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Freedom Protesters are a pain in the ass

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, November 10th, 2021 - 74 comments
Categories: covid-19, human rights, jacinda ardern, labour, Social issues, uncategorized - Tags:

Human rights are a pain in the ass. Yesterday’s protesters were rude, unfit to invite home to dinner, shouty, and so incoherent that you could’t make any sensible point with them. They were and are a pain in the ass. But they are OUR pain in the ass.

New Zealand’s own Human Rights Commission states that “The government measures to combat Covid-19 are extraordinary and place significant restrictions on New Zealanders’ human rights. Even during a pandemic, everyone has human rights and freedoms under the New Zealand Bill of Rights and Human Rights Act.”

The warranted citizens who enforce both rights and law and order are the New Zealand Police. Currently they are simply picking off the organisers once the show is over. The rest of them just smile for their SIS file.They get the balance well.

Yesterday saw multiple “freedom protests” from Invercargill to Wellington to New Plymouth. Because the force of the state in travel and employment is really kicking in now, we should expect them to continue and to get louder.

This was one of New Zealand’s smaller efforts. It’s barely a tenth of us who marched against the otherwise obscure topic of lab-contained genetic modification back in 2003. While the “freedom marchers” blocked motorways north and south, the left have consistently passed on making any unruly noise about anything at all, other than in polite little scraps on message boards and being offended about seriously fuck all.

The Prime Minister may not celebrate yesterday’s protest, but honestly after 18 months of public health breakdowns and multiple rights being curtailed, what exactly did she expect would happen?

No current Member of Parliament joined into what would otherwise be a televisual gift. Therefore it’s so minor no-one has detected measurable votes in it.

The mixture of Tino Raingatira flags, Trump flags and United Tribes flags show that ideological incoherence is not the preserve of New Zealand’s left. It’s simply our postcolonial shorthand for “we’re just pissed off”. Such co-opted symbols pop up every time there’s a scrap and will continue to do so.

There are limits to rights that defend us from harm, which is why the unnamed Christchurch Massacre perpetrator is going to have his day in court about how mistreated he’s been, and then he will go back to a cell consisting of the thickest-possible concrete slabs imaginable where he will in time die in silence.

The “freedom protests” are rebelling against the largest publicly-funded and staffed comms programme in recent history, fronted by the most popular Prime Minister in recent history, against the entire mainstream media, against 90% of vaccinated Kiwis, and in some respects against their own interests. It only feels slightly weird because it’s not a traditional leftie cause rallying the citizens. The left do not own human rights.

New Zealand’s Parliament is one of many governments throughout the world that have introduced emergency measures that seriously constrain individual freedoms like expression, social rights like returning to your country, and economic rights like your job. These regulatory measures have closed schools, workplaces, transit systems, cancelled public gatherings, confined people to their homes, deployed large scale mass surveillance, and got a lot of people fired. Anger is reasonable.

But I can almost bet that none of that rights stuff was addressed at COP26, APEC, CPTPP, Cabinet, or indeed anywhere else recently.

Probably it will die down once we can all start shopping again. And party.

Probably.

The only time you need a right is when you are being a pain in the ass to someone else. So it is in the nature of such rights that their exercise will mean you are being a pain in the ass. That goes for the left and right. We should in general strongly defend the right of people to be a pain in the ass.

The scale of rights suppressed here by Ardern won’t look good in history, and never does.

The Public Safety Conservation Act 1932 conferred on the executive the power to declare an emergency whenever it judged “public safety or public order to be imperilled.”

The Economic Stabilisation Act of 1948 similarly had about zero safeguards.

Both Acts were good for Holland dealing to the Watersiders Union and Muldoon dealing to any business they liked.

The 1956 Health Act’s powers coming out of the Polio epidemic had the powers to enable the state to lock down the population last year with just a few hours’ warning.

The Epidemic Preparedness Act of 2006 allows Acts of Parliament to be modified or suspended by executive regulation.

