and was not my intention to turn this into a covid debate'

As they say, never get into the mud and wrestle a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it.