- Date published:
8:09 am, October 29th, 2020 - 55 comments
Categories: covid-19, election 2020, health, jacinda ardern, making shit up, spin, uncategorized, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: fox news
It has been interesting seeing overseas attempts to present Aotearoa in the last couple of days. I mean did someone turn up the international stupid dial to maximum?
First there was UK former Conservative Party then UKIP Party journalist Suzanne Evans accusing New Zealand of having a fascist Government. Her evidence? Our lockdown policies.
Then things got really weird when the TV channel that celebrated the locking up of kids and their forceful separation from their parents thought that our policies were too extreme.
The problem was that the post was completely lacking in that characteristic that all media should aspire to achieve and that was it was a complete misrepresentation of reality.
Here's the Fox News segment from today, where they play an Ardern statement from months ago and describe it as a "terrifying new response". pic.twitter.com/YACgDHVvBX
— Nikora (@MoaVideos) October 28, 2020
They also had this text on their website:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, of the center-left New Zealand Labour Party, announced in a video that if people sent to the camp refuse to be tested, they will be required to remain another two weeks after their initial two-week stay.
Ardern called the warning a “pretty good incentive” to get tested for COVID-19.
“You either get your test done and make sure you are cleared, or we will keep you in a facility longer,” she said. “So I think most people look at that and say, ‘I will take the test.'”
Hanson told host Laura Ingraham that such draconian measures that Ardern’s orders make no sense given how little the pandemic has affected the island nation.
“They have a nation of 5 million people,” Hanson explained. “They’ve only lost, tragically, but they lost 25 people. That’s an astoundingly low number to throw away personal freedom.”
Feel your brain clench as you read this? Wonder if Hanson may have contemplated the possibility that having more “personal freedom” US style may have resulted in many more deaths? I guess we should expect such stupidity because the Hoover Institute is a right wing think tank based in the States.
The Ardern film relied on by Fox was from June 29, 2020, which by my calculations was 4 months ago. Suggesting that it was a “terrifying new response” is rather overbaked and brings an entirely new meaning to the phrase. Or ignores its meaning completely.
I accept there are constraints on our freedoms. Currently there are about 5,000 returning kiwis or visitors who are in managed isolation. They are subject to two tests over 14 days. Recently I am aware of one person whose stay was extended by a further 14 days because she did not want to do the test because of the threat of nose bleeds. The health professionals made a call. Myself, I preferred they exercise caution.
The places they have to stay in are pretty good. Four and five star hotels. They get fed and they can purchase alcohol.
For those currently with symptoms they go into quarantine. There are currently 66 active cases in the country. Quarantine places are also hotels but with stricter health measures.
Is this a limitation on our freedoms. Of course it is.
Our Bill of Rights Act which protects freedoms states that “the rights and freedoms contained in this Bill of Rights may be subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”.
Unlike America we have an independent and robust judiciary. Our judges are selected on merit, not which side of the culture war they occupy.
Our courts had a look at the lock down orders and concluded that they were initially technically in breach of the law for a short period of time but that this was subsequently remedied and that they were justified. From the judgment:
Although we have concluded that there was for nine days an unlawful limitation of certain rights and freedoms, that must be seen in the context of the rapidly developing public health emergency the nation was facing. We agree with Mr Borrowdale that – although not prescribed by law – the limits were nevertheless reasonable, necessary and proportionate. Moreover, they were limits that could have been imposed lawfully by the Director-General at the time, simply by issuing an order. And the unlawfulness has long since been remedied.
New Zealand has made the call. Rather than face the prospect of tens of thousands of loved ones dying and long term health effects that we are still discovering we decided instead to socially distance and wash our hands regularly. And make sure that people returning from disease hotbeds like the United States were quarantined, so that our elders and those with compromised health systems did not have to go through what their counterparts in the States are going through.
The handling of the pandemic is popular with the people of Aotearoa and saw Labour reelected to power with an unprecedented level of support in an MMP election.
And while we are on the subject of democracy Trump America is not in a position to criticise us about anything. We recently held an election where over 80% of eligible voters exercised their democratic right to vote. Voting was a breeze. It did not matter if you lived in a wealthy or a poor area queues were short and people were encouraged to vote early. People did not have to line up in queues for 8 hours to vote. Rolls were not purged so that mainly poor people and people of colour were disenfranchised for no valid reason. And the whole election was run by an entity that was independent of the parties.
I get it that the States is in the middle of an election and that the right wing candidate, who has made a complete mess of handling the disease, is under intense pressure in an election campaign that if run properly should see him lose. But making up stories and criticising us because we took the hard decisions to hold the disease at bay?