MEDIAWATCH: Damien Grant’s version of our Covid response belittles our shared sacrifice because Libertarians don’t know how to share


I love Damien Grant.

He’s funny, he’s clever and as a Libertarian, he’s wrong 90% of the time.

I think he’s one of the best columnists in NZ because he forces you to think outside your comfort zone.

Like I said, I rarely agree with him, but he makes me think.

His latest column where he belittles and trashes our response to Covid however is so misguided in its premise and values, a counter perspective must be penned!

Damien belittles our shared sacrifice because as a libertarian, he doesn’t have a functioning understanding of sharing.

Firstly, seeing as Damien gleefully told TVNZ he was taking the wage subsidy even though he didn’t need it, I’m not sure what moral high ground he’s lecturing the rest of us from.

Damien lecturing us on morality and ethics over Covid is like a panel of lepers judging a beauty contest.

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Be that as it may, State Funded Comrade Damien raises legitimate complaints about the lock down process.

As a Post Marxist Anarchist with radical environmental tendencies, I too chaffed at the public health restrictions.

I detest the State up in my grills yet here it was literally masking me and demanding I stay at home.

It wasn’t really much of a sacrifice though was it?

Some managed to turn staying at home into our version of Gallipoli!

But we stayed home and we bore the shared sacrifice because when the virus was first out of control, we had an unvaxed population.

Let’s remember, Jacinda and Labour’s courage to put public health before profit margin saved 20 000 lives!

The consequences and costs of saving those lives has caused economic debt and because the Covid lockdown was universally sacrificed unequally in an unequal society, we have the problems we do now.

Where Labour failed was in appreciating that the lesson from Covid was that we need capacity in our State, but because of the 40 year  neoliberal experiment, we don;’t have that State capacity because we refuse to tax the rich for it.

When the actions of the World gather in history to argue who  responded best to Covid, China will attempt to tell the historians they with their authoritarian approach that saw people welded into homes won, but NZ, a tiny democracy in the South Pacific can staunchly stand and proclaim that we dealt with it best, based on telling our citizens the facts and asking for their consent to stay home, we agreed.

Damien sells that as a herd like culture too frightened to think for itself.

I see it as a people who trust science, the common good and well articulated leadership.

This graph highlights what Damien’s perspective misses, the real lives of those we saved…

…We all sacrificed during covid, what we leant was how interconnected we all are and how working together is the only solution to the numerous crisis we are about to be hit with.

Don’t forget, as urbanised encroachment continues, the ease with which a virus can leap across into our population only gains more opportunities, not less.

We will face this challenge again, and we can not allow self doubt and pity rob us of the leadership to make the right calls again.

I love Damien, he’s my friend.

But he’s wrong about belittling our sacrifice.


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  1. In 1914 Arthur Foljambe, 2nd Earl of Liverpool declared NZ was at war with Germany. Rather than kiwis having a discussion about whether they agreed with this idea or not, they immediately embraced it and started hounding and pressurising young kiwi men to get into the fight. We have a history in NZ of following the pack and over the top peer pressure. Conscription in 1916 was the next big step. Neighbours were dobbing in shirkers. (Most other countries were not doing this.) I’m not sure why New Zealanders feel so much urgency to conform to movements they don’t fully understand.

    • Professor Stanley Milgram is a good place to start @ Kiwi Pete. The Milgram experiment is an interesting example of compliance.
      And then there’s a film called ‘Compliance’ written and directed by Craig Zobel and based on actual events.
      At the time of the dark dawn of neo-liberalism there were good examples of how ready and eager people were, we, the general public were, to allow private capitalist interests to devour our assets to exploit the capital value then, and this is the bit I like, they sold what were our services and assets back to us now held within the portfolio’s of the companies they own to return enduring capital, i.e. profits to them while we get our electricity disconnected. Ask graeme hart how he’s a multi-billionaire ( $14 B.) and one of the richest fuckers within the 200 richest fuckers in the world and he’s only 68 years old. Quite the savings plan there graeme.
      Neo-liberalism, general capitalism, thatcherism, reaganism, rogernomics… they’re all ism’s and idioms to describe crooks doing crooked shit while taking advantage of the ignorance they’ve propagated within us via their all bought and paid for MSM. Seriously, that’s it.
      We were de-clawed when they got rid mandatory unionism in mud-head bolgers early 90s, our farmers were hypnotised by plump urban mercantile-firm bullies to behave in a manner that’s still contrary to our farmers and our environments best interests and the only narrative I’ve read drawing focus down on that is me here. So yeah! Go me! Go The Daily Blog! Whoop! Yay! On a much more serious note. If you vote and then you fail to protect your vote from the results of a completely corrupt politic and economy it will be YOU who help push our beautiful AO/NZ overboard to the sharks down there waiting for our gorgeous country.
      The national party and it’s cling-on wart and rogernome brain spurt ACT party have already banked the money. They’ll be gambling on the outcome of this most vital and important election to swing in their favour. The labour party are alarmingly not talking about the mid 1980s and of how traitor douglas infested Old Labour with his toxic essences. That, perhaps above all else, greatly worries me. It says to me that the Labour Party is failing to let the truth set it free.
      Labour! You still have time to release the Truth! Dirty little roger hid up Labour then gutted it from the inside out. Is his influence, his infection, still in there?
      You have two and a bit days. No pressure. Actually, yes there is.
      P.S. damien grant? Who fucking cares?

