GUEST BLOG: Ross Meurant – CHAOS ON THE HORIZON. Must I go to jail for saying this?

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It has been said that COVID is like a creeping pressure on one’s ability to breath.

It is also said that COVID restrictions on communities are a creeping form of suffocation.  Like a python, slowly but surely, strangulation. 

A quote from a Hungarian Jew from the documentary, “The Last Days”.

‘People wonder, “How is it that we didn’t do something?”.  We didn’t run away, we didn’t hide. Well, things didn’t happen at once. Things happened very slowly.  So, each time a new law came out, or a new restriction, we said, “well, just another thing.  It will blow over. When we had to wear the yellow star to be outside, we started to worry”.

Is this what we now experience?  

“Executive” decisions by Cabinet, some of which in the opinion of one who has been advising the Government on Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, are impossible to enforce “and may be illegal”. (1) 

Wear a mask or starve?  Get a QR or stay locked out?  Get a vaccination or be ostracised?

Let’s get one thing straight. I am not anti vax and some time ago had my second dose. I am required to (and do) wear a mask in a public facility because, it’s “just another thing” to quote the Jew above.  However, I question the outcomes of being restricted to a 5 kilometres travel ban, denied the opportunity of employment and total shutdown of borders to trade and dare I say it – international travel.

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Meanwhile, the machine rolls on.

Last week the West Australia Police said the Commissioner did not have the power to mandate that officers be vaccinated. (2)  

However, Police Commissioner Chris Dawson successfully quashed this objection from the Civil Service Union before the state’s industrial relations arbitrator. From Monday, all Police staff who refuse COVID-19 vaccinations will have to wear a mask.

Compromise? Problem solved?   You be the judge.

Sydney and Melbourne are experiencing the worst riots in decades.  (3) 

Thousands protest, but only “hundreds” arrested. (4) 

Of course, this rebelliousness is not confined only to Aussie.  France has been in a virtual constant state of protest – for months – which for some banal reason, NZ main stream media seem to avoid. (5) 

Will these examples, both near and far from our shores, impact on what happens in New Zealand?

Many New Zealanders of core European stock hail from “downstairs” – “Great” Britain. They who paid their own passage or were “steerage class” to New Zealand, knew their place and that survival was best achieved by being compliant and not rocking the boat. 

An enduring legacy, in my view manifest in that too often timid Kiwi response to a challenging question: “Everything’s fine” – rather than say what is their real opinion.

The Pacific Island community – which is made up of more recent immigrants, is also a compliant community – largely it seems due to religious fealty.   Based on my experience as a cop and an MP, I dismiss the main stream media profile of Pacific Island gang members, as distinct from Maori, as not being a true and accurate reflection of the larger Pacific Island communities.

This mixture is unlike our closest and most valuable neighbour, ally and trade partner, Australia, whose core population base evolved from white convict transportations and many Irish.  Implicit in that pedigree (in my assessment) is a sentiment to challenge; to fight for principles.

That pedigree produced a population today – which when combined with a large component of immigration from troubled lands – Sudan to Syria, reeks of passion to fight for one’s rights. 

Regrettably, I do not see that spirit of fight for principles and to protect rights, in many New Zealanders.  The hereditary “know your place” prevails.  

Note: My pedigree includes Māori, Irish, Scottish, Norwegian, French/Australian (6).

However, there are exceptions.  Thankfully.  Welcome Damien Grant who pens: (7) .

“When these lockdowns were first imposed it was to ‘flatten the curve’. Remember that? We were delaying the onset of Covid-19 so our hospitals wouldn’t become over-run. This was probably a realistic objective.

“Both here and in Australia this morphed towards elimination. This was never achievable, although our success has been impressive and at a far lower cost than our western cousins.

“The failure of elimination as a policy objective in most of the world has been total and many governments have abandoned it.

And finally, Grant does present a sensible solution: “It is time to consider returning to the original strategy, of introducing measures that slow the inevitable spread of Covid-19, rather than pursue elimination.”

Surprise of the day comes from Granny Herald: Running an article which captures the concerns I express herein: NZ strategy crumbling. (8)

Perspicacity.

