Relax everyone – we are reaping what successive governments have sown


It’s disturbing but not surprising to see so many progressive people who support liberal democracy calling for strong arm police action to clear the grounds of parliament and adjoining streets of the anti-vax protests.

Their frustration at what they see as an incoherent, violent rabble is overriding their common sense and their respect for fellow New Zealanders.

I’m not usually the first person to approve police action during protests, having seen too much of the strong-arm tactics so many times in the past, but I think the police are handling the Wellington protests in a sensible, largely respectful manner.

This is how it should be if we support living in a democracy. Heaven forbid THE STATE clear parliament grounds with a scorched earth approach as some suggest. Our civil rights would be the biggest casualty in such a case, long into the future.

The protests themselves are incoherent, lacking clear goals and having no strategy. Like the Occupy movement which was in a similar situation, they will inevitably fail to change any government policy.

Understanding how we got here is important. Most of those protesting are working class New Zealanders who have experienced 40 years going backwards economically and socially under Labour and National governments. They lack the traditional working-class leadership provided in the past by strong unions and even, in the distant past, the Labour Party. They have developed, quite rightly, a deep distrust of politicians and are therefore susceptible to the masses of misinformation in what one commentator calls the “rivers of hate” on social media.

We should leave the police to handle the protest as they are doing and instead of venting pathetically at the lack of a strong STATE response, put that energy into demanding our politicians force Facebook and other social media outlets to change to a subscriber model which serves the user rather than the advertiser driven model whose algorithms push people to the extremes and down never-ending rabbit holes.


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  1. Absolutely correct – good on Minto. The rabid and truly disgusting comments on some of these blogs is really appalling, 20 years ago know one would have talked about their fellow human beings in this way.

  2. good, the rightards who for years have been happy to clap protesters getting beaten (which hasn’t happened to the numpty mob yet) might get to feel what it’s like..might teach them some empathy…naw joking spoilt children aren’t capable of empathy….

  3. If the institutional Left is unwilling to lift a finger, then it is up to workers on all sides of the cultural and political divide to take it upon themselves to apply the appropriate amount of popular pressure, even at the risk of personal ruin. That the Left feels it has bigger fish to fry is on the one hand a grave betrayal of its historic rhetoric against capital, and on the other hand in keeping with its century-plus tendency to cozy up to the bourgeoisie when the going gets tough. Who needs them?

    The Propertied Potemkin Progressives? They ain’t progressive, or Left.

  4. The government has lost control of the narrative and with the visual images of the cop’s brutality arresting naked women and attacking a little girl, they’ve shat the bed.

    This Labour government has lost the plot!

    The last 9 polls.Only 2 in favour.

    They should do us all a favour and call an election now.
    Before they lose the Auckland Mayoral election too!
    If they lose the Auckland Mayoralty, they’ll lose the general election too.

  5. I rarely agree with John Minto as we look at the World through different glasses but he is to be applauded for standing up for the police in their handling of this current situation at Parliament . It would have been easy for him to go along with those that are knocking them. He is proving he is a man of principle.

  6. “The protests themselves are incoherent, lacking clear goals and having no strategy.”

    They are a mixture of antivaxxers, anti mandate and anti vaccine passport. I support the latter two because they are in direct breach of our human rights as enshrined in the Human Rights Act.

    These people have lost their jobs, their careers and their right to enter premises thanks to this authoritarian government.

    Is this not something worth protesting about?

    • Governments are there to make decisions for the greater good . The party that governs is elected by a majority of the people so it will always be that only some are happy with any decision made . In the case of the vaccine 92 percent endorse the decision to make it available. Those that feel they do not want it do not have to get it BUT as in all choices there are consequences which were clearly spelt out .
      It is clear these protestors are being controlled by far right groups off shore who thrive on discontent and constantly are looking for another leader like Trump who was putty in their hands

    • Come on you seem to have left a few issues out.
      Anti mandate;
      3 Waters
      He Puapua
      Anti 1080
      So give there are numerous antis there what is their goal, who is their spokesperson – tricky given the range of issues.

      I have to agree:
      ‘The protests themselves are incoherent, lacking clear goals and having no strategy.’

      I am happy for them to be there, no matter how long it takes, it shouldn’t matter at all.

      Let them be.

  7. It’s an abusive, angry mob seeking to overthrow the government in emulation of America’s Jan 6 riots.

    They tolerate fascist MAGA insurrectionists, defecate in public, threaten the news media, harass bystanders, and sprayed swastikas on a war memorial.

