Monday 2 October 2023

The Angry Majority.

The People's Champion vs The People's Prosecutor: It is the news media’s job to elicit information from politicians – not to prosecute them. Peters’ promise to sort out TVNZ should be believed. If he finds himself in a position to carry out his threat, then it will only be because the angry majority has had enough – and voted accordingly.

THERE IS ANGER OUT THERE in the electorate. At least one Labour candidate has been assaulted, and the home of a Te Pāti Māori candidate has been broken into repeatedly and a politically-inspired threatening letter left behind. Questioned by journalists, the Leader of the Opposition, Christopher Luxon, has confirmed that the National Party is in a heightened state of vigilance. Several examples of what the party believes to be credible threats of violence have been sent to the Police.

The key question in relation to actual or threatened violence on the campaign trail is its prevalence. Are we witnessing no more than a tiny number of anti-vax diehards lashing-out at the mainstream politicians they love to hate? Or, is the anger and frustration more extensive? Are people venting their rage against a system they no longer see as demonstrating any real understanding of, or empathy for, the concerns of the population?

Expressed most forcefully on social media, there is certainly a view abroad in the electorate that if citizens do not adhere to a particular view of the world, then their opinions will be dismissed by the Powers That Be as, at best, worthless, or, at worst, dangerous.

As the election campaign has unfolded, the number of entities challenged in this way has grown to include not only heretical individuals and fringe groups, but also political parties attracting mass support. Act and NZ First have been decried as racist, and even the ideological acceptability of the National Party has been challenged. Given that all the most recent opinion polling indicates that, between them, these parties encompass a majority of the electorate, their characterisation as political deplorables is alarming.

Over the course of the last half-century a curious reversal has taken place. Back in the 1970s a small minority of the population (most of them university students and trade unionists) lamented the fact that their “progressive” views on everything from foreign policy to women’s rights; the environment to Apartheid sport; were rejected by a substantial majority of New Zealanders. Since then, however, the political evolution of the nation has reached a point where the causes of minorities have become the convictions of the majority.

Over the course of the same half-century, the young idealists and activists, who once revelled in their status as the moral and political vanguard of the nation, have moved into positions of authority and influence. In the universities, the public service, the legal profession, the major political parties, and the news media, the heretical rebels of yesterday have become the orthodox mandarins of today. Unfortunately, as they made what Rudi Dutschke, student revolutionary of the 1960s, called “the long march through the institutions”, their conviction that “we”, the enlightened minority, are right, and “they”, the unenlightened majority, are wrong, has congealed into an unassailable truth.

As individuals and groups espousing ideas and causes endorsed by only the tiniest sliver of the population make their pitch for official recognition, they have every reason to anticipate success. The assumption, in nearly every case, is that the minority viewpoints of the present, like the minority viewpoints of the past, stand an equal chance of graduating into majority acceptance. Only their residual wariness of the democratic process, and the crushing power of the majority it embodies, has prevented the key state and private institutions from letting themselves get pushed too far ahead of public opinion.

The best guess as to what made society’s key institutions suddenly feel powerful enough to challenge – and even to overrule – such deeply embedded cultural and political concepts as science and democracy, is the Covid-19 Pandemic. In responding to their global and national crises, the governments of the Western nations rediscovered the ease with which emergencies can be used to “persuade” their populations to accept policies which, in normal circumstances, they would stoutly resist.

Although speaking of the US experience, investigative journalist Matt Taibbi’s remarks may also mutatis mutandis be applied to New Zealand’s. Assessing the contribution of Dr Anthony Fauci, the USA’s Covid Czar, Taibbi writes:

Anthony Fauci showed proof-of-concept for the whole authoritarian package. He convinced the monied classes to embrace the idea of lying to the ignorant public for its own good, green-lit powerful mechanical tools for suppressing critics, engendered fevered blame campaigns … Only pandemic truths that eventually became too obvious to ignore prevented this story from having a worse ending. We’d better hope the door closes before the next emergency’s Answer Man tries the same playbook.

The re-election of Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Government not only reassured the progressive mandarins that, eventually, the majority can be relied upon to accept the judgements of the minority, but also, that the majority’s failure to be convinced no longer poses an insurmountable obstacle to progressive policy implementation. With the universities, the public service, the legal profession and the news media on side, a progressive political party can safely advance well ahead of public opinion. And, if they fail, there is always – as the occupation of Parliament grounds by anti-vaccination mandate protesters demonstrated – the Police.

