The challenge Jacinda always faced was how to transition from a strategy that could eradicate a virus that the population had been media bombarded to be terrified of, into containing a mutated virus that was so transmittable that it was a mathematical certainty to become endemic.
Jacinda has set 90% double vaxxed as the level before Auckland can reopen.
This will be Jacinda Ardern’s greatest political challenge.
You have to respect that Jacinda just told Auckland that they will be in lockdown for another month, and no one in Auckland seemed to notice.
That’s incredible message control and delivery
That’s a smart play so that the incandescent rage of Aucklanders doesn’t ignite all at once, you want that to be a slow moving earthquake.
The lesson Jacinda took from Australia was that compliance failure was the danger. She saw an exhausted Auckland and gave them picnics to release tension. She knows the heavy handed response to punish compliance failure was a step too far for NZ.
By giving Auckland its picnics she kept Auckland on side.
This sprint now to 90% double vaxxed is the only game in town to prevent mass illness and death.
Everyone will have a criticism and all of them will be angry with Jacinda.
The Woke – for them, one single death by Covid of a Maori, Pacifica or disabled person is a State sanctioned genocide. Their fury at Jacinda giving a stressed out Auckland picnics has been met by the perpetually outraged woke online as an atrocity on par with Dave Chappelle hosting a Pride parade.
Those who had piously embraced every restrictive standard as if it were holy writ snarlingly turned on Jacinda once she pivoted with Wellington Twitteratti claiming her speech amounted to nothing more than a long rambling suicide note.
The Maori Party called it modern genocide.
Academics chorused ‘1918’ over and over again.
They will never be happy but thankfully for Labour those angered by Jacinda for woke reasons will vote Green without threatening the 2023 election. Many may scrub their social media timelines if their apocalyptic predictions fall short.
Death Cult Capitalists – They demanded Freedom Day while ignoring the collateral death that would cost. 1000 deaths has been divined as enough of a sacrifice at the altar of Milton Friedman and their continued frustration at Jacinda’s refusal to kill for capitalism will drive their criticism. They will endlessly scream for open borders no matter how large the mass graves.
Angry Double vaxxed Good Citizens in Auckland – They have done what they were asked, they have sacrificed and now they want their lives back. Being told they can’t because morons don’t want to be vaccinated is going down about as well as a cup of cold sick. These people are not bad people, they’ve done what they were asked and they want their lives back. You can’t get angry at these people and painting their frustration out as racist will hurt the Left at the election.
Angry Double vaxxed Good Buggers in South Island – They have done what they were asked, they have sacrificed and now they want their lives back. Being told they can’t because morons don’t want to be vaccinated is going down about as well as a cup of cold sick. These people are not bad people, they’ve done what they were asked and they want their lives back. You can’t get angry at these people and painting their frustration out as racist will hurt the Left at the election.
Qanon Anti-vaxx lunatics – Will see the vaccination passports as a vast erosion of their civil rights and that measure will dangerously radicalize this fringe. Expect some type of political violence from this cult.
Crystal Karens – These are the middle class new age conspiracy clique who will become culturally ostracised by the vaccine passports. Let’s see if the witchy spirituality magic of fatherless daughters from the first wave of feminism divorce in the 1970s is more powerful a value than their ability to fly to Thailand for a chakra cleanse next year.
Principled Objectors – They will quit jobs on principle and quickly find out there is no where else to go. They will become radicalized.
Jesus is my vaccine fanatics – They will see Bishop Brian Tamaki’s prosecution as persecution and see end of days symbolism at every turn. The passport will be framed as the number of the beast. Expect religious radicalization.
ZB Troll Farm – They won’t believe their luck. They will hold up the claims of Maori vaccine hesitancy as the reason the rest of us can’t get our lives back. They will manipulate the frustrations of the double vaxxed and weaponize it. Expect radicalization.
National – So self mutilated at this stage they have chewed off their nose, one eyeball and half a cheek to spite their face. Wants to open at levels that would see thousands more dead than 90% double vaxxed. So they are like Labour but with much bigger graves implemented with grotesque incompetence.
Small Business – These are people who for the first time in their lives feel economically vulnerable. They have haemorrhaged cash because of the lockdown and are on the verge of collapse. They are ripe for radicalization.
ACT – About to be flooded by the radicalized and desperate. ACT are mutating into the paramilitary death squad they were always destined to be once Seymour can be replaced as leader.
The Unvaccinated – About to get very very very sick. The wider community will not give a fuck about their feelings and they will feel persecuted. Will radicalize out of desperation.
Children – They will become the new hosts of Covid as adult vaccination rates leave the virus with few options. They will pay the price in sickness so adults can go back to work. Isn’t capitalism fun?
The Poor – Food banks have spiked 500%, the horror of poverty in lockdown has been hidden to date, but the truly dispossessed will always turn that anger and fury upon themselves and their Whānau. Their radicalization will be a never ending self harm event that implodes communities that the middle classes drive by on their way to the airport.
Jacinda is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.
If she manages to keep infection rates low while dragging Auckland through another month of lockdown without the most feverish fantasies of the woke eventuating, the double vaxxed and the small business community will forgive her while the unvaccinated seethe with toxic resentment.
If it all goes to hell in a hand basket, she will get never ending hostile fire that sinks Labour’s chances in 2023.
This is the most important moment in Jacinda’s leadership and I don’t envy the position she must take now.
Every which way she will have highly partisan emotionally manipulative criticism thrown at her as a frightened and desperate team of 6 million starts to turn on itself.
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