Tuesday 22 February 2022

Our Dark Shadow: Analysing The Platform’s Profile of the Protesters.

Errant Voices: The people in the big cities didn’t get it. Why were “these people” so anti-social? Why had they so little inclination to serve the “collective good”? It never occurred to the well-heeled, well-housed and well-educated beneficiaries of neoliberal capitalism that while it was giving them everything, it seldom showed “these people” anything other than its anti-social face. As for the collective good, well, what was that?

THE PLATFORM has made an invaluable contribution to the increasingly fraught “debate” about the Anti-Vaccination Mandate Protest in Parliament Grounds. By commissioning Curia Research to create a rough profile of the protesters, the new website has facilitated the substitution of reliable poll-data for journalistic reckons. Now, at last, the public has at least some of the information needed to render an informed judgement. That the mainstream news media saw no merit in commissioning such an exercise testifies to its steady retreat from the principles of independent journalism.

The picture painted by Curia Research is of a protest crowd drawn overwhelmingly from rural and provincial New Zealand: Fully 67.6 percent of the persons questioned came from somewhere other than Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Rural dwellers made up 7.7 percent of the crowd; those living in provincial towns 18.9 percent; and provincial city-dwellers the remaining 41 percent. The latter figure is almost double the actual number of New Zealanders living in provincial cities.

This skewed provincial representation is significant. What it tells us is that the people participating in this protest have a great deal in common with the Americans who supported Donald Trump. They, too, hailed from places seldom visited by the metropolitan elites. Cities and towns that once boasted thriving industries and buoyant economies, but which, over the past 35 years, have seen far too many factories – along with the small businesses that serviced them – shut down and fail. Communities that once boasted public hospitals, polytechnics, post-offices and banks – not to mention their own proudly independent newspapers – have been stripped of key infrastructure and left to rot.

For many years, however, the primary victims of this neglect continued to vote for the parties of change: Labour, the Alliance, the Greens and NZ First; in hopes that their lives would be made better. Curia Research reveals that very close to 50 percent of the protesters occupying Parliament Grounds voted for one of Labour, the Greens and NZ First in 2020. This finding is powerfully reminiscent of the significant number of 2016 Trump voters who had backed Barack Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Hell hath no fury, it would seem, like a voter scorned, disappointed and betrayed.

That nearly 30 percent of the protesters voted for Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party in 2020 also suggests that at some point the Prime Minister said or did something that shattered their allegiance to her and the Team of Five Million she purported to lead. Given that the dominant reason/s for their presence outside Parliament is their strong opposition to Vaccine Mandates, one might reasonably speculate that it was Ardern’s reneging on her promise not to introduce vaccination mandates and passes that provoked these protesters into deserting the Labour Party.

That the consequences of refusing to be vaccinated appear to have fallen most heavily on occupations dominated by women: retail, hospitality, teaching, nursing, aged-care, midwifery; would also explain why Curia Research reports women making up 55 percent of the protest crowd.

Another factor relevant to the number of women participating in the protest could well be that in the rural and provincial communities ravaged by the economic impacts of neoliberalism it has, overwhelmingly, been women who have held together the threads of community and mutuality. Mothers, daughters and wives who had once been encouraged to look upon the State as their friend, have – decade after decade – been given every cause to see “the government” as their enemy.

The explanation for 27.2 percent of the protest crowd identifying as Māori is, almost certainly, much the same.

Throughout the 1980s and 90s, in Māori communities scattered across the provincial landscapes of the North Island, jobs, and the social cohesion that came with them, were laid waste by the neoliberal revolution. Without the industries that paid for it, key infrastructure has similarly decayed and disappeared.

Māori families left behind had two choices: depart for the big cities; or, stay put and work out another way to survive. The same Pakeha state that had stripped their iwi and hapu of their land, was now guilty of stripping them of their jobs, their incomes, and their dignity. What loyalty could they possibly owe to such a state? What reason could they possibly have to trust it – or its political representatives?

