Heather Roy used to be an MP, but her libertarian party is merely part of the global, progressive movement, neatly sidelined, by our functional fascist system. We are currently under rolling seven day states of emergencies, and the effective members of the opposition, including the leader of her party, are sitting in select committee. But they have no one to report to. Read the whole thing.
There is talk of dropping out lockdown to a partial opening but social distancing rules will continue, and the churches will remain closed, no more than 10 people can attend a funeral. Weddings, previously banned as non essential, can happen without any reception or party.
A country is best served when it has a strong government with a strong opposition holding it to account. Today we have neither. Due to the State of Emergency we have instead what feels like a holy trinity: the Director of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the Director General of Health and the Commissioner of Police – none of them elected but now bestowed with extraordinary powers. The Prime Minister remains nominally in charge (but can be overruled) and her Ministers are largely invisible. The opposition meanwhile has allowed itself to be deftly side-lined.
A State of Emergency lasts for seven days but can be extended, not by parliament but by the authorities themselves. To date it has been extended three times, with no public justification or notice of when the country and our democracy might return to normal. The calls for parliament to be the arbiter of State of Emergency extensions has thankfully started. In his Newsroom article today, Peter Dunne calls for this and says, “Parliament must resume sitting again, so we can have effective scrutiny of the decisions being made and reasoned debate about the alternatives.” There was no mention of Parliament reconvening in today’s announcement about what Alert Level 3 looks like.
I wrote recently that we effectively became a socialist state on March 25. It is precisely at times like this we need a strong opposition. But the opposition has been side-lined; manoeuvred to dealing with COVID-19 related issues through the Epidemic Response Committee. The Prime Minister announced the formation of the committee at the same time as the State of National Emergency and gave the Chair role to the opposition.
The committee’s role is to consider and report to the House on matters relating to the Government’s management of the COVID-19 epidemic. The committee is doing excellent work hearing from experts, ministers, the media and others – important matters that should be considered and some implemented. This is the sort of advice the government should have been listening to itself before handing the running of the country over to others.
The committee can make recommendations to government but there are two problems: with parliament currently in recess there is no-one to receive recommendations and the government can just ignore them should it choose. This is a case of important but largely busy work – activity in the guise of action. At worst, it is a cynical act by the government in the pretence of listening to the people. At best, it has at least allowed the public to hear contrarian views to those our current lockdown are based on and that is important.
Not that Australia, with its constitution, federal system, and division of powers is much better. It only takes someone who has the fascist in him to run roughshod over those legal niceties. General hint: those of the progressive ilk are more likely to be protected from their predations, and that will encourage fascism.
We need to reminded that for most people, this virus is mild, even unnoticeable, and it will burn out.
You see that the emphasis in media reporting on these results is on the negative aspect — a large number of asymptomatic cases means that spread of the infection is wider than we knew, and more difficult to detect — so that they completely ignore the upside. In the Boston homeless shelter story, for example, this is a population that, to say the least, has less-than-optimal access to health care, and yet you have 146 case in which none of the infected people even had symptoms? Similarly, in Santa Clara County, the random testing suggests there have already been tens of thousands of asymptomatic coronavirus cases in the community — people who were infected, but never got sick. And the Navy’s testing on the aircraft carrier, where most of the sailors are young people in prime physical condition, the large number of asymptomatic cases indicates that very few such people will experience anything more than mild symptoms from this coronavirus. This is good news.
We should be encouraged, and ignore the media’s negative spin.
There is the beginning of pushback. The impending election is concentrating the minds of minority parties facing a fall below the threshold for MPs and oblivion.
Hunting had been deemed risky and was banned under the lockdown, and according to Government advice issued on Thursday, the outdoor activity would remain banned.
But it appears Government ministers are now reconsidering such a ban.
New Zealand First MP and Cabinet Minister Shane Jones said he had been “plastered” by people in the Far North wanting to fish and hunt, a call he supported.
“I have no formal responsibility, other than as a Cabinet minister when we look at the options, but as a NZ First MP I realise that these calls [to ban hunting] have been made by the medical boffins,” he told Stuff.
Often people in rural and Maori communities would live off the land, Minister Jones said, and “metropolitan-based health decisions” may wrongly calculate the risk posed by hunting and fishing in provincial New Zealand.
“I understand the anxieties of the hunting community, I myself have been like a Captain Cooker boar prowling my boundary fence looking for a hole to tentatively escape.”
The new level 3 restrictions announced Thursday specified that low-risk activities will be permitted as long as they are non-motorised, meaning there will be no boating but swimming and surfing would again be allowed. But this won’t happen until after ANZAC day. There will be no services for the fallen, nor any parades. A fair number of conservatives are angry. But we are deemed deplorables.
All these angry white men, itching to lock and load their guns and hit the streets in protest should, however, pause and think again about those military exercises in South Auckland. Because it’s a pretty safe bet that what’s being trained there in secret is a ready-reaction force. In the worst case scenario, when Police intervention has failed to persuade destructive, violent and armed protesters to disperse, then this is the military unit that will be called upon to aid the civil power.
Idiot armed misogynists determined to overturn the nation’s efforts to eliminate the Covid-19 virus will need to learn that the arrival of this force is a very bad sign indeed. Its only purpose is to disperse armed and violent offenders swiftly and decisively – if necessary by the use of deadly force. Harsh? Certainly. But the rest of New Zealand will cheer them on. Why? Because Kiwis will not tolerate a bunch of violent, armed and self-entitled right-wing thugs putting them and their loved ones at risk. Moreover, unlike the President of the USA, New Zealand’s prime minister has absolutely no interest in encouraging them do so.
Chris Trotter, the Daily Blog
Most of us are quiet. Most of us want peaceable assembly. And most of us won’t protest. We will just non comply. There will be a vote against these left fascists with their fantasy: if not in the ballot box, it will be with our feet. For we will just get on with life if we are not let out bu 11th May. You cannot jail the entire country without their cooperation, and Trotter forgets that the 10K police and 12 K military can be subverted and ignored.
May we not need to. But, as Cam Slater pointed out yesterday, our dear leaders are drunk on power. And that will make them stupid. Do not be like them, and stay well away from them.