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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New Zealand’s first death from the Pfizer vaccine acknowledged

Rory Nairn of Dunedin died on 17 November of myocarditis caused by the Pfizer vaccine Comirnaty

I am rather reluctant to write again about the Covid situation in New Zealand, especially when it is nowhere near as bad as in the rest of the world. But we have reached something of a milestone, with the health officials finally accepting that Comirnaty ‘probably’ caused the death of Rory Nairn, of Dunedin in the South Island. Most of the news media here have decided to name him, so I have too. But the real issue, of course, is that he is not the first victim of the Pfizer drug and of myocarditis in New Zealand.

So why have the authorities decided to release this information in detail, and why have the news media decided to write stories about it, given that they have slavishly followed the official line that the Covid vaccines are completely safe and effective? The answer to the first point is easy, there was a full autopsy performed on Mr Nairn, and as an otherwise fit 26 year old man there wasn’t any other compelling explanation for his death. But the authorities are still looking for such alternative reasons in the other cases before the Covid 19 Independent Safety Monitoring Board (CVISMB). Strange that we have not heard of the CVISMB before, no one knew it existed; in previous posts I have referred to the Medsafe ‘safety reports’, and they apparently refer reports of deaths to a committee called CARM. Anyway, we now have confirmed, sort of, that there have been 2 deaths which have been attributed to Comirnaty.

It is also ironic that a news organisation called Newshub, which reports for TV and radio, has claimed an exclusive around this story. All of the other media had already reported it before today, including arch rivals TVNZ. Presumably, the exclusive part of the story was in Newshub getting an interview with Mr Nairn’s grieving fiancĂ©, and she was allowed to state that there were no significant warnings about the risk of myocarditis (the TVNZ report a few days ago claimed that there are). She also disputed the categorical assertions by the so-called experts that such reactions to the vaccine are extremely rare and mild. There have been over 200 reports of myocarditis (or pericarditis) in New Zealand, and they would not have been mild cases to be reported. Anyway, Newshub also got an official to ‘front’ about this death, as a representative of CVISMB, a John Tait. Despite acknowledging that Mr Nairn ‘probably’ died from myocarditis he still maintained that the vaccine is safe, as only 2 people had died from taking it. As I have highlighted in updates to a previous post, there are reports of over 100 deaths, over 3 per week.

Now, Dr Tait did emphasise that if you feel unwell after getting injected with the Pfizer drug, having palpitaitons or shortness of breath, you should go to a doctor. When I had the Pfizer injection in August this year it turned out to be timed during Ardern’s last total lockdown, and I couldn’t get help. I had chest pains on the evening of the injection, and a variety of other side effects. It took over a week to get to a medical clinic, as the total lockdown was scaled back slightly, and I attended Kenepuru Hospital’s E.D. (this is located in satellite city called Porirua, just north of Wellington). There I was set up for an ECG of sorts to check my heart function, and analysis by a Dr Werner Pohl, who decided that I did not have myocarditis. He then refused to listen to any other aspects of my side effects, let alone report any of them, including the peripheral nerve damage in my feet, which has just been confirmed by someone else today. Anyway, Dr Pohl decided that the heart palpitations were a result of an anxiety attack, and so assumed it was a psychological issue. So that is what you get when presenting with a vaccine reaction, even if it includes mild heart issues and possible symptoms of myocarditis, the doctors want to deny it.

But back to Newshub, and the irony in them doing a story about someone dying from taking the Pfizer vaccine. Prior to this they ignored any suggestion of this, and any evidence that it might have occurred was dismissed as a conspiracy theory. In one such example, someone who claimed to be a journalist tried to put the evidence to the Prime Minister, and Newshub voiced over the footage labelling the man as a ‘heckler’ and a ‘conspiracy theorist’. I happen to be taking that example before the broadcasting tribunal here, called the Broadcasting Standards Authority, despite the fact they have already ruled out such cases because Covid vaccines are not a matter of controversy. This is based on the ‘fact’ that the experts agree that all the vaccines are safe and effective; that is until Delta and Omicron variations came along, and now it seems that a booster dose magically creates immunity again. So Newshub continue to parade the leading epidemiologists, and academic experts, telling us what needs to be done to keep out the new Covid variant. Thus, Newshub screened another story tonight featuring our old friend Michael Baker, the leading persecutor of the ‘unvaccinated’, who stated that vaccine mandate should be applied systematically to the entire workforce. This was in a story about how the firing of unvaccinated workers is creating labour shortages. Surely trying to force the hold-outs to take the experimental Pfizer drug will lead to more dismissals, if not result in the deaths of fit young men.