Right at this moment it seems to me that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has worked out that long term lockdowns are not the solution and hints at opening the country once 70% vaccination has been achieved. (9) 

New Zealand is a long way from that vaccination goal but a hint of concurrence with Morrison’s goal, I may have scented from Mr Hipkins.

What NZ does need at this time, in my view, is not meek subservience but the fortitude to challenge this government and its strategy.  

For example, why is my local butcher denied the right to sell product yet the nearby Supermarket is permitted to sell meat and reap the financial reward of Lockdown? 

Same applies to the local bottle store.  Supermarkets can sell grog but not the person who has mortgaged his home to buy a shop where he can earn a living to support his family without the usual drag on social welfare pay-outs which ultimately come out of the taxpayers’ pocket.

This selective preference to some retailers may be seen as unfair to many.  Others may consider the elevating cost of food within that “commercial bubble”, as a variation of conduct by Pfizer and Moderna raising EU Covid vaccine prices (10)  

Or, furthermore, the scenario of Mr Bloomfield delivering a vital COVID message at 1pm on Sunday 22 August and intermittently revert language use that 90 percent of the country don’t understand and (unless government has missed the message) who find it offensive to be force fed a language of highly questionable value off a marae and consequently, “turn off”.

Let’s keep focused.

For a start, stop mixing policy messages.

More importantly, re-set the compass. As CEO and trustee of substantial capital investments in NZ which have poured millions of dollars into a regional city i.e., employment for many, and which depends on export trade (in our case, forestry) to continue contributing to the local economy, I am firmly of the view that that the damage from Lockdown 4 far exceeds the benefits.

MPs come and MPs go and prevail only at the voting public’s discretion.

Meanwhile, our sanity and economic survival depends on their decisions which will endure as damage or deliverance for the country.

MPs are not a God.  They can and should be challenged – without fear that to do so means, one risks going to jail.

 

Bibliography:

  1. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-coronavirus-delta-outbreak-decision-day-looms-as-experts-wonder-if-new-zealand-will-ever-return-to-normal/YEROR2LN6TJLX7PKTAYD7ZIFWU/
  2. https://www.watoday.com.au/politics/western-australia/wa-police-boss-to-face-industrial-relations-commission-over-mandatory-mask-rule-20210806-p58gg1.html
  3.  https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-updates-melbourne-lockdown-protests-clashes-with-police/fbb04740-669a-4e5a-a564-8fcd6a004df8
  4. https://www.rt.com/news/532717-australia-covid-lockdown-protests/
  5. https://www.rt.com/news/530783-france-protests-covid-pass-paris/
  6. To dispel concern that I might be prejudiced against the original white arrivals in Australia and Irish – my great x 4 paternal grandfather, Ferdinand Meurant – a French Huguenot escaped the Catholic persecution of the time, to land in Ireland, but ended up transported to Aussie on the Minerva – after being sentenced to life imprisonment for forging British currency. https://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/settlement/display/23173-ferdinand-charles-meurant   On my maternal side, my grandmother was Irish pedigree – Dalice Brady – catholic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqs4EbU02As Or that I might be anti-Maori, view my royal Maori heritage at paragraph 23 https://www.nzcpr.com/a-step-too-far-bi-cultural-partnership/
  7. https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/300386701/the-virus-has-evolved-our-response-should-as-well
  8. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-coronavirus-delta-outbreak-fortress-nz-strategy-crumbling-world-reacts-to-latest-lockdown-move/T4AWB6LUGYFI726REA2CN2HW4E/
  9. https://amp.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/aug/20/scott-morrison-warns-leaders-not-to-break-covid-reopening-deal-ahead-of-national-cabinet-meeting
  10. https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2021/08/01/pfizer-and-moderna-raise-prices-of-covid-19-coronavirus-vaccines-for-european-union/?sh=5f1a063461e6

 

Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies; currently Honorary Consul for an African state Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interests.

 

22 COMMENTS

  1. If you do a short course in epidemiology I reckon you could be our next Director General of Health.

    • I’m sorry but this is ridiculous.