Serious questions already existed about using the 1956 and 2006 Acts to roll over the Bill of Rights Act with the full lockdown, which is why as soon as Parliament met again in 2020 it enacted the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act, which spells out nice a clear the government’s wide powers to deal with COVID-19 specifically.

Since this crisis is soon to be over, Prime Minister Ardern must commit to restoring all human rights within BORA as soon as possible, and must also commit to entrenching the Bill of Rights Act by 75% majority rather than simple Parliamentary majority as it is. The state needs to retreat, big time and fast.

If civic life were intended to be convenient, instead of marching and raising your voice and expecting something, all protesters would simply be in jail. Scruffy little proles.

Meantime, thank God we still have many prepared to express their human rights and be a great goddamn incoherent pain in the ass.

74 comments on “Freedom Protesters are a pain in the ass ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Yes, the common interest was in rebellion against state control. Since the political left have always been addicted to state control, framing the rebellion as leftist would never work. Rightist? To some extent. Freedom is a rightist ideology in its contemporary form (freedom of choice). But the rabble seems more inchoate than ideological.

    I'm inclined to view it from the social ecology angle. It's an expression of biodiversity. Conformity to state control as normalcy is monoculture to an ecologist. Unhealthy!

    Had a long phone call to an old friend night before last. As I had suspected, he's antivax currently. Used the same logic my second wife & I used back in the early '80s when we decided not to give our daughter the state vaccination program (even though we'd both had that as kids ourselves). Natural immunity option. I'm ambivalent about it now – I realise many folk have depleted immune systems. We've been damaged by our toxic society.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Trump flags "pop up every time there’s a scrap and will continue to do so."

    Really?

    This doesn’t feel to me like a homegrown uprising. I’ve attended anti-vaxx “house meetings”, debated long and hard with committed anti-vaxxers, read as widely as I could, watched whatever is available. This smells off-shore to me.

    • Ad 2.1

      Co-option of proletariat resistance symbols is the key to the rise of Trumpism. We don't yet have an equivalent here, so Trump flags stand in their stead.

    • Dennis Frank 2.2

      I doubt it. Seems to be a new form of identity politics:

      In a new paper published for the journal Politics, Groups, and Identities, researchers found that 22 percent of Americans actively identify themselves as anti-vaccination, with 14 percent saying they are "sometimes" part of the movement and 8 percent saying this is "always" the case. These self-described anti-vaxxers "embrace" the label of anti-vaxxer "as a form of social identity," the authors write.

      https://www.salon.com/2021/06/08/millions-of-americans-view-being-anti-vaccination-as-a-part-of-their-social-identity-poll/

      • Nic the NZer 2.2.1

        Such a status has been a large part of identity since the pandemic began. Within weeks peoples profile pictures acquired masks (for some reason) and people have been attaching jab icons to their profiles since getting vaccinated.

        Unsurprising that the reverse has followed as an identity class also.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    In the winter of 1981 I was a committed “Stop the Springbok Tour” movement participant. We blocked streets, motorways, boarded an aircraft, and many other stunts and actions.

    At least half, and probably more, of the country hated my, and my thousands of fellow protestors very being. Wearing a HART badge in the wrong locale could result in anything from verbal abuse and threats, eviction from premises, on to assault and a full beating from the worst of thugby supporters.

    So as a life long activist I support anyone using their democratic rights of freedom of assembly, speech and association.

    Those refusing to be vaccinated for their fellow citizens sake, (and their own and their families) still take the Supreme Wanker award though!

    The spectacle of Tino Rangatiratanga flags next to a Trump banner will likely be dealt with within various networks and groups.

    • lprent 3.1

      I have no particular problem with people to protest. I have been doing that on and off since I was a kid in the 70s.

      What I find annoying with this set of protests is just the ridiculous level of incoherence and triviality. It seems to me that all is on offer is "if we don't look at something than it disappears – right!!". People sticking the head up their collective arse and just ignoring a real problem gets bugger all sympathy from me.