It is here that the other dominant theme recorded by Curia Research’s pollsters – Freedom – weighs-in so heavily. Abandoned, overlooked, ignored and despised, the people on the receiving-end of neoliberalism’s cold indifference had tragically – but unsurprisingly – internalised its ruthless individualistic ethos. Devalued and declassed, driven to the margins, they had nevertheless contrived to survive on their own terms and according to their own lights. If the state had no need for them, then they were happy to return the compliment. Theirs may have been a lean freedom – but it was hard-won, and would not be surrendered without a fight.

And then came Covid, and in its wake a state that would no longer leave them to their own devices. Suddenly, they were included in the “Team Of Five Million”. Suddenly, the state which had turned its back on its obligations to look after the people’s welfare was demanding that the people honour their obligation to keep it safe. Suspicious, but also secretly thrilled to once again be counted among the just, the outsiders and outcasts of the provincial lumpenproletariat did as Jacinda asked.

But the requirement to vaccinate – or be turned into a second-class citizen – turned out to be a bridge too far. The state which, just months before, had pronounced itself their friend was reverting to type. Now it was “No Jab, No Job”. Now they were being turned away from the pub. Now the state was coming for their hard-won, hard-scrabble freedom. The only thing of real value left in their downsized lives, seemed at imminent risk of being ripped from their hands.

The people in the big cities didn’t get it. Why were “these people” so anti-social? Why had they so little inclination to serve the “collective good”? It never occurred to the well-heeled, well-housed and well-educated beneficiaries of neoliberal capitalism that while it was giving them everything, it seldom showed “these people” anything other than its anti-social face. As for the collective good, well, what was that?

“These people”, whom the big city-dwellers struggle so hard to understand, are the people they have made. If they don’t care about their fellow citizens’ rights and freedoms, it’s because their “fellow citizens” never taught them how.

Did the algorithms of the social media giants have a role to play in this protest? Yes, of course. Are the dangerous inhabitants of the darkest corners of the Internet feeding the protesters’ anger? They are. But people are only made ready to swallow Big Lies by too few attempts to feed them Big Truths.

Who is it who gathers at the seat of our democracy? They are the feral children of our greed and indifference. Who is it who pounds upon Parliament’s doors? Our own dark shadow that, no matter how hard we try to break free of it, refuses to be left behind.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 22 February 2022.


Odysseus said...

Neoliberalism has evolved. It's now the Laptop Class, so numerous in Wellington, working from home, their salaries guaranteed, serviced by the essential workers in the supermarkets and those driving the heavy trucks down the highways, who call the shots in Ardern's Aotearoa. The Woke have declared war on the working class.

Guerilla Surgeon said...


Jordan Klepper – a national treasure. Providing both humour and sanity in the US – something we haven't seen in NZ since John Clarke.

David McLoughlin said...

That was certainly an interesting poll and confirmed my personal observations from having to walk through or around that protest on my way to and from work.

I found it interesting to read this sentence in a Conversation story promoting the Sydney Mardi Gras: "Indeed, a protest is only a protest if it disrupts the everyday routines of public life."


It made me think that we are happy with protests that we support. The protest at Parliament is a great big bunch of mostly women, a quarter Maori (the tino rangatiratanga and 1835 flags fly in abundance) and and generally not the white-collar management/academia/media class of Twitter. In fact they are "the great unwashed" and the elites of the media, academia and Twitter shit all over them and demand violent police action.

Despite (or perhaps because) of its disruptions, the protest at Parliament has affirmed my long-standing belief in the right to protest, no matter what the cause.

Archduke Piccolo said...

Well done Curia research. I'm impressed. At last someone has come (more or less) to realise what these protests are about.

They are not really about making demands; they are expressions of anger - the anger of the sacrificial lambs laid at upon the altar of Neo-Classical Economic cultism (May acolytes Thatcher and Reagan, Douglas and Richardson burn in the nethermost pit alongside Messiah Milton 'Let 'em eat shit' Friedman).