Reassured of its apparent invulnerability, the post-2020 Labour Government threw caution to the winds. On matters pertaining to ethnic and gender politics it created an ideological salient positively begging to be attacked from all sides. Fatally underestimating the ability of social media to challenge the formerly unassailable influence of the mainstream media, Labour soon found itself confronted by a sizeable portion of the public which had not only stopped believing in them, but was also bloody angry with them.

Predictably, Labour’s political enemies moved swiftly to harness the electoral power unleashed by the public’s falling-out-of-love with, first, Jacinda Ardern, and then, after a brief period of hope that her successor might haul Labour back into line with public opinion, Chris Hipkins. By the opening of the 2023 election campaign, the polls were showing that Labour’s 2020 Party Vote of 50.01 percent had nearly halved. And Labour candidates were being assaulted.

True to their instincts, the “enlightened” minority struck back against the “racist” and “transphobic” majority, scolding their electoral representatives – especially Act and NZ First – for daring to align themselves with majority opinion on ethnic and transgender rights.

Nowhere was this elite disdain for populism more vividly displayed than on the weekend current-affairs shows, Newshub Nation and Q+A. The spectacle of two “progressive” young Pakeha journalists hectoring and pouring scorn on the Māori leader of NZ First, Winston Peters, was proof of just how little they understood the electorate they were doing their best to punish by proxy.

It is the news media’s job to elicit information from politicians – not to prosecute them. Peters’ promise to sort out TVNZ should be believed. If he finds himself in a position to carry out his threat, then it will only be because the angry majority has had enough – and voted accordingly.

This essay was originally posted on the website on Monday, 3 October 2023.


Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Act and NZ First have been decried as racist,"

If you happen to pop over to the MSN news site, you'll find that act and New Zealand 1st are never racist but Labour the Greens and the Maori party are. I don't want to be guilty of both sidesism, but it seems to me that the feelings on the right fringe are far more fervent and more violent in their rhetoric than they are on the left. After all, it's a Maori Party candidate whose house has been broken into, and a Labour Party candidate who's been slapped.
And if you believe the comments on MSN:
1. It's their own fault.
2. It didn't happen.
3. It's about time the criminals picked on them rather than ordinary people.
4. It was "her mates in the gangs" that did it.
And so on ad nauseam.

Matt Taibbi can no longer be considered a journalist but simply a shill for fringe groups and people like Trump and Elon musk. And of course a newly minted culture warrior. He's making millions on the wingnut welfare circuit, and doesn't seem to care about corruption and the like any more. Making too much money I guess.

Glen said...

Thank you Chris, a voice of reason...again.
Talk about disrespecting older people. Imagine if some young pakeha with less progressive views had interviewed an 'elite' Maori elder so disrespectfully - they'd have been 'crucified' by the rest of the mainstream media. NZ now seems to have its own 'swamp', full of progressive vitriole, intent on criticising us 'deplorables' for our 'wrongthink' at every opportunity.

David George said...

The contemptable arrogance of the 2020 election deception around the co-governance agenda was bad enough, that it was done in the knowledge that it would be completely unacceptable to the vast majority of Kiwis makes it utterly unforgiveable.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Spot on

sumsuch said...

We were all wondering. And I've now seen it in front of my eyes. At the end of the species.

Thank you for your service. You were inspiring in the 90s and norts and on. I can be honest now despite your free speech stuff. Shoulda known when you responded bad to GS's pretty pro forma 7th Form dismissal of christian belief.

I wish a lot more than you are. But Corbyn, Sanders and Reich are.

Look after yourself.

DS said...

It seems to me that the past three years have been less notable for the majority Labour Government throwing caution to the wind, and more notable for Labour squandering a once in a generation chance to enact a vision for the country. The Sixth Labour Government, outside its handling of Covid (which itself was merely deferring to the Ministry of Health) has been the least consequential New Zealand Government since the second term of Sir Joseph Ward.

