It is very tempting to just criticise Siouxsie Wiles for her weapons-grade hypocrisy for going to the beach outside her local area, with someone outside her bubble, without masks and without social distancing. Believe me, as I had to queue (with mask) to get into the supermarket in a South Island town, which has NEVER had a case of COVID, it makes me irritable, to say the least. I can only imagine how those of you living in Auckland must be feeling. Just to add insult to injury, her companion went for a swim… and Wiles looked on in approval, chatted amiably and seemed to be having a happy time.
So what exactly is going on?
It is appropriate to do comparisons with the British ‘scientist’ Neil Ferguson, who projected the message of doom and gloom if we didn’t all lockdown without delay, and immediately broke his own rules to visit his lover. Yes, what a hypocrite… just like Siouxsie Wiles.
But if we can look beyond the hypocrisy for a minute, we have to ask a few questions.
Like her or not – and for the record, I don’t think she should ever have been voted New Zealander of the Year, as I see her as nothing more than a Labour Party shill – Wiles does know a little bit about infectious diseases. While I don’t consider her to be the ‘expert’ that she claims to be, she almost certainly does know about the risks of close encounters of the pandemic kind.
And yet, in spite of her knowledge, with which most scientists are familiar, she was prepared to put both herself and her friend at risk by going to the beach, chatting in close quarters without masks and cheering on her friend who went for a swim, which is strictly forbidden under Level 4.
The whole of the Auckland area is in lockdown, but Wiles lives on the North Shore – an area that has relatively few cases and is caught up in an outbreak that really only affects South Auckland. She knows this, so she acts accordingly, flouting the rules and doing whatever she sees fit.
There are only two conclusions to come to from this. First, the usual conspiracy theory that this is all a world government’s plan to control us all… and yes, it might seem that way, but I struggle with this, mainly because governments of all political persuasions, such as Britain, Canada, Australia, America and Brazil, to name a few, along with New Zealand, have all done basically the same thing. Socialists and Conservatives alike have locked down their people for their own protection, and normally, I would struggle to see Boris Johnson, Jair Bolsonaro and Jacinda Ardern on the same page… and yet, here we are.
The first lockdown was different, in that there were cases across the country. However, it cannot be ignored that just about all of the subsequent lockdowns were Auckland based. Yes, there was a Wellington lockdown last February, but there was never a single actual case… an Australian tourist got symptomatic on the flight home, but no local cases emerged after a 10-day lockdown. All outbreaks, apart from the first, originated in Auckland.
So the object of the exercise was to lock down the whole country to stop people from South Auckland from spreading the disease. Siouxsie doesn’t live in South Auckland; nor does her friend, Nicola Gaston, who lives in Parnell.
While tempting to claim that the government just wants to control everyone, even with their current Level 2.5, which requires more mask-wearing and more social distancing than before, Jacinda is just following what has been done overseas. The rules here are very similar to rules imposed in the UK, and there they have a Conservative government. But the UK has a much larger population than New Zealand with most people living in cities and travelling on crowded trains and buses. The rules about wearing masks and keeping your distance make much more sense in a country with a large population and areas where there can be severe overcrowding. Most New Zealanders don’t live like that.
Except for South Auckland.
But the ‘experts’ know where the outbreak originated and started circulating. It must have come from MIQ, via someone who then went home to South Auckland… just like last year, where, despite claims of it being brought in on frozen peas, the origins were most likely exactly the same. South Auckland is the most densely populated area of the country… and, sadly, also one of the poorest, where many people live in large families in overcrowded houses.
So why doesn’t Jacinda just lock down South Auckland? Surely it would be no more difficult than locking down the entire Auckland area. There would be the logistical issues of trucks and other traffic needing to pass through the area, but those issues exist already. We know where all the cases are, and it makes no sense to imprison the rest of the country, much of which has had no cases at all this time around.
I suggest that the reason she won’t lock down only South Auckland is because of optics. Imagine the outcry if the government only locked down an area where the inhabitants are mostly poor and brown, allowing just about everyone else to go about their business normally. This would not be very ‘kind’, would it?
But what is ‘kind’ about businesses going to the wall in Auckland and elsewhere because of continual government lockdowns in areas where it is not actually necessary? What is kind about leaving elderly people alone for weeks on end? Or about forcing people to queue in the rain to get into a supermarket in a town that has had no cases this time around – or last time, for that matter? And what is kind about locking down everyone on the North Shore and beyond when there are few, if any, cases there, and those that exist are safely in isolation?
Siouxsie knows this. That’s why she and her friend went to the beach at Judges Bay, a fair distance from their homes in Freemans Bay and Parnell. They both knew that there was virtually no risk, and it seems that they were right.
We have an elderly relative who died last week in Auckland’s North Shore, and of course, they were not allowed to hold a funeral. Instead, they held a small private cremation with just 3 people present. As it turned out, because one of her daughters does not live in Auckland, only one of her children was able to attend. What a travesty for a lovely lady who deserved so much more but, in death, was awarded nothing at all.
But who, in general, hold the biggest funerals? Ardern has to ban all funerals, to get the people that need to self-isolate, to behave.
I know that many of you will have similar stories of loss and grief and of people who deserved better than they could get, all sacrificed on the altar of COVID… all because of people who won’t play nice and a government stuck eternally in a myth about ‘kindness’. There is nothing kind about any of it.
To save her image and her international reputation (which is disintegrating by the day), Jacinda has forced us all into lockdowns that are unnecessary, in areas where there is no need. She knows that most of us will be none the wiser and most of the mask-wearing sheep out there will just throw themselves at her feet and thank her for saving them.
The ‘experts’ know the true risks, as Siouxsie has just shown. We are all being taken for fools by a government more concerned about optics than anything else. Your job, your business or your health may be at risk because of it but never underestimate the lengths to which this government will go to make itself look good. And all those sheep out there, wearing masks in the car or when out for a walk, are completely fooled. Jacinda and Siouxsie are probably rocking with laughter at the foolishness. Do as I say, not as I do, because I know more than you.
Time to bring this ridiculous charade to a halt, once and for all.
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