A portrait of the self-aggrandising bourgeois Academic

Rod Jackson, T-shirt designer, who sometimes lectures in Public Health at Auckland university

One of the strange thing about the phoney war pandemic, and the media control of it in New Zealand, is the number of experts that have come forward. Who knew there were so many epidemiologists in New Zealand. While some academic disciplines have atrophied there is no shortage of Professors in Epidemiology who can drop everything to help the media with the battle against Delta, and target the unvaccinated heathens holding out against reason. They often appear in their own homes, in front of their art collection, or sometimes outside their bourgeois houses, but don’t have their own line in T-shirts.

This is what makes Professor Rod Jackson so special, and why he is now the favourite expert for the TV networks. No, it’s not because he knows more than Michael Baker, of Otago, who had been accepted as the top dog. The media always introduce their experts by saying that he is a leading epidemiologist. But after holding back for so long, Jackson has made a late run for the top prize. With the campaign to target the unvaccinated getting full media hype, Jackson has designed his own black and white T-shirt range, and he wears them too!

Jackson is obviously a black and white guy, no grey areas on vaccination. The Pfizer version, which New Zealand is wedded to, is totally safe and completely effective of course. And ‘we know’ that Delta targets the unvaccinated through its magic hand, or evil wand, or something. But Jackson can even say exactly how many of the unvaccinated will succumb to Delta, though he doesn’t mention that the ‘fully vaccinated’ also get Covid 19 in Auckland, and that the vaccine has not stopped transmission overseas.

Really? Does Jackson know something that the rest of us don’t. Is Prime Minister Ardern about to remove all the current draconian restrictions in Auckland, and open up the internal borders, to let Delta do its evil work? Is Ardern no longer the control freak who imposed a total lockdown on the whole country, including places where there had never been a single case? Is she not the one who rigidly followed Baker’s theory that all people deemed to be contacts were also carriers, until proven otherwise. When Jackson and co get their way, and Delta spreads, won’t the hospitals be overwhelmed, and Ardern will follow form and impose another total lockdown. Do we still have an ‘elimination’ strategy, or is it now going to have to be ‘herd immunity’, which is the logical conclusion of what Jackson is advocating.

The hypocrisy of bourgeois academics like Jackson is substantive. They think nothing of permanently removing civil liberties for the lower orders of society. Presumably he really wants mandatory vaccines for everyone, not just those working in the public sector (i.e. all medical employees and schoolteachers). But when they think their academic freedom is being infringed they are quick to squeal. Even if everybody is vaccinated, unless the Director-General of Health grants an exemption, the scare tactics and legal compulsion will have to remain indefinitely in New Zealand. Civil Society has been broken.

So as someone who still believes in civil liberties I say this to Jackson and his ilk: will you please just go fuck yourselves. You’ve had hours and hours in the media limelight completely unchallenged. Go back to your ivory towers, and do what you are paid inflated salaries to do: teach the paying customers. Hundreds of bright young things have been conned into thinking you are experts with something to say. You people could at least attend to your duties to those getting into serious debt for the privilege of hearing you drone on about all the scary diseases out there: I’m sure they’ll all want to keep the T-shirts.

Update 23/10/21: Since writing this the Prime Minister has announced a new system to replace the so-called ‘levels’ of restrictions, and tried to sell it as a way to get Auckland out of the current lockdown. In fact, it introduces the vaccine passport idea, and requires everybody to have a certificate to utilise commercial services, thus excluding the non-vaccinated in a discriminatory way. Professor Jackson was interviewed last night live on TVNZ’s 6pm news bulletin, ostensibly about what the changes meant for the management of the ‘crisis’. Instead, he claimed that it introduced the policy of ‘no jab, no job’, which he had been advocating for. I don’t recall that Ardern has made it clear yet, but since the vaccination certificate policy will apply everywhere, no doubt there will be some unfair dismissals which Jackson is looking forward to. He then rather subverted his own argument, by stating that the unvaccinated would not listen to someone like him, based on class and race. He then did some racial profiling: so for him the unvaccinated are poor Polynesian men living in overcrowded houses. It is difficult to see what is gained by these guys losing their jobs, and not being able to shop either. What happened in Melbourne when the tradesmen were shut out of work, was that they then roamed the streets protesting and fighting with the police, passing on the dreaded virus as they did it. Melbourne now has over 2000 cases a day, but has just opened up with a Freedom day. Presumably the ‘fully’ vaccinated people think they are safe.

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