It’s possible we’re now half way through the Government’s lockdown, which is supposed to end on 22 April — if so, what will happen two weeks from now? A media release.
Infection rates appear to be turning, but if the Government had its ear to the ground over the weekend, it will have heard the public mood turning, too. “Five of my mates have lost their jobs, it’s really starting to hit home.” The reality of shutting down the economy and shutting people inside is getting more tangible every day. Normally, Free Press would rejoice at this Government getting into trouble, but these are different times.
The Real Costs
People are losing their jobs and livelihoods. They feel locked up and hopeless. The losses are not only economic. Mental health problems, domestic violence, and even suicide may soon claim more people in New Zealand than the virus itself. In a very real sense, the Government’s dilemma is not about lives versus dollars, but lives versus lives. People need a Government that gets good information and shares it openly so they can make plans.
We can’t have a widespread loss of confidence in the Government’s competence at a time when New Zealanders need to act collectively against a microscopic enemy. What should the Government do? In short: Tell the people, trust the people. The Government has clearly been disingenuous on testing, PPE, and its data. It may lack a plan to get out of lockdown altogether. It needs to change tack to keep public confidence and get us through this.
What The Government Needs To Do
It needs to (1) Get better data, (2) practice openness with its data, (3) be open to private sector help where the data shows it is needed, (4) start setting common sense rules about what can be done so that (5) it can help New Zealanders build resilience for a world where viruses are the norm. If it does these things, it will keep people’s confidence and get us out of this with as little pain as possible. If it doesn’t, we are in for some dark times.
The Problem With The Government’s Data
So far, the Government has relied on testing a limited range of people in very specific circumstances. Initially, you only got tested if you’d been in contact with a confirmed case, but that person had to be tested to be confirmed. The restrictions have since been relaxed. Reports are that up to half of tests submitted to labs are rejected by labs because they don’t fit the criteria. Other reports have it that test results are delayed by a week so each day’s new case numbers just reflect when the tests got processed, rather than what happened in the preceding 24 hours.
Getting Better Data
The Government should have been doing planned epidemiological studies – random sampling of the public – a week ago, but that’s passed. We are not here to be blameful. We just want to see the Government start surveys now. We would like to see blood samples to see how many people have anti-bodies. Since you need symptoms to be tested, we don’t know how many asymptomatic cases there have been, but they will have antibodies. The New Zealand Blood Service takes blood from thousands of people every day. Let’s test it.
Being Transparent With The Data
Normally, it takes twenty working days for an Official Information Act request to be answered. A written parliamentary question need only be answered in five working days (extended to ten for this crisis). This crisis develops day by day. The Government should heed calls for open data. It should publish its data for welfare rolls and payouts on its schemes, daily. It should publish all of its data from testing, daily. Selective releases may help the Government control its narrative, but they do not help people make decisions in these circumstances.
Be Transparent With The Plan
Ultimately, the Government is going to have to decide to lift the lockdown, but when? It would be helpful if it acted as the “most open and transparent government” so that businesses and households could understand what the Government is likely to do. Business craves certainty and information is the enabler.
Be Open To Private Sector Help
Publishing the data would help tell the private sector know where help is needed. Every day the private sector approaches MPs’ offices with offers of help. It is a big job sorting through them and when we ask the Government for advice they give us 0800 numbers and info@… email addresses. Last week, on the Epidemic Response Committee, we asked for a portal where the Government could triage offers of help. None has been established. It is more important to New Zealanders to have a Government receiving help than one too proud to ask for it.
Build Resilience For A Virus-Prone World
Too little is known about the virus to make firm predictions. It may mutate, there may be different strains. A completely different but similarly dangerous virus may emerge next season. Even if none of that happens we will need to reopen the economy pronto in a world where COVID-19 lurks. One way or another, we need to become pandemic resilient. We cannot afford to destroy the economy every time a virus gets out, the next response will have to be smarter.
