Panic buying should not be a surprise to anyone


Many of us are rolling our eyes and tut tutting as women fight in the supermarket aisles over rolls of toilet paper. 

Sure it’s an ugly sight but before anyone jumps to criticise just remember that this is how we have conditioned people to behave as they absorbed the lessons from their lives under neo-liberal capitalism. Look out for yourself and stuff your neighbours. 

Remember how tens of thousands were thrown out of their jobs onto the human scrap heap in the 1980s and then condemned as bludgers and lay-abouts by successive governments. Those in jobs lost their bargaining power and their incomes and standards of living dropped through the floor.

As cheap imports flooded on to the shelves of the warehouse, those who lost quality jobs in manufacturing were herded into low-paid jobs or unemployment queues. Someone was to blame and a chorus of rich people, vile politicians and fan-club journalists blamed the victims. There was no other way we were told and anyone unemployed could only blame themselves. Somehow they lacked the character or “moral fibre” to find work.

Beneficiary bashing became a blood sport for National and Labour politicians. The message to the community was to look out for yourself because the government couldn’t give a stuff.

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Meanwhile the real bludgers, the likes of Bob Jones and Stephen Tindall, were knighted and celebrated. They still pay a smaller proportion of their income in tax than a beneficiary does. 

Wrestling over toilet rolls is the result of community breakdown.

We have a lot of rebuilding of community ahead of us.

Alongside a universal basic income for everyone, giving communities the power to banish liquor outlets, fast food joints, loan sharks and pokie machines from their midst would be a good start.  

Pious talk of “being kind to each other” and “just shop normally” will work for the ruling elite and the middle class but we shouldn’t expect anyone else to take the slightest bit of notice.


  1. Although not Chinese the biggest self serving of the lot is Mike Hosking. Only when a National government is elected will Mike be truly happy.
    This man cannot be allowed to moderate the election debates if we want a neutral moderator.

  2. It wasn’t “dog eat dog” Chinese people that gave NZ its radical makeover during the late 80s. It’s not the fault of Chinese people that privatized electricity is now too expensive for some Kiwis to pay their winter power bills, or that our universities have been reduced to “unicorps. It wasn’t the Chinese that doomed our post service by requiring it to make a profit.

    Neoliberalism is our own “gross” domestic product – nothing to do with Chinese.

  3. I guess Jacinda would not like to be associated with this fan. There is a long history of anti-Chinese feeling and action in A/NZ. See it in “Illustrious Energy”, my favourite A/NZ film.

    If we’re going to rattle on about China and the Chinese,let’s talk about covid-19. How they moved to fight the spread of the virus is a good template for us. We have tightened up our measures to protect us but we are still behind in testing our population, way behind Australia. This was the critical action in Asian countries to stop infection growing. Identify where the sources of disease are and target them. I read that Taiwan did 300,000 tests in their first month, while in the equivalent time period the US did 50,000. Trump’s main concern is the US economy, he’s mainly laissez-faire to the potential sick. He doesn’t seem to be aware that millions dying there will lead to economic collapse.

    Now China is sending medical supplies all over the world. We don’t like their abuses of human rights in China but surely appreciate their humane support of countries everywhere who lack essential medical equipment needed to fight this deadly disease.

    By the way John, I saw a recent photo of a queue outside PaknSave Henderson, the biggest supermarket in NZ. People were lined up along the long path in front of the building. They were all spaced out, keeping their distance. Great sight.

    Those fighting for more than their share are not the poor who cannot afford to stock up on the quantities reported. They’re the little Bob Joneses of our society who hold the rest of us in disdain.

    • That’s presumably the same Chinese Communist Party government that got us all into this shit?

      From an article here…

      “the Chinese government covered up evidence of human-to-human transmission till well into January? The World Health Organisation, which has been accused of being very much in thrall to the Chinese government before, tweeted on 14 January: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.” Ouch. Already then there was a month’s worth of evidence of cases of human transmission.

      A week later WHO’s secretary general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was briefed on the situation and announced sycophantically that: “I was very impressed by the detail and depth of China’s presentation. I also appreciate the cooperation of China’s Minister of Health, who I have spoken with directly during the last few days and weeks. His leadership and the intervention of President Xi and Premier Li have been invaluable, and all the measures they have taken to respond to the outbreak.”

      Taiwan was already warning the World Health Organisation by this stage that something frightening was happening in China, but its warnings were ignored. Taiwan is excluded from the WHO at China’s behest.