    Deluded they may be, and Facebook etc are a part of it, but as NZers they also have *responsibility* for their actions. They are not innocent victims

  8. For once I felt for the police, yesterday there was so much hatred and stupidity emanating from this mob it could be felt through the screens of so many viewers. This was not a protest but an upwelling of hate–any cause would do. This hate has been whipped up by the anti-1080 crow and built on by the anti 5G, anti-anything that they can foment (and often make a profit from) organisers.

  9. The problem with this protest is if/when it becomes a covid superspreader event,
    how many of them will take MOH advice and self-isolate?
    None would be my guess.

  10. One more thing. Just a wee thing. No, not jonky’s diddle.
    I think the National party / Neoliberal-capitalist elements are behind the whole shebang.
    They’ll have ‘influencers’, confederates and spies hidden within the rabbles. And it won’t be the first time.
    They’re up and over farmers like that rash you came back from Bangkok with and have been for generations.
    And, of course, the reason is obvious. Farmers are our economy. I know, right! Shock Report! It isn’t tourism!
    OMG! What about the lies we tell our children!? Well, try the truth then dumbasses?
    If rural and urban people met on common ground to expose the true depth and scope of the almost unimaginable swindle that is our economy…? The national party ( An amalgam of Auckland bankers and money lenders who coalesced to form the national party. Did you not know that? ) would be probed up the anus in more creative ways than there are words to describe such a thing.
    Our economy, our politic, our resources, our towns and cities, our societies, our arts and culture … none of it is as it seems.
    The Boys are getting rattled. Aye Boys? Remember back in the days of Tumeke? When I warned you that, that scratching at the kitchen door was the Truth? Well, here it comes fuckers!
    Ask yourselves? What better way to discredit farmers, to ruin their reputations, to denigrate and stigmatise them than to have them protest against being vaccinated against a virus that originated out of a Chinese Virus laboratory FFS?
    Before that, gumboots, utes, stupid hats, mud and sheep shagging blokeiness was used to demonise our farmers so that the whole sale theft of their money seemed somehow appropriate and even righteous. That kind of deep state Machiavellianism never stopped the beautiful people of the beautiful cities from eating the beautiful food farmers produced or of spending the money they sequestered from exporting the export grade foods ( That we never get to eat.) that fed the other 35 million foreigners who paid a premium to crooks within the producer boards that our farmers could only dream of seeing. Aye Boys?

    • “One more thing. Just a wee thing. No, not jonky’s diddle.”
      Careful there @ CB. It’s possible you might be branded as having an unhealthy interest in the size of dicks and balls – and therefore a closet “a gay”.
      Those tough farmer mates of yours will cast you adrift on that basis alone – even though a lot of them in the back blocks are parital to a bit of wife swapping, swinging, and even sheep fucking. Not sure about the cows yet though. I suspect their impediments are hardly big enough to even register a twitter on the face of even a menopausal cow, and Her bull is likely to be laughing its stinky arse off as he shits into the nearest water table.
      I’ve got a solution tho’ for ya, But I can’t tell you directly. It’d probably upset a Gentle Annie and I’m running out of gifts to give the aspirational. ( I’ve got a crystal or two left, one or two Ban the Bomb signs, a treasure trove of vinyl, and some old old tiknology that threatens to collapse the ceiling if left for much longer.

  11. Anti vax protesters.


    They are anti mandate protesters. Your first sentence shows you do not have a grasp on the situation

  12. Fact check – anti mandate not anti vax. And the goals are clear – end segregation, coercion crimes against humanity. Other than your misinterpretation I thank you for being reasonable.

  13. Nicely put John. Personally I think there’s two reasons that the mob is directionless and incoherent is because (and please take this as a complement) many may have had no practice. It looks like for some this is their first dance. The likes of yourself, Bradford and Harawera, although many times I disagree with your politics, you always have a clear message you stand behind. And secondly, just the pure number of causes being pushed is confusing to any punter.

    There’s the antivax mob, the anti-mandate crew, anti child vax, anti mask, anti vaccine passport, anti MIQ and anti traffic light system just for a start. Then you’ll have those who opose 3 Waters and He Puapua, alongside those aggrieved with inflation, poverty and housing. And that’s before you get to the Anti 1080 (they always turn up) and those just like being part of an angry mosh pit.

    Whew, and I’m sure I missed some out.

    The best the police can do is don’t inflame them and all the mixed factions (and by the looks the weather) will weed themselves out. I stand behind their right to protest, even though I have no idea what they’re protesting about and good luck to them.

  14. “Most of those protesting are working class New Zealanders who have experienced 40 years going backwards economically and socially under Labour and National governments.”

    Yes, though “underclass” is probably more accurate than working class. NZ’s own version of Hillary’s “deplorables”.