Build Resilience With Better Tracing
The current contact tracing effort involves calling people on the phone. The technology being used was all available in the 1980s (cellphones are irrelevant when you can’t go out anyway). We need to adopt Singapore’s Trace Together app immediately. How does it work? If you go near someone, your cellphone records their phone number by a Bluetooth connection. You own the data and you can voluntarily share it with authorities who can tell the others they may have been infected. A massive advance in tracing without needing to compromise privacy.
Build Resilience With Smarter Rules
As Free Press lamented last week, the “essential” rules are unfair, dictatorial, and not even that safe. We should move to a regime of letting people do things they can show are safe according to common sense rules. Can you do this without coming within two metres of anyone else? Can you do it without touching surfaces others have touched? Will you take responsibility for making sure these rules are followed? (The Health and Safety at Work Act would already require this on the part of a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking).
Build Resilience At The Border (Perhaps)
Everyone wants to secure the border. It seems obvious for an island nation. However, Free Press likes data. In the last three days, overseas travel has accounted for 49 per cent of 950 cases, then 45 per cent of 1039 cases, and now 43 per cent of 1106 cases. Working backwards, only 10 out of 156 new cases in the past 48 hours were connected with overseas travel. The border issue is being overdone for now, but only because so few people are coming in. Reopening for a resilient recovery will depend on much smarter border measures.
We’re routinely called upon to Unite against COVID-19. At the moment, there is the Government doing its own thing, and the public taking orders. To truly unite, the Government must tell the people, trust the people. Collect good data and let us have it warts and all. Then make clear plans and rules so we can feel like adults involved in fighting off a major challenge to our community. If the Government fails to do this, its job is going to get very difficult in the coming weeks as economic reality hits home.
In times of scarcity more than ever familiarize yourself with the food sources hitherto ignored or passed over as being weeds. Watch for sprays though. Some of these have been sprayed by the authorities. There’s plenty of info on the net now on topic if you google it. This article comes from Stuff of NZ’s Mainstream Media. […]
For many years, two of New Zealand’s most treasured native birds have been misidentified – and for good reason, they have very similar features. Is it a takahē or a pūkeko? Who’re you calling a pūkeko!? Photo: Servane KissTakahē have long been called a fat pūkeko, which isn’t very nice to be called a fat…
By Suzanne Webb in Montecalvo, Lombardy.
As I sit here in my involuntary isolation, it was reported that overnight 525 more people died and 4,316 new cases have been reported. This brings the total cases of infection to 128,948 and the body count to 15,887. We take relief in knowing that 21,815 people have recovered so far. (Numbers as of 6 April, 6:30 am.)
Most towns in Italy, from the upper reaches of the Alps to the ancient shores of Sicilia and Sardinia, while not deserted, are much closer to being ghost towns than the bustling centres of tourism, business and daily life they were just a few weeks ago. Stores and shops have been shuttered. Restaurants and coffee shops no longer serve customers. Schools, universities, sporting arenas, our museums and theatres are all closed. Even the Vatican City has closed its gates and armed patrols monitor the 20-ft (6-metre) tall walls that protect it!
Streets and roads are now empty for as far as the eye can see. Normally they would be filled with crazed Italian drivers in tiny cars and scooters (the ones that sound like demonic insects) darting here and there, reaching the limits of centrifugal force on our roundabouts. In the piazzas of our towns and cities, there are now officially more pigeons than people.
The unseen enemy
Many of us know someone who has been infected and recovered. Some of us know someone who did not recover and is now dead. But everyone knows someone who has been affected by this microscopic monster in one way or another.
Sixty million of us are in lockdown — it is like a war zone. We are being held prisoner in our own homes by an unseen enemy that sneaked in unnoticed — by most of us. As you will read in just a few more sentences, there were those who knew something like this was coming — or at least they should have.
