IT’S A PRETTY CONFRONTING VIDEO. Recorded in Starship Hospital, it shows “Baby Will” being taken from his protesting parents for pre-operative tests. Perhaps the most jarring aspect of the video is the father’s loud and repeated accusations that the Police officers present are acting illegally. As if the court case, which the father witnessed, was of no significance. As if the judge’s decision – which found in favour of the medical authorities seeking guardianship of the infant so that the life-saving surgery he needed so urgently could go ahead – was not binding. Clearly, the “reality” inhabited by the father differed radically from the reality inhabited by the Police officers, the medical staff, and the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders.
Kate Hannah, of the University of Auckland’s “Disinformation Project”, characterises the situation depicted in this disturbing video as “a split reality”. Human-beings in the same room, breathing the same air, and utilising the same light, nevertheless believed themselves to be engaged in entirely different activities. “Baby Will’s” parent believed their child was in imminent danger and were trying to protect him. The Police and Starship’s medical staff believed they were doing what was necessary to save a baby’s life. Tragically, the impasse could only be resolved physically – by the Police officers interposing their bodies between the child and its parents.
Much of the responsibility for the emergence of this split reality lies with the augmented powers of communication vouchsafed to “ordinary” people by the Internet and social-media. It is now relatively easy to pour false or misleading information into the minds of tens-of-thousands of citizens.
Ironically, these extravagant lies have the power to effectively inoculate their victims against the truth. If people can be persuaded that, as Donald Trump insists, “the whole system is rigged”, then all the officially-sanctioned expertise in the world becomes untrustworthy. The alienated masses’ response to ‘the facts’, echoing Mandy Rice-Davies’, becomes: “Well, they would say that – wouldn’t they?”
It would, however, be wrong to think that this triumph of misinformation and disinformation is a new thing. Technological innovation has empowered all sorts of communications over the centuries. The equivalent of a twenty-first century video, recorded on a smart phone, might be the anti-elite graffiti daubed on the walls of Ancient Rome; or the inflammatory religious pamphlets, illustrated with blood-curdling woodcuts, rolling-off the new-fangled Protestant printing-presses of the Sixteenth Century.
If ever there was a time of split-realities, it was during the Reformation. At stake in this great 100-year-long falling-out between Christians was nothing less than the individual’s immortal soul. The perceived existential threat, registered by Protestants and Catholics alike, wasn’t just to their well-being in this world, but to their long-term location in the next!
But, if religious disputes were bad, political conflicts proved to be even worse. In no other facet of human existence are split realities more common than in the hotly contested realm of political belief – and action.
Consider the following passage, drawn from an editorial published in The Dominion on election-day 1938:
Today you will exercise a free vote because you are under this established British form of government. If the socialist government is returned to power your vote today may be the last free individual vote you will ever be given the opportunity to exercise in New Zealand.
A level of paranoid hyperbole to rival even the most egregious National Party troll on Twitter!
Not that Labour Party voters took their lead from the Tory press – not in 1938. That was the election in which Labour received its greatest ever share of the popular vote, an astounding 55.8 percent. If reality was split in 1938, then Labour’s portion was a large one. Not even the united and venomous opposition of what we would today call the “mainstream” media could shake the loyalty of Labour’s voters.
The reality inhabited by working-class New Zealanders prompted an unequivocal endorsement of the government they had elected in 1935. Change had been promised, and change had been delivered. And “their” government wasn’t finished – not by a long shot. A vote for Labour in 1938 was also a vote for “Social Security”. The eponymous Act of Parliament, passed before the election, was due to come into force on 1 April 1939. If New Zealanders wanted a welfare state, then they knew what to do.
There are some interesting parallels between the elections of 1938 and 2020. Both came after a sustained period of crisis – seemingly overcome as the result of Labour’s inspirational leadership. The voters were grateful; they were keen for more; and they were willing to vote for it – even some National supporters. The big difference between 1938 and 2020, of course, is that Jacinda Ardern had nothing like Mickey Savage’s Social Security Act waiting for voters on the other side of the ballot-box.