      • Ask graeme hart how he’s a multi-billionaire ( $14 B.) and one of the richest fuckers within the 200 richest fuckers in the world and he’s only 68 years old. Quite the savings plan there graeme.
        Did he, or did he not actually start out in his first foray in a trucking business? And who mentored him into his upward rise to (reticent) fame and fortune?

        cb exhorts…Labour! You still have time to release the Truth! Dirty little roger hid up Labour then gutted it from the inside out. Is his influence, his infection, still in there?
        Sounds like a tapeworm. But even so, though tightly wound around inside the guts of Labour, starting now there is time to get it out. But you archangels guarding the body of our fallen hero, please give some invigorating beverage, as it will be temporarily weakened, The best brandy for our hero/wh/ine may give time to get the needed voters to the booths on Saturday to change the see-saw direction.
        Says that On election day, Saturday 14 October, all voting places will be open from 9am to 7pm. But I read that some country booths are going to be closed on Saturday. bit confusing – Back to the Future stuff!

        Keep up you citizens, the plastic regulations can bend and change when under pressure and heat from external forces and manipulated administrators and uncivil servants. Real farmers who carry on their special and important roles out there in the boondocks may very well feel let down, unappreciated.
        Thousands of rural voters could miss out on their right to cast a ballot in the general election next week, because hundreds of polling booths will be closed on election day.
        More than 2600 polling booths are being set up across the country, 800 of which will open early, but 300 will not be open on polling day – many of them in remote locations.

        [Example] The polling booth at Uruti School, about 45km north of New Plymouth, will instead only be open for six hours this Sunday, 8 October.
        [Uruti resident] Dawn only got wind of that earlier this week…
        She reckoned many of the area’s 900 or so residents could be in the dark about the change. “There hasn’t been a lot of communication out there.

      • Fantastic comment Countryboy, I couldn’t have articulated that any better, you hit the nail right on the Head with those truth bombs, Neoliberalism is the biggest swindle ever, its just a means to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich!

    • Cultural cringe from a nation still thinking of “home”

      “Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand”

      Neighbours were dobbing in shirkers. (Most other countries were doing this.)

    • Woman diluted conscription from sacrificing yourself for your nation to just another job when we gave them the vote.

      Yknow we built this nation and gave woman the vote and as soon as its all nice and comfy people like you turn your backs on your own men.

  2. About 35000 people die every year in Nz most are over 80 – the covid restrictions suppressed the natural death rate that year. What was described as a covid death was greatly exaggerated if you died with cancer and were covid positive it was listed as a covid death , if you had a stroke and were covid positive you died of covid. If you are 80 or older you’ve got a 10%chance of dying this year.
    If we had adopted the swedish approach a few more of us 80 year olds might have died a year or two earlier with covid but we were going to die anyway . The country would have saved 40 billion in wasted money and school students education would not have been undermined to the extent it has – and the medical professionals and political wouldn’t have needed to lie so much to justify the decisions they made.

    • Artemis, what a load of shit.
      Instead of picking numbers out of your bum how about quoting facts.
      To say that most of the deaths in NZ are over 80’s may be correct, I don’t know but I do know many of those that died during the pandemic would not of died during that time.

      • UBT Thanks for saying what everyone is thinking. It is a strain to hear this same old repetition with such conviction. I think there needs to be a sort of John Malkovich magic to enable some new ideas to enter, grudgingly maybe – but allowed in to be faced.

        Think ‘Being John Malkovich’ film in which…[filing clerk] Craig discovers a small hidden door. He crawls through it into a tunnel and finds himself inside the mind of actor John Malkovich…[Wife ]Lotte enters the portal and becomes obsessed, saying that the experience awakens her transgender identity…
        But careful. get too far into someone’s mind and it could be: “…if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
        ― Friedrich Nietzsche 1844-1900

    • It’s a ridiculous notion to suggest that just not doing anything and sailing merrily along, while people dropped like flies, it would have been business as usual ( apart from all the corpses of course). Plenty of states in US showed what happened with the early strains when you just carried on. Hospitals were swamped to the extent people with other illnesses were not treated and it also took out healthcare workers needlessly. Either course of action came with a huge cost.