Where to point the finger? The Renzi government
So who is to blame? With all this craziness swirling like a whirlpool at our feet, I just had to find the blame answer. And so I have spent my free time — of which I have a lot in these days — digging and researching. I was literally shocked to discover how this has come to be. I am not going to bore you with talk of Patient ‘0’ who spread it to Patient ‘1’ and how expodential mathematics explains the rapid expansion of infection. No, I am going to tell you how (as I see it) the virus came to Italy.
It has everything to do with Far-Left politicians. Allow me to explain
Beginning in about 2014, Matteo Renzi, the imbecile ex-mayor of Firenze (Florence) acting as the leader of the Partito Democratico or PD (synonymous with the Italian Communist Party), somehow managed to get himself elected as Italy’s Prime Minister. To give you a proper frame of reference, Matteo Renzi was so far left he would make Barack Obama look like Barry Goldwater!
At the same time that Renzi was leading Italy into oblivion, strange things were happening in Italy’s economy. Banks were failing… but not closing. Retirement ages were being increased, but for some reason the pension funds were dwindling or disappearing. The national sales tax we call IVA (Value Added Tax) rose from 18% to 20%, then to 21% and again to 22%.
The Chinese buy up
And in the midst of all this financial chicanery, the Chinese began furiously buying up Italian real estate and businesses in the North. Now the reason I mention Renzi and the Chinese together is that strange things were also going on between the governments of Italy and China. A blind eye was being turned to the way the Chinese were buying businesses in the financial, telecommunication, industrial and fashion sectors of Italy’s economy, all of which take place in Milano.
China was getting away with purchases and acquisitions in violation of Italian law and EU Trade Agreements with the US and the UK, and no-one in either of those countries (neither Obama in the US nor Cameron in the UK) said a thing in their country’s defence. In fact, much of it was hidden from the public in all three countries.
In 2014, China infused the Italian economy with €5 billion through purchases of companies costing less than €100 million each. By the time Renzi left office (in disgrace) in 2016, Chinese acquisitions had exceeded €52 billion worth. When the dust settled, China owned more than 300 companies — representing 27% of major Italian corporations.
The Bank of China now owns five major banks in Italy, all of which had been secretly (and illegally) propped up by Renzi using pilfered pension funds! Soon after, the China Milano Equity Exchange was opened and much of Italy’s wealth was being funnelled back to the Chinese mainland.
Chinese state entities own Italy’s major telecommunication corporation (Telecom) as well as its major utilities, ENI and ENEL. Upon entry into the telecommunication market, Huawei established a facility in Segrate, a suburb of Milano. It launched its first research centre there and worked on the study of microwaves which has resulted in the possibly-dangerous technology known as 5G.
China also now owns controlling interest in Fiat-Chrysler, Prysmian and Terna. You will be surprised to know that when you put a set of Pirelli tires on your car, the profits are going to China: yes, the Chinese colossus of ChemChina, a chemical industry titan, bought that company too!
Last but not least is Ferretti yachts: the most prestigious yacht builder in Europe. Incredibly, it is no longer owned by the Ferretti family. But the sector in which Chinese companies invested most was Italy’s profitable fashion industry. The Pinco Pallino, Miss Sixty, Sergio Tacchini, Roberta di Camerino and Mariella Burani brands have been acquired 100%. Designer Salvatore Ferragamo sold 16% and Caruso sold 35%. The most famous case is Krizia, purchased in 2014 by Shenzhen Marisfrolg Fashion Company, one of the leaders of high-priced, ready-to-wear fashions in Asia.
Throughout all of these purchases and acquisitions, Renzi’s government afforded the Chinese unrestricted and unfettered access to Italy and its financial markets, many coming through without Customs inspections.
A Chinese invasion
Quite literally, tens of thousands of Chinese came in through Milano (illegally) and went back out carrying money, technology and corporations. Thousands more were allowed to enter and disappeared into shadows of Milano and other manufacturing cities of Lombardy, only to surface in illegal sewing shops, producing knock-off designer clothes and slapping ‘Made In Italy’ labels on them. All of this had the tacit approval of the Renzi government.
