MUST READ: Our Dark Shadow: Analysing The Platform’s Profile of the Protesters.

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THE PLATFORM has made an invaluable contribution to the increasingly fraught “debate” about the Anti-Vaccination Mandate protest in Parliament Grounds. By commissioning Curia Research to create a rough profile of the protesters, the new website has facilitated the substitution of reliable poll-data for journalistic reckons. Now, at last, the public has at least some of the information needed to render an informed judgement. That the mainstream news media saw no merit in commissioning such an exercise testifies to its steady retreat from the principles of independent journalism.

The picture painted by Curia Research is of a protest crowd drawn overwhelmingly from rural and provincial New Zealand: Fully 67.6 percent of the persons questioned came from somewhere other than Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Rural dwellers made up 7.7 percent of the crowd; those living in provincial towns 18.9 percent; and provincial city-dwellers the remaining 41 percent. This latter figure is almost double the actual number of New Zealanders living in provincial cities.

This skewed provincial representation is significant. What it tells us is that the people participating in this protest have a great deal in common with the Americans who supported Donald Trump. They, too, hailed from places seldom visited by the metropolitan elites. Cities and towns that once boasted thriving industries and buoyant economies, but which, over the past 35 years, have seen far too many factories – along with the small businesses that serviced them – shut down and fail. Communities that once boasted public hospitals, polytechnics, post-offices and banks – not to mention their own proudly independent newspapers – have been stripped of key infrastructure and left to rot.

For many years, however, the primary victims of this neglect continued to vote for the parties of change: Labour, the Alliance, the Greens and NZ First; in hopes that their lives would be made better. Curia Research reveals that very close to 50 percent of the protesters occupying Parliament Grounds voted for one of Labour, the Greens and NZ First in 2020. This finding is powerfully reminiscent of the significant number of 2016 Trump voters who had backed Barack Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Hell hath no fury, it would seem, like a voter scorned, disappointed and betrayed.

That nearly 30 percent of the protesters voted for Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party in 2020 also suggests that at some point the Prime Minister said or did something that shattered their allegiance to her and the Team of Five Million she purported to lead. Given that the dominant reason/s for their presence outside Parliament was their strong opposition to Vaccine Mandates, one might reasonably speculate that it was Ardern’s reneging on her promise not to introduce vaccination mandates and passes that provoked these protesters to desert the Labour Party.

That the consequences of refusing to be vaccinated appear to have fallen most heavily on occupations dominated by women: retail, hospitality, teaching, nursing, aged-care, midwifery; would also explain why Curia Research reports women making up 55 percent of the protest crowd.

Another factor relevant to the number of women participating in the protest could well be that in the rural and provincial communities ravaged by the economic impacts of neoliberalism it has, overwhelmingly, been women who have held together the threads of community and mutuality. Mothers, daughters and wives who had once been encouraged to look upon the State as their friend, have – decade after decade – been given every cause to see “the government” as their enemy.

The explanation for 27.2 percent of the protest crowd identifying as Māori is, almost certainly, much the same.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Throughout the 1980s and 90s, in Māori communities scattered across the provincial landscapes of the North Island, jobs, and the social cohesion that came with them, were laid waste by the neoliberal revolution. Without the industries that paid for them, key infrastructure similarly decayed and disappeared.

Māori families left behind had two choices: depart for the big cities; or, stay put and work out another way to survive. The same Pakeha state that had stripped their iwi and hapu of their land, was now guilty of stripping them of their jobs, their incomes, and their dignity. What loyalty could they possibly owe to such a state? What reason could they possibly have to trust it – or its political representatives?

It is here that the other dominant theme recorded by Curia Research’s pollsters – Freedom – weighs-in so heavily. Abandoned, overlooked, ignored and despised, the people on the receiving-end of neoliberalism’s cold indifference had tragically – but unsurprisingly – internalised its ruthless individualistic ethic. Devalued and declassed, driven to the margins, they had nevertheless contrived to survive on their own terms and according to their own lights. If the state had no need for them, then they were happy to return the compliment. Theirs may have been a lean freedom – but it was hard-won, and would not be surrendered without a fight.

And then came Covid, and in its wake a state that would no longer leave them to their own devices. Suddenly, they were included in the “Team Of Five Million”. Suddenly, the state which had turned its back on its obligations to look after the people’s welfare was demanding that the people honour their obligation to keep it safe. Suspicious, but also secretly thrilled to once again be counted among the just, the outsiders and outcasts of the provincial lumpenproletariat did as Jacinda asked.

But the requirement to vaccinate – or be turned into a second-class citizen – turned out to be a bridge too far. The state which, just months before, had pronounced itself their friend was reverting to type. Now it was “No Jab, No Job”. Now they were being turned away from the pub. Now the state was coming for their hard-won, hard-scrabble freedom. The only thing of real value left in their downsized lives, seemed at imminent risk of being ripped from their hands.

The people in the big cities didn’t get it. Why were “these people” so anti-social? Why had they so little inclination to serve the “collective good”? It never occurred to the well-heeled, well-housed and well-educated beneficiaries of neoliberal capitalism that while it was giving them everything, it seldom showed “these people” anything other than its anti-social face. As for the collective good, well, what was that?

“These people”, whom the big city-dwellers struggle so hard to understand, are the people they have made. If they don’t care about their fellow citizens’ rights and freedoms, it’s because their “fellow citizens” never taught them how.