    • Artemis Problem was the debilitated New Zealand hospital service just couldn’t cope with too many sick people, so oldies were instructed to stay home and not talk to the neighbours. Doctors and nurses were not classified as essential workers the way that eg disc jockeys were, and the disc jockeys were bread and circuses for the plebs.

    • Trust artemis folks, because you know, he has an internet connection.
      Distrust the infectious and viral disease experts, epidemiologists and medical statisticians who spend their careers doing the hours and actual hard work to improve the human condition.

      • Are they the ones saying vaccination and vaccination alone will stop Covid and you cant transmit it if vaccinated and its 95% effective, and only the unvaccinated are spreading it, those Epidemiologists?
        Have you even taken the time to actually read any data you drop kick?

    • I can see your point, poverty and death rates are linked which can perfectly mean flour for breakfast, flour for lunch and flour for dinner with a side dish of margarine and a pack of beers to water it down. A very cheap, very fattening diet and just another expression of poverty and lack of alternatives.

      But yes, the big modern factor about hunger is that it comes at the end of an assault rifle held by a dude dressed in green. The solution to that is usually not money, not directly at least.

    • @artemis nice summary. A local doctor has told us they’re not allowed to test for covid anymore and it’s looking more and more like a coverup is underway to hide mistakes that were made – mistakes that were pretty inevitable given the circumstances. If the medical establishment wasn’t in the habit of acting like they have all the answers – even when the virus was new – they wouldn’t now be in this position of having to pretend they got everything right.
      Unfortunately it just encourages the people who thought the whole thing was a giant monster conspiracy to depopulate the world – or get computer chips in our blood – or whatever else they’re saying that may or may not involved reptiles.

      • Aaron, so how did my granddaughter get a covid test yesterday at her GP.?
        It was only a rat test but a test all the same and positive to boot.
        Don’t talk shit, maybe your Doctor is a conspiracy theory freak like you seem to be.

    • “………….if you died with cancer and were covid positive it was listed as a covid death ………..”
      Where did you come by those alternative facts? In a ‘peer-reviewed’ Quora bubble maybe? Or maybe a Sue Grey or a Soveriegn Sherrif’s virology database?

      • Yeah, you have to laugh, even the one where the person who was hit and killed by a car who had covid, died of covid. You gotta love the koolaid drinkers.

        • Jesus H Christ!
          The 2 above – I take it you’ve both seen the death certificates? Yes?

          They may have got death WITH covid, but if you’re trying to tell me someone who died of cancer was registered as having their cause of death being Covid. I call bullshit.

          It’s possible Covid was an aggravating factor but you really are destined for the conspiratorial rabbit hole.

          Please! Vote for one of the minor alternative minority muppet parties, or save up for some look-at-me uniform.

    • My uncle broke his leg, went into hospital, caught Covid and died, are you trying to tell me he died of a broken leg?

    • Yep Artemis there is that perspective and I agree with it.
      How does Sweden compare in the chart above…
      They had a lassaiz faire approach if that’s the right word,
      And is the chart per head population?

    • Corona is just a bird flu. You ain’t seen nothing. The natural world occupies not even three percent of the world. All those animal cornered in have no choice but to jump the species barrier. Brain disease like foot and mouth are you all getting it through your think fucken four heads?

      Corona was the excuse to raise education and health levels one maybe two levels and you fucken blew it. All going backwards. Where’s the new hospital? Where’s the domestic pharmaceutical production. $30 billion on what? Boosting speculative property portfolios? Fuck off.

  3. Really the covid period was around the death of the can do Kiwi bloke replaced by an urban liberal laptop worker metrosexual male who did what their mummy told them, but still wanted to be let out long enough to get their groceries and wine

  4. Lol, Grant nailed it 100% . All you covid cowards embracing authoritarian nazi bodily experimentation over a common cold!Losers!
    Us Purebloods are alive & well mate!lol

    • Ross et all, I don’t think it was all who were too frightened to think for themselves.
      In my case and many I know, we questioned the vaccine necessity, and efficacy, strongly.

      One factor, a default position of hesitant trust in the government and other leaders helped convince me.

      For many, that trust is totally shattered, to the great detriment of society.
      See eg the stats now for Maori children Vax rates, school attendance etc.

      For me, the final convincing persuasion was not fear, but a NZ statistician blogger. I trusted the statistics.

  5. The Covid sacrifice was not shared. Not in a million years.

    For some it was a holiday at home and for others it was a nightmare.

