In my blogpost a week or so ago, I explained the change in the policy of Jacinda Ardern's New Zealand government - and I highlighted the tone of carping criticism that I had identified in British media responses to these latest developments in the admirable measures adopted by New Zealand against the coronavirus. Here is a link to that blogpost - press here.
|Jacina Ardern - PM of New Zealand|
Last Tuesday, 25 October 2021, that same begrudging and critical tone was evident in an 'i' article, headlined 'Ardern admits Covid policy will create two classes of people.' The No.10 'nudge' unit seems to be at work again, making sure the media besmirches all those who represent a threat to Johnson's GB project. The 'i' grey box that highlights a key point in any article reads:
'Concerns have been raised that the country's approach will disproportionately impact on its indigenous Maori population (emphasized in the 'i' text) in which vaccination remains low.'
This assertion is misleading. As you will see in my last blogpost (the link is above), the take-up of the vaccine in most of the Maori population is broadly similar to the non-Maori population. The sector ofthe Maori population which is resistant to the vaccination programme is in disadvantaged and marginalized groups, such as those who are resident in south Auckland where their neighbours are non-Maoris who are also living lives of deprivation and are resistant to the pleas to get vaccinated. Beware the lure of generalizations!
Jacinda Ardern is being set up in this less than distinguished exercise in titling and highlighting as someone who is 'confessing' to her COVID policies which will lead to a 'two-tier' society. In fact, Ardern is in full agreement with the notion that there are now two different classes of people and that consequences will follow from that fact. If you are vaccinated you will have the right to attend gatherings and use retail and hospitality services relatively freely. Unvaccinated people can only gather in groups no bigger than 10 people and cannot go to restaurants, bars, gyms, or hairdressers.
So be it. Those who refuse to get vaccinated or refuse to disclose their vaccination status, are making a statement that they value their personal rights over the rights of others. Ardern and her government are not seeking to challenge their right to act in this way. What they are doing is declaring that there will be social consequences.
|This leader of all the New Zealand people is a resolute woman, acting in the best interests of all - |
would that we had a similar leader.
Linda Frost, professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago, has commented that she believes the Ardern system is necessary and appropriate.
'This is an infectious disease that knows no boundaries. We need to hold this paradox and in my opinion do what is necessary for society as a whole, even if we feel it violates our personal rights. Other nations should follow New Zealand's lead.'
WOULDN'T IT BE WONDERFUL IF WE COULD HAVE SUCH A MATURE APPROACH TO THESE MATTERS HERE IN THE UK.
As a postscript, I give you two headlines I have just seen online. One is from the Telegraph; the other is from the Express - two supporters of the neoliberal agenda that has turned this country into a failing state and cost us more than 160,000 deaths so far in this pandemic:
'GET VACCINATED WITHIN A MONTH OR FACE THE SACK, JACINDA ARDERN TELLS WORKERS' - TELEGRAPH
'FURY AT JACINDA ARDERN GROWS AS NEW ZEALAND TO REMAIN SEALED OFF FROM THE WORLD INDEFINITELY' - EXPRESS
THE CAGES ARE BEING RATTLED IN THE UK - WELL DONE, JACINDA!
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