Did the algorithms of the social media giants have a role to play in this protest? Yes, of course. Are the dangerous inhabitants of the darkest corners of the Internet feeding the protesters’ anger? They are. But people are only made ready to swallow Big Lies by too few attempts to feed them Big Truths

Who is it who gathers at the seat of our democracy? They are the feral children of our greed and indifference. Who is it who pounds upon Parliament’s doors? Our own dark shadow that, no matter how hard we try to lose it, refuses to be left behind.

 

 

169 COMMENTS

  1. This is the best post I have read from you Chris – totally agree. The government needs to give industries tax breaks and encourage them to set up in small towns rather than cluster in Auckland where they need billions in transport infrastructure costs.

    • Correct Chris, and a good way to start this move would be to start shifting government departments out of Wellington to provincial towns. Most don’t really need to be in Wellington anyway now that we’ve proven that emails and zoom calls worked just fine during the lockdowns. Some are officially independent of government, like the stats department so could be based literally anywhere in the country. It would lessen the pressure on infrastructure, housing and rentals in the city and it would disperse critical government functions so that when the Big One happens they won’t all be swept away in the inevitable 60m high tsunami.

      (Before I retired I was an engineering consultant. For a decade we have successfully managed major offshore capital projects by maximizing the use of IT to limit the amount of air travel needed. In my last project I was the design verifier for a large process plant construction in Asia, but I never actually went there thanks to emails, 3D CAD, Lidar scans and zoom calls. So I know it can be done).

    • In total agreement. NZ had a chance to do this when rolling out the high speed internet. The priority should have been small provisional centres, and govt depts encouraged to move there. But the elephant in the room would have how to remove the Wellington elite from their leafy Wellington suburbs and move in with the unclean deplorables they do obviously despise.

      • Thanks Grandma, I hadn’t seen this cartoon, it is very enlightening.

        I just can’t see why Brian Tamaki and his Destiny Church types would be using the Steve Bannon platform. What have Trump and Destiny Church got in common, apart from the fact that both of them use the prop of a bible for personal power and personal gain.

        But, why here in NZ? NZ/AO when are so far from the US for Republicans and White Power to be bothering about little ol’ NZ. Through the Te Tiriti o Waitangi, however, NZ/AO have a way better record of integrating indigenous rights into legislation, health care, vaccinations, which for Maori are above 90%? Way better than the US! Te Karere has just celebrated 40 years on air! 3 Waters looks to move the taonga of water into a partnership to protect water? Hmmm … maybe that’s the link with groundswell anger with politicians?

        Sure, we have a long way to go, to level the playing field for Maori, but what John Tamihere has achieved with vaccinations and targeted health assistance, is a model for the world in terms of partnership between Maori and European.

        So, there are way more intelligent people on this site than I am. What do these Alt-Right Steve Bannon types stirring up trouble on the steps of the US Capitol Buildings and NZ Parliament Buildings have in common?

        Is it money? Is it racism? Trump represents both and Svengali Bannon is his enabler and his ‘Goebbels 3.0’. Surely there can be no links between US Steve Bannon 3.0 and Dirty Dirty Politics 4.0? Can there?

        Luxon and Collins appearing on One Network News last night was a bit suspicious and nauseating, and to make it worse, at evening meal time. This week David Seymour and Winston Peters are making grand tours with bodyguards, of the protest territories.

        What does the right wing and right of centre fringe of the New Zealand political spectrum and Steve Bannon have in common?

        The brighter minds here can join the dots, and if the can’t, then SIS and GCSB can officially do it.

        Just as the Congress Investigation – January 6 Storming of the Capitol are looking into enablers and murderers, so the same things should happen here, starting now, with retired judge(s) appointed to run a Royal Commission into our right-wing stain on democracy in Aotearoa.

      • I’ve been waiting for Stuffs cartoonists to do anything but attack the opposition or praise the govt since Labour got in, in 2016…still waiting.

        We all know where Stuffs loyalties lies. Didn’t they get a few million from the public journalism fund?

  2. This is the best post I have read from you Chris – totally agree. The government needs to give industries tax breaks and encourage them to set up in small towns rather than cluster in Auckland where they need billions in transport infrastructure costs.

  3. Personally, I wouldn’t put any weight on answers given by Wellington protestors.

    We have a census every 5 years. Each time we have a census I hear from people that despise participating but know they can be prosecuted for not taking part. As a result, they do answer questions with complete bullshit answers as they have no interest in giving accurate details to their perceived enemy. You have no children so you say you have 9 children. You earn 50k per annum but you answer 850k per annum etc etc. It’s just another form of protest. I’m sure this exact same mindset exists at the Wellington occupation.

    Yes, they can call it an anti-mandate protest but that is just a way of legitimizing this anti social rabble. Even blind Freddy can see why we have needed vaccine mandates and that at some point their need will recede. That can’t possibly be during a virus surge where we are reaching record numbers of new cases. They are anti-vax through and through but even this lot now understand spouting off anti vax messages highlight tin foil hat eggplant mentality. They haven’t got the intellect to reasonably debate anti vax bullshit during a pandemic so they spout off bullshit about “freedom” instead. The mandate has highlighted their anti-vax stance so that becomes their focus.

    Everything about the occupation is false.

    Protestors say they are about “freedom’ but have trampled all over the freedom of so many others with zero regard for their freedom. Protestors farcically claim it’s a “PEACEFUL PROTEST”, but it’s anything but. Intimidation, abuse and threats are their go-to mindset.