      And that was all that I saw when I looked at those protests. No plans for dealing with a problem. Denial that there was a problem at all. Not worth my time to even look at why they're disgruntled.

    • peter sim 3.2

      To the best of my knowledge wankers do not harm anybody with their activity.

      Supreme,egotistic, arrogant idiots would be appropriate. Cheers.

    • Pierre 3.3

      The spectacle of Tino Rangatiratanga flags next to a Trump banner will likely be dealt with within various networks and groups.

      Last weekend, me and a friend accidentally walked across the 5th November 'Guy Fawkes night' demonstration passing through Picadilly Circus in London. There was a mixture of hippies, libertarians, associates of the far-right, and plain conspiracy loons, all with a range of covid truther demands. On the tube afterwards we were puzzling over how such contradictory groups were brought together to march side-by-side. What holds together that bizarre political coalition?

      I don't fully understand it, but it's interesting to see the same observations coming up here.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.3.1

        My quick take on it is many people have brains like busted mirrors due to some combination of the following drivers…
        –neo liberal individualism
        –decline of collectivism
        –ascendency of post modernist philosophy, where “anything can mean anything”
        –overload from the “we never close” digital world
        –religious fundamentalism where people effectively dial out from real world solutions
        –alienation from a planet in major trouble due to Climate Disaster and end stage capitalism

        Faced with that steaming pile how many are going to come up with coherent and useful responses?

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    But they are OUR pain in the ass.

    No they are not. The wretched refuse of Trumps teeming shore are emphatically not our problem, the imaginary grievances whipped up by Fox news and QAnon are not worthy of recognition or tolerance – their object is the overthrow of government, or failing that, the subversion of it. Screw that – our governments struggle to perform adequately already without the contribution of saboteurs.

    Read them the riot act – tell them to make love elsewhere for chrissake – or we'll have a government led by Whaleoil or similar before too very long. These barbarous fools are the kind of corruption Rome died of – it may be apt given the lack of response to AGW – but they are the opposite of every ideal of good governance. The hell with them.

    • GreenBus 4.1

      I'm very inclined to agree with you especially the last sentence. Ad said they are our pain in the ass, I have to agree because my eldest son was at the New Plymouth protest and probably involved organising it as well. Words fail me because I cannot say anything but also cannot disown him. Oh well shit happens.

      • Patricia Bremner 4.1.1

        Greenbus, you have raised an independent being. You are not responsible for his choices. Agree to disagree as family is more important than any ideology in the end. imo.

        I think this is about respect. Most of those people believe they have a reason for their protest. If they protest, and don't hurt others that is fine. I respect their right to protest.

        Respect goes both ways however, so those protesting do not have the right to threaten to kill. That is against our law. False statements with a political or religious connection should be exposed and explained. Many do not understand "by association." Further, Mandates need a "Review Date." to show they are temporary in a pandemic response.

        It appears that world wide there is less information on delta and more on protests. Perhaps this is a feature of internet programmes that steer people towards the anti or the violent.

        More history of responses to pandemics and vaccination fears is required, to show people anxiety is a reasonable response to unusual events.

        • GreenBus 4.1.1.1

          You are right Patricia, good on you. More overseas Delta news would be beneficial.

          • lprent 4.1.1.1.1

            I'd say that we are less than 6-8 weeks from opening up internally (externally will take a bit longer). Basically we're now entering the period when it starts to get too late to get vaccinated as you need about 5 weeks to get a fully effective double dose at a minimum.

            I suspect that then the exponential plague running rampant through the un-vaccinated with a much lesser impact on the vaccinated is going to generate enough local news on the effects of delta.

    • Treetop 4.2

      The protesters offer nothing better to manage the pandemic. Freedom during a pandemic has limits.

  5. Treetop 5

    There is an expectation from some people that access to legal representation when breaking the Covid – 19 Public Health Response Act and an ICU/HDC bed is available when it comes to having freedom to do what you want during a pandemic. Restrictions are put in place to protect the health system and the public.