Not everybody was on-side with Savage’s agenda. In the wake of Labour’s landslide victory, and with the Social Security Act’s coming-into-force date fast approaching, forces on the other side of the Thirties’ fractured reality struck back – torching the new Social Security Building that was rising on its Aitken Street building-site, barely a stone’s throw from Parliament. The smoke that swirled around Parliament in February/March 2022 was not without precedent.
Those ugly scenes in Starship Hospital this week are an echo of the unprecedented divisions that opened up in the months immediately following the 2020 Labour landslide. Future historians will sift through those months for explanations as to how and why the love for Labour and its leader was lost. Much will be said about vaccination mandates and extended lockdowns, but those, alone, will not be enough to explain the steady erosion of Labour’s position.
Perhaps, we should ask ourselves what would have happened to the mood of New Zealanders if, in the wake of the arson attack in Aitken Street, Savage had announced that, in the name of national unity, he was going to repeal the Social Security legislation. Imagine the sense of betrayal, the sense of loss. Imagine the level of animosity ordinary working-class voters would have directed towards the Labour Party. We can only speculate as to whether or not it would have exceeded the disappointment experienced by the New Zealand electorate in 2021/22 as kindness was cancelled, and the Team of Five Million disbanded. One outcome, however, is easily predicted – reality would have become even more dangerously fractured.
Except, of course, Mickey Savage did not do that. This is how I described his response to the arson in Aitken Street in No Left Turn, published in 2007:
“We have got to get the Social security Act working on April 1st and it’s going to work”, Savage told the country […..] and his government were as good as their word. “We are not going to weep,” said the irrepressible Minister of Public Works, Bob Semple. “It is a question of getting our backs into it, and getting the job done.” While firemen were still dampening down the smoking ruins on Aitken Street, Semple promised the construction of a replacement building within six weeks. The Public Works Department, Fletcher Construction, and the building firm of R.C. Love began work immediately on a site in Aotea Quay. James Fletcher admitted that this schedule would “necessitate the working of two 10-hour shifts, and it is anticipated that approximately 150 men will be required for each shift”. It is a measure of how vital the replacement of the building was seen to be that the normally obstreperous building trades unions agreed to work the site around the clock. Even more remarkable is the fact that the contractors agreed to take no profit!
On March 27th 1939, Savage opened the new building. As the economic and social historian, Bill Sutch, later recalled: “The ceremony took place in the presence of thousands of people, in time to mark, five days later, the end of poverty.”
That’s how you hold a country together.
This essay was originally posted on the Interest.co.nz website of Monday, 12 December 2022.
I did not take the pfizer treatment and that was my right. My children did, all by choice although under orders from their employers but again, they had a choice.
Now imagine if the government, who initially stated there would be no penalties for not making the choice they wanted you to take, had further extended their demands that the entire population be injected and used the courts and police to enforce that.
In my mind there is legal and morally legal and conversely illegal and morally illegal. Maybe that was the line of thought of the father rather than a disconnect with reality. There are some with strong beliefs on what medical treatments are acceptable to them, maori reluctance to donate organs is one for example, and despite obvious benefits what right do we the majority have to enforce our beliefs on others, especially if there is a viable alternative.
My understanding of the baby Will case was that there were compatible donors willing to donate their blood to the NZ Blood service for screening which would have possibly provided a surplus to the service so in my mind a win win situation. So why not just get on with it?
Recently I have undergone a number of medical procedures which may or may not have resulted in a transfusion being required. Although not having pfizer in my system there was never an issue in my mind about the blood but if others feel differently I can live with that, after all Chris you vote left and I do not 😉
And the risk that the all too readily applied misinformation/disinformation labels could be used to discredit the truth? Easy cover for BS?
Although I went with the herd and got double jabbed I've now seen enough issues with folk I know, and from official data to realise we were mislead/lied to. The vaccines are neither safe nor effective and don't prevent transmission as we were told.
Sean Plunket has talked himself into a corner with his pro vax insistence; Steve Kirsch has challenged him to a debate with a million dollar bet. Apparently Sean has accepted so that will certainly be one to watch - I'll try and provide updates to you all.