    Protestors claim they care what goes into their bodies….while smoking a cigarette. Protestors have “used” their children as riot shields. How can very young children have even the faintest understanding of vaccines etc? Children are there to portray “family” and prevent the Police doing their job and uphold the law. Most decent New Zealanders would never take young children to a highly emotive protest where the prospect of violence was high. We have a name for that. “child abuse”.

    Welcome to the 22/02/22

    • “Personally, I wouldn’t put any weight on answers given by Wellington protestors.”

      Video footage of a mature adult telling police that by supporting the Government’s approach, was in his words” you realise you are supporting the Chinese” give evidence to your comment TM.

    • Well someone is wearing the Government’s tin foil hat aren’t they? You remind me a little of the Rolling Stones song, I See a Red Door and I Want it Painted Black. Even Blind Freddy can actually see the truth behind the mandates. While you may have included half a dozen words of truth in your response, the rest of it is preconceived prejudice, that does nothing but label and condemn unjustly,
      thousands of highly intelligent people, as ‘Rabble’ who have done their research and arrived at a far more intelligent and insightful conclusion. there will always be some one in any group of people who cause trouble, whether it be great aunt Betty or Uncle George in a family, a school yard bully, or a menace in the office or on the factory floor, or a few who want to rumble at a protest and cause trouble. But that is not the 99.9 percent. The only tin foil hatters are those that believe the governments lies and their separatist mandates, out of fear, confusion, or because they have reduced themselves to government puppets or sycophants. An educated public knows exactly what is going on and who and what is behind it.

    • “Everything about the occupation is false.”

      Its not an occupation, no wonder this sentiment is false. Its a protest against government Covid measures, top of that list being vaccine mandates and every other vaccine related measure.

      Its a simple cause made to look like a multi-headed beast by the powers-that-be, and duly accepted by the public.

      • It’s an occupation, define it as you must but it’s an occupation. Even the Maori gentleman who told police that he will allow them to move through his occupied parliamentary land, gave it away.
        Seems like it might be you wearing the protesters tin foil hat there Grace. Stick with your alternative facts, it cheers us up no end. And the truth shall set you free.

        • What, are you going to believe what any ole protester has to say now…or only when it suits what you believe. Either way, it is not a wise move. Otherwise, ordinary folk do not get to define what these things are, not even the protesters themselves. This level of power belongs to the media only and the bigger their reach, the more power they weld. This is why this new outfit, whom I’d never heard of until this “protest” arrived – Counterspin – is feared as much as it is. Bigger point being, no one should take what the media has to say as gospel, no one, but unfortunately people do – and this is the biggest problem of all.

          • Oh dear, so tell me where to you get your information from?
            What is your source, on line, read it in a book, heard it from a mate or you come up with random theories on everything, I am truly interested?

            • I gravitate towards Independent, typically, user-funded media, but mainstream media, especially here in NZ, gets a good going over also (it pays to know how both sides are covering similar events). But that’s only half the battle, the bigger battle is in what I do with this information, meaning, if what I am reading/watching does not provide verifiable sources for the information being touted, then I am, at least, skeptical of this information, until further info or chances to verify said info, comes to hand.

              Bottom line being, we all should take a skeptical-first approach to the information we see, until such time as said info can be verified, but unfortunately, we take the opposite approach…we tend to automatically believe in what we see. This, as I said before, is the biggest problem of all, the lack of effort that we put in, into proving the information we see.

        • @ bert. And overtly, who are the politicians trying to garner votes by mingling with the protestors? Seymour and Peters. Both right-wing stooges.

          If Peter Dunne was still in parliament, he’d be at the protest too. Mr Synthetic Sensible showing his “worm-turning” abilities and displaying his spinning bow-tie abilities.

          Not what is needed when you have protestors threatening to hang politicians https://nuremberg.nz/ Why is this not a crime under harmful digital laws?

          Not what is needed when Jason Kerrison sends threatening tweets to media people like Hillary Barry https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/300522046/hilary-barry-calls-out-musician-jason-kerrison-for-veiled-death-threats-dont-mess-with-your-aunty-boy. Why is Kerrison not banned from Twitter like Trump was? Or charged under harmful digital law breaches?

          Russell Coutts, the right-wing traitor of Team New Zealand, who sold his soul to the highest bidder. Is Coutts going to be up to his ankles in protesters’ excrement? Or booked in at the intercontinental?

          There’s a lot of self-interest and right-wing groups who hope to profit from this debacle.

          But, they are being funded, and wherever there’s money, there’s a trail to follow. Just follow the money and follow the stench.

          And what better way than a Royal Commission supported by SIS and GCSB.

          Threatening to kill people is a terrorist threat. Negotiating with terrorists is right-wing early electoral campaign.

          • there will be no investigation because even though it may be suicide for liberal democracy no pollie wants to stand up in the face of the billionaires club…..they’ll just shut up and hope to endure the next wave of dirty politics funded by dirty money whilst holding onto their jobs and pensions.

          • Well Winston has gone down the Seymour rabbit hole of actually believing there are enough votes to be had by this anti mandate, anti government, the media are liars and police are scum group.
            I honestly believe they will lose votes as more and more people are becoming disenfranchised by this tiresome group. We are now hearing they are starting to pack up and go home. We’ll done Mr Costar and the PM unlike Seymour and Peter’s.

