It was not a triumph of democracy, as some people seemed to think last week, when a majority succeeded in imposing their views on a minority through the passing of restrictive legislation.
Modern democracy is supposed to protect the rights of minorities and a plurality of opinion and options.
The main point of our opposition to vaccine mandates has been to protect our right to freely choose medical interventions. This is not limited to Covid vaccination alone. The counter argument has been that compulsory Covid vaccination is an undisputed social good and therefore beneficial for all.
The risk of mRNA inoculation can exceed the risk of covid hospitalization
A French study just published in Nature shows just how vacuous this claim of universal good is. The study found an elevated risk for myopericarditis in the seven days following mRNA vaccination for both males and females that was particularly high among 18-24 age males. The risks of hospitalisation for this heart condition is arguably greater than the risk of hospitalisation as a result of Covid infection in this age range.
Yes, governments are supposed to protect their population from risk, but equally important is the need for rational treatment and stratification of risk for different groups, genders, and ages. This has not happened in New Zealand. The claims of universal applicability and safety still being promoted in the media and by saturation government advertising are without scientific merit.
The key point here is that the government should not be seeking to impose ideology that is not fully supported by logic, evidence, scientific assessment, and research on long term outcomes.
Limitation of choice through threat of punishment does not amount to a social good
Even if the universal health arguments were valid (which they are not), the imposition of views through threat or actuality of punishment necessarily ramps up social stress, which has all sorts of consequences for rates of mental illness, crime, and conflict. If for example alcohol is outlawed through legislation, the imposition of legal force also causes societal collateral damage of the type seen during prohibition.
Conversely if an educational programme succeeds in changing people’s poor health habits, it really does lead to social progress, but this educational argument breaks down if the government moves from rational presentation of ideas to outright manipulation of public opinion through half truths, unfounded hopes, sound bites, and political double talk. This approach is incompatible with a democratic society.
Rampant government funding of media and academia to support its official ideology, as has happened here, is a distortion of democracy.
In New Zealand, we are slowly waking up. The lack of efficacy of the mRNA vaccine, repeated Covid infections among the vaccinated, widespread post-vaccination adverse effects, and the mostly mild Omicron symptoms tell their own authentic story.
Mainstream media and compliant academia are ploughing on regardless. An article in the NZ Herald entitled “Study out on politics of New Zealand conspiracy theorists” reports on a psychological study which attempts to spin widespread dissatisfaction with the government as a conspiracy.
It places the common concern that ‘the government may not be telling the whole truth’ (naively described as a conspiracy theory) as essentially belonging to the uneducated and aged extremes of right and left. Worryingly for the authors’ thesis, there was also significant concern among political moderates, who were conveniently dismissed as irrelevant ‘system challengers’, whatever that means.
The logic of this article was plainly circular. If you don’t trust the government you are a conspiracy theorist by definition and can therefore be dismissed as part of an unworthy fringe. Trust the government and you are a good person. Ask questions and you are not worth listening to. This is polarising talk. Polarisation of society into right and wrong factions is divisive and destabilising. It is associated with high levels of uncertainty, fear, and stress. Moreover it is the natural tool of dictators.
Since when was it socially unacceptable to question the government in New Zealand? A preposterous thesis, and one for which the Australian and New Zealand authors of the study need to be thoroughly lampooned.
Jamie Morton,, the NZ Herald science reporter who wrote the article, inexplicably failed to question its content. He lovingly reported a “tectonic shift” in NZ’s disinformation landscape threatening the integrity of next year’s election.
In one regard he might be right, but politicians may be the ones at fault. We expect our politicians to make exaggerated promises they know they cannot keep, but now we are additionally expected to obediently accept them as a ‘one stop shop for truth’ along with all this implies.
The current government’s blatant untruths include that ‘herd immunity’ and ‘adverse events following Covid vaccination’ are conspiracy theories. These obvious canards are cleverly announced at arm’s length by their well-funded academic proxy Te Punaha Matatini.
The consequences of distorted truth
Such untruths have consequences for us all. The rate of serious adverse effects noted by a recent study I reported last week is considerably larger than anything admitted by Medsafe to date. Medsafe have been maintaining that serious adverse effects following mRNA vaccination are limited to myopericarditis at a rate as low as 3 per 100,000 whereas this study pinpoints a wider range of serious adverse effects at 12 per 10,000 above the background rate, which crucially is also 40 times higher than the rate admitted by Medsafe so far.
Of particular relevance to our way of life in New Zealand is the denial of ACC (accident insurance) benefits to a significant proportion of people seriously affected post Covid vaccination. This denial is loosely based on Medsafe’s contention that most adverse effects cannot be conclusively related to vaccination. Supporting this, Medsafe asserts that the rate of adverse effects is less than the background rate of the conditions at issue such as stroke, kidney disease, or neurological impairment in the general population. The new study offers evidence that this is incorrect.
This points to a restrictive and exclusionary approach to ACC Covid vaccine injury claims without sufficient scientific basis. A more liberal approval approach should now inform the ACC claims assessment process. As we have mandated people to have mRNA vaccination, we have to accept responsibility for the adverse consequences.
Unfortunately given the government’s ‘one source of truth’ approach, which it has apparently imposed on all its departments and officers, it probably won’t change anything until someone takes this and other key evidence to the courts or to the ballot box.
I forgot to mention something…
A government may lie not just by asserting something but also by conveniently omitting important information. Our Labour government seems to have adopted this as its modus operandi. As long as they are the sole source of information, and all other conversation is suspect, they can omit discussion of any vital clues. Those suffering heart attacks and strokes following Covid vaccination could just be unlucky, the paralysed an unfortunate coincidence, and the suddenly dead, sincerely mourned, but causally unexplained.
Our government has spent a lot of money in its efforts to control public opinion. The other parties seem cynically content to let this process become well-established. Presumably so that they can use it to their own advantage if and when they next get elected.
To counter this, we urgently need a moderate political outlook allied with trust, honesty, rationality, and evidence. We need more ‘system challengers’ not less, our system has been broken by a breed of politicians who want to subvert ‘who we are’ and ‘what we stand for’ in New Zealand. They have been happy to kiss goodbye to our Bill of Rights, our tradition of Fair Go, and our accepted norms of individual choice.