The really major missing piece in your jigsaw puzzle is the shift in views among the political Right, both in New Zealand and elsewhere. We are not talking a static majority outraged at being imposed upon, but rather a shift in fundamental worldview. See, for instance, the Putin fans in David Farrar's comments section. Or the Right's increasing hostility towards Vaccines. Winston Peters himself is a decent weathervane here - since 2017, he's chucked out any interest in economics, and started courting the votes of an ever-growing pile of Conspiracy Theorists.

In short, the Right have gone nuts. Perhaps the Left (or what calls itself the Left) has too, but something very ugly has been running through right-wing Western discourse these past few years, which would never have seen the light of day in previous post-war decades. Someone as well-versed in political history as yourself, Mr Trotter, really ought to realise what "Globalist" is a codeword for.

David George said...

Chris: "Act and NZ First have been decried as racist" - yes of course, the two parties most strongly promoting democracy and rights based on citizenship rather than race/ancestry are the racists. The Maori party and their blatant racism, claims of racial superiority among them, largely ignored. What are NZ Labour thinking getting tangled up with this lot?

A revealing exchange: On being invited on to The Platform to discuss the alleged burglary of the home of one of TMP's candidates, party president John Tamihere let rip with this rant.

"The more folk like you [this directed at Sean Plunkett] target us, the more we organise. It's only a matter of time. 25% of all babies under five that go to sleep tonight in Aotearoa are of Maori descent. It's only a matter of time. Do not contact me again we have nothing in common"
"White folk like you, the people that fund you, even Luxon use the same terminology. We are not dogs. Now I'm blocking a mongrel like you. Do not contact me again, as it is now harassment and that brings about remedies."

Some countries in Europe have outright banned these sorts of political parties, or simply refused to include them in government. What the hell is Labour thinking? Where's the condemnation? Perhaps Labour really are on board with the brown supremacists.

Archduke Piccolo said...

Modern (Anglophone) Democracy: Government of the People by Fat Cats for Fatter Cats. Call it Oligarchy, Plutocracy, Kleptocracy or Kakistocracy - doesn't make much difference.

No wonder the electorate is angry. It should be.
Ion A. Dowman

new view said...

Once again a thought provoking article from Chris. The academic free thinkers who spread their new gospel of progressive thinking through the universities showed their unwillingness to debate those issues that might change our society, and had already decided that their line was the right line. I'm no academic but this was highlighted first for me when Don Brash was shouted down at Orewa and thereafter wasn't allowed to debate at certain universities. The "I'm right you are wrong" that Chris refers to, is now embedded in this Labour government. The only part of Chris's analysis that I differ slightly, is that Conservative National didn't have to take advantage of the divisive policies Labour and it's partners are hoping to force upon our nation because Nationals ideas haven't changed over time. One person one vote, we all should have the same opportunities and we are one people etc. The fact that this hasn't worked for many is what has to be improved, not thrown out with new definitions for racial parity and governance replacing them. I believe Chris when he describes this government as throwing caution to the wind while trying to embed their new found philosophies on a nation not ready to accept them or even believing them to be right. Labour may have had a chance to change our minds if they had been open with their agenda and less devious with trying to implement that agenda. Their new brand of thinking has been a distraction on what currently more important. The crisis many are finding themselves in and the run down state of our infrastructure and services.

D'Esterre said...

"...the Covid-19 Pandemic."

I'm an old Lefty. I was horrified by our government's actions regarding the pandemic. Closing the borders and the lockdowns were a catastrophic mistake, the consequences of which we can now see. I was also horrified at the willingness of Joe Public to go along with the restrictions. I still cannot fathom that.

There were many of us aware of the folly of that approach, and said so at the time. The virus is a virus: they evolve the way they always do. As we have now seen. Our best strategy would have been to do what Sweden did.

The current government deserves to be handed its ass at the upcoming election, and I hope that happens. Not only has it shown itself to be incompetent - having failed to implement pretty much all of the policies on which it campaigned in 2017 - but it has moved at speed to undermine our democracy, such as it is. This has been by implementing the provisions of He Puapua. On which it did not campaign at the 2020 election. Had it been open about that, it's likely that Peters would still have been in the current parliament, and it wouldn't have had the courage to do what it's done.

I'm bloody angry, as are many people I know.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

" The virus is a virus: they evolve the way they always do. As we have now seen. Our best strategy would have been to do what Sweden did."