            • winston has only ever been relevant because PR sometimes makes him ‘king maker’ by fluke, in terms other than that he’s just a geasy stain on the carpet
              ..though he does have the gift of the gab

      • AO you have to be joking, surely. Granted there will be those protesting mandates ( and now according to you a general range of measures) but the powers that be are convincing us otherwise in terms of all the other rubbish that people present are spewing? Try watching coverage, and turn the sound off if it helps. The signs might give it away.

        • The protest is simple, vaccine mandates head the list, followed by other vaccine-related measures, and then most other measures used to combat this crisis. But the fact that you believe what you believe about this protest, is testament to the media coverage this protest has received. All manner of rubbish has being attributed to this protest thus nullifying the entire point of this protest. Henceforth, the main point to this comment is – how people perceive this protest to be is not by accident. That’s the powers-that-be weaving their magic! Bigger point being, since when has the powers-that-be ever being on the side of we, the people!

    • A simple way to get past all this class-struggle bullshit is to examine the protesters reasons why the individual protesters won’t get personally vaccinated – I’ll put money on the reality that any vaccinated, concerned solely with “freedom” aspects, are a vanishingly small fraction of those protesting there. So, I do not buy into claims that the protest is essentially about vaccination mandates and masking mandates and not about the vaccination itself. The two topics are intimately connected. The anti-vaxxer reasons to refuse vaccination are largely irrational and overwhelmingly based in lies and misinformation. Most anti-vaxxers think in memes propagated by network algorithms. The extent to which they or others are to blame for this situation will probably play out in hindsight.

  4. I’m sorry Chris it’s a good story you write but I don’t buy it. At the root of many protests are the disenfranchised I agree, but to say those at Parliament are representative of a decaying unhappy rural society isn’t what I see. I personally know of two protesting that have chosen to leave their jobs to make a stand for freedom of choice. One of them from my extended family. I don’t agree with these people but believe they don’t see the risks in the same way as those who live in the bigger centres do. Those who live in our large cities have been locked down for long periods and many know of those who have suffered from Covid. In Hawkes Bay we have enjoyed good employment and not much Covid. To my mind many here won’t believe Covid a big threat until they see it first hand. I agree with Chris in that the two people I know at the protests are women, however one was asked to leave a very good council job the other an extended family member with a maggot in her brain. These two at least don’t fit Chris’s description of the protesters. They just don’t want their freedom to choose taken away and or don’t want to be vaccinated and then be punished for that decision.

    • “won’t believe Covid a big threat until they see it first hand”
      The lack of actual bodies might make that difficult though NV. Over thirty thousand cases (that we know of) in two years and a mere handful of deaths “with covid” in the last six months as justification for intrusive mandates? The normal flu takes out four or five hundred a year. It won’t be the anti-mandate people about to be mugged by reality.

      • It’s because of the mandates we have few deaths. It’s like saying, I dont have to take my heart medication now because I’m feeling great. It’s BECAUSE you’re taking your heart medication you’re feeling ht

          • Hey Bert,

            The bias and ignorant can’t understand why the PM won’t meet with the Troglodytes. I suggest to better understand the PM’s stance, people should go and discuss a contentious issue with a tree stump for three hours and then report back on their progress.

            • Hey Thinking Man et al.
              Obviously you are milking your favourite new word Troglodyte. But it’s condescending as fuck. Typical of you pseudo-academic types who revel in command of English thus elevating yourselves above the Trogl..trologo…torroglyt…ordinary kiwi cave people. It’s a pretty shit way of talking about other people. Keep it up. Good work.

              • Well that’s got to be the most hypocritical post I have read, talking shit about other people, there you have it, N.Z’s finest, the Old Kraut.

              • Morning Kraut,

                You are looking and sounding more like Sargent Shultz every day and I’m starting to feel we have the Colonel Hogan dynamic going on.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34ag4nkSh7Q

                For the record, I learned about Troglodytes a few decades ago while gaining multiple pseudo-academic post graduate degrees so it’s not a new favourite word. I just apply it when its appropriate which with you occurs almost every time I read your input.

                Apologies for it being so deeply personal for you. I promise to find a word less condescending. How’s this?

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant

                • Jeremy,

                  I’m pleased you were motivated enough to go and learn what a “Troglodyte’ is and where one would reside. Happy to help with your advanced learning.

                  I wonder if you’d be kind enough to educate me. Had you quoted TNK, I would have assumed you were referring to “The New Kraut” but TKN is perplexing. Please clarify. Are you presenting evidence of dyslexia on top of all the other issues?

                  • Gosh well spotted you are top of the class.
                    I’m condemned forever got TNK wrong.
                    Dyslexia?No not at all.
                    Not sure you are qualified sufficiently to offer any assistance.
                    Do you hold any tertiary qualifications?
                    Anyway this wandering off the topic all a bit silly.

            • @ TM Is that the same tree stump, they plan to stand politicians on while putting their respective heads in a noose?
              These nutters (and anyone they stand shoulder to shoulder with ) are threatening and posting they want to execute politicians at https://nuremberg.nz/
              Jason Kerrison threatened Hilary Barry in a tweet with the same vile messaging.
              GO HOME! Put your kids back in school and start your medicine regime again.
              We want to get on with the Royal Commission, or official investigation into how this convoy of hate was funded?

              Where does the money come from for the posters at Jacinda’s trip to the West Coast?

              Who paid for the food to feed the protestors?
              A comment in the Standard.org.nz said this: 20 Feb 2022 11:12 am
              “Peter Thiel needs monitoring imo as he was a great support for Trumps MAGA. and is courtesy of [John] Key a New Zealand citizen.”