      The “experts” and the “science” don’t tell us what goal we should pursue, don’t tell us which values we should prioritise, don’t us how to balance the myriad economic and social costs of lockdown with potential health risk of Covid. Siouxsie Wiles has a “guide” to disinformation that says a red flag is information which “emphasises your personal choice and freedoms over acting for the collective good”.

      Get that straight, classical Liberal or Conservative values are literally synonymous with “disinformation” according to our “experts”. That is not epidemiology, that is straight up political advocacy.

      I am terrified by the subservience and future of our democracy.

      • Gordon, I like the cut and thrust. I am no big fan of subservience. I would be happier to accept your argument if for not being puzzled by the inverted commas. Are you suggesting that Siouxsie Wiles actually has in her possession a “guide” to disinformation that says a red flag is information which (quote) “emphasises your personal choice and freedoms over acting for the collective good”. Can you provide that source? Is she on public record as saying that?

        In reference to the “guide” I suspect you are speaking figuratively, a metaphorical reference to the supposedly Liberal/ Conservative values she (and all other like-minded folk) represents. Must be. And the subsequent use of quotation marks without evidence is surely a rhetorical device to support your own counter narrative.

  2. 100% Ross!

    What we’re seeing is a creeping fascism all in the name of “what’s best for us”

    Ardern has suspended Parliament on the pretext that it might spread the virus but in reality, the shutting down of dissenting views is what it’s really all about.

    “Those who give up liberty for security deserve neither.” Ben Franklin

    • Within a few days I’ve heard or read of the PM/Labour as “creeping fascism” and alternatively as creeping “Communism”. I wish the nay-sayers would make up their minds or better still, understand the definition of what they’re saying/writing.
      And one ‘week’ when Parliament doesn’t sit is “giving up liberty” or touted as a “one-party dictatorship”?
      Parliament sits for 90 days a year (or 275 3-day weeks – they should be so lucky). So they miss three days of sitting which they may make up anyway.
      Lockdown clearly gives some people who probably should know better, far too much time to overthink- falsely and hysterically!

      • And if Joy Key or Bill English had shut down parliament (whilst giving $105 million to the media, so no one asks them any questions) you would be A okay with that?

  3. Usually you have sensible ideas however you have wandered onto the dark side with this article. The freedom argument is often used to protest against any restrictions although the only freedom being removed is the choice to increase your risk of getting sick or possibly die along with stopping the possibility of spreading the disease to other people. The other restrictions are only temporary although overseas travel is obviously a harder subject to fix. You finish with valid questions about smaller shops trading though so it has some redeeming parts.

    • His point is freedom is rarely lost in a massive, public coup with fascist jackboots (although it can happen). It happens by boiling the frog.

      Temporary? It’s been 18 months that the right to return to NZ has been ground to nothing. Elimination will require forever snap lockdowns, surveillance, and locked borders.

      And power is addictive. Narrative control is addictive. Parliamenrary control is addictive. Jacinda Ardern has a growing taste for this (“one source of truth” and increasingly NZ is becoming a society of snoops, everyone ready to inform on each other like East Germany – for woke infractions, for possible lockdown infractions.

      A democracy requires an informed, critical citizenry. Not a fearful, overly-compliant population. The idea the Government – particularly in the face of its previous decline in polls – will just give up this power is beyond naive.

  4. If we have an economic depression and many small businesses are forced to close we shrug our shoulders and mutter “c’est la vie”. How is this situation any different? The object of lockdowns is to limit economic activity to that which is essential. Butchers’ shops and bottle stores are hardly “essential” if their functions can be handled by supermarkets.

  5. Look, these arguments seem to overlook the obvious. We need to stop people interacting with other people. Without passing between people the virus will burn out. The only way it will stay alive is to jump to another person. So lockdowns aren’t some authoritarian state powerplay, with jackbooted Jacinda consolidating power and preparing to create a political dynasty…except in Ross’s head. They’re a commonsense health response to eliminate the virus and get us back to our normal way of life. The way of life we’ve successfully been leading for a good 6 months since the Valantines outbreak. If Ross wonders why most people aren’t challenging this, I would suggest it’s because most people can see the common sense in this approach.