Covid deaths per million Sweden 2347
Covid deaths per million New Zealand 642

By jeez you people are cavalier with other people's lives. Would you volunteer to be one of the excess deaths, or perhaps some of your relations?

Also, viruses evolve in different ways so – no.

Shane McDowall said...

The covid lockdown gave Labour a once in a generation chance to fully overhaul our immigration policy.

They did nothing, and now we are back at the ridiculously high levels of inward migration.

A 100,000 annual population gain through net migration is not sustainable.

To keep up we would have to build about 500 new homes every week.

Mass migration simply fuels our housing shortage and inflation.

I used to think the "Great Replacement" was just twaddle being peddled by white racists.Looking around the CBD of my home town I can see that it actually is true.

Slowly, but surely, New Zealand is turning into Chindia.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand are being swamped by people who do not share the values of Western liberal democracy.

Brendan McNeill said...


Thank you for continuing to speak with clarity on these issues. It is a welcome surprise to me that you have not allowed ideological blindness to cloud your vision regarding what has taken place over the last three years. While some regular commentators on your blog at times express frustration at your apparent lack of loyalty to ‘team Labour’ and presumably the socialist cause, you have continued to speak of what you see; what so many of us see. Thank you.

Yes, there is anger about the policies of the Ardern Government, her creation of “two classes of New Zealanders” and many of us have not forgotten these policies were implemented primarily by the man who is now Prime Minister of New Zealand. A man who told us that if we were not vaccinated by the end of the year he would be coming to find us.

Like many New Zealanders last weekend I watched the River of Freedom movie - a record of the Parliamentary protest including the convoy’s that traveled from Cape Reinga and the Bluff to meet in Wellington. I cannot recall ever being in a packed theatre (you have to book to get a seat in Christchurch) where people were shouting at politicians on the screen, or such a lengthy ovation at the end of the movie. We should all watch this documentary.

To say there is anger would be to understate the feelings of a good many New Zealanders who have lost jobs, their health, their homes, their livelihoods, friendships and family relationships as a result of this Government’s failure to engage in critical thinking and their mindless hubris during covid.

If their failures during covid were not enough, they have done more to damage race relations in New Zealand than any Government in living memory. While the Wellington bureaucracy appears to have bent the knee, the rest of New Zealand is appalled by their radical racist policies, from three waters to race based discrimination in health care.

And then there is the billions of dollars in additional debt with nothing substantial to show for it, except a failing education system and a broken health system.

Mercifully, this too shall pass, but not without leaving what could reasonably be described as a criminal legacy.

greywarbler said...

The path back to the past of today's uni trained extreme lefties seems obvious when you light the steps. But reacting to Covid 19 moves by a Labour government as if it was the onset of fascism is an example of off-the-rails freedom thinking. A modern society doesn't let diseased people wander around infecting others; and then see ambulances and bodies stock-piled outside hospitals while patients lie in hospital corridors.

The people who couldn't take the Covid controls are the ones who would be full of criticism over a no-action government. 'Freedom is another word for nothing left to lose'. That is part of a song with a sad sting from the 70s. I tutored a young man in reading who thought being born should entitle one to free support. But Bob Dylan showed a long list who 'Had to Serve Somebody'. Labour adopted draconian policies at times and places. But why did they need to? Because others were not willing to restrain themselves and follow instructions to limit infection. (I have recently caught up with Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera. Surprisingly, it turned the situation around 180 degrees.)

ZTS said...

I may have said this before on here but the penny for me dropped at the end of Nov 2020 and I wrote letters to everyone in the Labour party I know, including HC and the PM. The letters were balanced and reasonable and I merely pointed out that there was an undeniable need to change particularly in relation to Maori who were in huge need. But I felt that the approach they were adopting was unlikely to deliver the much needed results quickly and would end in real division within the country. I suggested that they focus on delivering housing first and foremost as that would benefit the impoverished most obviously, particularly Maori.

I also said that I believed that in doing so, the electorate would be far more likely to support the changes they really wanted to make at that time. Response from anywhere (Although Clarkie sent me a nice acknowledgement) Crickets.

So I'm with Chris, they knew what they were about right from the start and they didnt want to improve NZ or the immediate and overwhelming needs of Maori and others. They had an agenda which wasnt about getting Maori and poor people into affordable homes and arrogantly and underhandedly went down a path that brought us here.