  6. Jenny how to get there 6

    Most of those protesting for "Freedom" wouldn't know what freedom was, since they have probably have never really experienced it.

    Disempowered in their de-unionised workplaces where they are fully under the control of the autocratic rule of their employer.

    Disempowered in their living arrangement by low wages vs. high cost of housing, screwed by the banks and landlords and employers at every turn.
    And made to feel inadequate by flashy adevtising for the latest SUV or exotic holiday, if only they will agree to go even into deeper debt, to the finance companies and banks.

    The "Financial Freedom" promised to them every week on TV by Lotto, always just out of reach.

    All of a sudden they get to a chance at some ersatz rebellion to claw back a small bit of empty autonomy, promised them by the far right conspiracy theorists and local Trump admirers.

    One thing the Right will not offer these ‘rebels’ is any real autonomy or security in their work lives or living conditions.

  7. Adrian 7

    I noticed that the bikie gang in the Wellington protest seems to have been a messaging vehicle for Tamaki and Destiny Church going by a few media reports yesterday, the name of the gang was mentioned but I can’t just recall it, ( conditions in farm paddocks are not really conducive to note taking ), as this gang ,not the Power or Mob, are known Meth dealers I hope the Police are paying attention to the connection, considering Brian Tamakis love of easy dodgy money. Also noted was a knowledgeable commentator maybe on RNZ who said that there were known to be quite a few Americans in the organising cohort, and in the video I looked at the only gang patch noticed was one for the Hells Angels Florida. It was a toxic little mobile swamp out there.

  8. Reality 8

    Haven't heard any of these anti everything protesters articulate any rational thoughts on what they would do to deal with a pandemic.

    Do they want hundreds or thousands of deaths just so they have the freedom to spread the virus? Do they think our hospitals can cope with hundreds and thousands of very ill patients, meaning all other patients cannot get the treatment they need, just so they can exercise their freedom?

    So until they can sensibly or sanely do this they are nothing but a rabid bunch of rebellious malcontents who don't give a damn for other people's health and welfare. A civil society does not ever mean individuals can go round doing whatever they like in the name of "freedom".

    • dv 8.1

      So until they can sensibly or sanely do this they are nothing but a rabid bunch of rebellious malcontents who don't give a damn for other people's health and welfare. A civil society does not ever mean individuals can go round doing whatever they like in the name of "freedom"

      That sound more like tyranny than freedom!!!

      • Janet 8.1.1

        Yes, I too see them as a mix of malcontents , misfits and morons egged on by a megalomaniac. At least they have all publicly exposed/ identified themselves now !

    • GreenBus 8.2

      It's all a hoax. There are no deaths. TV is being manipulated and not real. You are being brainwashed as conformist zombies. Don't let them get you!

  9. UncleBob 9

    This is what happens when central government messes with the Bill of Rights. Which like it or not, has happened. Not pretty I know, but these won't be the usual sanitized "approved" protestors we've seen in recent years. There is more of it to come in the coming weeks, I suspect. They are there for a wide variety of reasons, misrepresenting those reasons isn’t useful.

    • Macro 9.1

      This is what happens when central government messes with the Bill of Rights. Which like it or not, has happened.

      However..

      The High Court ruled yesterday that the Covid-19 vaccination mandate for border workers was justified and not an unlawful breach of the New Zealand Bill of Rights.

      It dismissed the legal challenge brought by four former Aviation Security Service employees against the Minister of Covid-19 Response.

      Max Harris is a policy campaigner and has a PhD in constitutional law.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018819915/vaccine-mandate-for-border-workers-not-unlawful-high-court

    • mickysavage 9.2

      I agree that traditional rights have been "messed" with. But although most time rights are interfered with the rationale is bogus this time it is to stop a virus that will kill thousands of us and overwhelm our health system. As someone who is committed to upholding rights on this particular occasion I think it is justified.

  10. Jenny how to get there 10

    The protesters say it is all about ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’.

    I think the government need to listen to them.

    Let's give them their freedom.

    You freely choose not to be vaccinated.

