Keir Starmer and the internecine warfare in the Labour Party

Sir Keir Starmer: his factional warriors have defeated the Labour left but the scars remain

Taking a break from the Covid catastrophe in New Zealand, I have been catching up with British politics, and the major parties conferences. The Conservative Party is having a train wreck as I write, whereas the Labour Party had a good showcase, with no obvious dissension in the ranks. Polling puts Labour miles ahead, enough to create a landslide win like no other under the First Past the Post electoral system. Paradoxically perhaps, Labour Party members seem to want to change the electoral system. New Zealand of course changed its FPTP system to proportional representation the the mid 1990s.

But before writing on the downside of that, I have to comment on the revelations about the British Labour Party during the Corbyn era, as seen in the Al Jazeera documentaries. The programme, called the ‘Labour Files’, is based on a large leak of internal party documents which showed how the Labour Party head office staff white-anted Jeremy Corbyn as a leader, and used accusations of anti-Semitism to remove branch level office holders who supported Corbyn. Some of this was already well known, and was seen as part of factional warfare. But the Labour Files also shows the reaction of former members when shown documents they were unaware of. This indicates both the kind of denunciations made by other party members, and who was supporting this in the Labour hierarchy.

Obviously there is an agenda behind the Al Jazeera reporting, but it is not simply anti-Israeli sentiment and bias. A lot of the journalists working for the Qatar-based network are of European origin, and a significant number are New Zealanders, in fact almost the cream of the crop have gone there in recent times (previously they would have worked for the BBC). Also relevant is an earlier documentary from Al Jazeera, which showed how an operative from the Israeli embassy in London liaised with various players in the Labour Party, including MPs and party members. I recall seeing how a then London-based MP, Joan Ryan, would engage other members in heated debates at a conference, and then accuse them of using ‘anti-Semitic tropes’. Ryan may have gone but similar tactics remain in the factional playbook.

Part 1 of the Labour Files highlights what happened to pro-Corbyn members in Labour strongholds in Merseyside and Brighton (and Hove). In the Wallasey electorate, local members were accused of abuse against the sitting MP, Angela Eagle, based on sexual orientation. Eagle was trying to challenge Corbyn, and the right wing press seized on this example to attack Corbyn with. All the local members appearing on the programme denied it had happened, and claimed that Eagle hadn’t even been at the meeting in question. In Liverpool, Anna Rothery was on the shortlist as a mayoral candidate, at least she thought she was. The Labour head office called off the selection meeting, and wanted an entirely new list for the position, without Rothery on it. During the making of the documentary Rothery is shown a letter from a Labour councillor which is a lengthy denunciation and character assassination, which formed part of the action to halt her selection. Except, when she took the Labour Party to court they did not disclose it to her, and she lost case and had to pay them significant costs.

Even more blatant smears and denunciations occurred after a left wing slate ran in a Brighton area annual general meeting, and in which office holders would all be Corbyn supporters. The files show that Labour Party officials immediately moved to overturn the AGM result, firstly through making false accusations, and then finding legal justifications for it after the fact; and then followed the personal denigration of individuals. A lot of this denigration was through social media, especially Twitter, and included the accusation of anti-Semitism. One particular young Labour activist from London took this to extremes, and created dossiers of abuse and bile on specific targets. One left member in Brighton, a young lawyer, had a dossier accusing him of anti-Semitism sent to his employer, and to his parents. On camera he claims that the dossier had a terrible impact on them, and his step-father died soon after.

Now we could name the aggressive young activist here, but the point of the documentary was to show who was behind him. Obviously when left leaning members complained to the Party about the abuse the abuser was suspended, and an investigation took place. The Labour Files shows that sitting MPs provided character references for him, although it only named the Harrow West MP, Gareth Thomas. But the programme also had a document which indicated that a member of the Labour party’s administrative body (the National Executive Committee), Luke Akehurst, had also helped the young activist with his own case for avoiding expulsion. It also showed a photo of Akehurst with his protege. Akehurst is the main player in the anti-Corbyn faction, and openly states that purging the left of the party is essential to making Labour ‘electable’ again. Anyway, it seems Akehurst could not save his personal factional warrior from a formal expulsion, but that ruling was never actually executed.

Now, after the screening of the Labour files some of the left wing Corbynistas were due to appear on a little talk show, which is posted on YouTube, called Not the Andrew Marr Show. This is hosted by someone called Crispin Flintoff, who appears in an amusing hat and bright suit jacket – in other words it has a satirical edge. But when introducing the show on the Al Jazeera documentary, Crispin first had to mention that he already had received a pre-emptive ‘cease and desist’ letter, warning against defaming the Akehurst protege, sent by a big London law firm called Mishcon de Reya (MDR). Indeed, MDR is an international law firm, with an office in Singapore, and a 24-hour help desk. Why would a leading city law firm like MDR want to represent a bully boy activist from London without a job? Indeed, how would a yobbo like him afford to instruct a Kings Counsel to act on his behalf in a political matter.

Well the answer is obvious if you put Mishcon de Reya into Google, and then add the name Keir Starmer. Many legal publication in 2014 ran articles on how the brilliant former Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Keir Starmer, had joined MDR, to consult in its business crime unit. He had in fact followed his former understudy at DPP, Andrea Levitt KC, who had become a partner at MDR (and still is). Interestingly, MDR received a large six figure fine for not complying with anti-money laundering regulations in 2017, but that was after Sir Keir had left the firm to stand for the Labour Party in the Holborn & St Pancras electorate. But he was still linked with MDR after his election in 2015, and earned a pretty penny as a consultant for Levitt through until 2016, according to an article in The Guardian, when questions were asked about his moonlighting. Starmer appears to have severed the link to MDR when he was put on Labour’s front bench in 2016 (obviously this was a mistake by Corbyn).