Consider. Trump and Clinton were, in 2016, both of them the least popular presidential candidates who ever contested the US presidential election. At that, as the non-Establishment candidate, set up by the main stream media to be losing half of the contestants, Trump somehow managed to win (or Clinton contrived to lose) - an outcome I strongly suspected even at the time he didn't quite want (later confirmed by a book written by one in his campaign entourage).

The vote for Trump HAD TO BE a vote in anger. Sure, there would be types who thought he was the second coming. However significant the proportion, I do not believe for a moment his grassroots support made up the majority of his votes.

In 2020, D. Trump scored more votes than every other presidential candidate before that year. Not even Barack Obama had got more than 70 million votes (though he came very close). Yet 74 million votes weren't enough! Not even close. You have to admit it, Trump played his role in activating the electorate!

The anger in the US remains unassuaged. So it does in the UK, where Brexit was the electorate's wiping the eye of the Tory establishment. Then and ever since the Tories have demonstrated their unfitness to govern: no plan, no policy, no providence. OK, some people bought the Brexit promises, but I'm betting most didn't think anything much would change: the wholesale theft of the Commons would continue - and it has. The Brexit vote was a vote in anger.

For all the good qualities New Zealand's present leadership has demonstrated, it can not be forgotten that they are Tory - 'Tory Lite' I call them - much the same Milton Friedmanite economic nonsense lying at the core of their ideology; the same ideology that robbed, betrayed and disenfranchised so many New Zealanders. Had this government the courage to follow through on capital gains taxation, and upon tackling the housing crisis - so much more difficult owing to 40 years of wilful inattention - maybe we would be seeing a whole deal less popular anger. It would be at the very least a moderation of Friedmanite economic vandalism.

The bad part is that future governments will use late expressions of popular anger further to erode civil liberties...

Ion A. Dowman

Scott said...

Very good column thanks Chris. I support the protest. There is a general feeling of the government wanting to control everything. Some people have lost their jobs. Some people in our church can't go to a Cafe, can't even borrow a library book! Surely this has been a bridge too far?

John Hurley said...

Aggregate data is misleading. If you look at London the white working class were as pro Brexit
as anywhere else. It's just that London has more migrants and highly educated.

Jordan Peterson nails the who are they question.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Chris

I believe you are getting close to the reality of the situation, albeit there are many people in the cities who find themselves equally alienated from this government and its mandates.

If I may share this link with your readers, it describes the different groups as the 'virtuals' and the 'physicals'. Those virtuals who work at home tapping keyboards in their pyjamas, largely unaffected by lockdowns and code reds, and those physicals who work in hospitality, nursing homes, and schools, drive trucks and labour with their hands.


The divide is real, and seemingly not well understood by our political elite.

(he said typing at his keyboard - but not in pyjamas!)

Tom Hunter said...

That the mainstream news media saw no merit in commissioning such an exercise testifies to its steady retreat from the principles of independent journalism.

That's because all modern journalism starts with The Narrative, the theme of a story, before a word is written. The Narrative demands that some facts be included (if they support it) and others excluded (if they don't). And in the midst of your standard attack on neo-liberalism as the source of all evil I see little questioning of how it could be that the MSM have so overwhelming supported this Labour Government's central command and control effort. You could argue that our modern reporters and editors are well-informed and well-educated, but that would ignore the Gell-Mann effect so many of us have seen over the years in the MSM reporting on areas we know much about.

But don't blame the MSM, Chris...

They are not honest toilers, they are people hell-bent on getting rid of the protections Labour has mandated to keep the real honest toilers safe. They do not have legitimate grievances – unless you reckon thwarting the sociopathic impulses of unvaccinated extremists constitutes a legitimate grievance.

I can't wait to see what your regulars here make of this, especially DS, GS and The Barron, who have been all-in on the sentiments of your quote. I exclude some others because they're just "Labour good, all else bad".

Guerilla Surgeon said...


Interesting article on the Canadian "truckers" protest.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Interesting article on the Canadian "truckers" protest.


DS said...