    Don’t believe me? Funny how some lament that the Covid lockdowns were a great time for families to get together and even pine for those times again. For others, it’s a sickening cold sweat of huge hours and financial loss, notwithstanding those that could not say goodbye to loved ones.

    The Covid sacrifice was not felt evenly for all, as our choices were taken away from us.

  6. I’m afraid Artemis has a point, as does Damien Grant. As does Martyn! And indeed Marco+Battler.

    The 20,000 deaths saved were mostly of those in their 70s/80s (my age group), many of whom were not otherwise going to live much longer (the average NZ survival is 82). Not that I discount the value of older people; grandparents can be powerfully helpful in raising youngsters.

    But there’s this key sentence in Damien Grant’s piece: “And we have paid a terrible price. Closing schools has coincided with a spike in truancy that has remained stubbornly resistant to resolution.” More than that, in my view, the loss of effective schooling across a generation, and the loss of socialisation of a whole cohort of young people. I’ve seen my grandson at home, “in class” sitting with a laptop. Young people’s whole lives have been blighted, perhaps only slightly so, perhaps inconsequentially so for many, but more for other less resilient/less supported souls (vide Grant on truancy). Frankly, we 80 year-olds owe them some recompense (say, e.g., fees-free tertiary education)

    Long covid is the awful sting in the tail. Most of us spent a few miserable days in bed, but then bounced back (as has Chris Hipkins, as it appears). But a small fraction are going on to suffer a similar disease as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, diminished for the rest of their lives. If it turns out that NZ has a smaller fraction of long covid, actually, that might be seen as more of a “public health triumph” than the 20,000 deaths.

    And as for the idea that NZers as a people are particularly prone to come down hard on outsiders, as an unattractive national trait, well, that’s a broader issue, beyond my judgment.

    • Duh. Fatties and old, and young people are really really really fucking serceptible to immune suppression disease. Who thebfuck would have thunk. On the other hand we went pretty hard to protect them with harsh lock downs. Do you just want to be a cunt today? How about I sing you whakaria mai.

      Opportunists are just cunties.

  7. The term ‘team of five million’ came into being at some stage.

    Most appropriate and a searingly accurate description of our state. Five million people, a mass of who individually thought that their knowledge views and opinions about Covid and science and immunology and virology and epidemiology and 5G towers and the rest, were better, more informed more accurate and more important than those of the other 4.9999 million. And were going to let them know.

    The people who’d never opened a science textbook or done Year 11 or Form 5 science pontificating about science hooked up with crazies.

    Luxuriating in the state of being alive the ‘after the eventers’ can see what should have happened and what they would have done. Those at the extreme would have had nothing happen, nothing different done, with life to carry on as usual. As soon as the body count mounted they would have gone berserk about Government inaction of course.

    Arseholes like Mike Hosking who pro forma had it that what was being done here was inevitably going to be wrong, thought we should be copying the strategies of Singapore, or Australia, or Taiwan, or Sweden, or Finland, or whomever anywhere depending on the day or the weather. And of course then rinse and repeat when circumstances suited. No care, no responsibility except to his advertisers and the need to drag his moronic listeners along.

  8. Oh well, we can deal with the next pandemic differently, can’t we. Now we know what not to do. Lol.

    Or the arrival of some seemingly random threat that most havent thought much about, but well known and not unexpected to some.

    • Tend to agree with you Bozo. Simple yet succint. Plus we now need to learn to heal our hurts and recover from our greivances. “Being kind” was a good reminder for the times. We are all culpable at times of the opposite afterall and a pandemic is no time to lose your shit imo. It’s a bit sad the phrase got worn out and had it’shead lopped off, because that’s pretty much what we need to keep doing, to raise our little country (and planet) out from where we are at. There seems to be a lot of fear in our communities and around the world, and that’s not a healthy position to be in for too long, for any of us. Just my opinion.

  9. Ah… the problem with Libetarians like Damien Grant and the other toxic imbeciles that comment on on this site is, they tell us all how it should be based on their self indulgent Me first tedium, coupled with their deranged conspiracy theories, but refute the slightest critique of their position.
    When the shit rains down on you Damien, do you think the “We” are going to tolerate you and your “all about Me”?
    Grow the fuck up little man.

    • “Grow the fuck up little man.”
      Not going to happen unfortunately @Sleek. Sadly, a wasted brain that could have been put to good use in improving the lives of human beings.
      Another example of mankind’s worst enemy being His/Her/It’s ego.
      His raison d’etre is to be as disagreeable as possible, IF just to show us all how bloody clever He is.

      That sound arrogant and judgemental? It is but I’ve come to agree with all that geese and ganders and saucy stuff.
      Spread the love @ Martyn. If things get too bad after the 14th, you may need a couch to crash on


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