Anyway, the point of this careful reconstruction of the issues is firstly, to avoid legal action by MDR, and secondly to suggest that Sir Keir Starmer cannot disassociate himself from the tactics of his right wing faction. He must know how Akehurst and friends operate, with the smears, denunciations by fellow party members, and their fabrication of evidence. There is still a question over how the legal defence of the right faction is funded: one would assume that Al Jazeera believe that the Israelis are involved; but Starmer must know, given his close links with the law firm MDR. And, as the journalist Peter Oborne states in the Labour Files programme, the legal issues that emerge from the documents call into question Starmer’s judgment and how he would operate as a Prime Minister (which he is set to become at the next election).

Now back to proportional representation and the New Zealand experience. In New Zealand we still have electorate seats, but about half the MPs are selected by a nation-wide party vote. This requires that political parties select a nation-wide party list; although in other proportional representation systems there can be regional party lists. Anyway, to cut a long story short, if there is already friction in a party over candidate selection for individual constituencies, then the conflict would really break out in a contest for winnable places on a party list. And controlling the party list gives enormous power to the party leadership and its administrators. Indeed, party list candidates are mostly just lobby fodder: if they don’t tow the line, and vote on party lines, they tend to be forced out, and the next person on the list just takes their place. Even if rogue MPs try to stay on in Parliament, they know they won’t get re-elected.

So we then find that proportional representation would create its own additional problems for the British Labour Party. As things stand, Starmer’s faction would no doubt get most, if not all, of the plum party list places. If he did this he would effectively push the left faction out completely, and they would have to compete as a separate party, meaning that Labour would not get the majority government it so desperately wants. But Starmer’s faction has already pushed the Corbyn faction so far that, if Corbyn himself is not allowed to stand at the next election, a split could cost them yet another electoral loss. The contents of the Labour Files are so disgraceful one would have to say they don’t deserve to win anyway.

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It’s all over with Covid, bar the legal investigations

Immunologist Graham le Gros: when asked by a media outlet to respond to reports that the Coroner had found that Pfizer’s Comirnaty drug caused the death of a healthy young man, he confirmed that the drug was still ‘safe’

As of Tuesday last week New Zealand was given the ‘all clear’. Covid is apparently over; or, at least, the official response to it is. Dr Aysha Verrall stated that the mask mandate was gone totally, except in health care settings, and the vaccine mandates were about to go too. Even though the recalcitrant unvaccinated public servants would not be getting their jobs back, despite staff shortages everywhere.

Meantime, the Coroner has released her interim findings in the case of Rory Nairn, the young man from Dunedi who died in the weeks following his injection with Pfizer’s Comirnaty drug. So the Coroner has confirmed the findings of the specialist, who, after many tests, stated that Comirnaty had caused Myocarditis in Mr Nairn, and this had eventually killed him. These are interim findings, and the investigation into the safety warnings, or lack of them, are still to come. Even though the official policy framework for Covid managemnet has gone, the State is still pushing vaccination (without warnings).

And the news media felt obliged to report the Coroner’s findings, despite contradicting every other report on vaccination which reinforced the experts view, that it is completely safe and totally effective. Contradictions and oxymorons abound here, but most of the academic experts never comment on safety. Except for Professor Graham le Gros, who runs his own institute, and was approached for comment by public radio. Yet again he wanted to stress that the Pfizer drug was completely safe, except for when it wasn’t in an otherwise healthy person, Mr Nairn. Any normal person would surely have some doubts about safety when someone dies like this, but le Gros thinks there should be be a warning nonetheless.

This is despite all the experts, and the politicians, stating that there have been no safety issues at all. And anyone questioning the safety of a vaccine has been labelled an ‘anti-vaxxer or a conspiracy theorist by the media. Nor have the intrepid journalists bothered to investigate the 175 other deaths that have been reported to the Medsafe Committee, presumably by registered doctors. In the most recent report, which comes 2 months after 11 new deaths were referred to, there are another 6 as of the 31 August. Now the media always try to mitigate the impact of the death of Mr Nairn with statistics fed to them by officials. They say that the out of 100 000 vaccine doses, only 3 will result in myocarditis; and they say that there are only about 95 cases of myocarditis each year, and most are mild and treatable, apparently. But the most recent report states that there have been 944 cases of pericarditis/myocarditis; as well as 99 heart attacks apparently caused by Comirnaty. How many more deaths will there be by the end of the year?

And still the misinformation goes on and the contradictions remain. Dr Verrall says that we don’t need restrictions anymore because immunity is so high due to vaccination. If immunity is so high, why have half the population, or more, contracted the virus in the past 6 months? Oh, but we have re-defined what immunity means: so, sometimes it means immunity is created by the vaccine, but wanes quite quickly; and other times we meant that, while it does provide some immunity, it’s only enough to prevent serious disease happening. But why would it need less immunity to prevent serious disease, than to actually prevent contracting it in the first place. And why do we also need anti-virals to prevent serious disease?

And why did we have to pass legislation to ensure that people had to get a second ‘booster’ shot, without Pfizer having to provide evidence of its efficacy, let alone safety? At least they have made big profits so far, and they can now release a vaccine that is actually effective against Omicron. Maybe it provides the extra immunity that was lacking in the first 4 doses. At least Pfizer have been making a killing all along.

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When are we over the Covid misinformation and obfuscation by the so-called experts

Why do so-called health experts like Dr Celine Gounder have to give false reassurances about the safety of Pfizer vaccines, which they know are not properly tested before being officially recommended for use

Since deciding not to renew the blog again I found that the domain name, which WordPress have a separate bill for, has auto-renewed. So I have had to give it another year, and the early posts are still being read so maybe it is still useful. I’d like not to have to write about Covid, but since governments and the news media are mostly not bothered about it anymore someone has to continue to focus on the official misinformation.