  15. The NZ Bill of Rights is absolute!
    All lefties should know this and should be support that single issue regardless of the other issues.

    The left are M.I.A. because they’ve cancelled themselves like immature juvenile fuckwits.

    The left in NZ are a fuckn disgrace!

    • Thanks, the established left are a disgrace. It was OK to protest against segregation and a two-class of citizen society on the other side of the world but apparently, we are ok with it here. I have been watching interviews with teachers, nurses, policemen, prison officers etc. who lost their jobs because of the mandates. Many in the crowd are fully vaxed and are there because they are unhappy with the segregation. Not the great unwashed but NZ citizens who care about this. This is not a left wing vs right wing issue. This is a people issue. Bomber has this one very wrong, as do many established commentators because they are not actually listening. You got some stuff right JM but missed some too. The only agro yesterday came from the police. It was live streamed on the ground and is all over social media. Most police offers were awesome but there were some who have utterly discredited their uniforms.
      Freedom to choose matters because if we give up that freedom what else are we willing to give up.

      • Are you blind as well as deaf Fran? The banners and abusive cries of the rabble are adequate proof that the protesters are anything but a benign group sitting in circle singing songs of peace and love. As for the Police being violent – were you not around in 1981? So far, this mob of self-entitled denialists of the freedom and rights of others have yet to feel the sting of “Minto bars”, being pushed up against barbed wire or wearing crash helmets to protect themselves . Actually, how many have refused bail and been sitting in cells for days to demonstrate their belief in their supposed principles? Increasingly they come across as a gang of pathetic pussies who, by the recent reports, are now hiding behind children instead of making a stand for what they allegedly believe in.

      • “Freedom to choose matters because if we give up that freedom what else are we willing to give up.”

        Freedom is not absolute: should be free to murder, rob, rape, or drive on whichever side of the road we wish? If we, as society, are attempting to limit the damage caused by a particular virus, should we be free to thwart that that effort by refusing to accommodate the various restrictions that that effort entails. No-one is force to accept vaccinations, providing they accept the restrictions imposed on the unvaccinated. The mandates have a purpose in much the same way that the Crimes Act and the traffic laws have a purpose.

    • An absolute disgrace I agree.
      The ethos of the left has been abandoned by the current administration to pursue some dopey juvenile ideology.
      Governed by a bunch who behave like first year University students.
      They are inept not fit to be in Government.
      The proof is there for all to see.( exception the blinkered,biased )

      by the current administration

  16. If governments worked for their people, we wouldn’t have this problem let alone any social media problem.

    The buck stops with government, and unfortunately for the people, we don’t have enough bucks to throw at government, unlike the 1% who do. Enough of the political charade. We are living in a world, and have done so for nearly two years now, that nobody wants except for the ruling class who have made trillions out of this crisis, and who stand to instigate a vaccine-passport type, control grid that will make American slavery look like a walk in the park, at the same time.

    Time to wake the fcuk up. Choose freedom, as horrid as that term has become to many these days, or choose slavery. These truly are the only two options we have – unless we stop complying! No violence, no unlawfulness, no disrespect needed, just through away the masks and all the other rubbish that our governmental puppets have never provided actual scientific evidence for. People are not going to drop like flies as a result, no, non-compliance will shatter the illusion we have all been subjected to. An illusion years in the making, created by the elite, in order to control those useless things called we, the people! Oh, and make a few trillion on the side, but that’s icing on their cake.

    Huh, wonder if this rant will make it through.

      • Yeah well, you are a hoot so I am not surprised. Otherwise the time honored saying – follow the money – simplifies the world today. Who has benefited the most from this crisis and who has suffered the most at the same time. The 1% or the people? Likewise, who has the power to turn the world into what we have today – the 1% or the people? The picture becomes a lot clearer depending on your answers, even more so if you prefer the old normal to today’s normal.

        • and where is the money supporting ‘hatefest 2022’ and the canadian truckers coming from? just follow the money AO just follow the money to foreign funded subvertion of OUR democracy.

          • Money has subverted democracy almost everywhere. Thus, there would be no so-called hatefest 22 or Canadian protest if the so-called money behind them was also running/subverting democracy.

            C’mon, you are better than this. Protestors don’t need to protest if they are the ones either running the show or benefiting from the current state of affairs.

            if you are against the protestors, then you are against the people and you are for those that have created the conditions that has led to these protests. Money really does rule and money is ruling the world, democracy be damned.

            • so you are fine with rightwing subvertion then AO, JUST SO WE ALL KNOW..ok with the CCP and putin too?….mind you as putins boys are behind trump and brexit it’s a moot point innit?