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The day of disenfranchisement and the end of democracy in New Zealand

The New Zealand Parliament in 1977 and a protest over Executive over-reach and surveillance into civil society

What went through Parliament in New Zealand this week was the most systematic attempt by a government to use the Pandemic crisis to disenfranchise a whole category of citizens, and thus destroy the autonomy of civil society. Some may argue that the State of Victoria, in Australia, has seen a similar thing, but their Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has come out against excessive use of vaccine mandates.

Meanwhile in New Zealand we have Jacinda Ardern, and her never ending quest for international notoriety. So, as the Western European nations deal with another wave of Covid cases, and are imposing draconian measures on an ad hoc basis, in New Zealand we have a whole legislative framework euphemistically known as a ‘protection’ framework. Once the framework is in place, and the vaccine certificates are all downloaded, Ardern will release the Auckland region from a lockdown and remove the internal border. She knows this will see an exponential rise in the number of Covid cases. But the only actual protection is for the ‘fully vaccinated’, and they will get the priority hospital care; the ‘unvaccinated’ have chosen their own fate, and are effectively no longer citizens participating in society.

Can you call letting the Covid 19 virus rip around the country, and reaching into places where it has never been seen before, negligent? Is allowing the ‘unvaccinated’ victims to die, with only minimal health care assistance, in their own homes fair, let alone humane? After all, Ardern and her coterie of academic doom merchants and fearmongers have been warning of mass casualties for some time. She, of course, can’t keep the internal border working for much longer, especially given that it is virtually impossible over summer. And she wants to open up the national border, and let New Zealand citizens come back home, after being shut out for so long. At least they get to see their families again.

However, those coming back to New Zealand may not notice some significant changes, even if they don’t quite get how civil society is being destroyed. They may notice that they need passes to get a haircut, or go to a cafe or restaurant; and they may find out that some family members, or old friends, are not allowed to got to the cafe or restaurant because they are now pariahs. They don’t have a pass or certificate because they are bad people, and have not got ‘fully vaccinated’. They may not notice what a cruel and vindictive leader Jacinda Ardern is, until they have to go to a funeral, and find that some family members are not allowed to mourn, becaue they have been bad, and are not ‘fully vaccinated’. Some bad people, like convicted criminals, are allowed to go to family funerals, but not the new pariahs.

This whole protection framework is being introduced when most of New Zealand is still on zero cases, because the ‘elimination’ framework actually worked. Everybody shared in the sacrifices of total lockdowns, voluntarily complied with not being able to see their families for weeks on end, and did what they were told. Some people are being granted new freedoms because they have been good, and are allowed to get a haircut and go the cafe. These were actually universal freedoms, that we used to think were based on civil rights, but now we realise they are privileges granted by Big Sister Ardern. And to get the new freedoms we have to get ‘fully vaccinated’ and participate in a new surveillance system. Not exactly like the clumsy, old analogue ones that were to be introduced in 1977, before Big Sister was born. But at least we were prepared to protest when we realised we were losing some basic civil rights.

The Covid response legislation passed on Wednesday this week, which imposes vaccine mandates and passports, was passed in one day. The Labour Government did not bother with niceties, like obligatory reports on regulatory compatibility; nor did they care to get any kind of report on the implications for human rights legislation. This is because they don’t care about the NZ Bill of Rights, despite it being the brainchild of one of Ardern’s predecessors, a law professor called Palmer. When a journalist dared to ask Big Sister if she thought the process had been too fast, and avoided any public submissions, she said no, with a characteristically beatific smile. The smile of a benevolent dictator.