There was some progress on this front in New Zealand recently. But before that I have to comment on Celine Gounder, and the international media. Dr Gounder is one of the so-called experts in America who is a vaccine evangelist, and appears on CNN. Sometimes I think that CNN America forgets that it has a larger international audience who aren’t as gullible as Americans. Gounder was asked about the new generation of the Covid ‘vaccine’, which is specifically designed to combat the Omicron variant. Unusually she was asked by the CNN ‘anchor’ about its safety, since Pfizer and Moderna don’t seem to have to do any extra testing to get official approval. Gounder said it was “very safe”, without any evidence, as well as stating that the new vaccine is basically the same as the other mRNA types, just with a new ‘spike’.

I don’t follow much of the American news coverage, given that experts like Gounder and Dr Gupta spin statistics to try and make the old vaccines seem to be effective against Omicron, when they are obviously outdated, and don’t provide immunity. Even if the new vaccine was more effective against Omicron this doesn’t change the safety issue. Since the Pfizer drug is being used in New Zealand, and we know that it has caused serious diseases like Myocarditis, we have to presume that this has also happened in the USA. Maybe they do not record this evidence, or try to fudge it like New Zealand officials do, at least until Fox News decided to question Dr Fauci & co. But the vaccine is not “very safe” when even a few people have died after the first injection, and some after subsequent doses.

Now, the overseas experts seem to agree on the mantra, that the Covid vaccines do not prevent ‘mild’ disease, but are more effective in preventing ‘severe’ disease and death. Statistics from New Zealand show that many older people who have been ‘boosted’ have still got severe disease and died. But the use of the euphemism about mild disease is some kind of admission that the vaccines do not provide immunity – and on that basis should not have been called vaccines in the first place. However, in New Zealand officials and academic experts never admit that the vaccines don’t provide immunity, they use a euphemism ‘best protection’ to describe how they think the vaccine works. As I said, many older New Zealanders thought they had the ‘best protection’ available, and are now in their graves. Yet most of the media in New Zealand, especially the State-owned entities, never report Covid statistics and deaths now.

However, the media still run the official advertisements promoting the vaccines as the best protection for the individual, and their relatives, and have suggested that this involves immunity. I have previously referred to the print media advertisements, where parents are extolled to get their infant children ‘immunised’ with the Pfizer drug, and suggest that they will get lifelong immunity; whereas adults have to get injected 4 times a year to maintain their apparent immunity. It seems that some other people have found the claim of lifelong immunity for children to be false, and have complained to something called the Advertising Standard Authority. These complaints have been upheld, which is unusual, because up till now all complaints to official bodies have been stonewalled, out of deference to experts. So it is a small win against the misinformation put out by official advertisements. But there is still the larger question: if the vaccines are not recognised as providing immunity, why are they called vaccines.

The other official intervention has come from the Coroner investigating the death of Rory Nairn, a young man from Dunedin who was about to get married last year. As stated previously, he died from Myocarditis after being injected the first time with the Pfizer drug Comirnaty. The officials committee on vaccine safety stated that the death was ‘likely’ caused by the vaccine, and this was fudged by then then director-general of health. But the Coroner has accepted that the Pfizer drug was the cause, and has been holding a hearing with witnesses giving evidence, which the supplicants in the national media have decided to cover. Of course their reports are heavily qualified by statements that Myocarditis is still extremely rare, most victims recover, and there have only been 3 deaths from it in New Zealand.

In fact, the health department officials have never said there have been 3 deaths, because they don’t do causation, and spend their time on reported deaths which could have had another cause. Rory Nairn is the only person who has ever been identified as a victim, and which the media have covered. The narrow issue that emerged from this was about whether a warning should be given specifically about Myocarditis. The unfortunate pharmacy assistant who administered the injection, and their employer, were put on the spot in the witness stand. This individualised a problem without the policy context: no one being injected with the Pfizer drug was told about the risk of Myocarditis because every expert, politician, and GP, was saying it was safe. To provide a warning to everyone would mean there is a systematic safety issue. Of course there is a serious issue, the experts and officials know that the Pfizer drug causes Myocarditis, and other potentially fatal conditions, but they all say that it is safe when it isn’t.


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Hard to say with certainty, and Difficult to Cure: Health bureaucrats in New Zealand’s redefine Covid statistics

This is actually an LP cover, Difficult to Cure, by Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, from 1981. At least they had enough PPE.

It was announced this week that Ministry of Health was going to officially change the definition of Covid death statistics. The international standard is for anyone dying with Covid 19 within the previous 28 days to be added to the total. New Zealand started the year with a total death rate of less than 60, under the standard definition, and it is now getting close to 2000. The health bureaucrats make regular revisions, usually to add more on, but now want to change the definition to reduce the numbers overall based on people dying from Covid, rather than with it. The daily death toll was over 30 twice this week.

The main news about the health ministry has been all about Ashley Bloomfield, the outgoing Director-General, who has become a media celebrity due to Covid. The so-called news stories have been about him having to restrict his leaving party attendance and activities, as the Omicron outbreak worsens again. Even a serious news outlet like The Guardian ran the trivial story about Bloomfield’s party, although they do like puff pieces about Ardern and her hapless ministries. No one seems to have asked Bloomfield, a Pfizer vaccine evangelist, why the Covid death toll is so high. He has pushed the Pfizer drug continuously, including third and fourth doses, despite overwhelming evidence of its complete and utter failure to provide immunity. His shape-shifting academic friends and epidemiologists have another narrative, that the vaccines may not provide immunity but do prevent serious disease. Bloomfield has claimed that the Pfizer drug provides ‘protection’ for adults, and children get lifelong immunity from it.