Given the copious SUVs and camper-vans involved - never mind petrol prices, and the issue of getting time-off - I wouldn't exactly call these people the victims of neoliberalism. They are its culmination.

Though I would suggest that (contrary to popular belief) a fair number of the far-right in this country are actually Maori. That's not simply a matter of economic deprivation either - Pacific Islanders do not have the same inclinations.

Trev1 said...

Latest update, NZ Antifa elements have infiltrated the protest.

Unknown said...

++ maybe you are returning

Barry said...

Ever since the neoliberal ethos came into fashion alongside globalisation western societies have been slowly but surely falling apart. Globalisation moved productive jobs to the East (China, India, S.E.Asia) and the blue collar workers were slowly abandoned by a parade of governments who ignorantly or purposely abandoned them.
For 30 years those lower on the jobs and skills sector have slowly got mad and mader (if there is such a word).
And its only going to get worse - and Arderns reaction to the protest shows that politicians havent recognised whats happening yet.
I think that things will continue to deteriorate until there is blood letting. That may take another 30 years but I fear it will happen sooner.

The Barron said...

and a few more stats -
Because of mandates: Education - 98% of workers safe, 100% of students. Aged care - 98% of workers safe, 100%of elderly infirmed. Health care - 98% of workers, 100% of patients ...

It is fine to suggest that the protesters on the Parliament lawn are some type of left behind group of workers, but they of course share the profile with the vast majority of workers that benefit from the mandates. It should be clear, no one has lost their job because of mandates, they have lost positions because they refuse to follow the mandates.
Why are there mandates? Because the majority of senior health advisors and viral specialists have recommended mandates as the best way of controlling a deadly and disabling virus. Those that do not follow mandates either have an inability to understand expertise or they have a view that the self is separated from public good to the extent they are unworried about causing harm to others.

When we look to the solidarity of the workers, we look to the 98% that stand together for worker safety and conditions, not the few that literally wish to spread poison.

John Hurley said...

I see "researcher" on the "far-right" Byron C Clarke on TVNZ and RNZ (couldn't they get Chris Wilson?)

He was involved with Occupy

On 15 October, a march of over 2000 people set off from Britomart, up Queen Street to Aotea Square. A rally was held on arrival in the square, followed by a concert that evening after tents were set up. There were approximately 70 occupiers on the first night. Stiff resistance was anticipated, but apart from a misunderstanding with police, the Occupation began without incident.

Few of the original occupiers were homeless, or unemployed. Most were young professionals, students and members of the middle class. Many were experienced protesters and professional activists. The involvement of the trade union movement in the initial weeks of the occupation was significant.[clarification needed] The Unite Union, First Union, the SWFU, the Mana Party and Legalise Cannabis Party were either directly involved, or members of their organisations came on their own time.
We the people

britbunkley said...

The first red flag was your assertion that NZ First, a conservative xenophobic party bordering on neo-fascism is a "party of change". It is no wonder that this party's leader was the first to wholly embrace these people. Peters railed against "capitalism " in 2017. Then he blocked every government initiative to regulate it. ...
Yes, a few Trump supporters voted for Obama in 2012. But that is overplayed. Racism and nationalism were a major factor in the US. The stripping of public education over the years contributed as well. .....Fascism began in the last century when a man formerly of the left, Mussolini, pulled in many from the dispossessed working class into a March on Rome by funneling their anger with ultra-nationalism and lies....misinformation. .............It is so disheartening that still, some people of the left (formerly?) like you and Russel Brand embrace this global neo-fascist movement in the name of helping the working class. No responsible left journalist or media outlet has embraced it in the world...only the far right. Only Bannon's far-right radio station remains with the Convoy. Do you ever wonder why? Covid is a moving target, and it turned out that mandates were needed to save lives. No one knew for sure when she pronounced that there would be no mandates. No one understood the extraordinary power of lies. Indeed the government has done a remarkable job. We have had more freedom and fewer deaths than any nation in the world. Yes, neoliberalism is bad...yes they are the feral children of our greed and indifference..but are you helping by defending their actions - the actions of neo-fascism?? The collective good?? well the numbers speak for themselves.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Britbunkley

If you read the article again, BB, you will note that "the parties of change" comment is contextualised by the inclusion of the Alliance. Thirty years ago NZ First was very much a party dedicated to attacking the status-quo. That's why its decision to throw in its lot with National in 1996 inflicted such huge damage on the party's "brand". Five years ago, however, as you reference yourself, Winston Peters was spouting anti-capitalist rhetoric. But, once again, he has undermined his position by throwing in his lot with the unsavoury Right.