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Deaths from the Pfizer Vaccine in NZ: is it 1 or 94?

Dr Ashley Bloomfield: ‘leading’ health expert or misleading spin doctor?

Dr Ashley Bloomfield is the Director-General of Health in New Zealand, the departmental head of Health, and the chief advisor on Covid restrictions. In the first year of the Covid outbreak he became a well-known figure in the daily press conferences the Prime Minister staged, a trusted figure, and something of a celebrity. Now his figures on Covid-related deaths can’t be trusted, and, more significantly, nor can his department’s weekly reports on the deaths that occur from the administration of the Pfizer vaccine. Such a death has only been acknowledged once, and the so-called news media show no interest in investigating it further, despite the fact there have been a further 93 reports of deaths.

So we have to be clear here. The reported deaths from Covid in New Zealand have just reached 30, with most being from April and May 2020. There has been the new Delta outbreak in Auckland since August, with initially only 2 recorded deaths. But in the last three days there has been a report of death each day of Covid positive cases who were found dead in their homes, and not in ‘managed isolation’ facilities or in hospital. Even the media have felt obliged to ask Dr Bloomfield why these cases were not receiving proper medical attention. Bloomfield has tried to suggest that they were being monitored, and that there were other medical conditions involved, so he does necessarily accept that Covid was the cause. Indeed yesterday he proposed that the definitions of the cause of death would be changed, and reported differently.

This would appear to be similar to the approach taken by the ‘Medsafe’ authority, a part of the health ministry that oversees the safety of medicines in New Zealand. It issues a ‘safety report’ on Covid 19 vaccines, based on reports of side effects and deaths from the Pfizer vaccine (called Comirnaty), from patients as well as medical practitioners. The most recent report was published yesterday, 10 November, but it has a time lag, so is based on October data. I shall be referring to the previous report (#33), issued on 3 November, with data based on reports up until 16 October [https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/safety-report-33.asp#death]. The key thing about these reports is that they never give a total number for the number of deaths reported: the headline is always the number of reports, and how many are deemed to be ‘serious’, as well as the number of doses administered; this is obviously an effort to not highlight reported deaths. The reports always state the number of deaths reported that week, but denies any causal link, that is, until Medsafe has investigated the report, and has referred it to the Coroner.

So it is easy enough to add up the number of reported deaths up to the 16th October, and we get 94; but only one of these deaths is seen as being likely caused by Comirnaty. Of the rest, 40 are classified as being ‘unlikely’; there is ‘insufficient’ information on 38 of the reports; and there were still 15 cases under investigation. In the week that followed there were 3 more deaths reported, but the overall number stayed the same, apparently due to double reporting. Anyway, of the 30 000 in the ‘non-serious’ category, in the #33 report, about a third are reported by patients, and only 2195 by General Practitioners. Obviously GPs are reluctant to report side effects having been instructed to emphasise the safety of the vaccine programme. Back to the safety report, the interesting thing was the figures for reports of Pericarditis and Myocarditis up to 14 October: combining the totals, there were 61 reports based on the patients taking the first dose, and 57 examples following patients taking the second dose. But there is no link between these conditions and the number of deaths, apart from the acknowledgement of myocarditis in one death.

I suppose that it is good that these reports are still being published, given that the Ardern administration is now relying on fearmongering and propaganda, as well as mandatory vaccination. But the ambiguity of the reports, and the element of obfuscation in the details is completely unsatisfactory. There is a wide gulf between reports of 94 deaths, at a current rate of 3 per week, and the statements that ‘Comirnarty’ is safe. How many deaths would be required before the Pfizer drug is going to be seriously questioned, unlikely given the reluctance to find any causation for the other 93 deaths. Interestingly, Dr Bloomfield announced yesterday that he was going to introduce the Astra Zeneca vaccine next month. But this is only for those with medical exemptions, where it is acknowledged that Pfizer is not safe, and is arbitrarily limited to 100 cases; and it will also be offered to those workers facing dismissal in the areas where mandatory vaccination is being enforced, but that does not mean that others can choose it over Comirnaty.