I've sat through 3 very nervous years (as a former long term Labour voter) going through the stages of grief and sincerely wondering if emigration is inevitable. We are reaping the whirlwind of Labour's incredible hubris and a fair bit of ineptitude.

I'm saddened by the division and anger we have now (they are inevitable under the circumstances) but also a little relieved that it looks like the right might win. Not because I want a right wing govt and trust that they are better but because I hope (it is by no means guaranteed) that we can 1. Safeguard Free Speech and 2. Get a National conversation going around a number of issues that have been deplatformed and swept under the rug . 3. Maybe develop a common ground on our nation's priorities. 4. Begin to make progress delivering on these priorities and 5. Start to live somewhere close to within our means without going full on "Austerity'.

Tom Hunter said...

but it seems to me that the feelings on the right fringe are far more fervent and more violent in their rhetoric than they are on the left.

Chuckle. Whether it's Stalin, Mao, the Khmer Rouge or NZ's new Brownshirts, you can always expect the Far Left to make excuses and always be the victim.


Gangs threatening National

- A National candidate being forced to move house after a gang threat
- A senior Head Hunters member filmed a National candidate and their spouse in a restaurant and shared it with followers, with an abusive and intimidating message
- Death threats made to a volunteer in Auckland

Tom Hunter said...

I don't know why decrepit Far Lefters are so angry at people like Matt Taibbi when he remains the same Leftie who got stuck into Goldman Sachs and Wall Street over a decade ago. But unlike the Stalin/Mao/Khmer Rouge supporters he just couldn't swallow any longer the double standards and the hypocrisy of the shills for his own side as the US State decided to use its powers to allow only its speech to see the light of day.

And predictably, as during the 1930's Soviet show trials and the 1960's Cultural Revolution and the Khmer Rouge emptying the cities, Western Far Lefters can swallow this propaganda endlessly - and even vomit it back up at will. The literally murderous evidence of their ideas has no effect on them at all.

John Hurley said...

You just have to look at DPMC's He Whenua Taurikura and it's endorsement of Paul Spoonley and Joanna Kidman.
Jacinda Ardern comes on "It's my birthday – I’m so happy; Oh I'm so nice; I am the light of the NWO; I'm the leadership version of cold fusion"; "Oh! I'm so sad - all those people died".
Tracy MacIntosh cries as she reels off a list of countries the victims came from saying that they are now sharing a bond as both have suffered under racism of NZ's pakeha population.
A Sikh man thanks Tabatha Khan because she mentioned Sikhs "you were the first person to mention Sikhs and the turban wearing man...."
Colonisation; white supremacy; blah blah.
On BHN channel they had Juliet Moses on to talk about Bradley Coopers prosthetic nose (Leonard Bernstien). They received a lot of kickback “she’s dreadful”.
Mandy Hager got in touch and Pat had her on instead.
“imagine you have a neurosurgeon on but he also is a TERF and is against co-governace. It almost cancels out all his other opinions” – paraphrasing.

Mandy Hager’s position may be summed up as: opinions in other areas overlap and so we should find “better” people to interview (even though Juliet was put forward by the synagogue).

Chris asked when Southern and Molyneau arrived: “do [the left] lack answers to the right’s arguments?”.

Juliet was the subject of a walkout at the above hui. The Israel Palestine issue represents Utopia to the left. Just admit you are wrong, kiss, kiss and make up. To the left it is about good and evil.
Byron Clark made a video about Bosnia and clearly evil came in the form of actors (otherwise everyone would have been living happily in perpetutity.

In the start of his thesis Paul Spoonley has a quote about fascism as an infectious agent (exogenous to peace and harmony?).

Paula Penfold referred to Oxygenation of Apmlification report. It begins with the Deplorables speech and argues responsible journalists should learn to [essentially] limit reporting because coverage of Trump lead to his victory (and journalists know Trump shouldn’t be allowed to win).

At one end there is invisible censorship (news and opinion) but you see it in the Antifa tactic of resistance with non-engagement; I always understood trolling to be disrupting the debate rather than taking part in good faith. Antifa will get in someone’s face at a protest and repeat A, B, C, over and over. Pure disruption; non engagement; a fascist tactic perhaps?

