GUEST BLOG: Patrick John O’Dea – Ardern Falters

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“There is no such thing as bad soldiers, only bad generals.” Napoleon
It looks likely that there is a major uncontrolled community outbreak developing.
So how did we get here? – The same way the US and UK did.
The government lifted the Auckland Regional Lockdown after only three days; – putting protecting the economy over public health.
Despite the government knowing the source of the infection had not been determined,
Despite the government knowing that not every known contact had been tested.
Despite the government knowing that the results from some of those who had been tested were not even in yet.
Let’s be honest here, this is not a failure of individuals as the government is trying to claim, all the evidence points to the fact that the government were more concerned with the negative affect of an extended lockdown on the economy, than they were about containing the outbreak.
Make no mistake this is a massive failure of leadership.
It does no good blaming individuals and families who didn’t self isolate.
As Napolean probably knew, a good general takes the vagaries of human nature into account.
If the strategy is counting on human nature as your barrier to stopping the spread of the pandemic you are doomed to fail.
The government really fucked up and now is having to do a lot of back peddling, as they struggle to recover lost ground.
There is even talk of the government punishing those who don’t self isolate.
The public’s trust in the government’s authority may well have been weakened by the half hearted approach they have taken toward the pandemic this time around.

If this is the case, then compulsion and punitive action will not help, and could even be counterproductive, feeding into the covid deniers dark fears of a government conspiracy to take away people’s liberties.

The question is this;

If the outbreak is not contained within 7 days will the government have the courage to extend or even strengthen the lockdown?

Comrade Patrick John O’Dea is a fierce fighter for worker rights.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Nothing to do with Ardern faltering. She has an impossible task.
    IT IS NOT HUMAN NATURE THAT IS THE PROBLEM, IT IS CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION.
    The whole idea of a team of 5 million is doomed as it cannot paper over the chasm between the small class of exploiters and the mass of the working people.
    I have no confidence in Labour as a fake workers’ government that serves capitalism not the workers.
    Labour cannot offer economic security to workers sufficient to deter them from breaking the rules, BECAUSE IT MUST MAKE WORKERS PAY FOR THE BOSSES’ ECONOMIC CRISIS.
    Workers can see that Covid hits them hardest and that 90% of the money spent to keep the economy afloat goes to the employers.
    Even the wage subsidies are paid to the bosses to keep workers ready for exploitation.
    The pressure to go to work instead of isolate is guaranteed by a system that offers no incentive to workers not to work.
    Invoking the team of 5 million is a joke when it can’t possibly hide the huge class divide in this country.
    The whole rationale of lockdowns is to stop a flood of Covid cases overwhelming the health system which has been gutted by spending cuts for half a century to maintain the falling profits of the ruling class.
    Covid itself is a symptom of the destruction of nature by the failing capitalist system in its terminal rush towards human extinction.
    The solution is for workers organise to take control of the economy, expropriating the polluters and the parasitic landlords, and putting in place a Workers’ Government.
    Such a government would be based on democratic workers’ assemblies made up of all those whose labour produces the wealth.
    It would plan the economy to meet the needs of the working people, including health, education, welfare, provide jobs for all under workers control, and put an end to the destruction of nature that causes climate change and the growing threats of pandemics.

    • It’s a solution i would wholeheartedly agree with.. The total lack of depth that characterises “debate” in this country is frustrating, and disappointing to say the least… It is one of the main reasons, apart from the shadow of continuing colonial privilege that will not allow any meaningful restructuring of the economics that have us all reduced to wage slavery here… NZ has become one of the most unequal societies in the western world.. Wages are the lowest I have come across in all the countries I’ve been to, and the john Key inspired Foreign takeover of our property market has left the native population completely out of the loop… Modern day colonialism at it’s finest!!
      If your suggestions should ever come to pass however, the most likely out come would be a joint US/AUS “intervention” to give us our “freedom” back… Three guesses as to what that means…

    • I suspect the unspoken plan is to ramp up the level of fascism (melding of government, corporate and military interests), as the scumbags at the top lose control of their Ponzi financial system and try to heap even more of the costs of their energetic, environmental, economic and social policy failures onto the masses. And have TVNZ and RNZ churn out pro-government propaganda, of course.