Bloomfield has obviously realised that some workers are not buying into the fearmongering and propaganda associated with the Ardern administration, and that key health and education institutions may not function if workers are fired for defying the mandate. The ‘anti-vaxxers’ were previously assumed to be misinformed, and had to face penalties to comply with public health orders, but since it appears that some midwives and teachers won’t be forced into vaccination, another option has had to be found. There are even protests now, including a large one outside Parliament on Tuesday. The barricades went up to protect the members from the rabble, as they cowered inside with Police defending their freedom of speech, but they were too cowardly to come out and speak. Four protestors died in a road crash on their way home to the coastal city of New Plymouth, three being employed at a local school. A terrible tragedy, but at least they stood up for civil liberties, and against the discrimination promoted by Ardern and Bloomfield.

Update 27/11/21: In the most recent ‘safety report’ on Comirnaty, Medsafe refer to being sad about 6 more deaths from the vaccine. Of course, they still don’t accept any causation, but apparently investigate the cause, before usually deciding that there is insufficient information to determine either way. This may be the last safety report, because basically the government doesn’t care who dies any more. Unless it was from Covid, and the patient was in hospital. In a question at the Prime Minister’s press conference on Monday, a male journalist dared to ask why the Ministry of Health would not confirm that ‘fully vaccinated’ patients had died from Covid 19. This got a withering look from Ardern who is used to the cosy club of press gallery members, mostly female journalist/supplicants, who only ask acceptable questions. But Dr Bloomfield, presumably feeling a residual sense of professionalism, came back on Wednesday and confirmed that 3 ‘fully vaccinated’ patients had died from Covid 19. But he insisted that the vaccine was still over 90% effective, and much better than not having it (despite 103 reported cases of death by Comirnaty). Funny how the experts always come up with 90% as the effectiveness rate.

Update 9/12//21: The Medsafe ‘safety report’ is now issued fortnightly. This might explain why the reported deaths from injecting Comirnaty have increased by 14. But at 7 per week the deaths have also doubled, and the total is now at 117. The total deaths due to Covid since March 2020 is now at 44. Medsafe still dismiss the reports of death due to the Pfizer drug, with 51 deemed ‘unlikely’; but 58 cases have been deemed to have insufficient information, which is half of the reports. Medsafe’s claim that the reports are being investigated is utterly disingenuous, and not finding any evidence compelling is all the more unconvincing as reports rise. The use of Pfizer will also now decline somewhat as the Astra Zeneca version has been introduced, though not promoted with the hard sell and mandates like Pfizer.

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Authoritarian Ardern: no more haircuts for the ‘Unvaccinated’

An odd couple: Labour’s most revered leader, and it ‘s most authoritarian leader ever

Today is the Labour Day in New Zealand. A public holiday that mainly celebrates the institution of the 40 hour week. This practice was introduced before the Labour Party was formed, and is now a relic of the past. Just like the Long Playing record of Norm Kirk, Labour’s Prime Minister between 1972 and 1974, when he died in office. Kirk was an MP based in Christchurch, where my extended family also live, and I remember being there around the time he died. It’s one of my earliest memories, though my family on both sides were not Labour, and weren’t exactly mourning. Anyway, my point is that Big Norm would be turning in his grave if he knew what Jacinda Ardern is about to do because of Covid 19.

Firstly the context about the new authoritarian policy regime Ardern is imposing. Auckland had been in lockdown for a long time, or so it seems, and although she claims it is because Delta is so bad, it is actually because people are not complying with her dictates. Her bureaucrats and academic experts have only just realised that if people meet up in private homes it is likely to spread the virus; up until now, all the draconian measures have focussed on regulating public space, and keeping people at home. So, in a fit of pique, Ardern has decided to scrap the existing system based on ‘levels’, and will move to one that will seem like a trafficlight. This is being sold as an end to nation-wide lockdowns, but will not be an end to lockdowns when the hospitals are overwhelmed. If this change seems reasonable, one needs to remember that most of the country has been on zero Covid since last year, and has also had restrictions for months.