"In my mind there is legal and morally legal and conversely illegal and morally illegal."
That makes absolutely no sense outside of your mind. At the risk of sounding stupid I don't understand it at all, although I don't to be fair have a law degree. :)
Numerous courts both national and international have ruled that governments can force people to be vaccinated in times of emergency. And quite rightly too.
We all know the Health Services could have facilitated safe unvaccinated donor blood transfusion services for Baby W if they wanted to. Instead they chose to double down and spend money on lawyers. Why? Because they did not want to set a precedent, or give any appearance that public concerns about ‘vaccinated’ blood might be valid.
Their experts duly appeared and gave us straight faced assurances that the blood is safe. The problem with assurances from public health officials is that they have delivered the following changing narrative over the past two years:
- If you get vaccinated you won’t catch covid-19.
- Ok, you may catch it but you won’t end up in hospital
- Ok, you may end up in hospital but you won’t die.
- Ok, many of you were triple vaccinated and died, so what? The vaccine saved thousands of lives!
The constantly changing narrative from the ‘podium of truth’ is the context for Baby W’s parents response. Now you may believe it’s an over reaction, but vaccine injury is a thing. The authorities can provide no guarantee that the artificial Pfizer spiked protein is not on the donated blood, along with other mRNA products including the lipid nano-particles. They cannot test for it at present, they just don’t know.
We do know however that babies under six months are not to be given the Pfizer product according to the CDC. Consequently the parents concerns are defensible and ought to be easily understood by any parent.
Chris. It could be argued that if the system of Co-Governance comes into being, the dilution of, and proportional power of an individual vote could well be, in a way, weighted on the basis of ethnicity.
Perhaps what sounded ridiculous in a Dominion Post editorial on Election Day in 1938, doesn't sound so far from the Ethnocratic moves we are starting to see?
I would be keen to hear your thoughts.
Now imagine if the government, who initially stated there would be no penalties for not making the choice they wanted you to take, had further extended their demands that the entire population be injected and used the courts and police to enforce that.
I, for one, wish they had. Voluntary anti-vaxxers (as opposed to those who cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons) are existential sociopathic scum who literally wish death on their fellow citizens. It is as if during the height of the London Blitz, a collection of morons had declared they had a god-given right to ignore the blackout and keep their lights on all night. The Government treated the pro-virus lobby (because that's exactly what you are, mate) far too kindly - the mandates should have been universal and enforced via primary statute, to make them NZBORA proof.
As for your use of the term "morally illegal", I think you mean "morally wrong." Legality and morality are not the same thing, and appealing to the law to justify your sociopathy is a misuse of law. Though again, I see nothing morally admirable about promoting the spread of a deadly virus.
Of course the issue with MJ Savage and the social security buidling is that they likely had a mandate to do that, ie. I am pretty sure they would have campaigned on it.
This Labour Govt had no mandate for Three Waters (didn't campaign on it) and a Curia poll indicated that 60% were against it.
Re the vacinne I was all for the Govt measures. However as Labour had said they wouldn't mandate it before the election, then went ahead and it mandated it. While I was initially against the protest and thought they should have been moved along with a committment from Govt that they would meet with them (after they had gone peacefully or not), I was disgusted with Mallard and "river of filth" Wood.
This govt have shown themselves to be sneaky and devious and I don't trust them
When I looked upon those occupying the Parliamentary forecourt I had concerns as to not only the mental health of many, but also the physical health. I doubt that baby W is the first to require some blood transfusion since then. Indeed, I understand that baby W may have already had transfusion. If the use of parental anxiety and care for a four month old to further a political cause seems exploitative, is because it is.
If we analysis many of the misogynistic chants, banners and interviews showed a disproportionate number had strong belief in the subservience of women. We should not be surprised that this is extended to the view that children are the property of the parents. This is playing to the base.
I am not going to revisit the vaccination arguments that dominated this blog for far too long, but just to note over 8 billion vaccine shots and no remote control by graphite and 5G towers, or, Nephilim eggs preventing access to heaven (as one US Southern Pastor insisted on). What I will note is the historical eugenics and race based medical science which denoted the blood donors perceived 'race' and would ensure that white people were only to receive blood from white donors. The abhorrence of this is clear, but underlining it is the view that public medical science should accommodate prejudices shown to be unfounded.