Now that he is leaving he is trying to defend his drug advocacy in the media, despite the fact that ‘fully vaccinated’ people in their thousands contract the virus every day, and over a hundred die every week in New Zealand. Bloomfield is the master of selective information releases – and omissions – that suit his pro vaccination narrative. When unvaccinated people were the problem their deaths were always publicised on an individual basis; now that many vaccinated people are dying, their cases numbers are never released, even though it is obvious that the vaccine did not ‘protect’ them however many times they got injected. Bloomfield now states that there are no ‘excess deaths’ at the moment, though there may have been some in March. This is a cynical way of saying that the death toll is not statistically significant, i.e. the same number would have died anyway during the winter, whether it was from Covid or the flu. He even seems to suggest that the lockdowns and border control extended the lives of some people. As I said last time, this is just another way of saying that older people dying is not newsworthy.

A similar approach has applied to vaccine safety, as I have highlighted previously, the health ministry accepts reports of deaths linked to the Pfizer vaccine, but does not accept causation. Since most of the deaths seem to be among older New Zealanders it is deemed ‘unlikely’ to be caused by the vaccine, or is just a coincidence, because older people always have other medical conditions. The Medsafe committee have a pre-determined outcome because for them vaccines always have to be seen as safe and effective, even when there is evidence that they’re not. So, despite the fact that Medsafe accept reports of death and serious medical conditions caused by the Pfizer vaccine, their investigations always seem to result in an ‘unlikely’ verdict. However, they also use the excuse that the deaths and serious conditions are not in excess. As stated previously, the Medsafe committee did not provide a report last month, for the period to the end of May; perhaps they had too many staff isolating with Covid, or they just wanted to catch up a bit.

Anyway, they published a report in mid July which stated that there had been 11 more reported deaths from the vaccine, and that the new total was 176. This seems to have been revised down to 171, as they had added an extra five, but since they are not excess or actually caused by Comirnaty who cares. Nine out of the 11 new deaths are in those aged over 60. I was expecting the total reported serious conditions to go up again, including the numbers for myocarditis and pericarditis to get over 931, but as it turned out this hasn’t quite happened. The significance of the 931 figure is that this is what they claim is the background rate of hospitalisations, so anything over that would be an ‘excessive’ number. However, in the previous safety report (#43), Medsafe did an analysis of myo/pericarditis cases, based on a sample of only 443, which they claim are the ‘serious’ ones. This simply showed that most of the myocarditis cases were in younger people, aged less than 40, and most were also male. Their other table indicated that most serious myocarditis cases occurred in the first few days after the injection, despite some indications from the known cases that they were not picked up immediately. The point is that only myo/pericarditis seems to be accepted as a death caused by the vaccine, and only in a young person.

The health bureaucrats may be able to fudge the statistics, and deny that anyone significant dies from taking the vaccine, but they can’t claim that it is effective any more. There have been over a million cases of Covid this year, and their policy of testing has collapsed, so the exact number is not even estimated. The death toll has risen exponentially, and the very people who were told that a third dose would be the best protection against Omicron are the main category who are dying: senior citizens. In the new statistical sleight of hand, the bureaucrats can fudge causation just like they do for vaccine safety. Nevertheless, most of the media no longer report the Covid toll on a daily basis or question the lack of hospital care: either for serious Covid cases, or the patients who are having medical procedures postponed, or the people not being seen at all. This health disaster is Bloomfield’s legacy, along with his obsession with a vaccine programme that has totally failed. Of course, he was never big enough to admit it failed. Presumably he’s moving into lobbying work for big Pharma companies, and so continue to push vaccines that don’t provide any immunity, or ‘protect’ the most vulnerable from ‘serious’ illness.

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New Zealand’s Health Crisis: a ‘winter of discontent’ or a pattern of bureaucratic incompetence over Covid

The entrance to Wellington Hospital’s ED, or it used to be be before old prefabs were added to screen visitors for Covid

The New Zealand health system is in crisis, hospitals are full and winter has only just begun. As it happens New Zealand’s schools are half empty, as Covid infections take out teachers and pupils, and special measures are to be put in place to reduce truancy. Overall, the hapless Ardern ministry stumbles on while the leader, having just returned to duty after contracting Covid, goes from photo opportunities on the world stage to opening ski fields. For the most part the ‘news’ media simply follows suit, having accepted the role of cheerleaders for the Pfizer vaccine programme. The biggest broadcaster, the State-owned TVNZ, no longer reports the Covid figures even though the deaths are usually in double figures every day. The reported deaths seem to be higher than the numbers admitted to intensive care units.

Before looking at the Covid figures and the spin put on them, I want to report on some experience with visiting the Wellington emergency department. My elderly mother lives in a retirement village, and recently had a fall, so the village’s nurse called for an ambulance. What then followed was hours of negotiations with the ambulance service to actually get some paramedics to assess her injuries. It took over six hours for them to send a crew, and she was eventually taken to Wellington hospital, which is over 50 kilometres away. My mother was kept in the ED overnight, and I finally managed to find her in the morning in a reasonably comfortable situation. So the only reason why she was still in ED was because of a lack of beds on the wards. After some emergency dental work she spent one more night on the ward, as the staff wanted to move her on and avoid the risk of contracting Covid while there.

So I had visited twice with a mask, and the following day felt a bit unwell, so assumed that I had Covid. As it happens I didn’t, but at the time my sister-in-law did, which meant my brother couldn’t visit. It seems like every workplace has to deal with constant absences from staff contracting Covid, either at work or from their school age children. Anyway, the following two weeks has seen me deal with a plethora of medical professionals who deal with elderly care in the community. This has been somewhat repetitive, but does indicate how many former nurses operate outside the hospital system, and at least that has a preventative effect: as long as the Covid is kept out of care homes the death toll should be low.