So the headline should be that Ardern is now going to let the virus out of the Auckland region, and open up the artificial border that has been expanding over recent weeks. When the going got difficult she decided to give up, and she has got a new group to blame. Having observed that most of the Auckland cases have not been vaccinated she has decided that this is the cause of the problem, not the initial failure in border control. She claims that Delta hunts out the unvaccinated, and usually leaves the vaccinated alone. Besides the rather overwrought hyperbole here, there is a not very subtle attribution of blame. Where the unvaccinated were initially seen as innocent victims, they are now being blamed for their own predicament, and for infecting the others, the responsible citizens. The ones that reacted positively to all the fearmongering and scare tactics, and booked two doses of the experimental Pfizer drug.

The ‘unvaccinated’ will now be blamed for the spread of the virus to the rest of the country, and will be denied particular rights and liberties. For Ardern the blame is mostly focussed on the young, but her imposition of vaccine certificates applies to everybody, including half-vaccined older people like me, who suffered considerable side effects the first time, including chest pains. Ardern always claims that the Pfizer drug is completely safe, and last night was the first time one of the major media companies ran a story on the possibility of side effects. Though downplaying the role of causation, there is a health committee to which reports of side effects are made (though some doctors refuse to do this) , and there have been a significant number of reports of myocarditis. Health officials even acknowledged that one middle-aged person had died as a result of the Pfizer injection. But the media barely reported this, or the other less life threatening conditions, and never asked Ardern about the safety of Pfizer afterwards.

It seems that younger men in particular are at risk of myocarditis, but, if they want to go to musical festivals or drink at bars over the summer, they will have to be double-dosed and have a vaccine certificate. Which brings us to the ban on haircuts for the unvaccinated, and asking hairdressers to decline service if no certificate is presented to them. I heard Ardern say this live on the car radio, and when I saw it on the TV news I noticed the relish with which she said it. As someone who obviously dyes her hair regularly, with or without the help of a hairdresser, this is clearly a big deal to her. While she is mostly beholden to health advisers and academic experts, this was obviously her own idea. She thinks that the group opprobrium over bad hair is enough incentive to get the young people to the vaccination queues, but there are some academics (like Rod Jackson) who want a far more widespread and punitive use of vaccine certificates.

So is this a real volte face for Ardern, who used to claim we were all on the same team of 5 million, and should be kind to each other? The ‘velvet glove’ has really come off now, and she actively wants to discriminate against the recalcitrant young people, and poor people in ethnic groupings, despite both categories being key supporters of her and her party. But it is, in fact, really not much of a change. She imposed draconian lockdowns without even mentioning the complete suspension of freedoms of speech and assembly. This is despite these things apparently being enshrined in a Bill of Rights, legislation which was passed by one of her Labour predecessors (not Kirk). Ms Ardern obviously believes that civil liberties are just things that she bestows on those that are being good subjects, and can also be permanently removed from the bad people. The problem is that there is no limit to this. If even hairdressers are meant to discriminate over clients, aren’t other businesses going to do the same. Professor Jackson seems to think that all the unvaccinated should be dismissed from their jobs, not just the recalcitrant teachers and nurses that have not got with the programme.

So why would the great Labour leader, Norm Kirk, be turning in his grave? Well, that is because Ardern is forcing unionised workers to be injected with the experimental Pfizer drug, or be dismissed from their positions without regard for their performance. At this stage, this vaccine mandate is being applied to middle class professionals, a group that dominates the Labour Party and remaining trades union. But Norm Kirk was working class: he left school without any qualifications, and went on to build his own house, before eventually becoming Mayor of Kaiapoi (a town north of Christchurch). He would have taken a common sense approach, based on working class values and basic ideas of fairness, and he also has nothing in common with a prima donna like Ardern. She is actually from a very conservative background in rural Waikato, the daughter of a policeman involved in a fringe religion. So the authoritarian streak was always there, she is just dropping the charade of the liberal feminist.