    As for the Chicken Little cries of economic woe from lockdown – Same thing was screamed by every rightwinger last level 4 lockdown. Turns out our economy didn’t die, it came back stronger.

    And Ross, your complaints about Dr Bloomfield using maori occasionally are just plain baffling. If you’re jumping on that bandwagon then I feel you’re just searching for things to complain about.

  6. If people are not happy with NZ Covid policy, they can go off to OZ, China, UK, Russia, Middle East or anywhere else and brave their chances.

    Funny enough Labour has never been more popular than after a lockdown last time and business didn’t do too badly either judging by our record exports.

    Rather than adding more taxes, I’d like to see the government collecting some, from all the free loaders who made NZ home and think tax paying is optional. Should help pay off our Covid debt and be popular to boot! Might even drive some free loader out, to free up a house or two.

  7. A short sharp lockdown last year worked. We were back to normal economic activity minus tourism in a few weeks. We didn’t suffer the personal, community and substantial economic costs of death. True my butchers doing it hard but I’d take my freedom not to be at significant risk of death over her profit any day of the week. Not a lot of harm in seeing how a month of level 4 lockdown goes. Also, really enjoying a break from work and getting some stuff done around the house!

  8. MPs are not a God. Really Ross? Tell that to the Jacinda worshipers. Criticise her at your own peril. Even here, on this fairly enlightened and liberal free speaking forum. Stoning and crucifiction awaits anyone speaking out against Dear Leader. Here they come…

  9. Tread carefully, TK – ‘God is not mocked’, even with faint praise, whoever He/She/They is.

  10. Ross
    U R on a left wing blog
    U R not left wing
    I see this post on Muriel https://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.com/2021/08/ross-meurant-chaos-on-horizon.html
    I see your post in China https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/zkrBqCvrs3I9R8BpJXCREA
    I see a post on Don Brash bible https://www.hobsonspledge.nz/ross_meurant_apartheid_in_new_zealand
    I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but your input is largely rejected on Bomber’s blog.
    I’m baffled how you got here.
    I’m pleased to read contrary opinions – let we become an empty talking shop like preaching to the converted and what really does that achieve?
    Do stay with us – even though I disagree with you.

  11. I honestly believed most NZders are happy with the elimination approach and that is why Labour did resoundingly well last election.

    I personally support it. NSW is a good example of how a piss weak lockdown drags on forever, with more cases, more deaths.

    I appreciate that we went hard and early. Our society has been both open and safe in between the lockdowns and this is the first level four in over a year

  12. …’Wear a mask or starve? Get a QR or stay locked out? Get a vaccination or be ostracised?’…

    —————

    THIS, has made me feel uneasy. The precedent being set,…the recognition by authority’s that NZ IS a compliant nation for the most part,…that we were NOT of the same make up of the original Australian populations who came through the school of hard knocks, but of the compliant steerage class, much of which inherited the English class mentality in which to conform, to keep ones head down, to fly under the radar,…meant survival…

    I have misgivings,… yet, I think , … in a rapidly evolving situation this govt has done its best, they have done well. It is almost too fast for any govt to realistically have adapted to in one or two years. They have done well. In viewing many seminars given by leading medico’s on the subject the consensus is clear: vaccines are the way to grant the golden ‘herd immunity’ we all desperately want.

    The globe cannot continue to do just the ‘lock down’ thing. We are only a small fraction of the globe but what goes on overseas affects us as well. And I believe we are a unique case living as we do as a set of islands surrounded by the sea. It is our natural fortress. But modern speed of travel can negate this. Thus our border controls…yet it is so easily penetrated by the long incubation period of this cursed virus.

    I believe we should keep on keeping on, however,…in tandem with ongoing vaccination programs. We are doing well. So far despite our detractors.

    HOWEVER,…this business of the crude Australian blunt force method of ‘no jab, no job’,… is alarming. It smacks of overreach and overbearing dictatorial heavy handed govt edicts. In fact , it sounds much like Edward III during the Black Death who tried to pass laws to force the peasants to stay on the land and accept wages and conditions that were pre the Black Death. ( Statute of Laborers in 1351). The peasants didn’t.