Quite how you could take that I am "embracing" a global fascist movement from this, or any other of my postings, baffles me completely.

To explain is not to defend, or exonerate. Once again, I simply cannot work out how you arrived at such a ridiculous conclusion.

Poor comprehension skills perhaps?

britbunkley said...

NZ First never was a party of change …in any government. Although attacking the status quo (as do all neo-fascist parties do), NZ first supported the conservative 96 National government. It was staunchly centre-right and neoliberal in practice in all following coalitions. It preached xenophobia while Peters publicly made racist jokes. His was the party of law and order. (All characteristics of European /Trumpist neo-fascism from Austria's Freedom Party to AfD, to the Brothers of Italy - who all support removing mandates) Peters' party has always been the party of regional socially right-wing NZ.

I apologise for the hyperbole (thus the question mark in the top post). You made many good points. The last paragraph was beautifully written. And you make an excellent argument on how neoliberalism has made these people more prone to disbelief in authority. However, the tenor of the article was for me was that it is the big city slickers against the noble rural lumpenproletariat. If they had railed against sky-high rents and inequality, we all could rally behind them. (And yes, it was a late at night rant:))

But on an article of reactions on Covid, I see nothing on our stellar record on Covid. Instead, we read their rage under the Big Lies, mostly manufactured by the white supremacist far-right.. This is not a protest against inequality. Their lies are downright dangerous to our collective health.

I spend a couple of months with a family emergency in Arizona last year in the belly of the beast, Paul Gosar’s Yavapai county. They voted nearly 65% for Trump and 70% for Gosar, a leading congressman and white supremacist, who lead the “Stop the Steal” Lies while supporting the basically “fascist” coup attempt. Not coincidently 70% of these militant anti-vaxxers were unvaccinated (now a bit over 40%). And like these copycat Wellington protestors (funded and encouraged by the Gosars of America) they would not wear masks. Not coincidentally their Covid death rates were several times those northern counties that had a semblance of public health measures.

John Hurley said...

Jordan Klepper – a national treasure. Providing both humour and sanity in the US
Mocking the working class. He does the editing remember - sitting ducks.

Brendan McNeill said...
Special categoury for any sort of driver where parking space is like bread to seagulls. it makes a person a thief/outcast (and hovers at minimum wage level).

NZ First (I thought), simply observed that New Zealanders should be recognised and have their interests prioritised.

Hard to see how "team of five million" benefits from a million extra people (the Key/Chow Group yes).

Unfortunately the model treats the service sector as a single activity so there is no indication what, among the diversity of services, the model has in mind when it projects a trebling-plus of service exports over the third of the century. There are a number of potential activities, including those that can be delivered by cable. Even so, today’s single biggest component of export services is the tourist sector, which vies with dairy products to be our single largest export sector. The obvious conclusion is that the model is projecting tourist receipts to increase substantially – say by at least 2.5 times.

Is that feasible? To answer, let us ignore the gloomier scenarios that a world permanently riddled by Covid-SARS might suggest. Can we envisage a New Zealand dominated by tourism with two-and-a-half times more tourists than our last good year of 2019; two-and-a-half times more hotels, two-and-a-half times more traffic congestion from tourists? Would we want to live in that New Zealand? At the very least we need to ask whether this dependence upon the tourist sector for the future of New Zealand is wise or whether we can gear up the rest of the service export sector to meet the sector’s challenge.


