Mike Hosking: Even Labour voters feel shunned, disillusioned


Sir Ian Taylor appears to have joined the growing list of those who voted for Labour in the last election under the belief that it somehow knew what it was doing when it came to Covid.

His falling out with Labour which has been spectacularly documented – I am sure to the chagrin of the Government -in a brilliantly detailed replication of what so many others have been through in private.

I know of many who, whether they had voted for Labour or not, have reached out in some way shape or form to offer help or expertise or money to the Government in a belief that we were, in fact, a team of 5 million and the Government was, in fact, true to its word and was interested in receiving advice from outside its inner circle.

They have all ended up the same as Sir Ian, shunned, disillusioned, if not angry.

You can add the hundreds of thousands of ex-pats who have watched the train wreck that is MIQ turn out to be one of the most divisive decisions ever taken by any government anywhere.

How many of those locked out will ever vote Labour again?

The Ian Taylor experience is merely part of the ongoing revelations that will eventually end in this Government’s demise.

The longer this has gone on, the more we know, the more alternative Covid approaches in other jurisdictions have unfolded. The facts are coming home to roost.

For a country with such an allegedly “spectacularly successful” response, how come I can’t go to the rugby, but the rest of the world can? Have you seen the Six Nations, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL?

How come so many events are still getting cancelled but they’re not elsewhere? There’s no Golf Open, there is no Wildfoods Festival, there was no Waitangi.

For a country that did as it was told and got jabbed, how is it that Christchurch hospo, surveyed last week,has such a large income drop and such a large spike in mental health concerns, while the Prime Minister continued to insist that life in the red light is somehow normal?

How is it the tourism industry has to wait until October and, as the rules currently stand, tourists will have to self isolate, which of course they won’t given there won’t be any.

The Christchurch survey, by the way, is the result of the one aspect of the Covid response the Government has done particularly well at, scaring people.

People are afraid to go out, a) because they might die, or b) they might have to isolate for up to 24 days as though that’s something we all have the time and resource to do.

The Johns Hopkins Research work out last week – which by the way was ignored by far too much of the media because it clearly doesn’t suit their “compliant to the Government” agenda – gives interesting insight into how “hard lockdowns” didn’t do much for the mortality rate.

It’s not a be-all and end-all snapshot, but it’s part of the growing body of evidence (to which we could probably add modellers)that the “go-hard, go-early approach” and the one size fits all of “close the border” and trade on it for two years approach this Government took might not have been as successful as it would like you to believe.

There is a huge price to pay for pulling the drawbridge up, and we are starting to see it – inflation here on non-tradables is higher than any other of our trading partners outside the United States. We borrowed more per head than anyone outside the US and, for that, we still have one of our two biggest foreign income earners – tourism – out of business until at least October. There are still no crowds, we still haven’t been boosted properly, we still don’t have acceptable ICU capacity and it’s still illegal for me to buy a rapid antigen testing kit.

As the boss at the Blues super rugby team, Andrew Hoare, said at the weekend, his side’s season is financially broken and they need crowds. We are in no man’s land about where the season goes, and, for most businesses in this country looking through an economic lens, everything is unworkable and seemingly disorganised.

Sir Ian Taylor is probably watching all this unfold and nodding his head saying: “Tell me about it, try getting on a conference call with them.”

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