On Chris' wonder historical example, I can only add the 1945 British election. Labour put forward a program of social prevision for the returning soldiers and their families. Churchill bayed it was communism and that implementation would require "some form of a Gestapo". A Labour landslide followed.
' to mark, five days later, the end of poverty.' Not for long, if ever. And things have got worse in the last few years.
"Misinformation/Disinformation, Kate Hannah? Ho Hum. We all see the world through different lenses and interpret events according to our unique consciences. The Extreme Left have tried to extinguish this diversity in the past when implementing their dodgy, oppressive utopias. And they will fail again because human nature cannot long be suppressed.
"- If you get vaccinated you won’t catch covid-19."
Citation? Because without one, as far as I'm concerned that's an unmitigated lie. No medical professional has ever said that vaccines protect 100% of the time. None. It was clear from the start that the vaccine protected a certain percentage of people, and that percentage was specified over and over again in the derided MSM.
The parents – charitably – were ignorant. Not a great deal different from those who believe that praying over someone is better for them than an actual doctor and hospital.
"The vaccines are neither safe nor effective"
Utter bullshit. This is complete misinformation Chris and you shouldn't be allowing this idiot to spread it. Millions of the vaccines have been administered, the problems associated with them are in line with any other vaccine – in other words may be one in a million severe reactions. Compare that to the number of people per million who die when they catch Covid, and it's obvious that the vaccines are both safe and effective.
DS: "anti-vaxxers ...... are existential sociopathic scum who literally wish death on their fellow citizens"
Really DS, a death wish is it now?
Despite what we heard from the podium of truth Pfizzer have clarified (to the EU parliament and elsewhere) that they never tested for, and made no claim for, the vaccine's ability to reduce transmissibility. The statistics clearly show that contagion among the vaccinated is rife so I guess there was no point in pretending - unlike yourself and the government and their selected flunkies. The state sponsored suppression, under the guise of countering "misinformation" is itself misleading a lot of people and leading to some outrageous posturing such as we're seeing from DS here. I've never heard the death wish claim before though. What next? A genocide?
I have no desire to continue the pointless discussion about pfizer other than to say that despite regular and ongoing contact with all members of my family including grandchildren, all have had a dose of covid but my wife and I have not despite attending super spreader events where more than half the guests were infected.
Good luck, good antibodies, who knows but with the wife of another close relative now down with covid who has had a total of 4 shots, I'll back my decision any day and, I fully suport your right to your decision.
None other than the President of the United States (and others) said if you get vaccinated you won't catch covid, and other things besides:
During a July 2021 CNN town hall, U.S. President Joe Biden stated that "You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations," and "If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in the ICU unit, and you’re not going to die."
And, here is our much loved PM telling us that if get vaccinated you will still catch covid "but you won't get sick and you won't die"
So much truth from the Podium of truth.
The reality is being revealed; we were systematically mislead and lied to.
GS, I can understand why you want some people and some ideas banned but people that don't agree with you are not all idiots or morally bereft or one of the other slurs you fling about. Sometimes they're right and you're wrong, perhaps they know something you don't - as in this case.
Is Joe Biden a medical professional? Is he a public health official? Of course not he's a politician. You will being a little economical with the truth there Brendan.
He may well have believed what he said, but he was wrong and no medical professional supported him. He misspoke and was pretty much instantly corrected.
"White House press secretary Jen Psaki sought to clarify Biden’s statement that “you’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations.”
“Well, what the science says is that 97% of hospitalizations are people who were unvaccinated,” Psaki said Thursday. “So yes, there are cases of individuals who are vaccinated, to be absolutely clear, who have gotten Covid – it is a very small percentage, and a small number of people, and those cases, the vast, vast, vast majority, are asymptomatic and they have, they have minor symptoms, which means that you are largely protected – that was the point he was trying to make last night.”