John Hurley said...

I must say I'm disappointed in The Platform.
Sean Plunket says he has never been bothered by the number of migrants coming into the country.
Studies show these attitudes correlate highly with people in the media.
Is it a power thing? They are up on high looking down? Do they believe the fact thousands are listening reflects their superior understanding or do they just brown nose the rich and famous (the vested interests lap-dog)?
I'm reminded of Mike Hosking coming into Queenstown at the height of overtourismed. We are doing nothing wrong the inciteful Motormouth wrote [he had to wait at the carousel where he chatted to the limousine driver before being wisped off to Millbrook].
Sean commented that he was feeling confident about our prospects, just as he felt in the 1980's with the reforms of the 1984 Labour government.

The upshot of those reforms was dissolving the NZ nation (as a social entity). Under economic justification "population replacement" began "apace".

Under internationalisation, trade between nations occurs in the best in interests of the nation; under globalism it is regional (granulated) and so you have Harcourts Shanghai.
John Key can ignore Kerry McDonald because globalism lifts so many out of poverty.

As for me and my lovely property while you live in the flag section with a paling fence 1m from the window and shade throughout the winter months": pooh-pooh, I'm an achiever; I deserve it.

Then again IQ is a predictor of success and one half is lower than the other half. It wasn't the lower half that made the changes or gained the advantage.

David George said...

GS "If you happen to pop over to the MSN news site..."

I don't pay much attention to social media generally, it's obviously not real life - as we know it. It's not only infested with dark tetrad types (psychopaths, narcissists, machiavellians and sadists) it rewards and encourages that type of behaviour. A brief (one minute) explanation:

The above phenomena goes a long way towards explaining the changes in civil discourse and increasing polarisation lamented by Chris Trotter in this poignant recent essay:

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. Like be for real

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a you problem.

Anonymous said...

Way to prove his point 😂

DS said...

I'm an old Lefty. I was horrified by our government's actions regarding the pandemic. Closing the borders and the lockdowns were a catastrophic mistake, the consequences of which we can now see. I was also horrified at the willingness of Joe Public to go along with the restrictions. I still cannot fathom that.

Old Lefties care about Public Health, and don't sacrifice countless lives so that rich media types and business people can swan off on a Melbourne shopping trip.

The Government's major failing on Covid was folding in the face of overreaching courts. I'd have absolutely no problem with continued border closure. Amongst other things, the resulting labour shortage was great for wages. Which an Old Lefty should care about.

D'Esterre said...

"You people..." Which people would they be? I have seen responses on this topic of a similar tone from people who declare themselves to be lefties. And from others who are self-declared Maori activists. I do wonder at it: do you think that you can change others' minds by berating them?

"Covid deaths per million Sweden 2347
Covid deaths per million New Zealand 642"

At the risk of being accused of being cavalier, so what? It's a counterfactual: nobody can say for sure what the deaths from coronavirus would have been here, had the government not adopted such a draconian approach. But it's indisputably done significant damage to this society: we see it all around us.

I'm in what was then categorised as Group 3: age, comorbidities and so on. I now have friends and family members who've been infected, though none of them has died. A sibling who has connections into the world of microbiology is of the view that pretty much all of us have had it, even if we've had a sub-clinical dose, or just been exposed to it. That sounds about right to me.

For what it's worth: Queensland figures:
Total cases (since the beginning of 2020) 2,067; total deaths, also since the beginning of 2020, 7. First Nation cases: 18. Those figures as of 15.10.21. Numbers there didn't begin to rise until late 2021, when such restrictions as there were had been lifted. I think Delta arrived about that time.

Queensland has a population about the same size as that of NZ, and land borders with NSW, SA and NT. I have a sibling living just across the border in NSW. Lockdowns there were much less stringent than here: my sibling was able to cross the border for medical visits and so on; also they could visit friends and relatives, provided social distancing rules were observed. Takeaways were available right throughout the lockdown.

"Also, viruses evolve in different ways so – no."

Well yes, actually. That virus has mutated away to be more infectious and less lethal, as do other viruses. Had the borders remained open, certainly to NZ citizens, and societal restrictions been much looser, á la Sweden or Queensland, our situation would likely have been similar, without the damage which has resulted from the extreme lockdowns here.