              It’s going to be squeaky sphincter time once the smell of human excrement clears from Wellington and the stench from the source of the money to fund all this starts to be investigated.

              If Thiel is involved, can NZ/AO revoke his citizenship and deport him back to the US like Aussie does with our 501’s?

        • Not really Bert, although the vaccines did save lives we’re talking about deaths per confirmed case of around 1 in 600 most of those with the earlier more deadly varieties.
          With the much milder omicron version the hospitalisation rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated are broadly similar and deaths for either group very low, too low to have people to cling to the fear that’s been engendered I would suggest. Around 20,000 cases and two deaths – 1 in ten thousand in the past couple of months. Weren’t we told that would seek out the unvaxxed and kill them.
          I’m double jabbed but believe it’s past time to end the mandates.

          • Not really ,yes really. The death in comparison to other countries is exactly the result of vaccine rates and by it’s association, the mandate. There is a small part of me that agrees with the time to end mandates, but you nor I hold responsibility for that decision and any of its ramifications.

          • END THE MANDATES WHEN EVERYBODY IS VAXXED* -simples

            the anti-vaxxers are holding the nation to ransom

            *excepting the very very few who have genuine medical exemption, NOT a fake one knocked up on photoshop or one bought from a crooked doctor.

          • Yes your double jabbed but what about the kids many have just had their first jab (and they are the major spreaders of Omicron) do you not care, do you only care about yourself. Do you not realise not everyone is fully protected yet can you not wait.

  5. We can discuss the economic and societal factors all we like which see us, protestors included, to this point.

    From what is said here it seems a significant number of women teachers, nurses, those working in aged-care and midwifery, don’t want to be vaccinated or don’t want others to be vaccinated.

    They seemingly have little concept of a pandemic. I’m blaming Jacinda Ardern and her government. It looks like the only way many in that group could understand the reality of a pandemic was to experience it first hand. Not in lockdowns but in hospitals and funerals, one after the other, with thousands dying. Experiencing the horror of the deaths and stories of the last terrible hours of friends and community members. They just don’t get it. They didn’t get it because of government strategies.

    The inability to appreciate what the pandemic was all about showed another stark reality: the pervasive dumbness of people we accepted as having ordinary common sense and a reasonable grasp of the world. Nurses, workers in aged-care and midwives not understanding transmission of infections? Not believing scientists? Not believing in vaccinations?

    The loony woman in videos yesterday from the protest who established her credentials, her ticket to be believed by saying she was a nurse? And told the world that the vaccinated have black blood which clots. That someone vaccinated touching an animal will visit harm on that animal? That so many vaccinated have died from hearty attacks and strokes?

    She did a great service by putting into perspective the appalling lack of intelligence in the community. When the going gets tough people fall back to their base. Intellectualising the whats and wherefores of society is vital, all the time not just in a crisis.

    Let the latest such exercise not overlook the fact that there are a lot of really dumb people about. The saddest thing is they are so dumb they have no concept that they are dumb. They are so dumb they think they know more than medical and science experts.
    And they got to be teachers and nurses? Jesus wept.

    • “They seemingly have little concept of a pandemic.”
      Because there’s a whole generation, or large section of society, which has never experienced a pandemic of any kind and who don’t realise that we have a largely healthy society because of vaccinations. Think – polio, TB, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza.
      I’m staggered at the lack of knowledge and intellect on display. it’s all about me, me, me. I wanna. I don’t wanna.

        • QAnon, Alt-Right, Conspiracy nutters and white supremacists.

          I haven’t got the video skills, to blend the ‘Ghost of Rob Muldoon’ (played by David McPhail) looking down on the protesting crowd as mentor to Jacinda Ardern with an Obe Wan Knobe voiceover:

          https://youtu.be/VDa-cVMv-DQ?t=6

          “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.”

      • indeed I come from one of the first few generations to get the polio vax a mate of mine from school had an older brother in calipers from polio, just a few years older than us and crippled for life…just like ian dury.
        such sights were not that rare many uk corner shops (dairys) had life size plaster figures of a boy in calipers as a charity collection box…don’t see them anymore do ya? good thing too they were as creepy as fuck.

        I’m very afraid some kids will have to be maimed/die before the antis get the point…sorry for the kids but the parents can cry me a river.

        • Yes. Had that in the 50s in my primary school. And don’t forget the families who had lean to bedrooms built onto their verandahs or relatives in tents because of TB.

      • Yes as I posted in another story like expectancy born in 1900(47 years old) in 2022( 80 yrs old) because of vaccines and modern medication. It’s not rocket science.

        • Bert – I don’t disagree with your sentiment but some of the biggest increases in life expectancy are due to more basic things like access to clean water, hygiene and improving nutrition. Then modern medicines like vaccines that started becoming more commonplace between the wars and antibiotics especially in the latter half of the 20th century post-WW2.

          • Whilst I agree with improved water, hygiene and nutrition, your last paragraph proves my point. If you were to stop all medications for all people, all vaccines , I have no doubt you will require a he’ll of a lot of body bags.

            • For sure, I was attempting to refine rather than refute your original point. Modern medicine is another layer on top of water, hygiene, nutrition etc. It’s effect really takes off post-WW2.

        • Funny you should bring that up. The average age of NZ Covid deaths is over NZs average life expectancy. Meaning people die every day, and these people on average lived longer than expected.

