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The right is weirdly gleeful about the end of the mask mandate

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 am, September 14th, 2022 - 40 comments
Categories: chris bishop, covid-19, health, human rights, national, same old national - Tags:

So the mask mandate is mostly gone.

The right have celebrated it happening which is quite weird.  Was it an existential attack on New Zealanders fundamental rights or was it something that was quite a good thing to do in the midst of a global pandemic and something that was strongly recommended by medical experts?

I did something that I do not recommend.  I went to Kiwiblog and read David Farrar’s take on the issue, as well as that of the commentators.

Notable Public Health expert Cameron Slater said this in response to the suggestion that we should store them away rather than burn them:

I’d have to get one to do that. Never worn a mask, ever.

Former ACT leader and perk buster unless it related to his girlfriend Rodney Hide said this in a response to Wayne Mapp suggesting people in Devonport were still wearing masks:

Hi Wayne

I am sure it is wonderful on the Shore.

And while it is good to jog along following the law every now and then – – as a very wise man once observed – – it is necessary to rise up and reject the tyrants who would lord it over us much to the discomfort of those living upon the Shore.

Not wearing a mask. Not getting the jab. Camping at Parliament.

Revolutionary acts by heroes.

One of the commenters thought that Sweden’s approach was optimal.

The data would suggest otherwise.

When someone else pointed out to her that Sweden had per head of population tens of thousands of more deaths their comment was voted down.

There were lots of derogatory descriptions, “cindy muzzles” and “face nappies” being two.

The comments were almost all relentlessly negative.  And hard to reconcile with the reality that our Covid response has been one of the best in the world.  The opinions were strong and almost all focused on the slight inconvenience masks caused to the individual concerned, rather than the collective good.  Which says a lot about the right wing mind set.

The antipathy to masks is weird.  Face masks have served a very important function.  I can understand removal of the mandate but there should be a big publicity drive extolling the benefits of wearing them.  I for one will continue to wear a mask on public transport.

National MPs also celebrated the removal of the mandate with weird levels of glee.

Politics tends to be a process of triangulation.  Government puts up proposition X, opposition puts up proposition Y and the sweet spot in terms of where most of the public get to is somewhere in the middle.

Where the opposition puts up an absurd position Y which has no support from the medical profession aka people who actually know what they are talking about and instead seek to adopt positions that Cameron Slater and Rodney Hide agree with, then  as it settles the final position will be somewhere between an ok position and a position that only fringe lunatics would adopt.

National’s turning this into a further battle of the culture wars is frankly weird and does us all a disservice.

40 comments on “The right is weirdly gleeful about the end of the mask mandate ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    I imagine Cameron Slater is a permanent shut in so perhaps has never had the need for a face mask. He may also have had an exemption because he's too fat.

    The push by the political right to frame mask wearing as a signalling of leftie political persuasion (rather than protecting yourself and those around you) is both pathetic and dangerous. HADP suggested this on her troll drive show the other day, and I believe Jester who comments here repeated the bizarre, politicised claim.

    The slightly more moderate Kerre Woodham was open to the idea people wore masks for accepted scientific and ethical reasons, like protecting oneself from health and financial harm, and showing courtesy and value towards others.

    What a much better world it would be if everyone took this approach, and if politicians, broadcasters and bloggers encouraged rather than discouraged it.

  2. Robert Guyton 2


    How so?

    It's natural for Jacinda-haters to reject any action she "forces them to take" and celebrate their new freedom from her dictatorship.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Rodney Hide is a publically announced and fully paid up member of VFF so f*ck that stupid old prick right up the ass. Simeon Browne seems to spend most of his time on Twitter auditioning to be NZ's version of Majorie Taylor-Greene, he is a far right fundy drop kick who should never be let anywhere near government. Slater? Farrar? Yesterday's slimeballs of marginal relevance in 2022.

    There is a story that goes that the Sasanian Empire, who ruled Persia from the early 3rd to the mid 7th centuries, desperately wished to be seen as the inheritors of the Persian empire destroyed by Alexander. Unfortunately, there was the inconvenience of the 400 years of the intervening Parthian Empire to deal with. So the Sassinads just pretended the Parthians never existed, to the point of changing all the dates to account for the 400 year gap and never mentioning them again.

    There is more than an element of the Sasanian in the right's response to the end of the mask mandates. Their response is profoundly revanchist. Not only do the reactionary right want to put the genie of the big state back in the bottle, they desperately want to pretend the last two years never happened. Masks are a reminder of the ideological nightmare of big government working, and working well, on behalf of the people. They want to see a return of the dominance and celebration of the hyper-individualised selfish arsehole, of which they proudly regard themselves as standard bearers. They are cosplay Thatcherites who want a return to the days of their Persian Darius, the era of Douglas, Richardson and Brash.