    Choose not to be treated for free.

    Your choice.

    It is not often I advocate for user pays.

    I am willing to make an exception for anti-vaxxers.

    Yay! for neoliberalism!

    Singapore stops paying for Covid treatment for people who are unvaccinated by choice

    Zoe Tidman – The Independent, Wednesday, 10 November, 2021

    Singapore has said it will stop paying the Covid medical bills for its citizens who are “unvaccinated by choice”.

    The government said most of those needing intensive care in hospital at the moment had not been jabbed against Covid….

    The [free care] policy will continue for those who are vaccinated – or ineligible for vaccination – until the Covid situation “is more stable”, the ministry of health said on Monday.

    “Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources,” its statement said.

    Those unvaccinated by choice will start having to pay for their own Covid healthcare costs from 8 December.

    The government has not been paying the medical bills of people who test positive for Covid following overseas travel….

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singapore-stops-paying-covid-treatment-085528675.html

    • dv 10.1

      Singapore data

      Pop 5.9m

      tot Deaths 511

      tot Cases 220,803

      Yesterday Deaths 14

      Yesterday Cases 2470

      • Jenny how to get there 10.1.1

        What are you trying to say here DV?

        Is it, that if our numbers get near Singapore's numbers, that we also might have to implement some form of triage, where the voluntary unvaccinated are put to the back of the queue or asked for payment before their treatment?

        Should the government put out a statement, as a timely warning to the voluntary unvaccinated that there may be consequences for their decision.

    • Jenny how to get there 10.2

      Give 'em their freedom

      Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
      Feeling good was easy Lord, when Billy sang the blues
      Feeling good was good enough for me
      Good enough for me and Billy TK

      Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
      Nothing, and that's all the Government left me
      And feeling good was easy Lord, when Billy sang the blues
      Feeling good was good enough for me
      Good enough for me and Billy TK.

      La la la, la la la la, la la la, la la la la
      La la la la la Billy TK
      La la la la la, la la la la la
      La la la la la, Billy TK, la

      La La la, la la la la la la
      La La la la la la la la la, hey now Billy now Billy TK yeah
      Na na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na na na na na
      Hey now Billy now, Billy TK yeah na!

      (apologies to Kris Kristofferson and Janis Joplin)

      No Free Covid care for antivaxxer refusniks

    • alwyn 10.3

      Why don't we extend it Jenny. If people choose to behave in any way that might expose them to medical problems we should make the people involved pay for their own treatment.

      Here are a few things we could start with.

      BMI over 25? Pay for your own health care.

      Drink any alcohol? Pay for your own health care.

      Use any illicit drugs? Pay for your own health care.

      Drive at more than 50 kph? Pay for your own health care.

      etc, etc, etc. We won't need a taxpayer funded healthcare system at all will we? Soon everything will be user pays.

      • roy cartland 10.3.1

        Personal responsibility then? Where was the ACT party yesterday on this? Why didn't DS get out and address the crowd?

        • alwyn 10.3.1.1

          What do the ACT party have to do with this? As far as I know they think that the anti-vaxers are nuts. Why don't you ask why the PM wasn't in attendance?

          • ghostwhowalksnz 10.3.1.1.1

            ACTs policy

            '21. Repeal the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act in early 2022'

            They want to abolish any vaccine mandates and are dog whistling the anti vaxxers because. Freedumb

            • higherstandard 10.3.1.1.1.1

              Yep agree with ACT party on that, that piece of legislation is pretty must past its use by date.

            • alwyn 10.3.1.1.1.2

              It is difficult for me, who is not a lawyer, to see anything in that bill that covers what can be done to a person who hasn't been vaccinated.

              I guess it is just assumed to be under the "without limitation" bit which is included ahead the the detailed proscriptions. I imagine that could be stretched to mean anything at all goes, including requiring every woman to wear a burqa.

              After all that might reduce transmission?

              "or require persons to take any specified actions, or comply with any specified measures, that contribute or are likely to contribute to preventing the risk of the outbreak or spread of COVID-19, including (without limitation) requiring persons to do any of the following:"

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Thats because an actual ACT of parliament like this isnt that specific.

