• How Did We Come To This?

    How did we come to this? A country that has always prided itself on its ability and willingness to work together has fractured.

    Bill Ralston in yesterday’s Herald proclaimed that the country has been divided by the delta outbreak, and he might seem therefore to have been making my point for me. But he is referring to the various and differential ways in which the pandemic and its consequences have impacted on us – geographically, for example, and in our readiness or otherwise to get vaccinated.

    I am talking about a different phenomenon – the increasingly obvious tendency in some parts of society to allow political convictions to dictate attitudes to the pandemic in a very particular way.

    The people I have in mind are those who do not merely allow their political preferences to determine their approval or otherwise of the government’s response to the pandemic (though that is all too obviously true in many cases).

    No, I am drawing attention to something more unexpected and, for that reason, noteworthy. There has, sadly, emerged a body of opinion which – asked to choose whether they would wish to see the government succeed in its attempt to bring the pandemic under control – would rather see the delta variant continue to prosper amongst us.

    Surely not, you may say. Surely everyone would have as a top priority that the pandemic should stop wreaking its havoc amongst us. Surely, we would wish to see the vulnerable protected, and life return to normal.

    For the people I have in mind, however, such a normally desirable outcome would be bought at too high a price, if the consequence was that the government should earn some kudos. They would, it seems, prefer that the pandemic should proceed unchecked, rather than that the government should be able to claim that it has navigated a way through the crisis.

    Some of those people would go even further. They would actively try to frustrate the government’s efforts by, for example, refusing vaccination or the wearing of masks or scanning. These attitudes, and the priority accorded to political goals rather than the general welfare, demonstrate just how extreme are the views of this part of society. How sad that the government is having to fight not just the virus but some of our own fellow-citizens as well.

    Bryan Gould
    8 November 2021

1 Comment

  1. Sanctuary says: November 8, 2021 at 3:28 pmReply

    Dare one whisper the words “class war” when you see a parade of NZ’s richest and/or well connected white men – Russell Coutts, John Key, Murray Bolton, Leo Malloy – raging in the pages of that reliable rag of the Auckland elite, the NZ Herald, against the mild restrictions that inconvenience their lifestyle as the 1% of the 1% of the global capitalist class?

    The Herald started life as a paper preaching a war against native New Zealanders on behalf of the speculators and grifters of Auckland upper crust. 180 odd years later, not a lot has changed.

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