Oh well when it gets too hot in the upper decks we put a stop to it. Meanwhile we are elevating other members of "humanity".

Dean said...

Glad Chris Trotter is still around and writing, good stuff and keep it up.

John Hurley said...

britbunkley said...

Populism is caused by imbalances in birthrates and source migration. 97% in highly religious equatorial belt.

The idea that we embrace "humanity" has been debunked as a logical impossibility

In group attraction is independent of out-group derogation

The living standards of the huge majority of people in rich countries critically depends on the most draconian control over their labour markets - immigration control

No wonder journalist know-it-alls are loathed. They are a sort of knowledge pollution.

Loz said...

I work with a number of smart people who find themselves aligned to the anti-vax movement. I find that a lot of their concerns align with the anger that was in the Left 30 years ago about the capture of government by neo-liberalism – although this movement’s conclusion is not the democratisation of government but rather its abolition.

I’ve listened to the arguments that our media supports a political agenda rather than act as an independent force in the public interest. Or that drug companies act in their own profit-making interests rather than for public health. Or that Billionaires shape government policies for their own ends. Or that science doesn’t have a complete understanding of a virus or the long-term implications of vaccines. Or that “the left” has sold out the people for an internationalist “free trade” “free markets” agenda that has destroyed local jobs and security. Or that the limit of government is related to a citizen’s right to control their own body.

All these points are based on real concerns that should be taken seriously and are all arguments that originated from “the left”. But instead, we are developing an inability to hold any depth of political discussion. There is dark money behind these protests with its own agenda, but sentiment is fueled by a genuine belief from those involved that our government doesn’t represent the interests of our people. Those concerns are based on truth.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

There is a meme which this archaic comment system won't allow me to post which shows two dogs looking up at their owner very sheepishly and saying "We're so glad you're home, antifa has shit on the carpet." And of course they have infiltrated the protesters – yeah right I'm not believing that until you show me their antifa ID cards. :) Calling bullshit on that.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

" In fact they are "the great unwashed" and the elites of the media, academia and Twitter shit all over them and demand violent police action."
Proof? Has anyone actually done a survey? Of course not, you're just making an assumption. And I suspect it's less the elite and more the small business people that are shitting all over them as you say. My son just had a second run-in with these arseholes – why should he be abused for wearing a mask if they're so keen on freedom? He should be free to wear one shouldn't he? Or is it "antifa" :)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Gosh Brendan, it seems that my son is part of the elite somehow given that he is capable of working from home, although he isn't allowed to at the moment. I have to tell him, but he will be a bit pissed off given the pay he gets, and the time he has to spend at night keeping the city going while you and your middle-class friends are fast asleep in your 'micks.
And having to run the gauntlet of your arsehole friends around Parliament at all sorts of unsavoury hours of the night too. God help us Brendan, they've had to close a quite posh school because of harassment from these arses. Perhaps you could go down there and talk them out of it? I've got no time for posh schools, but even I wouldn't harass and assault the their kids.
Edit: I find it's decile 10. So a little more than quite posh I guess.

The Barron said...

So, Winston Peters has finally reached is Lloyd George at Berghof moment.

David George said...

I think rural and provincial folk are freer, less used to being controlled - though maybe more so by societal pressure perhaps. The cities have signs everywhere telling you what to all the time, and what to think and what to buy. Maybe that's part of it Chris.

Anyway, the draconian measures in Canada look completely OTT with bank accounts closed and people fired for supporting the protests. Trudeau has now come out and said he'll kill the truckers dogs, their companions, if they are arrested and unable to care for them. He really is a piece of work, not even a good actor.

On the bright side, a truly great Canadian, Jordan Peterson, will be visiting us in November so make sure to get your tickets early as they're selling out fast. He's also composed (music and words) a song for Justin Trudeau. Music clip with some haunting art work, 3 minutes thirty: https://youtu.be/P1po9pNs8RU

sumsuch said...

Well good. No one could say it better.