                The law allows the Director General of health to make mandatory rules and such around specific medical procedures and lockdowns by way of regulation

                Thats why just saying 'repeal' is the spin way of saying ..no mandates, no lockdowns and all the rest of the compulsory heath measures. They also think if you are at high risk then its your problem about isolating and vaccinating not anyones elses.

      • Jenny how to get there 10.3.2

        Let me ask you some questions in return.

        Do you know if any conspiracy theorists and the far right activists that have made a political cause of having a BMI of over 25 and tried to undermine health advice on this issue?

        Can you point out where the far right and conspiracy theorists have been actively spreading lies about the dangers of obesity on the internet and recruiting members and mounting protests in the streets against the government on this issue?

        Can you point out where conspiracy theorists and the far right activists have made a political cause out of drinking alcohol and have actively tried to undermine public health advice and government restrictions on the sale and use of alcohol?

        Can you show any incidence where far right activists and conspiracy theorists are spreading lies about the dangers of alcohol on the internet and recruiting members and mounting protests in the streets against the government on this issue?

        Have conspiracy theorists and the far right made a political cause out of illicit drug use?

        Can you point out where the far right activists and conspiracy theorists are actively spreading lies about the dangers of drugs on the internet and recruiting members and mounting protests in the streets against the government on this issue?

        Driving at more than 50 kph past a school, is anyone protesting against the government over this or any other public health and safety measure?

        We desperately need a taxpayer funded healthcare system the actions of these miscreants threaten to overwhelm our public healthcare system

        If the far right and conspiracy theorists are actively working to destroy our public health response to the pandemic, should they be entitled to have the benefit of that response?

        Maybe you would have a point if the far right had not politicised and capitalised the issue of immunisation.

        I say give them what they want.

        https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/anti-vaxxers-conspiracy-theorists-and-the-far-right-came-together-over-covid/ar-AAOGuHl

        • alwyn 10.3.2.1

          I wouldn't know what their politics were but I have seen some people who had a go at the Government on the obesity issue. They wanted places like McDonalds and KFC shut down. Do you realise that it is rare to have a single All Black in the test team who is in the "normal" BMI range? The majority are usually in the "obese" bracket.

          As far as alcohol goes I can offer my mother. She regarded it as the demon rum and voted Prohibition in every election. She also voted Labour every time as well so I guess she was a lefty. I think she was quite put out when they dropped the vote in the 1990 election.

          Lower speed limits? Ask Ms Genter whether we should lower the limit universally. I think she would come out in favour quite strongly. She certainly seemed to come out for lower speed limits rather than improving the roads.

          So I would say that that these misguided campaigns are much more by the left than the right.

          Sorry, but I am in favour of keeping the free medical care in hospitals even for those I might regard as foolish. Even the pot smokers should qualify. Am I not magnanimous?

      • Patricia Bremner 10.3.3

        Will the State provide "Covid Loans"? Akin to a Student Loan?

        When we find the numbers beyond our ability to cope, rationing may occur. Who will decide that?

        I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that. Looking at Denmark and Singapore, I am not hopeful of a great outcome. Many will die, some still in denial.

        Humanity is what The Bill Of Rights is about. Always strive to be humane, otherwise I'm fearful our own humanity may be lost.

    • Julian Richards 10.4

      Such a revolting and disgusting ethic your advocating @jenny. This is part of what's wrong at the moment.

  11. Whispering Kate 11

    What I have gleaned from the vaccination mandate is – it was a pragmatic decision by our current government to mandate the vaccine because they and successive previous governments have systematically let our hospitals and schools go to ruin and they knew the hospitals were not up to scratch to deal with illness and/or deaths.