              • Try again

                I am not interested in spreading unsubstantiated clap trap. More importantly, people are protesting and this all important point is what is being subverted.

          • Gosh I think McCarthy is back?
            Subversion I think is the word not “subvertion” which I’m sure is a typing error.
            Foreign funded money? I think you’ve been reading too many comics.

  17. John Minto is right on this one- the elite pollies ignore and/or distort dissenting views. They are supported by a Pravda type media – today the Stuff cartoon deflects from the peaceful approach of 99% of the protestors and defames them.
    When people ask me how the media sleep at night I say they can easily, as the media have no spine, so cant’ get a bad back.

    • I don’t think “elite pollies” ignore dissenting views. They probably look at them but find them wanting. In this particular instance that is not difficult to understand.

  18. Agree totally John. People are there because of government failure recent and past. Real people hurting for a lot of different reasons. Police are doing a good job. People get aggressive because they are hurting and behavioural tests going way back show that people will fight amongst themselves (identifying others as the face of the problem – like mask wearers for some) as a result. I think largely the protestors havent been that bad and I think the police havent been too bad either. Sad that they are not allowed to continue their protest on public land (If not at parliament then where?) and although I dont agree with some of the causes they represent, I applaud them for standing up for what they believe in. It is and should remain their democratic right.

    • I don’t recall her saying any of those things. She said “They are us” about the Islamic community after the shootings prior to 2020, but that is about as far as it goes.

    • I don’t recall her saying any of those things. She said “They are us” about the Islamic community after the shootings prior to 2020, but that is about as far as it goes.

      • she kind of hand picks people whom she considers to be ‘us’. And the demonstrators against the Vaccine Mandate, the resulting segregation of the public and the ostracicing of otherwise law abiding citizens are according to the haughty dame ‘not us’. And frankly if ‘Us’ means her/they and their ilk, there is a lot of us that are glad she don’t consider us ‘US’. WE would hate to be ‘her/they’.

        • You haven’t been ostracised Sabine – you opted out. It’s your right to do so, Just stop blubbering as if oping out doesn’t have costs at times.

  19. Right on the money, John. Selwyn Manning complimentarily referred to your article on the RNZ 4 pm discussion.

    It’s always an effort for my un-nimble intellect to draw the threads together. But why these folks in America will overthrow democracy and will go back home here are the relative dividends since the freemarket revolution. Not a jot for the people there and 30 % increase here. Our democratic traditions and their plutocratic ones.

  20. I have been surprised by the vitriol thrown at the protesters from those on the left, many of whom have been on countless demonstrations and experienced police brutality. I find it deeply ironic. Especially comments from some such as but we were right and these people are idiots……
    How many times do I recall seeing the general public being interviewed on the Tele about protests such as the Occupy movement or the (?) TTPA, making the same comments about those of us who protested.

    Ostricizing and marginalising these people willhave very serious consequences indeed. BUT I am also deeply concerned that this will become a superspreader event and this will impact nurses and Drs, who find themselves having to offer treatment to these people. That is bloody unfair for them. And I am concerned about the local businesses song Molesworth street, who are already struggling due to covid. And the local supermarket workers who are likely to have to interact with the protesters when they shop for food.

    I don’t know what the best way forward is for resolving this situation. Police appear to be doing a good job, especially when comparing it to their tactics during the Spring box tour.

      • Perhaps Jeremy it might be worth asking why National want nothing to do with supporting or engaging the protesters? The only differences between Labour and the Nats seems to be at what point vaccine coverage is enough, RATs, and the longevity of MIQ. Poor old Maureen Pugh got told to pull her head in when she appeared to offer support and the freak show that is Matt King as been taken off the Christmas card list. The only statement has been along the lines of giving a timeline to end some COVID measures

  21. At the end of the day – what people are fighting for is having SOMEONE SOMEWHERE that actually represents the people. This govt (and many others that only serve the unelected UN and the WEF) has lost touch with the common NZer. I have watched this slowly slide downhill for years now. The public are apathetic and rarely hold their govt accountable. So – I HONOR these people – many of them doctors, nurses, midwives, firefighters – people who have been affected by these draconian mandates…and now guess what? There are fewer firefighters, ambulance drivers, nurses working – which means now you must wait at least an hour for an ambulance. It’s an example of this stupid government shooting themselves in the foot with the mandates. Anyone that does not see this as a PEOPLE’s movement is surely in need of a lobotomy.

  22. At least the dirty politics team hasn’t been able to convert John into a nasty, greedy, right wing, hate Jacinda nutter.

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