It is important to read between the lines and to look for accidental revelations when listening to announcements from the Podium of Truth and now more recently the Lectern of Lies.
A question from Marc Daalder from Newsroom to the Prime Minister received an answer that revealed far more than Jacinda Ardern would have intended.
Here is a transcript of his question and her answer. I will explain what she gave away at the end.
Media: Did Cabinet today consider raising restrictions in Auckland, if not to level 4 then, you know, layering something else on, given the upward trend in case numbers over the past week?
PM: So one of the things that’s—so we have broadly just discussed settings every time. And, you know, that has been just generally as we look at what is happening in Auckland and we consider not only the restrictions but one of our criteria has always been compliance and adherence and the ability to continue to comply. And so one of the things that we’ve factored in, for instance, is what you saw in Australia was they had the same restrictions constantly and yet they saw, at a certain point, their cases tick up without having made any changes. So one of the things in our thinking has been, over time, adhering to really strict restrictions is hard, and you can expect that human behaviour might change.
So last week, what we sought to do was provide additional things people can do safely to try and prevent people perhaps doing things that might be unsafe. Meeting inside—if you want to do something that’s not necessarily within the rules, you probably try and do it behind closed doors, and that might include meeting another family inside. That poses risk. So instead we’ve provided an option that is safer, but we have to make sure people are aware that they’re able to do it so that people don’t ask questions when they see people outside in a park or having a picnic.
So this is the kind of thinking we’ve been doing as we move. We have asked Auckland to stay in restrictions longer than we’ve ever asked them before, so we’ve tried to take into account that impact on their mental health and wellbeing, and their ability to continue to comply.covid19.govt.nz
Do you see what she has unwittingly given away with her answer? She has accidentally revealed that the government makes changes in lockdown levels and rules in response to the population’s lack of compliance with them.
This means that once they realise that something is being ignored they will save face by restricting the population less in one area so it doesn’t become too obvious that the population are not complying. They do this in the hope that it will pacify the population into complying with the other rules.
My analogy is this. The strict parent tells her 18-year-old daughter you cannot have sex before marriage, you cannot have a tattoo and you cannot get your ears pierced. You must follow my vegan diet and you must be home by 9pm each night.
Her daughter night after night comes home at 10.30pm and tells her mother that she loves steak and that she has been eating it at her boyfriend’s house.
Her mother realises that she is starting to lose control of her daughter and so she responds: Okay, I understand that you need to experiment so I will allow you to have meat meals at home twice a week. Also, I will allow you to come home 10.30 at night if you continue to abstain from sex and to wait until you are 20 to get a tattoo and your ears pierced.
Like the mother in my analogy, Ardern wants to hold on to the illusion that she can control the population. The reality is that she has revealed that if we keep pushing her boundaries by peacefully non complying with them she will back down bit by bit.
The end to the lockdowns is in our hands.