I generally listen to Newstalk ZB, on the basis that they are slightly less wet and biased than the other news media. I am a big Hosking fan, but most of the rest of them leave me reasonably cold, or at best only lukewarm. So imagine my surprise when I came across this article on the ZB website, commenting on Kerre Woodham’s reaction to Jacinda’s detailing of the government’s plan if we have a community outbreak of COVID-19, and how she will put us straight back into lockdown. I never saw Kerre as anything but fairly wet and lightweight until now. I think, along with Todd Muller, I might need a cup of tea and a lie down.
Hang on. I thought we had all this under control. All our cases have been caught at the border. There is no community transmission. Why are we talking about this now?
We may have been lucky, but we all thought that we had basically eliminated the virus from our shores… so why are we talking about this now? There are only two possible scenarios.
First, the government knows of outbreaks in some regions and are keeping a close eye on how this develops. This seems unlikely because it would show a complete lack of transparency by the government and a reprehensible attitude towards people at risk if we are not being informed of the areas where these outbreaks are occurring. It would also show that this government, once again, has failed in its major policy of keeping New Zealand safe just like it has failed in every other policy they have adopted so far. It would not be a good look for the government.
To consider the second possibility, you will need to know that this announcement was made by Jacinda on Wednesday a matter of hours after Judith Collins was anointed as the leader of the opposition. Could this be nothing more than a perfectly innocent coincidence?
Hardly. Jacinda is running scared. She has witnessed how Collins chewed up and spat out the hapless Phil Twyford in the house. Now her eyes are fixed on Jacinda, like a heat seeking missile locked on its target. Jacinda has good reason to be worried. Collins will make mincemeat of her, in the house and in the leaders’ debates. She has even expressed how much she is looking forward to it. I can guarantee, however, that Jacinda is not.
But the really terrifying thing is that, to counter the threat from the opposition, Jacinda’s immediate reaction is to try to rule by terror. She reignited the country’s fear of the virus by warning us that it could all flare up again (when there is really no evidence of it) and that she has the power to lock us all up again, if she so desires.
That is completely reprehensible by the prime minister. Ruling by terror is the favourite trick of despotic leaders. Think Joseph Stalin or Mao Tse Tung. Even I, no Jacinda fan at the best of times, did not think she would resort to this.
Good on Kerre Woodham for recognising that this is nothing more than ‘politicking’ by Jacinda, and in the worst possible way.
Labour thought they were sleepwalking to an election victory. They bribed the media, didn’t bother with any new policies and watched the disarray on the opposition benches with disdain and contempt. Now the new leader of the opposition beats Jacinda hands down in every way, and Jacinda knows she is in trouble, so she resorts to the one thing she has left in her arsenal. Fear. She is now trying to rule by fear.
Well done Kerre for calling her out. Maybe there are some pinpoints of light in the dark arena that is our media after all.
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Christie Ex-pat from the north of England, living in NZ since the 1980s, I consider myself a Kiwi through and through, but sometimes, particularly at the moment with Brexit, I hear the call from home. I believe the only way ahead in life is through education and hard work. Political affiliations: National and ACT.
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