And given that both him and our beloved PM are both lefties I wouldn't expect you to believe them anyway.
That Twitter thing doesn't work. Looks like someone's been editing it. I cannot get Ardern to say that people won't die. It seems to me that she starts to say that people will still get sick. But then it just repeats itself – fake news?
I presume politicians only make statements around medical science based upon input from their qualified advisors. Biden may be an exception for obvious reasons.
However our PM told everyone that we should only pay attention to her on all matters relating to Covid-19 and the vaccine. Everything else should be discarded if it did not come from her or her advisors.
I have quoted her correctly, and the video of her saying it works fine for me, so not sure why it's broken for you. Maybe it is fake news and the video only works for Pfizer vaccine skeptics like myself to reinforce our bias.
I trust you have a great Christmas, and don't forget to get your booster shot while they are still available.
Brendan. Biden is older than I am, and I sometimes misspeak. He doesn't do it nearly as often as Trump mind. Bearing in mind that the covert situation put everyone under immense pressure, not just to do the right thing but to get information out, I'm not surprised that the occasional statement was made that was inaccurate. I can't find any other reference to Ardern saying that if you get vaccinated you won't get sick and you won't die. So forgive me if I remain sceptical.
"Getting the vaccine does not mean people won't get Covid-19, she said.
'[It] means it is still possible to get Covid, but it won't make you nearly as sick or likely to experience, potentially, some of the disastrous consequences we have seen overseas.' "
It seems to me an eminently sensible statement from a reasonably sensible prime minister.
But it's common knowledge or should be, that no vaccine is 100% effective. I suspect that the reason for anti-VAX feeling in this case is simply that the death rate was not particularly great and tended to be concentrated amongst the elderly. I often wonder what the death rate would have to be to get rid of anti-VAX sentiment altogether – hopefully something short of killing them all off. An interesting thought experiment.
But we have the United States as a laboratory don't we? Where anti-VAX feeling was much stronger amongst conservatives. And Covid killed off far more Republicans than Democrats, which may in fact have had an effect on the 2020 election. Gosh, who'da thunk it.
GS if you repeat your own confused meandering thoughts forcefully enough you will convince yourself you are right. We are not buying it thanks. Open your mind for once instead of arguing like an ignoramus.
Sean Plunket has bailed out, run away from his debate with Steve Kirsch. Would have been an easy one million dollars Sean. Right? Just shows he's full of it IMHO.
To: Brendan McNeill.
Just a reminder, Brendan, that, as I have warned readers many times over the past three years, comments undermining the public's faith in the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine will not be published.
Freedom of expression does not extend to shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, or "The vaccine doesn't work!", or, "The vaccine will kill you!", in the middle of a global pandemic.
"Freedom of expression does not extend to shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre,"
How silly of me! i always assumed when I have seen you quote this in the past that the theatre in question was not on fire! Clearly I was mistaken. I guess there is some logic to always being on the side of authority; then if it turns out to have been a disaster you are only doing what you'r told by the official "single source of truth". Too bad if everyone burns, it wasn't your fault.
Good to see the clear explanation to Brendan though; I hadn't noticed your earlier statements to that effect ,though of course i had noticed it's implementation.
cheers D J S
We're not in the middle of a global pandemic though Chris. Were in the "what the hell just happened" phase.
Janet Daley, Daily Telegraph: "As the year in which life officially returned to normal comes to an end, we must ask an uncomfortable question. What on earth just happened? We have lived through a period of what would once have been the unthinkable suspension of basic freedoms: interventions by the state into personal life that even most totalitarian governments would not have dared to impose. And we, along with most (not all) of the democratic societies of the West, accepted it. Before that era slips into the fog of convenient forgetfulness, it is absolutely imperative that we – the country as a whole – hold a thorough post hoc examination, because our governing classes have certainly learnt something they will remember.
The critical lesson that has been indelibly absorbed by people in power, and those who advise them, is that fear works. There is, it turns out, almost nothing that a population (even one as brave and insouciant as Britain’s) will not give up if they are systematically, relentlessly frightened.