It was not until there was a change in the governing party in Italy that the sweatshops and the illegal entry and departure of Chinese nationals was stopped. Matteo Salvini, representing the Lega Nord party, closed Italy’s ports to immigrants and systematically began disassembling the sweatshops and deporting those in Italy illegally.
But his rise to power was short-lived. Italy is a communistic country: socialism is in the national DNA. Ways were found to remove Salvini, after which the Communist Party, under the direction of Giuseppe Conte, reopened the ports. Immediately, thousands of unvetted, undocumented migrants from the Middle East and East Africa began pouring in again.
Access was again provided to the Chinese, under the old terms, and as a consequence thousands of Chinese, the majority from Wuhan, began arriving in Milano.
Coronavirus was noticed in December 2019
In December of last year, the first inklings of a coronavirus were noticed in Lombardy … in the Chinese neighbourhoods. There is no doubt amongst senior medical officials that the virus was brought here from China.
By the end of January 2020 cases were being reported everywhere. By mid-February the virus was beginning to seriously overload the Lombardy hospitals and medical clinics. They are now in a state of collapse.
The Far-Left politicians sold out and betrayed the Italian people with open border policies and ‘social justice’ programs. One of the reasons the health care system collapsed so quickly is because the Renzi government (and now continued under the Conte government) redirected funds meant to sustain the medical system to pay for the tens of thousands of immigrants allowed into Italy against the will of the Italian people.
Corruption and incompetence
If you remember the horrible earthquake that decimated the villages around Amatrice, in the mountains east of Rome in 2016, you would also remember how the world responded by sending millions of dollars to help those affected.
But there is a law in Italy that prevents private donations to charitable Italian organizations. All money and donations received must be turned over to a government agency, who in turn is to appropriate the funds as needed. But that agency is corrupt just as are all the others.
Most of the money never reached a single victim in the mountains. The Renzi government redirected the vast majority of those funds to pay the growing immigrant and ‘refugee’ costs.
As the economy worsened under the burden of illegal immigration, compounded by gross government spending and incompetence, unemployment rose quickly; especially among young people. The unemployment rate for men and women under age 35 is close to 40%.
Diverted money and insane taxes
So more money was diverted from the health care system and used to pay what is known here as guaranteed income. Whether you work or not, you are paid, especially if you belong to the PD! The government simply raises taxes on those who do work.
Let me give you a quick example of the height of insanity to which Italian taxation has risen. If you live in a building that has a balcony or balconies, and any of those balconies cast a shadow on the ground, you must pay a public shadow tax! I say no more.
The point I make here is that not only did the Chinese bring the virus to Italy (and the rest of the world) it was Far-Left politics and politicians that facilitated it.
It should hopefully be a warning to Americans that while they work to rid themselves of the China Virus, they should just as vehemently endeavour to rid their government of any politician who circumvents the Constitution and ignores the laws of the land — plain and simple.
(Suzanne Webb comes from Manchester, England. She is Export Manager for Uberti and she has been in the Italian firearms industry since early 1970. She is now fluent in at least six Italian dialects.)
Thanks to Neil Hayes for sending this. Although corruption isn’t as big a problem in NZ as it is in Italy, we have a PM who makes no secret of her communist sympathies and who wants to double the number of Third World immigrants entering every year. —Eds
Originally posted on Nwo Report: Source: Gateway Pundit It’s very difficult to find the numbers – as if they are being hidden. The reason may be because the actual numbers of coronavirus fatalities indicate the China coronavirus is not nearly as deadly as heralded by the Mainstream Media and the results are similar to flu-like…
by Dr John Robinson
The absence of much activity during the enforced shutdown can provide a time for thinking, to set aside the bothersome everyday problems that occupy most of our thought, and to ponder where we are as a nation, where we are going, and what to expect. Once it is over can be the time for action, so we no longer drift with business as usual, as a great ship speeding full steam ahead for the rocks without pilot or captain.