      On 30 December, Dr Li Wenliang sent a message to fellow doctors warning them of the threat of catching the new virus. He was reprimanded for “spreading false rumours” and police forced him to sign a statement that he had “seriously disrupted social order” and breached the law. Dr Li died of coronavirus in February.

      Elsewhere in the world on 4 February, the mayor of Florence urged people to hug any Chinese people as a gesture of support against the virus.”

      There should be a reckoning with the Chinese Communist Party… soonest.

    • we need to manufacture our own basics like some pharmaceuticals and health safety gear more kiwi saver money needs to be directed towards strategic manufacturing companies this demonstrates the importance of buy new Zealand made

    • i think there a lot of anti chines feeling around world at the moment all that’s happened because bloody awful hygiene no food safety standards hyper capatalism and no rule of law has made china a treat to the world and nationals destruction of the water ways here the next pathgen could come from nz

    • OMG, now it’s Indians disrupting the fabric of our society. I think traditional Maori marriages are very different from the European norm. Not were white frocks common in wedding 150 years ago. Very upsetting.

      Calling yourself Jacindafan invites teasing. It also might appear “naive and absurd’ to others not so dedicated.

      Seriously, I loathe the way you criticise cultural practices that you don’t share. Blaming and scapegoating is not KIND.

    • Janio the human rights oft quoted as being poorly observed in China are a puzzle.

      Incarceration rates of citizens
      USA has 655 people per 100 thousand
      NZ has 201 per 100 thousand
      China has 120 per 100 thousand
      Who are we to lay criticism.

      Most of the criticism of China about human rights comes via the USA who incarcerates at a rate of five and a half times the number of citizens.

      They also supply us with our news loaded with propaganda.

  4. JacindaFan
    That was doubly disgraceful.
    You post a racist diatribe which you associate with the name of Jacinda Ardern while hiding your own identity.
    If I was the moderator of this blog you would be gone.
    People should be free to express their opinions openly and honestly. You don’t qualify.
    Now you have put Jacinda in a very awkward position. Is she to disown people like yourself who are openly racist and anti-Chinese, or is she to allow the inference that a good deal of her support comes from a particularly vile class of New Zealander?

  5. We all, well most, own computers. Most of us search the internet. Many of us follow certain utube channels. A lot of us have heard that this house detention may last up to 18 months…or just long enough to put in place the next phase of what I like to call our New World Order. The toilet paper nonsense was a deliberate psyop which, I’m sure could be tracked to source if one were interested.
    This country, like America, was deliberately decimated of its manufacturing and supporting industries our politicians instead concentrating on keeping China working.
    We have too many homeless and too many families need food. We are now about to see those numbers tumble out of control.
    On a scale of 1 to 10 how much to you trust our politicians? Better the devil you know wont cut it any more.

  6. What I have been saying for a couple of weeks. People fighting over toilet paper is the result of 40 years of neo-liberal/monetarist policies. Can I add to the points above, that “dumbing down of society” used to be a commonly used phrased, never heard today because there is nothing left to compare contemporary society with

  7. Another irony of the Covid-19 is that those closest to the Chinese money, rich, powerful, politicians, cruise ships and celebrities seem to be the ones first coming down with it.

    Shows the spread of global money by the taint of the virus and who it affected first. (Maybe that is why it has been taken so seriously by the world, it’s affecting the wealthy first). Even Harvey Weinstein has it. Huge percentage of New York has it.

    Sadly though as soon as it goes into community transmission it then kills the vulnerable and will keep killing, like Italy.

    Most of the rich and powerful will recover, but the poorer folks will be dead.

  8. This John been understood as ‘fact’. Why then is the labour party too scared to take this very opportunity, the pandemic, to right the wrongs of the past?
    This is the perfect opportunity to do so as the opposition are non existent and have virtually no chance of winning the next election if it goes ahead. At best National may be given a chance to participate in a coalition, Labour and National as a coalition government?
    By doing this, Labour will be forcing National to suck a lemon as they’ll be a party to some Socialism for the poor who need it as they dont have a chance to beat the princess, so far, at this point in time?

    Wouldn’t that be a moment to remember her for, because she hasnt done anything worthy yet as they are just following a prescribed prolonged neoliberal journey.
    If not, then the pending market collapse will wipeout any goodwill labour has shown far which has been very little for the impoverished, homeless, 240,000 kids still going hungry and shoeless. Wankas!

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