Now, when the media do report the death toll from Covid, the only statistic that is added is the age profile. In other words, it is assumed that the deaths are of older citizens, and the only interesting thing to report is if someone in their fifties or younger dies. Of course, last year there were a lot more statistics provided for the tiny number of Covid cases, mainly to highlight the idea that the problem was entirely about the bad people who were unvaccinated. The Ministry of Health never report vaccination status anymore, but, given that elderly people can be assumed to be ‘fully vaccinated’ there should be a question asked of health bureaucrats: why are older New Zealanders expendable? And why were they told that they were going to be ‘protected’ by having a booster; come to that, why was everyone told that Omicron was not going to be as deadly as the earlier strains, when it appears to have been much worse. And why do the number of deaths in hospital care appear to be a catastrophic failure, which was not highlighted until other patients with life threatening conditions have left EDs before getting treatment.

If anyone has read my previous posts they will see that the Ardern government took a gamble with Omicron: the officials told them that this variant would be more contagious, but less deadly, with the vaccinated being protected. Ardern decided to have a permissive framework, with no lockdowns, but a system of discrimination against the unvaccinated enforced by other citizens. This gamble has failed. It has become obvious that Omicron is very contagious, especially when Ardern decided to remove border restrictions when Covid cases were increasing. We then have a deadly paradox: she preferred draconian measures when there were very few Covid cases; then she decided to let it run rampant over summer and autumn, because the vaccination rate was high. The blind faith in the Pfizer vaccine was utterly misplaced, and, besides the fact that it causes serious disease, it has failed to provide immunity which would prevent severe disease. It is only a form of ageism that has prevented societal disruption.

When will the public health officials admit that the vaccination programme has completely failed? The current incumbents won’t have to, because they have already resigned. The Director-General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, is about to leave his post (as is his 2IC), but is apparently credited with saving hundreds of lives rather than glossing over hundreds of deaths this year. It is not only the selective release of Covid statistics, and the omissions, such as the fact that ‘fully vaccinated’ people are dying. No, the concern should be the narrative that Bloomfield has constructed over time, and its dogmatic basis which is resistant to the obvious evidence of vaccine failure. When his ministry knew that the total death toll was going to clock over 1000 (most of which have come in the last three months), they decided to do a revision of the statistics based on causation. So after adopting the practice of adding anyone to the death toll who died with a Covid infection, though not necessarily from the infection, the numbers would appear to be reduced. Likewise, last week Bloomfield had to announce the results of a report which made clear that his officials had exaggerated the testing capacity for Covid, something the lab technicians were making clear at the time was inaccurate. The ‘test and trace’ system collapsed anyway, despite Ardern and her ministers claiming it could keep up with the more contagious Omicron variant.

Bloomfield was once a cult figure due to his press conferences in the early days of the pandemic, presenting a more mature face to that of the grinning narcissist next to him. But his apparently open approach to information release was eventually replaced by the selective use of statistics to support a dogmatic narrative, one that had an anti-democratic basis. For instance, earlier in the year he tried to announce that there was another case of myocarditis that had resulted in a death of a teenager, who had just been injected with the Comirnaty drug. But he still would not accept causation in a vaccine-induced death, he claimed once again that ‘we’ would never know the true cause of death. So one wonders why he chose to report it all, given his over-riding concern being with the vaccine sceptics using this new information. While on the subject of vaccine safety, it appears that the Medsafe committee has decided not to issue a vaccine ‘safety report’ this month. Perhaps it might be because the uptake of vaccinations has dropped off, and with it the reports of serious side effects. Nonetheless, I notice that the health ministry is advertising in local newspapers for more immunisation amongst schoolchildren. The adverts claim that the vaccination provides lifelong immunity from Covid, despite the fact that 3 injections has provided no such immunity for adults.

Finally, there is the American playbook that Dr Bloomfield has seemed to be beholden to. As a small hint of this, he recently stated that 3 injections of the Pfizer drug should now be seen as the new definition of being ‘fully vaccinated, period’. The term ‘period’ is American English, and in New Zealand the correct term is ‘fullstop’, at least it was in the era when Bloomfield was at primary school. This may seem a trivial point, but you have to wonder who Bloomfield thinks his audience is, or who he is trying to please. He obviously doesn’t watch Fox News though, which is the only network that openly questions the efficacy of Covid vaccines and the role of the bureaucrats pushing them, like Dr Fauci. They have reported that Fauci has actually contracted Covid, as has Bloomfield recently, though presumably these public health experts will never admit that multiple injections with the vaccines did not provide them with any immunity.

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Is New Zealand’s pandemic over, or just beginning?

The loathsome Professor Michael Baker: international media darling and leading advocate for Pfizer’s unsafe Covid vaccine

The international media seem to like New Zealand’s pandemic story, at least, they do in Britain, whether that be the BBC or the Guardian. It’s just a shame that they have to ask Michael Baker about it, an academic who spends most of his time talking to gullible journalists. The hypocrisy of the man is staggering, but the media is too lazy to care, since he is always available for a soundbite. He is nothing if not inconsistent: even if he always sounds moderate he has always advocated the most authoritarian policies.

So today New Zealand finally opened up the country to foreign travellers, as long as they had taken the vaccines that people like Baker have been pushing. With Omicron already rampant, the authorities have decided to let everybody in again. But hold on, the pandemic is the worst it has ever been here, out of control, they have no idea how many Covid cases there are because the policy framework collapsed in early March. Yes, New Zealand held Covid off for nearly two years: in February there had only been just over 15 000 cases, and only about 60 people had died. Yet, in just two months the death toll is now over 700, more than a ten fold increase; and there are thousands of new cases every day. The media tell us the pandemic is over, and they don’t need to report the casualties, but it has only just begun actually.

Now it was Baker that was one of the architects of the ‘elimination’ strategy, to achieve zero Covid and hold the ground. This required complete border closure and total lockdowns to maintain elimination. It also resulted in authoritarian policies, and the complete removal of civil liberties, but these hardships applied to the whole population. Then the new Covid variants emerged, including the dreaded Delta strain. Academics like Baker stated that there had to be a total lockdown at the first sign of it escaping border control. So the dear leader, Jacinda Ardern, did what the experts told her, and imposed a nation-wide lockdown in August 2021, even though the Delta cases remained in the Auckland area. In those days anything over 100 new Delta cases was considered intolerable, and so, while the complete lockdown was lifted outside Auckland, it had to remain in place until Covid cases were stamped out.

