Irony in move to Level One

There is irony in the move to Level 1 in the South at the same time as Level 2 will let the Aucklander’s loose into the South.  The threat of transmitting Covid-19 will actually increase for the South.  100,000 plane tickets sold in Auckland in two hours after removal of the the need to distance on planes, trains, and busses is a startling change in movement of people which means a big change in the chance of the virus being carried around.  Look at how the virus went global so widely and so fast:  plane travel.   So called criticisms of government ‘fear mongering’ are actually open attempts by those critics to display their ignorance of the virus.  By now it is clear that the worlds of the humans and the viruses are different.  The unknowns about the spread, deadliness, and the long term effects, as well as the unknowns about vaccines, are still too potentially devastating.  As time goes by virus experts in the health field are learning more and their advice is paramount.  Interesting that Dr Bloomfield and PM Ardern have for the first time expressed differences of opinion during this phase.

Note (excerpts) commenting on the CONVID-19 response

Phil Goff in Auckland suggests many don’t understand what is going on and worries about acceptance of a shutdown. The government is taking a chance on losing support by moving without general understanding. Their problem I think is that they don’t have enough information to make confident decisions. There are apparently 1500 tests being done daily now but that few isn’t going to give us a good picture. Perhaps the govt would feel better if 15,000 tests were done daily and targeted properly. Even at 15,000 daily it would take about 9 months to get through the whole population. They are not explaining this uncertainty instead trying to fane certainty with Jacinda’s communications.

Murdoch earlier this week captured the political situation so well. Ardern is gripping the steering wheel of state with white knuckles, and Robertson is leaning on her shoulder, both with terrified looks on their faces. In the back is a white faced Bridges on the phone saying, ‘Can’t talk now; I’m holding the country together by sheer force of will”.

As far as us over 70’s are concerned our situation is being confused with the situation of those coming from overseas, and their connections. They need to be tested and kept in quarantine until results are known and only 14 days. That has been called ‘self-isolation’, a term with uncertainty written all over it. Over 70’s are not suspected generally of carrying the virus but are asked to stay mostly at home, indefinitely. I even heard on radio the term ‘self-isolation’ used in our context, which is irresponsible. This kind of restriction is tantamount to a life sentence with possibility of parole in 9 to 12 months, if lucky. There’s not enough clarity in all of this despite the PM’s manner.

‘brother in humanity’ deserves a name

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

31 March, 2019

Dear SST Editor:

Muslim blogger Nureddin Abdurahman (Victoria Masters student and taxi driver) says he has long felt categorized in Wellington as the ‘exclusion combo’ of black, refugee, and Muslim. Read the rest of this entry »

Denialism still at the forefront of climate thinking in NZ

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

21 March, 2019

Hello The Dom Post,

PM Ardern has said that climate change is NZ’s current equivalent ‘nuclear free’ issue and that future generations will judge today on that basis. Yet, as Mike Joy pointed out (20 March – lack of urgency) little is being done here in Aotearoa or around the western world. Read the rest of this entry »

Letter to PM Arden on the P-8A warplane

17 October, 2018

Jacinda Ardern,  Prime Minister

Parliament Buildings,  Wellington

Hello Ms Ardern:

Spending an extra $1B+ on a warplane (Boeing P-8A) while claiming there is not enough money for necessary pay increases for nurses and teachers, to name but two, is not a good look for a Labour government.  Read the rest of this entry »

Reminder that the Right in USA insists on unconditional support for Israel in order to be an ‘ally’.

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

3 June, 2018

Dear Editor:

Foreign Affairs has been quietly, but consistently reminded over the last decade that focusing on increasing trade with China and at the same time working closely with the US military in the Southwest Pacific, and especially with Five Eyes, which are more directly challenging China these days, was likely to create a few tight situations which they would have to try to maneuver through.

But was it expected that this latest criticism from the right wing Trump administration calling NZ the soft underbelly of Five Eyes and accusing NZ of having direct ties with ‘Communists” would reach the headlines?

What has brought this on, I expect, is not really a direct concern with the Chinese in NZ, but rather the recent UN votes where PM Ardern failed to unconditionally support Israel for mass killings of peaceful protesters in Gaza. There is nothing more fundamental to the US right’s ideology than total support for Israel and they will not accept anything else from anyone who wants to be an ‘ally’.

Richard Keller