    • AB 3.1

      Masks are a reminder of the ideological nightmare of big government working, and working well, on behalf of the people

      Absolutely. I believe they were really rattled by it, and are now pulling every lever they can to erase that memory. Not so much their own memory, because they are remorselessly ideological and know what they are doing, but the public's.

  4. PsyclingLeft.Always 4

    Of course Luxon,Seymour and all their (aider/abettors) are going to be blowing their dogwhistles for all their worth. The RW desperately need to appeal where they can. (Luxons reluctant and s l o w rebuff of Bish Bri)

    So touting themselves as mask free..was always a given (and in kinda a 1984 ref..were/weren't they always so? )

    Anyway..I’ll go with the Experts . Epidemiologists Prof Rod Jackson and Prof Michael Baker


    Such Sensible Guys And yes, (APART from Hospitals, Rest Homes, Dr Surgery's etc) like them,I also feel should still be applicable on planes, trains, buses and where close confined.

  5. Bearing in mind that mask wearing is/was for one’s own good and the good of society I have always had a great deal of difficulty understanding, let alone accepting as a valid view, the anti mask wearing brigade. I am sure that the same people would mostly always fasten their seat belts or drive on the correct side of the road, send their children to school etc. Such a simple, safe move.

    Like much anti rhetoric at the current time I am convinced that the anti-maskers are driven by misogyny as there is/was no rationale views to oppose mask wearing as part of a suite of moves. I will continue to wear a mask as the circumstances dictate eg public transport, crowded indoor locations.


    Makes circling movement near my ear.

    • Anne 5.1

      … the anti-maskers are driven by misogyny…

      Irrational hatred born out of a lack of intelligence and mindless/stupid ideology.

      The circle movement near your ear is highly appropriate.

    • Hanswurst 5.2

      […] the anti-maskers are driven by misogyny […].

      Could well be, but I don't think it's as easy a conclusion as that, since the same sentiments are to be found in parts of the world with no comparable figure to Jacinda Ardern.

  6. joe90 6

    as well as that of the commentators.

    This is our clubhous!
    No girlz allowed to tell us what to do!!
    We declare that weez rule!!!

    Fucking performative claptrap from children.


  7. The media and the Opposition are teaming up to portray politics as some kind of WWE wrestling match and commentators are just mad partisans alternately cheering or jeering their team.

    We are poorly served by this form of infotainment churnalism.

    Of course the Nactoids and VFF are gonna claim it's a "win" for their idiotic crusade against public health. It would be nice if the media held their bullshit to account instead of spreading it enthusiastically. But most media outlets do not have any moral compass or intellectual depth.

    Who cares about issues? We want a 10-second zinger from someone, Seymour is usually good for clickbait.

  8. Drowsy M. Kram 8

    Great post and comments. The current pandemic has provided an opportunity to educate Kiwis about the societal and individual health benefits of physical distancing, getting vaccinated, and mask-wearing – benefits already well understood in some countries.

    Mask-Wearing Perception of Preschool Children in Korea during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study [11 Sept 2022; PDF]
    Results showed that children were aware of the need to wear a mask to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, and they perceived it as necessary and a good thing.

    Oh, that those leaping on the "you can't tell me what to do" bandwagon could understand that pathogens don't 'care' about human freedums – they simply exploit the weaknesses that human exceptionalism provides, including the (imho) weird notion that individual freedums are more important than the lives of fellow citizens. The "Cumulative confirmed COVD-19 deaths per million people" graph is informative in this regard.

    So the next time a small-minded group like VFF tries to con Kiwis about vaccines or masks, ask how their views dovetail with initiatives to decrease inequality – maybe they just want to thin out the numbers during subsequent COVID waves?

    How COVID has deepened inequality — in six stark graphics [22 June 2022]
    Troubling data show how the pandemic has exacted an unequal toll, pushing tens of millions into poverty and having the greatest effects on already-disadvantaged groups.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 8.1

      maybe they just want to thin out the numbers during subsequent COVID waves?

      Hmmm sadly knowing their close association and acceptance of such naz….fascis… supremac….as Arps and ilk, maybe not a plan B..but a derivative : Plan Z ..yklon B .

      All very Hypothetical..of course !

  9. psych nurse 9

    I'm sure the right would be the first to complain if their Surgeon operated mask-less with blood encrusted ungloved hands in an old smoking jacket. After all what would scientific knowledge know. And think of the savings to be made on sterilized equipment.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 9.1

      lol…indeed. However I'm sure Lux de Luxe and fellow RW Elite..will have their Private Health care well sterilized if not…gold plated : )

      • yesdevil Comment of the day. It is all Freedumb from them, and they prefer Private Hospitals and the Insurance model, which most of us could not afford or access.

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          Cheers, Patricia. We must keep fighting for NZ's Future. Because nact will have us transported back to the 90's pronto

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Bearing in mind of course their heart attacks on the operating table and many of their botch-ups end up in public hospitals for fixing as well.