      • Well said RosieLee. I had classmates at school that wore callipers to help them walk due to having had Poliomyelitis. I took a liquid Polio vaccine and all the others by injection with no side effects apart from a scar on arm from TB one–but so what–TB is no fun.

    • the trouble is anyone can claim any qualification….clean toilets in a hospital = I work in health care
      and then there’s the downright fraudulent who just lie to try to add weight to their spurious arguments….funny how the ‘don’t trust experts’ are soooooo desperate to claim expertise up to the point of lying about it

      NB a nurses aide is not a nurse, a nursing assistant is not a nurse, an admin drone is not a nurse.

    • I doubt she is a real nurse. With that intellect she wouldn’t have passed the rigorous exams. Probably cared for someone who was unwell once. If she was a nurse thank Christ she didn’t care for me.

    • Well said Peter, I call it ‘the second degree of ignorance’; not only don’t they know, they don’t know they don’t know. They even take it a step further – they don’t want to believe facts, and would rather attach themselves to conspiracy theories. Unfortunately this sort of ignorance is a great hunting ground for those with seditious agendas well beyond the understanding of these people.

  6. Yes–the children, and grandchildren of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson.

    But what is to be done? Unless there is a rejuvenation of a serious left movement including eco socialism and some urgent community organising, the discarded, alienated, underclass and precarious working class will not improve their situation.

    The Wellington occupation is being bankrolled by wealthy enough people (one interviewed on RNZ today–Marty Very CEO of Red Stagg) regardless of the class position of the bulk of those present.

    So lets not have a total sob story about the alienated rising up. The majority have voted with their arms on COVID to the tune of over 2 million now boosted. But none of that negates the need for a state house mega build and Basic Income and all the rest, which will only be achieved by strong political action by new gen voters and boomers like my self that have always resisted Rogernomics and its deadly spawn.

  7. Cops going in wiht riot shields this morning as the progressively shrink the perimeter of the protest (just like Canada). Media saying protesters are filth. All just softening up the public for the big cleanse done by the riot police using whatever violence needed.

    • Jeez, who would have thought there might eventually be a reaction from the state forces for occupying Parliament grounds?

      Don’t have a cry pal, with union pickets I have been on which genuinely pressure the employer or block a public thoroughfare or entrance way, the cops have usually arrived within minutes–batons at the ready.

    • Firefighters have protective gear. In the environment they’re in the police would be mad to not do the same.

      I’d suggest that having a shield to protect yourself from shit thrown at you or something like hydrogen peroxide sprayed in your eyes is most sensible.

    • You might be into a bit of scatiophilia @XstraightXedgeX. Most people aren’t as far as I’m aware – including Police. They don’t like being sprayed in the face either with unknown substances. So it really shouldn’t surprise you if they turn up with shields after having human poop thrown at them.

    • given the lack of violence and injuries in ottawa maybe not such bad tactics.

      …and before you even try produce the name of the old woman who wasn’t trampled to death….

  8. I’m most pleased you’ve written an article based on fact, unlike the rest of the media that mostly denounced them as fascists or destiny church members. As for “The people in the big cities didn’t get it.” I think you’ll find a LOT of us people in the cities get it, but just chose not to attend the protest because we have careers, families and mortgages that take priority.
    Most of them are unvaccinated, so if the state and their pet epidemiologists were correct, they should have been laid waste through cross infection within a week or at least lying unwell in their tents. Instead they appear to be in rudely robust health and ready to push & shove a cop whenever the need arises. This in itself is most revealing about the true nature of the pandemic and the need to oppress people with a vaccine mandate.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcbR1J_4ICg

    • Jesus Christ Andrew! Another right-wing apologist for alt-right, QAnon nutjobbery landing in New Zealand, right after National Party’s Caucus retreat and back-slapping-fest in Queenstown, which you were probably @ Andrew (in the Media Shill-Troll Workshops).

      We all know Dirty Politics 4.0 is balls-deep in all of this protest when Judith Collins got off her knees in church, to appear on One News last night, praising the lord for sending the evangelist cavalry.

      Wipe the smirk off your face Judith and denounce https://nuremberg.nz/
      Un-lower your eyebrows Judith and denounce Jason Kerrison’s death-threatening a media personality in a tweet. ttps://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/300522046/hilary-barry-calls-out-musician-jason-kerrison-for-veiled-death-threats-dont-mess-with-your-aunty-boy
      Denounce Steve Bannon’s involvement in this Alt-Right insurrection, with human excrement instead of US flagpoles.

      I looked at Cranmer Grandma’s post of Jeff Bell’s Cartoon and this whole Dirty Politics involvement with the Alt-Right terrorists at Parliament made sense.

        • Typical right-winger. Won’t answer a question. Play the ball not the woman.
          Do you condone, or denounce Jason Kerrison sending a death-threat to Hillary Barry?
          What about your beloved right wing links with Alt-Right Bannon connections?
          Who funds and prints the posters for the protestors on the West Coast today to harangue the Prime Minister?
          Peters, Seymour negotiating with people who plan to execute politicians and media? nuremberg.nz Condone or denouce?

          Denounce this now, or f-off onto https://thebfd.co.nz/, where your financial and immoral support would be welcomed with open rabid arms.