Then the new vaccine became available, Comirnaty, made by the Pfizer corporation. Ardern decided that there did not have to be any more lockdowns if most of the adult population was vaccinated twice. The experts told her that any future outbreak would be confined to the unvaccinated, who would clog up the health system, and possibly infect some of the good people who did what they were told. So she devised a system of punishments for the people who refused to be vaccinated with the Pfizer drug, or were waiting for an alternative. Professor Baker and his friends then took to the airwaves stating that the unvaccinated were bad people who should be shut out of society and forcibly removed from public space, and anywhere that their presence made the good people feel unsafe. So a surveillance system had to be introduced so every shop, public library and church could check in the good people and keep the bad ones out. One day in February all the bad people decided to congregate together in the most public place in the country, which was the Parliament, where the elected representatives hid from their sight.

In the meantime it emerged that the Pfizer drug, Comirnaty, actually caused serious health disease, and this led to people dying after being injected. There were a number of such serious diseases, but it was a heart condition, Myocarditis, that caused fatalities. The health department officials were asked to investigate, and could find no causation in most cases, unless it happened to a young person. And the experts like Professor Baker told the media that people were more likely to get Myocarditis from contracting Covid, despite not offering any real evidence. Unfortunately for Baker and friends, along came another Covid variant, Omicron, which was apparently more contagious, but less life threatening. So it now seemed that all people who had the Pfizer injection, and thought they had immunity from Covid, did not have immunity at all. Thousands of people around the world would get Omicron, but they would not die, only the unvaccinated people would perish. The experts told the media that, while the vaccines could not prevent contraction of the virus, it would magically kick into gear to prevent the vaccinated dying.

Unfortunately, here we are in New Zealand with thousands and thousands of people catching Omicron, hundreds of them having to be admitted to hospital, and a daily death toll in double figures. And the Ministry of Health revise up the death toll figures every week to include all the people who died that were discovered to have contracted Covid, even if it was not the cause of death. Although the media do not investigate this practice, it does seem as if almost every patient who is admitted to intensive care never comes out alive. Certainly vaccinated people are dying, despite being double vaccinated and ‘boosted’, and after the experts assured them they were ‘protected’. Professor Baker can spin the statistics however much he likes, and fool the gullible media supplicants that hang on his every word. But his policies have been a catastrophic failure, and the Pfizer vaccine isn’t actually safe as well as being totally ineffective now.

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Remembering Peter Bowles in Survivors

Carolyn Seymour as Abby Grant, with Peter Bowles playing David Grant in the first episode (The Fourth Horseman) of Survivors in 1975

Sad to hear of the passing of the great actor Peter Bowles. Of course he was most well known for his work on British television, especially when playing opposite Penelope Keith, in To the Manor Born in the late 1970s. From a quick look at the obituaries, and related comments, few people seem to recall that he was in the first episode of Survivors, even if it was something of a cameo, as an immaculately dressed financier based in London, but living in a country house. Bowles played the husband of the lead character Abby Grant, and only appears in a few scenes, including as a corpse lying on the couch in their lounge room. Abby has just recovered from the plague, and is wandering around the house looking rather bewildered. The scene is set up very effectively, as the viewer can see that David Grant is dead, while Abby is trying to pour herself a drink, before looking up into mirror and seeing his body.

The scene for which the photograph was taken is a very long one, as the couple have finally made it home after David’s escape from London. Having made the drinks, David is trying to find a news programme on the radio, with no luck (and no sign of a TV set in their house). Abby has had to make a quick supper for David because her housekeeper has fled back to London. Carolyn Seymour is actually frying the bacon and eggs on the set, which highlights how leisurely the scene is, an insight into their conventional marriage. David reassures his wife that they can see out the impending crisis in the country with all their supplies, just before the power goes off. While Abby has been trying to get the local GP to come around with a flu vaccine, because it would be better than nothing, David is unconvinced that it is a flu epidemic, or that the vaccine will do any good. It appears that Abby is likely to die, as David’s final scene is when he drives off in his Jensen Interceptor car to find the doctor, who goes on to predict that millions could die from the unknown virus. But Abby survives and makes a funeral pyre out of their home, after she finds David has died. Then she heads off in a Volvo stationwagon to find their son.

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Burn baby burn: New Zealand Democracy goes up in smoke

Protest convoy encampment goes up in smoke, Wellington 2/3/22, note the crosses stand for actual people dead from taking the Pfizer vaccine, on a day when there were over 22 000 cases of Covid 19 amongst the ‘fully vaccinated’

So it was bound to happen. After 23 days the New Zealand police got their shit together and forced the anti-Mandate protestors out, and with it the only substantive dissent that we have seen over the past 2 years of authoritarianism. Now I used to live just up the road, Molesworth St, and walked down through Parliament grounds most days. I didn’t want to see it trashed, or participate in this particular protest.

But certain political figures kept saying they had a right to protest, despite the NZ Bill of Rights being ignored under the authoritarian Ardern regime. In fact, they only had safety in numbers, otherwise the police thugs would have moved them out on the first day. In the end they put up a fight, and it took all day to clear, and into the evening the violence continued. Ardern cynically called a press conference at 5:30 pm, so the TV cameras would be on her when the riot squad moved in with batons and then loaded up the rubber bullets. She repeated the nonsense that it was all about vaccine misinformation spread on social media. The truth was people there had lost family members after being injected with the Pfizer drug; others had had terrible side effects, and were being forced to go through it again because of the mandates, if they wanted to keep their jobs, or wanted to go to their mother’s funeral, or get a haircut.

