Social cohesion

It has been interesting to observe on social media many on the left labelling the protesters at Parliament as terrorists and demanding the full might of the state be used to disperse and arrest them. They seem unable to distinguish between the range of people involved in the protest.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of those there are dangerous people. Those who call for MPs or media to be executed are bad people. Kelvyn Alp is a radical dangerous activist (note he is Maori, so not a white supremacist). is a charlatan and is in it for himself.

But that is not the majority of those down there. They are people protesting vaccine mandates. Now many have no sympathy for them at all. They say it is their choice to not get vaccinated. Well yes it is, and let us remember that is a choice defined as a fundamental human right – not a nice to have.

I regard those who are anti vax (as opposed to anti mandate) as basically deluded. They are like the people who lose money in romance scams. You read about them in the paper, and say how could you be so stupid. However people who lose money in romance scams are not expelled from society, as some unvaccinated are.

If we continue to treat the unvaccinated as pariahs, we will damage the social cohesion of New Zealand immensely. This doesn’t mean we drop all the incentives to get vaccinated, but that we show a path forward. Consider what life looks like for someone who has decided not get vaccinated.

  1. They have lost their job and now have no
  2. They are not able to gain employment elsewhere in the area they have skills and expertise
  3. They face a future of being unable to gain almost any sort of employment (as vaccine mandates are so widespread and beyond the sector) for the indefinite future
  4. They are unable to eat or drink out at almost every cafe or bar in New Zealand
  5. They are barred from scores of public facilities that they have part-funded through taxes and rates
  6. They can’t enter most shops in New Zealand, except
  7. They have no idea at all how long they will remain unable to work, to go out, to shop or use public facilities

Is it any surprise quite a few of them are camped out at Parliament? What do they have to lose?

This is not an argument for immediately removing all the public measures in place. It is an argument that the Government should provide clarity as to the criteria and timing of when such measures will be lifted, so those citizens who are not vaccinated can have a future to focus on. With no future, they will become more radicalised.

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