Two big picture issues concern me, one being global – the looming collapse as the human plague overwhelms the world – and the second particular to New Zealand – the acceptance of separate identity and blatant official racism in the national way of life.
Humanity has always damaged and destroyed the environment and driven rival species into extinction. Back in the 1970s as I began a career in futures research, I wondered at forecasts of a tripling of the world population in one lifetime – it seemed impossible. Now at the age of almost 80 I find that the global population has increased by a even greater factor – 3.4 – since my birth. We (all of us, across the planet) have entered into the time of collapse, having gone past the limits to growth, collectively still wedded to growth, quite ignorant of the absurdity of a supposedly intelligent species that cannot consider the reality of life on a finite planet, the advisability of keeping numbers to a sensible level, to allow for the life of other species and the natural environment, and to provide a secure and prosperous life for all – including the time for leisure that became possible in the 1960s before being forgotten in the inequality of Globalisation that was forced on us in the 1980s, to become a religion supported by the brainwashing of ubiquitous advertising.
This critical period has been signalled by a series of foreshocks, problems that were identified in advance as the long-term trends became clear. These include the 2008 economic crisis (foretold in my 1989 Excess capital), the coming of the oil peak in conventional oil production, the waves of refugees (with no recognition that a major cause of them was the overpopulation of many regions well past their carrying capacity), the climate change resulting from greenhouse emissions (the record of New Zealand is dire, despite decades of empty posturing), and now a global pandemic. It has always been obvious that packing too many people in, with ready contact across the world, would allow disease to spread easily. Thus, Barbara Tuchman wrote in 1978 of the plague that killed one-third or one-half of Europeans in “the calamitous 14th century” as A distant mirror for our time. There are no surprises. Nor is it any surprise that we are ill-prepared and that the question of overpopulation is off the radar. Our rulers thrive from the work of citizen ants, as globalisation has destroyed self-sufficiency and removed the option of a leisure society – all dreams of the far-off 1960s.
Now here we are in this situation of lockdown, with calls to work together, that “we are one”. This became a national mantra following the Christchurch mosque shootings, a remarkable hypocrisy given that those who had previously been calling for equality, to honour the call that “now we are one” at Waitangi had been denigrated and labelled as racist.
Are we “one” in reality? It clearly is not so, even now as we together face this critical situation. The nation is divided in law by race, separated into two peoples. This is shown clearly by the definition of Maori as “a member of the Maori race”. Here is race explicitly referenced in a definition that shows the stupidity of New Zealand law, for “a Maori is a Maori” is no definition at all.
That division is acted upon even now as we are acting together, cheerfully doing the best we can, waving and greeting while keeping apart, taking out teddy bears from our youth to amuse passing youngsters. Each bubble doing its part to keep people safe. Yet emergency funding has been channelled into specifically Maori groups – $25 million, being $10 million for local iwi groups and $15 million for Whanau Ora providers – when resources should be based on need, not to groups identified by race, when lives and livelihoods are at stake.
Then too, the separatism and formation of alternative government and private policing is allowed, called “partnership”. Organised by former politician Hone Harawira, three checkpoints have been operating from Rawene, in the Hokianga, with more coming in the next few days. Harawira said that the North needed to “close its borders”, and that these “medical checkpoints” have the support of iwi leaders and police. The Police responded to a complaint against this group taking the law into its own hands with the comment that “Iwi are taking a strong leadership role and we want to model what it looks like when iwi, police, councils and other agencies work in partnership.”
Most of us limit travel and follow the rules. So should members of this iwi. They should stop bothering motorists, and the authorities should change their tune to one of impartiality and tell them to go back home and stick to their bubble as the rest of us are doing.
Once this is over the nation could take a deep breath and consider carefully what we have learned and what we have realised as our thoughts range wide, and then take suitable action. One obvious step would be to open up the debate. Past experience shows that this is unlikely, and that the previous status quo will be re-established, as we drift onwards to the next crisis.
Waikanae, 4 April 2020