|MR STICK: You media types think the people of this country have changed, but you’re wrong. We’re the same tough bastards we’ve always been. Put a bit of stick about – and listen to us cheer!|
JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: Kia ora, everyone, and welcome to “Introducing”. Today we are very pleased to have with us Mr Stick. Our guest has been the subject of much speculation over the past few weeks as the efforts of his colleague, Ms Carrot, have been subjected to more and more criticism.
Not to put too fine a point upon it, many people are openly declaring Ms Carrot a failure, and suggesting that the time has come for the nationwide struggle to bring Covid-19’s Delta variant under control to be bolstered by the sort of policies only Mr Stick can deliver.
So, let’s put that question directly to our guest. Is it, indeed, time to put a bit of Stick about?
MR STICK: It certainly is Josephine! I have watched with mounting horror over the past few weeks, as Ms Carrot’s increasingly fruitless entreaties to her preposterous “Team of Five Million” to “vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate”, fell upon the deaf ears of the sort of people who don’t listen to carrots.
Intelligent people: people who know what has to be done; have been calling for me ever more stridently for days now. They can see that the Delta variant is about to break through our anti-Covid defences – if it hasn’t broken through already. They know that sterner measures are urgently needed to get ahead of this thing. So, damn right, it most certainly is time to put a bit of Stick about.
JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: Alright. But what would that look like? Give us some idea of how Mr Stick’s methods would differ from Ms Carrot’s?
MR STICK: Gladly, Josephine. It would involve concentrating all our efforts on getting New Zealand’s vaccination rate to 95 percent. All the scientific evidence points to achieving near universal immunity as the only effective method of getting ahead of a viral variant as deadly as Delta. Now, the only way to achieve that level of vaccination compliance is to make not having the jab as painful as possible.
JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: So you would be advocating mandatory vaccination? Would that include administering the vaccine by force?
MR STICK: What? Strap ‘em down on a table and whack the needle into their forearm? I must say, Josephine, it’s tempting! But no, there’s no need to go to those lengths. All that’s required is a blanket refusal to allow the unvaccinated into our daily lives.
It really is that simple. They can make their little stand, that’s their right. But, they needn’t think they can also free ride on the good citizenship of others. If they want to participate in society, then they will need a Vaccination Certificate. And, to get a Vaccination Certificate they will first have to? That’s right, Josephine – get vaccinated!
JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: But how far do you go, Mr Stick, in excluding them from society? Ms Carrot has said that denying them food and medical care would be a bridge too far.
MR STICK: Yes, I heard. Pathetic! Exactly the sort of namby-pamby, focus-group-driven dithering that has got us into this mess.
Let me tell you a little story from our history, Josephine. It dates back to the infamous Waterfront Strike of 1951. New Zealand was placed under a State of Emergency by the Prime Minister, and a set of Emergency Regulations were promulgated.
One of those regulations made it an offence to offer any form of assistance to a striking worker – or his family. And that included food! Just think about that. In an emergency far less severe than the one we are in now, the state said: “If you’re on strike, not only will you starve – but so will your family.”
JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: Did it work?
MR STICK: Did it work? Of course it bloody worked! In just a few weeks the strike was broken and the waterside workers crept back to the wharves with their tails between their legs. No mucking around in those days, Josephine. If the Government said “Go back to work!” Then back to work you went.
JOSEPHINE MUCH-ADOO: And do you think New Zealanders would stand for that today?
MR STICK: Too bloody right they would, Josephine! You media types think the people of this country have changed, but you’re wrong. We’re the same tough bastards we’ve always been. Put a bit of stick about – and listen to us cheer!
This satirical script was originally published in The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 8 October 2021.