Anonymous said...

I voted Labour since Kirk, including Jacinda twice, with only 2 exceptions decades ago.

Yesterday I voted 2 ticks ACT.


Anonymous said...

Ignorant comment as at least two National candidates were attacked by gang members, threatened by personal violence and having dogs set on them. Volunteers refused to do any more door knocking in this area of Auckland as they were so scared by the level of violence they were faced with. Some even needed counselling which is totally unacceptable. The media is bought off and therefore driven by the left so you are made to feel sorry for them and them only. There is no balance in NZ and no freedom of speech anymore here along with an absence of a democracy.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

David. When social media abandons censorship, that's when it becomes a cesspit of violence and lunacy. Racist comments increased on Twitter as soon as Elon Musk decided to fire those people who oversaw civility. The question website Quora has become a hotbed of Nazi and neo-Nazi racist comments since they abandon moderation.
MSN moderates very heavily, but is still infested by people who have let's say regressive – views. The racism is indirect but palpable. God knows what it would be like without moderation, they're always complaining about censorship and trying to find ways around it. So much for free speech.
On that topic of course Musk allows free speech for Nazis but senses anyone who disagrees with him. As he is perfectly entitled to do, but it just shows the general hypocrisy of the extreme right. Free speech for me but not for thee.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"You people..." Which people would they be?

People who constantly downplay the dangers of the covert pandemic. People who constantly question the opinion of experts. I don't care whether they are from the left door from the right. That's all I meant.

"Well yes, actually. That virus has mutated away to be more infectious and less lethal, as do other viruses."

Again – er no.

" Whether it's Stalin, Mao, the Khmer Rouge or NZ's new Brownshirts, you can always expect the Far Left to make excuses and always be the victim."

Whether it's Hitler, Mussolini, the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging or the American Nazi Party, you can always trust the far right to go nut picking..,%22law%20of%20declining%20virulence.%22

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Whether it's Stalin, Mao, the Khmer Rouge or NZ's new Brownshirts, you can always expect the Far Left to make excuses and always be the victim."

Incidentally, given that no one here has ever excused dictators on the left, this is a specious, bad faith, troll-ish statement – something that I imagine we've all come to expect from you. It adds nothing to the debate, and I suspect simply put in there to score points.

D'Esterre said...

DS: "Old Lefties care about Public Health, and don't sacrifice countless lives so that rich media types and business people can swan off on a Melbourne shopping trip."

It's best, I find, not to assume that one knows, not only what others think, but how they are thinking.

The censorious reaction of many people to critique of the lockdown and border closure suggests either that they don't have countervailing arguments, or that they secretly agree with said critique.

Those of us living near international airports will have been aware that there were constant comings and goings. So: the border was closed, but only to ordinary people, not to those with enough money, or clout. Never mind the shopping trips to Melbourne or wherever.

There was a lot of anger among those separated from families - as we were - when those with Connections could travel to and fro with apparent impunity.

"....the resulting labour shortage was great for wages."

Right. At that time, employers couldn't get staff for love or money. So much for wage increases. We heard it over and over, both from people we knew, and from businesses we visited. The "staff wanted" signs were ubiquitous.

The consequential damage to our society is indisputable. And evident.

Guerilla Surgeon said...
Well, well, well.

David George said...

GS "...a Maori Party candidate whose house has been broken into"

That hasn't aged well.
Turns out the whole thing was cynically and shamelessly fabricated/wildly exaggerated to garner sympathy and generate hate. The raving White Supremacist/ACT/NAT/Litteral Nazi/Lynch Mob was an old guy from the neighbourhood calling to pay his respects.

D'Esterre said...

Greywarbler: "The people who couldn't take the Covid controls are the ones who would be full of criticism over a no-action government."

If we look back to that time, we remember reportage about sectors of society which completely ignored the rules about gatherings and so on. We saw that gangs could have funerals with impunity. All the police did was to monitor them to make sure no road rules were broken.

And those with cash and Connections seemed to be able to come and go at will via our international airports. If we lived near an airport, we saw it. And the MSM - to its credit - reported on it. Although I'm not sure that reporters understood the implications of what they were reporting.