          • As a member of the “team of 5m”. I have been hearing death threats from the tax payer funded media for 2 years. They stopped short of Scomo’s quote, “get the jab or you die”, but implied it and it was picked up by the herd. The beginning of the pandemic we had an extremely patronising voice telling us that the vax was, “completely harmless and would leave our bodies in 24 hours” on the radio. Talk about misinformation. They talk about herd immunity but what they were relying on was herd mentality, (where 90% of the population absorbs all this propaganda and believes, bless their hearts and cotton socks, everything they are told by mainstream media). “Conspiracy theories” are also a term invented by the tax payer funded media used to discredit any free thought. Remember that the protestors had one request and that was to have a hearing with the PM. That they were violently removed, without that happening, is a blot on our proud history. A small article in the Herald this morning recognised the trauma caused to children by this violent act of removal. Finally the reporters are actually acknowledging that the violent participants in this occupation were the minority.
            Apologies to all the fine young men and women who fought and died, during the world wars, for this freedom that we thought we had. Apologies also to my parents who were Labour voters and so was I, till now, never again.

        • Linked to the same Dirty Politics crew that pay you your shill fee Jezza.

          You, Harete Hipango and Maureen Pugh did not get the memo email, NOT to give tacit support protestors and terrorists (overtly), only in private.

    • 1st 2 cases amongst protesters reported today..told to self isolate…we’ll see over the next week..

      .in an unconnected incident wellie ossy fails to control unmasked ‘visitors’ on ward, now given people in ossy are sick not masking up is not only fuckin selfish but could amount to manslaughter…self obsessed entitled fuckwits…especially in those circumstances, right wing SJW feel feels just don’t count.

    • Good shit was that what the protesters were hurling at the police. Well most of Wellington wants them all gone and backers like Red Stag, Marty Verry needs to be blacklisted as he has shown he is all about himself and his business. He wants border open now so what is the point of all our hard work and sacrifice when we have to finish the job now and wait for Omicron to peak not bow to those individuals.

  9. “Media saying protesters are filth.” That’s a surprisingly accurate comment from you x ..x…etc.
    I reckon the stench from all in that cesspit of ignorance must be quite ripe by now!

  10. So the Wellington event is a result of years of societal pressures.

    And who has the answer for the situation. Dear oh dear, Sir James Bolger. So where exactly was he from 1972 until 1998 while the roots were being rotted?

    • Peter. Jim Bolger doesn’t have a knighthood and he didn’t want one. When John Key’s government reintroduced the scrapped Queen’s Honours, recipients of the NZ Honours which had replaced them, were offered the chance to swap them for the Royal ones. They came crawling along like hungry toddlers to get them, everybody except Bolger. It was pathetic to see how much importance adults placed on a dubious sort of handle, but that’s how it was.

  11. Aggregate data is unreliable. London voted leave but the white working class voted similarly to the white working class elsewhere in the UK. It is just that there are more migrants and highly educated people in London.

  12. Hi Chris. You’ve totally ignored, as Curia has, the number of protestors that actually voted. Out of the 300 odd, were there 10, 50, 100 or 200. It totally changes the emphasis of the poll and would have been so easy to show.

    • You’ve totally ignored the information provided by Curia at the bottom of the link article. Probably you never read it to inform your opinion.

  13. Some, yes. I live in the provinces and have lost most of my friends here to the convoy cult. Privileged most of them. Caught up in neo liberal individualism. Fucked off bc they ve heen told what to do…on this. Ie fine with rules getting benefits jacindas small business loans, botox etc. Now almost psychotic reading telegram for hours. Looking like they’re from wild wild country. Often callous about social issues previously. Often not voting previously. Often Christians or crystal lovers. Often fine with party pills but not the vaccine. On it if it’s an asana not interested if it’s Maori except in workshops at spirit festival.

  14. ” That the mainstream news media saw no merit in commissioning such an exercise testifies to its steady retreat from the principles of independent journalism ”

    Much appreciated Chris for a succinct and honest appraisal of why we are at this point in our history and what is driving this occupation of parliament grounds.

    These people like many in New Zealand who don’t enjoy the benefits and social structure of our neo liberal economy have looked in vain for a party that might offer some hope out of the hell that is their daily lives and promise’s a better deal. Winston , James #Marama have failed and will continue to manipulate the fears and hopes of many of the economic refugees in our country to get elected and in the Green’s case think they can effect change until they arrive at parliament and discover the powerful structure in place to ensure they cannot achieve what they really believed they could.

    The Alliance came the closest with the charismatic driven Jim Anderton leading the charge until the coalition of parties split and helped precipitate an early election in July 2002.

    There has been no party that has come close even the Internet party was a distraction and failed for a number of reasons.

    I am hoping that sometime in the near future that we will have a strong environmental and economic justice group like the people’s assembly that is growing in the U.K and may lead to a new political party to represent the undermined captives of Tory, Labour inspired austerity.

  15. Your analysis of Curia’s research resonates with me. I live in Wellington but from time to time go through to the Waikato. As far as I can tell the satellite towns around Hamilton are predominantly service centres for the dairy and blood stock industries. They are prosperous. The farmers come to town and spend their money. They are not ‘rust belt’ rundown dying towns suggested in your blog Chris. But, and here’s the rub, they share the same attitudes and beliefs and opinions that you ascribe to those in poorer circumstances in your article. I have noticed over the last year that their anger towards the government and its management of Covid is visceral. It would be a brave individual who would take up Jacinda’s earlier suggestion to discuss (in a kind way) getting vaccinated with the unvaccinated. I certainly wouldn’t be brave enough.