    The charismatic Edward III – English Monarchshttps://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk › plantagenet_7

    Drop Dead, Feudalism: How the Black Death Led to Peasants …https://clas.ucdenver.edu › sites › files › entry_147PDF

    Or, as Ross has put it,…regards the Jews in Europe, particularly in Poland and Germany,… ”When we had to wear the yellow star to be outside, we started to worry”. Now its a hard thing to ask to have freedom of choice in this age, even if that freedom of choice leads one to become a ‘super spreader’, an asymptomatic carrier and leads to the deaths of many,…aka Mary Mallon aka ‘Typhoid Mary ‘…

    Mary Mallon – Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Mary_Mallon

    But here we have it, the curtailment of personal liberties versus the community good and consensus….of authoritarianism and loss of personal rights as opposed to liberty and the freedom to choose. But we are not in the formulae of earlier generations hundreds of years ago who grappled with these things unanswered, – we have the technology to utilize elimination,.. and, … in time, eradication of much of the severity of this virus. In the Americanized catch phrase of this govt, we can ‘do this’. I believe we can.

    If one study’s the parabolic curve of the Spanish Influenza,…one will see,… that the H1N1 RNA of the original virus did not go away, but, after a two year period of extreme virulence ( started off in 1918 as a ‘mild’ infection in Spring reaching its deadly stage in the Autumn ,and covering time from 1918- 1920),…then became incorporated into the 1950’s , 1967-8 , 1970s, 2009 SARS swine and avian flu pandemics later… becoming less virulent and deadly,…

    I hold hope that the same will happen with covid variants. I suspect it will. HOWEVER,…delta variant, like H1N1,… IS 1000 times the viral load of Alpha covid,… in other words, it is mimicking that same influenza virus patterns of 1918,…it is far more virulent, it is far more deadly,…despite the fact that they are two completely different things…

    I believe we will get on top of it. This is not the 14th century and we have ways to deal with this shitty situation.

    In the meantime, we must keep our cool, we must still question our govts and STILL call them into account. We must never succumb to the dumbed
    down notion of ‘govt knows best’. Oftentimes they don’t. And if they didn’t know best,- , they would not admit it. Any wide sweeping new powers a govt awards itself with MUST be questioned. We must NEVER let us enable them to become a latter day dictatorial monastic Edward 111.

    To do that would be to betray all those thousands of members of our Armed Services who fought for our freedoms against fascism in so many wars. So we must cut a balance in this fast moving situation, of giving the govt some slack and wriggle room, much like the generations of World War Two,…to commandeer and utilize,…whilst ALSO maintaining an eternal vigilance against unwarranted and unsought for powers,… to quote Dwight E Eisenhower in his brilliant farewell speech…

    Eisenhower’s “Military-Industrial Complex” Speech Origins and Significance
    https://youtu.be/Gg-jvHynP9Y?t=4

    But we must also bear in mind,… that once a vaccine and ‘herd immunity’ is finally gained, – that that was and IS, – as a decision of the people in consensus,…,… and NOT of an overbearing, autocratic decision over us by our elected representatives but by the powers we invested and bestowed upon them for a FINITE limited time.

    Tread very, very carefully and wisely , Labour ,.. do not set any autocratic precedents for yours or future govts that we do not like or we WILL most definitely punish you in the polls. We are not quite that ‘meek, compliant, timid and of ‘steerage class’ and not willing to ‘rise above our stations’,… that we will not depose you or any other govts we elect.

    Take heed.

  13. Dead right Ross

    Herald today:
    In one case, a Whangārei family had joint household bubbles in order to take care of a sick child.
    But the comings and goings at the address had attracted the attention of their neighbours.
    Gray said police were pleased the public were pro-active in looking out for their communities.
    “There’s no harm in people reporting potential Covid breaches to us as we’ll look into those things.”

    Spying on neighbours
    Next it will be for payments – like the Bow Street Runners of Olde England
    and like
    Back in the USSR.

  14. Must I go to jail for saying this? Maybe. But I think going to jail for the damage to humans perpetrated by the Red Squad would be more appropriate

Comments are closed.