    Nothing more or less, just a pragmatic decision. All this compassion crap that they profess to have included into the decision is just that – crap. If they can keep beneficeries on the brink of extreme poverty, have a toxic WINZ front line staff to enable it, leaking mouldy housing, mouldy leaking classrooms – nah – they are just a government fiddling on the fringes and now I think they have lost the plot with the punitive nasty carry ons with the anti-vaxxers. Idiots they are these anti-vaxxers but they are here and should be ignored. Squeezing them tighter with punishments like job losses and so on is not the country I want to live in. It is going to make them even firmer in their resolve.

    Now the police want to take on the identity of people before the courts by taking over their phones and social networking. Would you want to have your name used by police to further their agenda. Make them do their job of policing not using somebody else's name to get the job done. Our country is going to the dogs by a complacent citizenry and its happening right in front of your eyes.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.1

      This Government has had 4 years. Taking on personas to catch crooks online has been used for 10 years world wide.

      • alwyn 11.1.1

        Right. I'm going to start posting as Patricia Bremner in future. I'm sure the moderators will allow it as you seem to think it is an acceptable tactic for our Government to use so it should be OK if I do so using your name.

        Just drop me a line giving me your e-mail address and password.

        • Dennis Frank 11.1.1.1

          laugh yes that's the first time a comment onsite here got me chuckling in recent years! Perhaps Patricia is a typical Labour voter – something's okay if govts do it, even when immoral. However what she actually wrote doesn't specify whose personas have been used. Maybe the devil is in that detail!

          • alwyn 11.1.1.1.1

            "doesn't specify whose personas have been used"

            Yes, that is right isn't it? If they are just made up ones my objection doesn't really stand up. If that is what you meant Patricia I apologise for misinterpreting you.

        • Nic the NZer 11.1.1.2

          Please please please please do this!

          No need to change name just convince us that Patricia has (some how) hijacked your account and is commenting for you. As a connoisseur of your rhetorical talents I expect you could do it by the end of the day.

        • Patricia Bremner 11.1.1.3

          Hi Alwyn, you would be bored in a day lol. No I meant law enforcement have posed as others to find paedophiles on line for at least 10 years. I did not mean generally. It was a statement of what has been happening. As to the morality… taken ten years to protest. Why now? Is it because they are acting as actual people? Taking their power too far?

          • alwyn 11.1.1.3.1

            That I am fine with. In fact that I am strongly in favour of. It was basically stealing a real person's life, and on-line existence I suppose, that did bother me.

            Sorry to have misunderstood what you were saying.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 11.1.1.3.2

            Posing as pedophiles isnt what they are doing now.

            Thats creating a new identity and then using it to mix in online forums

            This is using an persons existing social media and email logins and then using them for unspecified purposes.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/455331/police-try-to-assume-people-s-online-identities

      'Defence lawyers concerned about their young and vulnerable clients alerted RNZ to a form the police are using, titled 'Consent to Assume Online Internet Identity'.

      Thats what I like about this site. Sometimes nuggets hidden away in things at first sight seem implausible but its exactly as mentioned

  12. Reality 12

    An excellent Stuff article today by a Melissa Cunningham on an ICU ward in a Melbourne hospital. Very graphic detail of the daily horrific state of patients struggling to survive. Should be required reading by all who dismiss Covid as not much more than a bit of flu.

  13. AB 13

    If the BORA wasn't in essence a neoliberal/libertarian charter designed to limit what Governments can do, the Government would not have had to introduce " emergency measures that seriously constrain individual freedoms." If the BORA contained rights to the best-available healthcare including pandemic management, financial security, secure and livable housing, employment, a stable physical environment/climate – and ultimately protection from the unaccountable private power that accrues to the owners of wealth/capital – then the BORA itself could handle the situation. Of course the BORA would then be a a very challenging to enforce set of internal contradictions – just like politics itself.

    So yeah/nah – don't buy your argument here. It stems from an incomplete understanding of rights, obligations and freedoms. To my ears – Ardern and the government are still sounding like the only adults in the room.

  14. observer 14

    A bizarre OP, a sad example of taking an essential principle (freedom of speech, right to protest) and then looking past all the evidence that interferes with the pre-written script.

    thank God we still have many prepared to express their human rights and be a great goddamn incoherent pain in the ass.

