Sunday, February 14, 2021

"New Zealand is not North Korea"

The following was brought to my attention and is very hard to argue with:

Extracted from the Feb 13 Economist's leading article, How well will vaccines work? :

For all these reasons, governments need to start planning for covid-19 as an endemic disease. Today they treat it as an emergency that will pass. To see how those ways of thinking differ, consider New Zealand, which has sought to be covid-free by bolting its doors against the world. In this way it has kept registered deaths down to just 25, but such a draconian policy makes no sense as a permanent defence: New Zealand is not North Korea. As vulnerable Kiwis are vaccinated, their country will come under growing pressure to open its borders—and hence to start to tolerate endemic covid-19 infections and deaths.

Across the world governments will have to work out when and how to switch from emergency measures to policies that are economically and socially sustainable indefinitely. The transition will be politically hard in places that have invested a lot in being covid-free. Nowhere more so than China, where vaccination is slow. The Communist Party has defined every case of covid-19 as unacceptable and wide circulation of the disease as a sign of the decadence of Western democracies.

While on the subject of the vaccine, I see all-knowing Alison Mau is taking her turn to have a crack at talkback radio today. The left having despatched with Banks and Plunket will now have their sights set on Peter Williams, so her attack comes as no surprise.

What does surprise is the constant characterisation of Sean Plunket as 'hard right'. He isn't. He's centrist politically. So is Peter Williams. They both believe in the role of the state in education, health, law and order albeit questioning the nature of the role and degree of intervention.

Williams spent quite a bit of time last week talking about the impending intention to vaccinate all New Zealanders, as is his right. People are entitled to discuss the vaccine, the ethics of being made to comply by employers, of needing to comply as a passport to travel. I've never had a flu jab so am wondering why I would have a covid jab. But soon it'll be forbidden to think aloud, let alone on a radio station.

Forget New Zealand's "draconian" covid response. It must surely strike the likes of Alison Mau, eventually, that shoving this country down a very slippery slope of snowballing intolerance risks reaching an endpoint which has more in common with North Korea than the free world.


Hilary Taylor said...

Yes. I've decided to let my Stuff sub to the Press lapse precisely because of the proliferation of Ali Mau-type 'cancellists' and what Michael Reddell calls its 'black armband approach to history'. As it stands I ignore all the writers whose witterings add nothing to my learning and hi-jack my BP, so something had to give. My loss is local news but I'll find a way around that. Thanks be to you & others who do add value to my current affairs lifestyle.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I appreciate that Hilary. The paying subscriber to the DomPost in this household is at the end of it too. He kept forking out to support their journalists as print media shrinks but now says he's no longer interested in their journalism.

Waimata said...

Blogs such as yours Lindsay are what real journalism should be. Facts stand for themselves, we don't need woke opinion plastered over the top of every 'news' article. It is no surprise the media require Govt handouts to survive, television news in particular is shallow rubbish. NZherald and Stuff appear to have no value whatsoever.

I have been reading this blog without commenting, but must take this occaison to thank you for providing one of the most intelligent, interesting, relevant and informative sites on NZ issues.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment Waimata. Glad to be of service.Yes, telly news last had a reporter dramatically wrapping with "... as we wait to find out just how far and fast the new virus will travel." As if it is fait accompli.