          Private only does a limited range of profitable surgeries – and kick you out faster than public.

          Private has its place – mainly to stop the well-off contaminating the working class.

          • joe90

            many of their botch-ups end up in public hospitals for fixing as well.

            My brother's FIL was referred to the public system for knee replacement surgery because of anticipated complications. Dog only knows how much was squandered trying to get him in shape to undergo surgery but finally they flagged him; too heavy, too many co-morbidities. So of course he did what a member of the landed squatocracy would do and trotted off to the big smoke and found someone who said yes to a bilateral jobbie.

            It didn't go well and after a long stay in a public CCU, he died.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Sorry to hear that.

              Heard a similar story yesterday about a friends husband who went private for a hip replacement and ending up spending a few months in a public CCU as well. He, thankfully didn't die, but is not happy with the lack of care from his private hospital.

              I know Middlemore fixes quite a few botched cosmetic surgery cases – especially face ones as thy can be quite psychologically debilitating.

              I'm not opposed to private hospitals as they take pressure off the public ones but I think that should have to report frequently about referrals back to the public hospitals. You know do some of those stats/scorecard/target things the right wing is so fond of.

              • joe90

                His original private provider knew the how perilous surgery would be, hence the referral to the public system. But he was an entitled man who thought that despite being declined for medical reasons, he had the money so he should and could have exactly what he wanted. So he shopped around until he found someone happy to put their hand out.

  10. SPC 10

    It's simple really, the National Party branch of the haves see restraint on themselves for the sake of others as alien to their political philosophy.

  11. Peter 11

    I'd hoped when I read about his bankruptcy and his stroke we'd hear nothing more from Cameron Slater.

    It was said Slayer was "severely incapacitated" from a stroke. Any stroke he had he suffered was not as drastic as his other incapacities which sees him inflicting in the whole world. He is entitled to them of course and use them as he wishes.

    The sad thing is of course is that there are intellectual midgets who see him as some sort of guru.

  12. Incognito 12

    The Right’s aversion to face masks and the negative emotions these stir up are on par with its kneejerk response to gang patches and its hatred of beneficiaries and others who might find themselves in need of (temporary) support & assistance from the state. It is not rational or reasonable, but some kind of basic instinct and feral behaviour.

    • yesdevil and they think masks identify us haha, so many telling knee jerks from them.

    • Hanswurst 12.2

      Indeed. It is logically inconsistent for them to advocate for the freedom not to wear a mask, the exercising of which demonstrably causes direct harm, while also advocating for curtailing the freedom to sport a gang patch, a practice that causes no direct harm whatsoever.

  13. Barfly 13

    Right Wingers fighting to the end for their rights to endanger other peoples lives.

    The RW politicians are purely transactional – if I can get more votes for supporting something than I lose for supporting it I'm in – be it eating babies or kicking puppies.

  14. mpledger 14

    As had been said – wearing a mask is an IQ test… but I think it’s also an EQ test.

  15. Hanswurst 15

    Considering that mask-wearing to prevent the community spread of disease is a long-established practice in East Asia, one that, in Western society, was consistently derided as an illogical and unproven cleanliness fetishism until someone actually bothered to test it, I'm inclined to believe that many people's resistance to it is rooted in the NIH sentiments of the unreconstructed, reflexively racist shithead.

  16. Chris 16

    The more national party people publicise the fact their politics share basic principles with neo-fascist rabbit-holers the better.

  17. Craig H 17

    After over 2 years of a successful, internationally-acclaimed Covid response including testing, vaccines and mandates, masks, gathering limits, distancing and other restrictions, MIQ, financial support and various other temporary measures which collectively avoided the deaths of thousands of New Zealanders, the government kept their promise of winding back restrictions and mandates.

  18. Only Right-Wingers? So I gather from these comments that none of you felt any sense of freedom at all with these announcements? Or worse, perhaps a sense of oppression from the now maskless?

    Anyway, watch this video of little kids jumping for joy in Las Vegas early this year when they’re told they don’t have to wear masks anymore..

    Are they nascent Righties?

  19. Mike the Lefty 19

    The political right are always good at taking credit for doing nothing, so no surprises there.

    In practical terms, mandates for mask wearing were barely functioning by the end. As time went by mask wearing became less and less until it was really only shops, public transport, government buildings (inc. hospitals) that enforced it, and the enforcement was not always consistent.

    It would have been pretty pointless to continue it except for obvious situations like hospitals and rest homes where you have lots of vulnerable people. Mask wearing had gradually ceased to be a necessary part of COVID response and had turned into little more than a bloody nuisance.

    But at least Jacinda and the government can legitimately claim that they ended the mandates when THEY decided it was right, not when the rabid right wanted it.

    So Hosking and the rest of the self-imagined political right messiahs can go stick their heads up a dead bear's bum – people with at least a bit of gumption don't need these arrogant jerks to tell them what to do.

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