    Of course we have many. Millions of us. I've done it, most of us commenting here have done it, for all kinds of causes. Don't pretend that people who hate freedom and democracy are the people standing up for it. Don't fucking tell me that we aren't the ones prepared to express our rights just because we know a fraud when we see it.

    Yesterday people protested in front of the people's House of Representatives. No member of that House joined them, because the protesters' Tamaki party got 0.15% of the vote at the people's election (run, incidentally, by an independent and free commission that is the envy of the world).

    Despite the protesters declaring the government a dictatorship and invoking any tyrant their infantile grasp of history could come up with, there was … no baton charge, no tear gas, no arrests. There was no clearing of a perimeter, no road block to stop them getting there, no action whatsoever that impinged on their freedom to be fuckwits.

    The thanks are not due to the protesters but to the people who uphold those freedoms.

    And if you think that protection is provided by Destiny Church in drag, you haven't a clue.

    • mickysavage 14.1

      I disagree. The civil libertarian in me agreed with every word. Ad is reminding us not to wind the dial too far.

  15. DS 15

    The “freedom protests” are rebelling against the largest publicly-funded and staffed comms programme in recent history, fronted by the most popular Prime Minister in recent history, against the entire mainstream media, against 90% of vaccinated Kiwis, and in some respects against their own interests. It only feels slightly weird because it’s not a traditional leftie cause rallying the citizens. The left do not own human rights.

    Seeing as the entire mainstream media have been systematically cheerleading for the virus (via undermining policy responses, and championing 'rebellion' against the health measures), I find it morbidly hilarious that so many journalists are surprised by these nutters doing their thing. After all, it's all just "freedom," isn't it…?

    • Gezza 15.1

      I suspect you are mistaking a few shock jocks, shill jills, & churnalists for journalists? 😳

      • Patricia Bremner 15.1.1

        devil "shock jocks shrill? jills, & churnalists for journalists" That is gold!! Laugh of the day Gezza .

        • Gezza 15.1.1.1

          .
          Aww ☺️ Thanks Patricia. If I ever wind up with a fan club, you could be its president. 😀

          I thought about it. I still prefer shill jill to shrill jill (altho some mght fight that monicker too).

          shill
          /ʃɪl/
          noun
          an accomplice of a confidence trickster or swindler who poses as a genuine customer to entice or encourage others.
          ‘I used to be a shill in a Reno gambling club’

          verb
          act or work as a shill.
          ‘your husband in the crowd could shill for you’

  16. theotherpat 16

    I KNEW IT!!!….COFF COFF…..DON'T FEEL SO WELL

  17. DS 17

    As for the suppression of rights… pardon me for not wanting to see a deadly disease spread through the country.

    I believe there's an expression involving not shouting fire in a crowded theatre.

  18. georgecom 18

    when unions plan strike, picket or rally activity they do a few basic things.

    firstly, what is the issue. identify it, name it, frame it. It does not have to be a concise 20 word definition however it is presented in such a form as the majority can grasp, understand and explain to others in their own words.

    informed activism. not just activism, but informed activism. people know the issues, they can explain such to others in their own language.

    leadership. leaders who can inspire others and also have credibility to present issues to the wider populace. leadership who opens its mouth and makes sense and has other people nodding their head in agreeance or acceptance.

    a plan to enhance their credibility and mana. to build support and allies and to come out the other end with enhanced credibility and mana.

    an idea of 'what a win looks like'. not necessarily absolutely defined or minutely broken down into bullet points, but an idea of what a successful outcome will be and which meets the realistic expectations of those marching, rallying, picketing.

    from observance it seems the protestors had little of the above particularly well nailed down.

  19. Hanswurst 19

    Good post. Having said that, those protesters really did lack any sort of clarse.

  20. Powerman 20

    An assembly of the clueless who are longing for a cause and a leader, will a Trump step up? By the way, there's an r in arse.

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