    I have a friend who lives on a life style block in the Ruapehu area. He talks about the locals in much the same way. But this district is more remote; towns are more run down and many locals are isolated and disconnected from society. They are considerably angrier it seems from their Waikato counterparts. My friend is amazed at how angry the locals are.

    If I consider your article and my anecdotal ‘evidence’ from a political perspective, I cannot see Labour retaining any provincial, semi rural or rural seat that they currently hold in next years election if this stays the same. Nor can I see them getting much by way of the party vote. If this happens, which I think it will, I’m not sure what it would mean for their ability to remain in government. But its probably dire.

    • The discourse is going to be why Labour? Let’s vote for another Party – what have we got to lose – we haven’t gained much from supporting Labour. And we have been hoping they could get over their lies and come clean. We have overlooked them in hope of change, but they seem to have been ingrained.

  16. The anti-mandate protest when it began had support from a lot of new zealanders who appreciate
    and understand the value of a good protest. However, after a few days it became obvious that it
    had been hijacked by misogynists, incels, mummy’s boys and a whole truck load of trailer trash
    ho’s, desperately feeding on the perverted testosterone exuding from these little boys who never
    managed to get over the loss of their mother’s milk. The only thing they know how to do, is how to
    spit the dummy. They also obviously never managed to move on from the need for nappies either,
    considering their unsanitary and publicly vulgar toilet habits and the need to play and wallow in the
    results.

    This is not a protest, it is a Trumpian dystopia created, financed and run by American dollars and
    their gutter politics with a ‘heapin helpin’ of good ol’ kiwi naivety. These protesters keep going on
    about ‘sheeple’ and ‘freedoms’ and yet their knowledge is so inverted and singular they cannot see
    outside the cages and fences they have erected around themselves by the ‘mandate’ they follow. Such is freedom.

  17. Thank you for writing a great article at long last. Great analysis.

    The composition of the protestors is fluid in nature. Many of the original protest 2 weeks ago had disappeared and those replacing them and remaining today are different. We have no way of knowing the true picture nor former political affilliations of all protestors against mandates throughout NZ – but it’s useful to confirm they’re from across the political spectrum rather than the extremists the media claims they are.

    And these 3 pandemic years to date are but a blip in time. Such pandemics arrive on average every 90 to 100 years and each lasts on average from 2 to 5 years. It’s obvious we’re at the end of this covid pandemic while covid-19 is now added to the causes of the common flu and common cold. We’ll soon return to normal and this pandemic will be relegated to history and forgotten.

    But the stench proudly coveted and worn by Jacinda’s Labour government will unfortunately remain. I just hope they don’t permanently damage the Left. Just as Jim Anderton started the Alliance after being betrayed by Labour in the 1980s, I reckon it’s now time to start another left-wing party today to escape the damage and baggage from Jacinda’s Labour government.

    • I agree. These people need ti go visit the protesters and talk to them rather than sit in their ivory towers

      I’m just back from the chch camp and it was great: a live band playing, people chilling

      • XXX
        Now why would Jacinda want to talk to ‘these people’? It would mean she would have to lower herself to be ‘one of us’. One of her famous ‘team of 5 million’. But she’s not. She’s way above ordinary people. She is the messiah.

    • We don’t vote for racist parties tedhealth some do mostly those who care about themselves or are getting a big fat salary or cushy government contract or job.

  18. XXX
    Your critical thinking is spot on. But don’t argue with Bert because he’s a police expert. He could be Poto Williams in disguise.

  19. Perhaps some of the devalued and declassed protestors have become so intensely conscious of their misfortune that they have become devoid of all reason and feeling.

  20. People providing food at the location of ignorance today signalled that they would be establishing an antivaccine pass system, in order to stop “people coming for a look getting a free feed”.

  21. Yeah. Nah.

    They are just selfish, scared, and suffer from a low grade dose of narcissism. Put that all together, add a dose of low IQ, a pinch of poor education, a dash of US right wing cash and bake it in the social media oven and you end up with the embarrassing mess in Wellington.

    If Mallard hadn’t been such a dickhead it would have imploded under the weight of its own contradictions but supply a group with an external “enemy” and that will keep the flame alive. Jacinda needs to drop kick Mallard into the retirement zone, the guys a pompous idiot who has passed his used by date and is now damaging the PMs brand.

    A few more shit throwing, acid splashing and car ramming incidents and I think that will do the job of peeling away crowd numbers to a logistically feasible arrestable level and then this will just go down as another historical footnote of collective human idiocy.

  22. Jesus Christ Andrew! Another right-wing apologist for alt-right, QAnon nutjobbery landing in New Zealand, right after National Party’s Caucus retreat and back-slapping-fest in Queenstown, which you were probably @ Andrew (in the Media Shill-Troll Workshops).

    We all know Dirty Politics 4.0 is balls-deep in all of this protest when Judith Collins got off her knees in church, to appear on One News last night, praising the lord for sending the evangelist cavalry.

    Wipe the smirk off your face Judith and denounce https://nuremberg.nz/
    Un-lower your eyebrows Judith and denounce Jason Kerrison’s death-threatening a media personality in a tweet. ttps://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/300522046/hilary-barry-calls-out-musician-jason-kerrison-for-veiled-death-threats-dont-mess-with-your-aunty-boy
    Denounce Steve Bannon’s involvement in this Alt-Right insurrection, with human excrement instead of US flagpoles.

    I looked at Cranmer Grandma’s post of Jeff Bell’s Cartoon and this whole Dirty Politics involvement with the Alt-Right terrorists at Parliament made sense.

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