  2. Another authoritarian lockdown lover. Only serving to make poor people poorer. At this point it feels like we’re only prolonging the inevitable.

  3. You say: “Let’s be honest here, this is not a failure of individuals as the government is trying to claim”.
    Jacinda says: “The people (rule breaker?) will face the judgment of the entire nation”.
    I say what a load of hot air Jacinda, and yes, Patrick you are correct. Folks, Jacinda is reading yet another clever script written by her backroom PR spinners. Talk about absolving yourself, just because you don’t have the guts, the internal fortitude, the courage to come down hard and enforce your own precious rules.
    If you care so much about your rules, your laws, where is the arrest, the prosecution, the message to the next person: “Covid is very dangerous, don’t fuck with us, we will deal with you!”
    Weak PM!

  4. The government should be very worried about the negative affect.

    Because we import as much of the virus as our hotel facilities will allow our risk went up expotentionaly.

    Because we use Auckland as the gateway to importing the virus, of course Auckland is the frontline to infection outbreaks and of course we’re now into our 4th major lockdown as a result.

    Because it was just easier to make Auckland the frontline even a year after this virus became apparent rather than think a little harder, NZ’s economy gets hit hardest.

    Because being told to self isolate brings with it the need to negotiate with ones employer and WINZ, to save the government money by putting such hurdles in place, means some are far more likely to go back to work to pay their bills. And spread the disease.

    Because all of the above has been advised against and yet ignored by the government they took the quick easy option of a 3 day level 3 lockdown to mitigate the negative fallout. And because there is no consequence for the drop kick individuals who recklessly spread this, the government tells us these lockdowns are not treated seriously

    You bet they’re worried about the negative. Sitting on their hands leaving things just the way they were because it was easier than a far more robust quarantine plan is why we are here again.

  5. (Apart from a full universal roll out of the vaccine)

    Lockdown is the only other proven way of elimating the spread of a pandemic through the population.

    The incubation period for covid-19 is 14 days.

    The government lifted the lockdown after a totally inadequate 3 days and left it up to individuals to self isolate.

    History will record that this was the moment that the Labour government gave up on stopping the spread of covid-19 in New Zealand in favour of protecting the economy.

  6. There’s an old and corrupt financial sub-frame hidden within AO/NZ which was the construct of two right wing ( mafioso) parties which morphed together to form the national party dating back to the mid 1920’s that needs to be #A Publicly investigated and #B Publicly ‘dismantled’ immediately.
    Back then, Auckland money lenders and banksters were quick to recognise the potential fortunes to be gained by wading into the money stream pouring into AO/NZ as a result of refrigerated shipping enabling formidable advantage over local producers in Europe and the UK during their hard winters and looming wars.
    Nothing… has changed because the last time I got hungry, as did they, I needed to eat.
    AO/NZ is incredibly wealthy and fortunate. We could easily, gleefully close our borders altogether and still enjoy an enviable lifestyle clearly beyond the imagination of most of you here.
    IF, and I say ‘IF’ Adern is genuine, she, and her colleagues, will be caught up in the middle of a terrible conundrum.
    How does Adern prise the lid of that particularly nasty, tangled, can of worms? Imagine the outrage? AO/NZ’s farmers suddenly realising that their beloved national party were in fact the Machiavellian enemy. That our working people had, in fact, been swindled and betrayed to foreign banking interests while our whanau, brothers and sisters had to find a shop door way to sleep in, in their impoverished distress in their country that more resembles Paradise?
    How could Adern even begin to reveal such villainy to we poor bastards wondering when we’ll catch c-19 to see if we’re going to die or not?
    Personally? If I were Adern? I’d drop the truth like a bomb. I’d drop it like a rappers rhyme.
    Go on Jacinda Adern? You can do it. Make glorious history.
    AO/NZ? 25 thousand square kilometres larger than the UK.
    Population of AO/NZ = 5 million, give or take.
    UK population 66.65 million as of 2019.
    AO/NZ is divine. From North Cape to Bluff. There’s never a river-freezing winter. Our cities are always able to be accessed.
    UK Freezes solid. Scotland is all but uninhabitable during winter. Billy Connelly once said “ Scotland has only two seasons July and winter. “
    The UK is a 43.78 km dingy row from the lunatics of Europe while AO/NZ is 4163 km from the lunatics of Australia and 12,458 km to South America the other way. You might see where I’m going with that?
    Farmers? You’ve been cheated. I mean, really, really cheated.
    Greater AO/NZ public? So have you. You’ve also been demonised, vilified, blamed, shamed, rendered politically impotent by money fetishist psychopaths and now we spend our working days feeding money into foreign owned bankers who make record profits from our exploitable ignorance and our beautiful AO/NZ’s abundant abilities to more than provide for us all.
    Adern? This is what you do? Set a date for a press conference. Send out an alert on that nerve rattling, cell phone banshee sound.
    Tell it like it is.