The Covid phenomenon has provided an invaluable training session in public mind-control techniques: the formula was refined – with the assistance of sophisticated advertising and opinion-forming advice – to an astonishingly successful blend of mass anxiety (your life is in danger) and moral coercion (you are putting other people’s lives in danger). But it was not just the endless repetition of that message that accomplished the almost universal, and quite unexpected, compliance. It was the comprehensive suppression of dissent even when it came from expert sources – and the prohibition on argument even when it was accompanied by counter-evidence – that really did the trick. Now the prescription is readily available for any governing elite hoping to initiate a policy likely to meet with strong public resistance. First tell people that they, or their children and grandchildren, will die if they do not comply. Then prohibit any mitigating argument or critique of this prediction."
Anonymous MC. I don't know if you're the same anonymous that called me obnoxious a while ago, but if you are – congratulations on another terrific contribution to the debate. Presumably you only stopped by to throw insults around?
You know, I am a regular on a number of blogs, mostly US or at least international, and I would just like to say a couple of things about them.
Firstly nobody gives a shit whether usual own name or a pseudonym. It simply isn't an issue, and I can't see why it should be here.
Secondly there are many disagreements on these blogs naturally, because people have different opinions, but rarely do they get as toxic as they do here. Jonathan Pierce for instance lets anyone say pretty much anything they want. I was once told on that site that as an atheist I was incapable of mourning my dead son – and nothing was done about that. But that was the exception. There isn't that constant sniping that you get here.
Maybe it's because we're an incestuous small place. We are also a dour and humourless lot on this site.
Thirdly, people who come to these blogs simply to throw insults around without actually offering any insights are called trolls and politely told to fuck off.
This place is becoming really toxic. It's no longer just robust, people come here simply to sneer at others – Maori, immigrants, fellow commentors, about the only thing missing strangely enough is misogyny although I'm not holding my breath on that one either given the visceral hatred of female leaders that springs up on conservative sites.
I really hope you make more of an effort on this Chris because it really is driving rational debate away.
@ David George
Interesting article, but ...
"The critical lesson that has been indelibly absorbed by people in power, and those who advise them, is that fear works. There is, it turns out, almost nothing that a population (even one as brave and insouciant as Britain’s) will not give up if they are systematically, relentlessly frightened."
I don't believe it was simply fear. Though we all in Western democracies constantly criticise our governments , we have come to a high level of trust that they are doing what they believe to be in our collective interests in the long run. It is this trust that has been the critical implement in the co operation we have all willingly offered, gratefully in fact in the first phases when fear was a factor. This trust is going to take a long time to rebuild. I don't believe it can be used again to perform a similar stunt without rebuilding which will likely take a generation or two. Especially if the authorities never admit their errors and apologise . And time is running out for the acknowledgment of the mistakes , and who was responsible for them , to be useful.
What is tragic is that I am quite sure that our politicians were acting in good faith . They have been just as miss informed by the international bodies that are supposed to provide guidance as we all have been, but until individuals like De Santos in Florida and Johnson in Wisconsin start honest examination of what has happened and why ,there is no scope for trust to be restored.
In the US the evidence of general disillusionment is in the only 10% uptake of the bivalent booster, but it will be far more comprehensive than just vaccinations and health remedies that suffer from a collapse of trust.
D J S
Yes David, very good point about the destruction of trust, the recent survey showed that the legacy media and the government are now the two least trusted institutions in NZ. Their ability to initiate fear are diminished as a consequence. They're still trying though - the constant climate catastrophism propaganda for example.
It's good to see that there are to be some "no holds barred" investigations into the pandemic response; the ones you mentioned as well as several in Europe. Our one is to be headed by someone with a prior partisan position so not a good place to start from if its the truth you're after.
"The critical lesson that has been indelibly absorbed by people in power, and those who advise them, is that fear works."
You never said a truer word. You only have to watch Fox News or Newsmax or GB News or whatever it's called. They try to keep their viewers in a constant state of fear, making sure that they will vote against their own interests. It's what the extreme right does, and it's very, very good at it.
Incidentally, I wouldn't use the words "De Santos" and "honest" in the same sentence without a "dis" in there.
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