On Saturday afternoon,hundreds, possibly thousands of people marched into Auckland’s Aotea Square protesting. They were there because two politicians – an elected M.P. and a political wannabe – were going to speak about a perceived assault on New Zealand’s civil society.
New Zealand Public Party and Advance New Zealand are two political parties on the fringe that only formed in the last year. Yet in that time, whereas other parties would have struggled to gain any media traction, the A.N.Z./N.Z.P.P. alliance has become one of the most controversial features of the New Zealand political spectrum. Their message is one of fear: A Communist plot to take over New Zealand led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; a bioengineered weapon is being spread by the new 5G telecommunications technology. The United Nations wants a New World Order and wealthy people like Bill Gates are trying to develop population control medicines.
Now, that sounds quite quack doesn’t it? I certainly believe it is bat crazy. But these two parties genuinely believe this stuff.
There are several aspects of their conduct that I find extremely thoroughly alarming:
- Their willingness to spread known lies
- Their deliberate targeting of vulnerable parts of the community, who have been disenfranchised by the Government in the past
- Their leaders Jami-Lee Ross (Advance N.Z.) and Billy Te Kahika (N.Z. Public Party) genuinely believe what they are saying
- They are exploiting the legitimate fear that is generated by the uncertainty of COVID19, the unprecedented safety measures that have had to be rolled out
As Martyn Bradbury notes, there are conspiracies that we should be concerned about. They are beyond the scope of this article, except to say a bioengineered virus being spread by the next generation of telecommunications equipment is not one of them.
Far more dangerous to society is the massive unsustainable consumption of resources that has seen human kind in the 1 minute of geological time it has been on the face of this planet wipe out at least half of the known flora and fauna. That is right. If you condense the entire geological history of planet Earth into a day, human kind has been around roughly one minute and at the current rate of resource consumption, the human race might not get out of this century alive.
Far more dangerous to society is the fact that since the Cold War ended, the Americans and Russians have abandoned nearly all of their nuclear weapon limitation treaties. Defence spending has continued to grow and this year the United States defence budget was U.S.$721.25 billion – about N.Z$1.07 TRILLION. The fact that there are no checks and balances in Pakistan or India to stop an accidental missile launch makes them probably the most dangerous countries in the world with regards to nuclear disarmament.
What is not dangerous to New Zealand society is the honest efforts of experts like Drs Siouxsie Wiles, Ayesha Verrall, Michelle Dickinson and others who have dedicated their professional lives to helping New Zealand understand science in a way that we can make meaningful good from. What is not dangerous is the fact that the New Zealand Government to its massive credit has brought the best knowledge and practitioners of epidemiological science to bear front and centre in our fight against COVID19.
What is not dangerous to society is getting a flu vaccination. There will be a few people who have reactions, but the very vast majority of people will just feel a slightly dead/heavy arm sensation which will go away. Its success in large part stems from the willingness of so many people to get innoculated
Interestingly enough, many of these people are also Donald Trump supporters. They support a United States President whose legacy is likely to be measured in the number of COVID19 body bags that have been used in the last 8 months, and the many thousands more that are likely to be needed in the near future. They support a President whose aim many of my American friends genuinely believe is to start a race war or – worse still – a second American Civil War, by stoking hatred and distrust between black and non-black communities to the point that they start openly fighting each other.
Are these the kind of people you want in New Zealand politics? rabble that incites protests where people genuinely think that the Bill of Rights Act 1990 has been repealed or is going to be repealed. I am an Amnesty International member and Amnesty keeps a close eye on legislation in Parliament. If there were a degree of even vague truth about it, Amnesty would be mobilizing its massive membership to bring to bear pressure that has never been applied in a New Zealand context.
Stop and think about that.