Meanwhile, the law-abiding couldn't see family, even in NZ, let alone overseas. We certainly couldn't visit the dying, or hold funerals. And, in our area, we pakeha were at the back of the queue for vaccinations, despite clinical need (though they turned out to be curate's egg-y).

My view is that the government's handling of the pandemic has caused enormous damage to our society. I think the price we paid was far too high.

Were there to be another outbreak of infection, the government should stay the hell out of it, beyond passing on advice as to measures that citizens could take to protect themselves and others. Leave us to manage our own health, say I.

D'Esterre said...

GS: "People who constantly question the opinion of experts."

Of course such opinions should be questioned: scepticism and science ought to go hand in hand.

I've commented elsewhere that the expert advice was of the "counsel of perfection" type. It took no account of the realities of most people's lives. Small wonder it was ignored in sectors of NZ society, and in other countries. This is why we saw police being used to enforce rules. As a society, we should not ever again attempt such an authoritarian approach.

"..."covert" pandemic."

Heh! Bit of a Freudian slip there, huh?

Anonymous said...

Chris you are so right. I feel like I am part of the majority but have no right to voice my opinion as it will be taken as racist. I do not believe I am. I want equal opportunity for all whether than be seeking health, education or job opportunities. I do not want division. Look at Israel today I am scared we are headed that way.

Graham H said...

Good article. Noting the trend of technocratic infalliability is on target. Delsol in Icaraus Fallen, adds that the intellectual clerisey, while compeyent academic lack prudential sense, i.e. worldly experience, common sense and Eq. The Pomethian WEF exemplifies the former in an extreme degree.

greywarbler said...

Robbie Wellington - I hope you go down with The Crimson Permanent Assurance.
Regards Wellwisher

D'Esterre said...

GS: "Well, well, well."

I've read that article. I wonder if you have. Were you to do so, you'd find that figure to be a hypothesis. A counterfactual, if you prefer. Nobody could ever know what would have happened here, had restrictions been less onerous.

My point stands. Regardless of how well-intentioned it was, the government's pandemic response has caused significant damage to NZ society.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

A "counterfactual"? It simply said that if we had the same death rate as the US, where the response was let's say – varied – we who would have had 20,000 deaths. And it's done by actual scientists rather than random guys on the Internet who know absolutely nothing about epidemiology. I wonder what damage 20,000 deaths would have done to New Zealand society?

Ian said...

There was a time, well before I was born where it was main stream to regard women, Jews, blacks (know by different words in those days), etc as inferior, and to regard homosexuals as criminals.

Last century saw a series of curious reversals. After WW II it became unthinkable to say anything negative about Jews. It more gradually became unthinkable to regard women as less than equal to men. Openly discriminating against non-white people is now as unthinkable as it used to be to regard non-white people as equal to white people. In the late 20th Century homosexuals went from criminals to mainstream figures.

(Not all the old things have disappeared. It is still OK to effectively equate Muslim with terrorist).

The Overton window shifts over time, in wider society as much as it does in politics. There are always people who resist that shift. Such as those that couldn't accept a black man behind the desk in the Oval Office.

The shift you ascribe to Covid actually started much earlier in the USA. It became obvious when Obama got elected. Trump rode that wave to the White House. Like the earlier Arab Spring it has moved to other countries. It climaxed in NZ in February 2022 in a jumbled mix of anti-establishment ideas and conservative nostalgia.

But I don't think the majority of New Zealanders who are mad at the Labour government are all in that camp. I think that there are 3 camps.

The group you describe, that think Labour has pushed the Overton Window too far towards the progressive direction are the noisiest camp.

But there are also the landlords, farmers and SUV owners who fear a potential attack on wealth, property owning and greenhouse gas emissions who are happy to camp next door and even co-mingle.

And the third camp are those who saw Labour under deliver on its promises around housing, climate change, child poverty (which is really just ordinary poverty dressed up in a new phrase), etc for the last 6 years. These people also expected changes to the tax system and probably immigration, and were horrified by major profits made by banks and oil companies during an economic down turn.

All 3 make up the Angry Majority, not just the loudest group.

chris prudence said...

Pakeha need to get street smart with maori a bit of cuzzy bro lingo to winz on the blower is a good place to start before another weak govt. hands out the cash not land over the gravy train all over again.