Strange, in America the most democratist people v. freemarket ruling class in the last 40 years has been the Trump (definitely fascist) supporters. Bloody easy to criticise fascism, as the liberals have so done, not to fight it without the rule of the people.

The Barron said...

Lets have some realism. The protester do not represent the rural, they do not represent the urban, they do not represent working class, they do not represent Maori, they are in polling terms 'within the margin of error.'

The poll suggesting 30%, is more complex than many present. But, even so, all polls are dependent upon the question. If you were to poll "Do you agree an unvaccinated and unmasked person should be breathing or coughing on your elderly relatives? Or your Children? Do you wish to sit next to an unmasked and unvaccinated person returning from the Parliamentary protest on a two hour flight? Do you want no border restrictions if there is another variant? Do you believe that measures should be in place to allow elderly and disabled persons access to hospitality? Do you think the Government should be following specialist health professional's advice? I think you would get a very stark result for mandates.

While there is some value in profiling those protesters, we should acknowledge the limits. Appearing in court, many refuse to even give their names.

Finally, the obvious question is - have they developed their mindset because they are marginalized? Or are they marginalized because of their mindset?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jordan Peterson visiting? Oh joy. We can get our nonsense direct from the source.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Interesting that there seems to be a correlation between the number of people who die of Covid, and people's trust in government. Probably why the US has so many deaths.

DS said...

I think rural and provincial folk are freer, less used to being controlled - though maybe more so by societal pressure perhaps. The cities have signs everywhere telling you what to all the time, and what to think and what to buy. Maybe that's part of it Chris.

Some of us live in the provinces, mate. The notion that everywhere outside Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch is somehow backwoods, decaying, and analogous to West Virginia is utterly absurd. There are some very, very wealthy places in the provinces - and copious muppetry over vaccines in the upper North Island.

Frankly, this "poor provinces versus elite cities" nonsense is a narrative looking for something to pin itself on.

greywarbler said...

David George
Be careful you don't conflate things. As far as the dogs are concerned they apparently will be held for 8 days and then they will look for adopters unless they are sick or old, and may be put down then. So not quite the chop that you have given the impression.

David George said...

Thank you Grey.
It's not really about killing dogs. The deliberate use of the truckers love for their dogs, their companions, as a weapon is what is so disgusting. Why even mention them at all. The original statement said the dogs would be held for eight days then "relinquished", then later that they would try and home them before killing them. What does that say about the moral compass of the virtue signalling fake in charge?

It's a lonely and, apparently, thankless job long haul trucking, they, like all the uncounted heroes, kept the world working and food in the shops throughout the pandemic and lockdowns. The people dicking around at home in their PJs pretending to work have no idea.

Then, when it's nearly over and the omicron is everywhere they are to be forced into five day quarantine after crossing the border and therefore unable to earn a living. The truckers have every reason to be aggrieved, doubly so that Trudeau only saw fit to refuse any discussion and launched into a tirade of ugly abuse and further denigration. Their cause and their courage has inspired others around the world. I stand with them.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

For God's sake David, how many of the New Zealand protesters are actual truckers? I guarantee that like the Canadian and US ones, 90% of real truckers are in fact vaccinated. You will notice that none of the American truckers are protesting – well apparently 10 turned up for a rally somewhere – even though the US has exactly the same border requirements as Canada with regard to vaccinations.
And of course Trudeau refers discussions because these conditions are in the providence of the provinces. Even the Canadian truckers union is against these clowns.
You know what if anything – this situation has taught me is that people will believe any foolishness as long as it lines up with their inclinations and perceptions. Even on this site we've had nonsense about George Soros – not quite sure why is leftist or liberal billionaire isn't allowed to influence policy when the Koch brothers (well brother these days) and other right-wing billionaires do it with impunity. We've had blather about the Parliamentary protesters being batoned, and God help us, there is absolutely no evidence for that at all. I guess of course it was inevitable that "antifa" would have infiltrated them for obvious – to some people – nefarious reasons. And apparently now some clown has come out with the idea that the government is shooting n- rays or something at them to make them sick. The fact that there is covid around doesn't seem to have entered his mind. Given your general receptiveness to – let's say strange – ideas David I'm not surprised that you are keen on these people.
But I take heart in the idea that you are at least vaccinated, so won't be getting a Herman Cain award soon. :)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I find it fascinating that people like you David, who have never really had any history of supporting demonstrations, except perhaps selfish ones against taxes and the like, suddenly "stand with" these people. Who have no coherent desires except "freedom". And certainly no social responsibility or obligation to those outside themselves. I guess it sort of fits in with your philosophy, but you have consistently condemned the violence that goes with demonstrations like BLM, even though it's extremely rare and has often been proven to be the result of actions by white people – yet not a peep out of you for these people who abuse nice middle-class schoolgirls and their teachers, or just random people who happen to be wearing masks. I ask again, if they are still in favour of freedom, why do they not grant my son the freedom to wear a mask when he walks past? Or is this the sort of anarchic authoritarianism you approve of?