    • Just one problem countryboy. Adern is the temporary manager of the NZ ‘farm’ and has to ensure that the [human] sheep are fleeced regularly for the owners to take the profit and that the [human] cows are milked daily. For this she gets paid a magnificent salary, plus perks.

      Part of her role entails ensuring that [human] livestock doesn’t become extremely sick or die in large numbers.

  7. (The following full transcription of public facebook post by Sue Grey)

    By sue grey
    OIA just sent to PM re her passing the blame and govt risk management
    Dear Prime Minister
    Please could you provide copies of all information held by you and on your behalf including the information relevant to your office’s response in the media report below:
    “The Prime Minister’s Office said letters from public health were sent to the family on the 17th and 19th telling the household they needed to be tested.
    But case L’s family said such advice was never received.
    “If they tried to contact us multiple times and send us letters and stuff, where is this evidence?” She said.
    Her union representative says they had no problem contacting her – and got her on the phone within 3 minutes.
    “I would call it outrageous,” Unite Union National Secretary John Crocker said.
    “It’s a pretty serious botch up really. We’re trying to keep a lid on this thing and government officials can’t get the line straight.”
    Please include:
    A) copies of any emails and records of phone calls from MinHealth/ Covid tracers to the family ( names and email addresses for the family can be deleted for privacy reasons but please include dates and times)
    Copies of communications within your office ( including to you) and with any third parties including cabinet about how the governments risk management response – both re the risk of Covid and the risk of reputational damage and or loss of public trust of you and/ or the wider government.
    This information is presumably all readily available and is of significant and immediate public interest. I would accordingly be grateful if it could be provided with urgency
    Thank you and kind regards
    Sue Grey LLB (Hons), BSc

  8. As the governent again lifts the lockdown befor the 14 day incubation period for the virus is over.

    Has the government abandoned their policy of elimination, to a policy of bullying individuals for their pesonal failings, as the new way to keep the virus in check?

    And is this new strategy coming unstuck?

    Revealed: KFC worker says she wasn’t told to self-isolate, wants an apology from PM

    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/revealed-kfc-worker-says-she-wasn-t-told-to-self-isolate-wants-an-apology-from-pm/ar-BB1e6mr5?ocid=msedgntp&fbclid=IwAR1h4Hs4hfsIfmvvKK_yjZPviWVvDEa5Ll6Xm55WKtpU0O5cHrClD8om2qY

    Government website contradicts Jacinda Ardern’s KFC worker claim

    “…case J (Kmart worker) and Case L (KFC worker) were not required to isolate at the time,” the page says.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-coronavirus-government-website-contradicts-jacinda-arderns-kfc-worker-claim/ECJAJRRHHVBXGCTQ4PU7PT2HS4/

    Ardern not backing down in dispute with KFC worker

    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/i-stand-by-what-i-said-ardern-not-backing-down-in-dispute-with-kfc-worker/ar-BB1egsEE

    If the government’s decision to call off the lockdown early backfires, and new cases of covid-19 are detected in the community, will the PM continue with her policy of vilifying individuals for her own failings in putting economic interests before public health?

    “Given enough time Joe’s plan might’ve worked…..” Narrator

    “…..Do you think that makes the ecomomy suck?” Attorney General

    ” Yeh. It’s your fault” Brawndo Corporation CEO

    Another time…

    Another government….

    Another plan to protect public health hurts the ecomomy…..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upbiV8NOUb0&feature=emb_logo

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