So to the actual factual reports, as summarised in Medsafe’s ‘safety report’ on the Pfizer drug (which is now only published monthly). As of 31 January 2022, amongst the many clinical conditions reported were 63 heart attacks, and 561 cases of pericarditis or myocarditis; and there were a further 14 reported deaths in January, bringing the total to 147 in less than a year. Not one politician has acknowledged the medical conditions caused by Comirnaty, and certainly not any of the deaths, even the 1 or 2 that the Medsafe officials accept as ‘likely’; all the other reports are ‘unlikely’ or left in limbo. And all that is in the cause of the official line, and pre-determined outcome, that the vaccine is always safe and effective.

In truth, the Covid vaccines are now ineffective at providing immunity, especially with the rise of Omicron. When Ardern imposed her so-called Protection framework last year, there were only about 200 cases per day, mostly in Auckland. Most of the cases are still in Auckland, but there are now over 20 000 cases per day. This has seen the rapid collapse in the policy framework established in 2020. Testing facilities have been overwhelmed, and the Ministry of Health had to send PCR tests to Australia that were 7 days old, because their own system failed. Due to the number of cases the contact tracing system has been abandoned and all the workers have been made redundant. Most of the reported cases are from rapid antigen tests, but there is still a shortage of these as the virus rips through schools. The hospital emergency departments are about to be overwhelmed, and the virus death toll now rises by more than the vaccine casualties. Ardern has also abandoned the quarantine facilities for returning citizens.

But she still claims that the mandates are necessary, even when there is a desperate shortage of nurses and midwives; most other politicians have realised how pointless it was sacking health workers, if not the many other workers who made a good choice not to risk the Pfizer drug in their bodies. Interestingly, while the legal challenge by the nurses, citing the Bill of Rights Act, had already failed a similar law suit by policemen and Defence personnel succeeded this week. Strange that: just when there would have been sackings of frontline policemen they get a legal lifeline; curiously timed just before they decide to clear the Mandate protest, so no division in their ranks is evident. The judge, Francis Cooke, made it clear that he of course supported the Pfizer vaccine, paying adherence to the ‘safe and effective’ mantra.

Few people in New Zealand are interested in political history, least of all the career opportunists who now control the Labour Party. But there have been riots in central Auckland, in 1932 and 1985, for differing reasons; and the National Party criminalised dissent and any support for striking Waterfront workers during the 151 days of an employer lockout in 1951. The dictator Ardern claims that fire on the Parliamentary lawn won’t define her term in office, but her cruel and dogmatic policies surely will.

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‘Keeping up the fiction’, with the help of the media

Jenny in Survivors being told by a doctor that vaccines are useless

In the first episode of Survivors in 1975,’The Fourth Horseman’, we see the character Jenny Richards for the first time, as she tries to comfort her feverish flatmate, Pat. It just so happens that Pat is having an affair with a doctor, Andrew, so Jenny goes off to the hospital to get his help. Upon arrival she comes across a line of people get a Flu jab. However, when she finds Andrew he states that the hospital is overwhelmed, and the Flu jabs are effectively useless, “we may as well be squirting water into them for all the good it will do.” Andrew tells Jenny that are just keeping up the fiction of effective action being taken, on the Home Secretary’s instructions, to try and prevent a panic taking hold as deaths rise.

One could compare this with the pressure being put on people to get a so-called booster jab in New Zealand, even though the Pfizer drug is obviously outdated for the Omicron variant. In the old days, before the current pandemic, vaccines were supposed to provide immunity, which meant the vaccinated would not contract the virus. This was what being ‘fully vaccinated’ supposedly meant, but now they use the vague term ‘protection’, which means that even though the vaccinated are not immune, they are ‘protected’. So apparently the Pfizer drug cannot prevent contraction, but then, some time later, it protects the patient from a serious bout, which is about 90% of the cases, and the ‘protection’ only lasts a few weeks. Hence it now seems there has to be a ‘booster’ injection for each new Covid variant.

The tactics to pressure the public into getting yet another Pfizer jab are now familiar. Send out for the shock troops of the pandemic response, the academic modellers, as assisted by the existing experts, like Michael Baker, who appears in every single news bulletin in mainstream media in New Zealand. But while the tactics may be familiar, the results are not going to plan, mainly because the government are only maintaining a fiction that even the experts don’t believe. For instance, in late January, the public broadcaster RNZ referred to modelling that an overseas expert had done, but did not have to name, because Baker said the model was ‘sound’. It claimed that there would be 50 000 cases of Omicron on 6 February in New Zealand. The significance of the date is that 6 February is Waitangi Day in New Zealand, a kind of ‘national day’, and the public holiday makes for the last long weekend in summer.

Anyway, the actual outcome for Covid cases was 180, which was slightly lower than the previous day, and the trend which is about 200 cases a day. This is a far cry from 50 000, and is so inaccurate that all the media that followed RNZ with the story now look ridiculous. In a pathetic attempt to try and change the narrative it was claimed that testing had been too low, due to the public holiday, and because there is an apparent reluctance of people to get tested because a positive case means that a whole household has to isolate at home for an extended period. But that is only in the first phase of Omicron, as once the outbreak overwhelms the health system, people have to fend for themselves according to Dr Verall.

But new modelling had to be commissioned from the so-called experts at Auckland University, led by the charlatan Shaun Hendy, who is personally funded by the dictator Ardern’s own departmental budget. So anyway Hendy has come up with the desired result, which predicts that the Omicron outbreak will peak at between 10 000 to 30 000 cases per day; despite the fact that the total number of Covid cases for the whole pandemic was only just over 15 000 cases when he concocted the model. We get the idea though, it has to be a five figure number to scare enough people to get the so-called booster jab, which is apparently safe despite the time required since the second dose being reduced down from 6 to 3 months. And we now know that every jab costs the New Zealand taxpayer $36. No wonder that Pfizer BioNtech are making astronomical profits, since they have such effective academic drug pushers.