David George said...

The civil rights people, as I mentioned previously, are taking the Trudeau government to court for their outrageous state of emergency rulings The have a very strong case IMHO.

Breaking news:
Our High court has adjudged the "no jab no job" mandates for the police and armed forces illegal.

" A High Court challenge questioning the legality of Covid-19 vaccination mandates for Police and Defence Force employees has been upheld, with the court determining that a government mandate requiring frontline employees to be jabbed is an unjustified incursion of the Bill of Rights.

In a decision released today, Justice Francis Cooke determined that ordering frontline police officers and Defence staff to be vaccinated or face losing their job was not a "reasonably justified" breach of the Bill of Rights."

The implications of this ruling for all people bullied into getting vaccinated against their better judgment (or whatever) are obvious. End the mandates!

John Hurley said...

Charlie Mitchell and his supporters have (apparently) found people at the protest who are worried about radiation. A man has a meter and tests the concrete barricades.

Far right expert Byron C Clarke wades in with his smirk.

It rather blows the whole deal away doesn't it.

One thing putting me off supporting the protestors is a lack of (as Gluckman puts it) "nothing to tie that lot together".

For me it isn't radiation but a grand narrative that's making me sick.

Not to mention - journalism is making me sick also.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Hey David – I understand the protesters are asking for money because they have run out of tinfoil for their tinfoil hats. I'm sure we can count on you for a few rolls of monofoil right? Jesus wept, you couldn't make this stuff up. Still, some moments of innocent amusement and a bit of humour sadly lacking amongst the commenters on this site.

Unknown said...

What we can infer from this barrage of anti-Camp Freedom propaganda is that the woke Left is terrified of losing the initiative in the culture wars. It’s desperate to reclaim its sole right to lecture the rest of us and wants to do so without the distraction of an unruly mob that has the effrontery to adopt the Left’s own tactics.

The irony here is that having spent most of their lives kicking against the establishment, the wokeists are the establishment. They have won the big ideological wars and are on the same side as all the institutions of power and influence: the government, the bureaucracy, the media, academia, the arts and even the craven business sector.
From Karl du Fresne

David George said...

Thanks Karl,
your excellent and perceptive essay on this is a must read.


John Hurley said...

Morena to that Karl

Thee problem is that society is meritocratic. It creates a false reality - a group who has all the say and think they speak for everybody.

I was talking to Harry this morning as he watched his early morning run of Shortland Street (or something else).

We got talking about Riccarton.

I said how unsettling it is living with old rentals about me. The ethos (minimum in maximum out) seems to be reflected in the tenants who don't value them with any sense of place/permanence.

He told me how he used to live in Riccarton and that there was a concentration of Maori (state housing). "were they good neighbors"?; "Oh! awesome"!

You know what the left are saying about that!?

Guerilla Surgeon said...


A huge convoy in the US apparently. :)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

From what I can gather, from Internet acquaintances in the US – since Russian assets have been frozen, the amount of praise on social media for the "truckers" has almost halved. Just goes to show – follow the money.