Tani Newton

Perhaps I should be more forgiving but I have not forgotten the sort of verbal abuse I endured in 2020 for pointing out that the economy was being ruined for no purpose. Now the economy has been ruined for no purpose and most people are still living in a dream world where they saved undefined multitudes from certain death by doing absolutely nothing. What a bonanza that was for slobs who dreamt of being heroes!

I could tell the sad story of my burgeoning financial woes but it would not make interesting reading. It’s not news when it’s happening to everyone. Almost every day we hear of another business closing down because they still haven’t ‘recovered from the pandemic’. But it’s still nobody’s fault. The political game plays on and we’re back to the familiar everyday of National blaming Labour and Labour blaming National. (Will there be some sort of celebration in 2036 when we’ve been enduring this for a hundred years? What would that look like?)

Remember four years ago how it was all about “putting lives before the economy”? And how the lynch mob went after you if you pointed out that the economy is people’s lives?

Remember when the worst thing that could ever happen on earth was that the hospitals could be overwhelmed? Remember when the only good people were people who were willing to sacrifice everything they had worked for to save the hospitals?

Who cares that the hospitals are overwhelmed now? Who cares that there are beggars on the footpaths, homeless people shuffling along with stolen supermarket trolleys, families living in cars, children going to work, mortgagee sales, suicides, failed businesses, empty shops and everything falling into disrepair? Who cares about the lives being lost to despair, poverty, violence and lack of medical care? 

What keeps us from acknowledging that this is all the result of deliberate decisions? Is it, perhaps, that we can’t merely blame our favourite whipping boy, ‘the government’, because too many of us are too deeply implicated? Everyone who went along with the madness is to blame. Everyone who remained silent is to blame. Everyone who repeated the narrative is to blame. Far easier to skulk behind convenient hedges that shut out moral culpability. It wasn’t anybody’s fault…it was just something that happened: circumstances, chance, fate, destiny, God. Yes, I’m going after my fellow Christians here. We are being far less pious than an insurance assessor when we call “an act of God” something that was, in fact, an act of our own deliberate stupidity. 

Oh yes, it’s a judgement of God. But God’s judgements very often come by way of the natural consequences of our actions. What has happened is a natural consequence of our undeserved trust in society and its utterly corrupt leaders and institutions. Our willingness to be led around by the nose, worrying about whatever the ‘news’ tells us to worry about, and then obediently forgetting about it when it’s time for accountability.

If we’ve read the Bible, we should know that true prophets are never popular. And I should know and remind myself that there will be a judgement where all will be set to rights. Excuse me while I go and pour cold water over my head.

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