Enter the quixotic Dr Michael Baker. He must have been asked by one of the media supplicants why the model constructed by his colleagues in America appeared to be so wildly inaccurate. But no, it was no inaccurate at all, said Baker, it was just that the timing was out. New Zealand had been so good at suppressing the early stages of the Omicron outbreak, but it was still inevitable that cases would soon double every few days. And the peak would still be about 50 000 cases, it would just be reaching that total in March, before becoming endemic in the population, as his friend Plank had already stated. Of course, the actual numbers don’t matter, what underlies their analysis is that the basic model of a pandemic looks that way, even if the numbers are not accurate. Moreover, this model must work even when there is the availability of vaccines, it is only politicians that need them to keep up the fiction.

Baker appeared on the evening news just now, with another deferential female presenter. She said that he would discuss the science behind the mandates, but there isn’t any. Baker just repeated the ‘safety’ trope: the vaccinated have to kept safe from the unvaccinated, who are presumed to always be infectious; but the vaccinated people do not transmit the virus to each other. Omicron has made that view a nonsense. So she asked Baker when the mandates would be removed, as has happened in Denmark. Baker doubled down by saying that the vaccine passports should now be based on 3 injections, and not with only 2. So she tried again, when would the restrictions ever end? Well, the truth is that Baker never wants the pandemic to end, and his 7 day a week media operation to cease: he is addicted to the limelight, and the belief in his own talismanic hold over New Zealanders minds.

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Awaiting the Omicron tsunami, with a cunning plan

Dr Ayesha Verrall has the plan for tackling the scary Omicron wave in hand, or does she?

It would be nice to write about something else in the new year, but it seems that we are in for another year of disasters in New Zealand. There are the local earthquakes, usually just around midnight. A monster volcano erupts in the south Pacific and we heard the sonic boom all the way down here, and part of the North Island felt the tsunami wave as well. More people drowned in New Zealand over the summer holidays than died from the Delta variant. And now we wait for the Omicron wave to sweep over us.

Firstly a few facts from last year, just to tidy up some points from previous posts. In the time that the Pfizer vaccine has become available in New Zealand, not much more than 7 months for most people, there have been 133 reported deaths resulting from those injections. These reports were presumably made by medical professionals, despite the pressure on them from their ‘professional’ body to be pro vaccination at all times, for all patients. The health officials, while accepting reports of all side effects from Comirnaty, state a priori that the benefits of the Pfizer drug outweigh the risks. Meanwhile the death toll from the Covid pandemic is around 50, in just under 2 years, with a catastrophe now to come.

But Dr Ayesha Verrall has been delegated the job of planning for the Omicron wave. Verrall is an actual doctor, as well as a colleague of Michael Baker at Otago University, and was also elected to the district health board in Wellington. She apparently designed New Zealand’s contact tracing system for the Covid 19 pandemic. Not long after that she was given a winnable placing on the Labour Party list in the 2020 general election. She then entered Parliament, and immediately became a Cabinet minister, despite being a novice MP. However, in her performances in the House of Representatives she lacks confidence.

It was therefore something of an odd choice for her to address the parliamentary press gallery, and the TV audience today, such as it was at 2pm on a Wednesday. Usually Jacinda Ardern would do this, or one of her senior male colleagues. But having announced the move into the ‘red light’ on Monday, which meant large public events were to be curtailed, including her wedding, she obviously wanted to share the limelight. However, Dr Verrall looked rather nervous from the start, and a lot of what she said was incoherent (she literally said ‘up the spout’ at one point), and then the media had a field day with her.

So what are we to take from this disaster, both in terms of the performance, and the assumption that there are to be over 10 000 cases of Omicron in New Zealand within a few weeks. Firstly, all of Verrall’s colleagues seem to agree on the looming disaster. Professor Baker claims that there will be hundreds, then thousands of cases, every day. Another colleague from Canterbury University, an Englishman named Plank, was reported on the public broadcaster to be modelling for half of the whole country to be getting Covid/Omicron. On that day there were in fact about 25 cases of Covid in the country, some being Delta and some new cases of Omicron, but apparently there will be 2.5 million cases soon. Baker recently claimed Delta would be eliminated soon, after earlier predicting thousands of cases each day.

Therefore it can be seen that the experts remain the same doom merchants as before, assuming that overseas trends will be replicated in New Zealand, and using fearmongering as the way to get vaccine boosters in arms. But surely Dr Verrall has to be more cautious, and at least provide some hope, isn’t that what most politicians are meant to do? Yes she has a plan with three phases. In the first phase we still try to eliminate Omicron, with a stricter mask mandate and contact tracing. However, she knows that the cases will rise exponentially, so in the second phase the emphasis is to be on ensuring essential workers are able to return to work quickly after quarantining themselves, and using rapid antigen testing to confirm their availability. In the third phase it seems that positive cases are left to fend for themselves at home, and have to check what to do on the official website. Verrall said that the overwhelmed health system would have to prioritise those ‘in need’. Presumably, these people are the essential workers, and others will have to be left to die like some older, unvaccinated men were in Auckland during the Delta outbreak in October 2021. Apparently the third phase does not have a name, other than catastrophe.

The excitement during Dr Verrall’s train wreck presentation was in the reaction of the baying hounds in the media. It seems that the NZ Government has decided to commandeer all the rapid antigen testing kits being sent to New Zealand, even those on order for private companies. Apparently this is very controversial, possibly because the media don’t realise that we are living in a dictatorship. Nor do they realise that when Dr Verrall’s plan fails the dictator, Ms Ardern, will come to the rescue with her usual plan, a 4 week lockdown. There is only room for one politician with a messianic complex, at a time. Dr Verrall’s agenda is actually to outlaw smoking tobacco in New Zealand, but that will have to wait.

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