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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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Survivors’s Lucy Fleming on the BBC News

Lucy Fleming with a shotgun defending a petrol tanker. Not in 2021 Britain, but in a BBC drama circa 1975

It does not take much of an excuse to write about the Survivors TV series during the current pandemic. One of its key actors was Lucy Fleming (Jenny), in fact she was the mainstay, as other characters came and went. So it was good to see Lucy on the BBC again this last week, albeit in a news programme. Indeed it was rather lucky, given that the domestic newshour at 9GMT also goes out on BBC World, for some reason, before it has Live with Lucy Hockings. Anyway the British news bulletin at that time is usually presented by Annita McVeigh, but on this occasion it was Victoria Derbyshire. In a week when the main international news story seemed to be Britney Spears, the interview topic was the new Bond flick.

For those that are not aware, Lucy is the niece of Ian Fleming, who created the Bond franchise, and which has carried on long after he has gone. It seems that Lucy Fleming had even seen the script, and there was a suggestion from Derbyshire that females had a bit of a different place in the latest Bond film, the last to star Daniel Craig as Bond. Victoria even asked Lucy if she thought the next Bond should be female, but it didn’t seem appropriate, even though the most recent Dr Who has been a female actor.

Of course, Derbyshire never pointed out that Lucy Fleming had her own acting career, including becoming the effective lead actor in Survivors, certainly in the third and final series. Lucy was asked about the relevance of Bond in the current world. If it was just about entertainment, or put in the context of English nationalism or jingoism, Bond would always be relevant. But at the moment, in a global pandemic, another Bond film is just escapism. Is it really world news? Lucy Fleming might not have a particular insight into the current pandemic, but the Survivors concept is surely more relevant than Bond.

In a documentary series on cult TV programmes, including Survivors, Lucy made the point that the setting in mid 1970s Britain reflected a society in stress, both in an economic and political sense. There is also the comparison being made with the Winter of Discontent, which was later in the 1970s, when fuel and food shortages were compounded by industrial action. Lucy was suggesting that the sense of societal breakdown was similar to that caused by a global pandemic, it was just turning the screw a bit more. Certainly, the first episode of Survivors gave an indication of how quickly things could fall apart.

It wasn’t till later in the first series that the petrol tanker comes into play, and the value of the petrol is fully understood. Of course, the role of petrol as a rare commodity became the basic concept for post-apocalyptic films like Mad Max. But in Survivors it initially was simply the vehicle for the return of an early character called Anne, a rather entitled aristocratic type, who was played by the late Myra Frances. Anne and her latest man were travelling around in the petrol tanker, but it was not salubrious enough, and the smell too onerous. So Anne has had enough “…and I’m tired, and I want a bath and I want a drink.” The lines may seem rather banal, but Myra Frances delivered them with such seething conviction that it was such a shame that hers was only a cameo appearance. Like so many good female character actors of that period, Frances had some interesting one-off roles, but never got a real break.

Anyway, back to the action involving the petrol tanker. In the episode called ‘Something of Value’, written by Terry Nation, the characters Jenny and Greg are taking the tanker to another commune, in the hope of trading petrol for food. In the meantime, a trio of bandits has been casing the area looking for petrol, and are prepared to take it by force. The tanker’s brakes fail and Greg stops to fix it, while Jenny goes back to the farm to get more tools, only to get kidnapped by the bandits in the process. Jenny escapes and drives off to get help, while Greg tries to hold them off, but the bandits get the tanker and don’t realise the brakes aren’t working. Greg survives again, but the most of the fuel is lost in a crash.

The interesting thing about Survivors, once one is familiar with it, are the gender conflicts that emerge and are sometimes resolved. In ‘Something of Value’, it is because Jenny has learnt to drive after the pandemic has started that she has a role in the story of the tanker hijack. The leader of the commune, Abby, continally conflicts with Greg over who is really in charge (and she even slaps him at one point). And the Anne character comes through her encounter with a previous companion, Vic, who she abandoned after he had an accident which left him a cripple. He was determined on revenge when she appears at the commune, albeit with a petrol tanker, but, having talked her way out of it, she is seen striding away in the morning sunlight (with her fur coat on), seemingly more empowered by the experience. They don’t have female acting roles quite like that any more, and the writers were all blokes. But even if all the compelling female actors in Survivors were forgotten, the concept remains relevant.

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