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By Olivia Pierson
First published on Insight@theBFD 4/04/2020
We have been suddenly stripped of our liberties – and so rapidly everyone appears addled by the speed of the head-spin.
Like penned sheep let out now and then for a little skip around the paddock, we’re all “safely” in lockdown while our government charts a course for our country behind closed doors.
If I lived in America with a President Trump at the helm, I might feel more at ease knowing, in the old-school American tradition, how livelihood friendly and freedom-loving he happens to be. Because of him, that country will survive and make good over time, but that’s not to undermine the economic pain that’s now in the immediate future of Americans, apart from Joe Biden who won’t even notice.
But in New Zealand? Our PM’s only claim to a credential before she became our PM was President of the International Union of Socialist Youth – and she was not outrightly elected by New Zealand citizens in 2017, she got there by a dint of the minority-loving MMP system, along with the power-hungry tactics of a fossilised snollygoster such as Winston Peters.
New Zealand is in deep trouble. Life as we once knew it will never be the same again. Economically, I can’t even begin to see a path before us which doesn’t involve heavy trade deals with the Chinese Communist Party – who gave us this bloody virus in the first place.
I doubt Jacinda will have the brain or the nerve to confront China over their lies which spread the virus – she’ll leave that to President Trump and probably the Australians, but you can bet your last renminbi that she’ll tut-tut them over their latest carbon emissions, which have not been helped by the sudden upswing in crematoriums working around the clock.
Kiwis are already snitching on each other in droves over the ominous medium of an anonymous “hotline.” Citizens are observing each other to see if others are obeying the rules rolled out by government, in true Orwellian fashion. But “be kind,” we are ordered, as if we are all kindergarten children sitting up straight on the mat, awaiting the next instruction from Miss Ardern.
Most of us don’t need admonitions to be kind – we are already kind to the decent folks who deserve it and not so much to the twats who don’t. That’s the normal way of things in the real world of freedom and this is what got us through two World Wars and a Great Depression in one century – that and guts, heart and fortitude.
I can see exactly how this cost-benefit analysis has been made – and it’s taken us all by the metaphorical gonads: Western culture values life so very dearly (apart from babies in utero) that all life matters more than it must. On its own, that sounds like a terrible statement, so I’ll clarify it.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness used to belong together as an indivisible concept; these three attributes of being born free defined life itself in the West. It was our way. In fact, liberty was once considered so incomparably precious that it was something our forefathers would willingly lay their lives down for in order to pass on to the following generations. But not us. Not anymore. We’ve become a nation of witless, woke wimps.
“Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” was the ardent conclusion boomed out by American revolutionary Patrick Henry in his speech to his Virginian delegates at the Second Virginia Convention of March 1775. The bloody revolt against British rule ignited one month later – and many lives were lost for the cause of freedom:
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Henry’s fellow revolutionary, New Hampshire’s General John Stark, could not attend an anniversary of the Battle of Bennington in 1809. Instead, he sent a written toast which included these words:
“Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.”
To this day, those words happen to mark the spirit of liberty which brought America into existence and they still stand as the motto of the state of New Hampshire.
What is life without liberty worth?
Is this soft, fearful way of living with a new virus, that cannot be put back in a bottle, what our fathers, uncles and grandfathers fought in world wars to bequeath to us?
The fact that we have allowed our government to exert the unprecedented power of shutting down our businesses and calling a halt to our daily, weekly, monthly liberties over a Chinese virus, which actually won’t harm 99% of our population, is a terrifying spectacle in its total overreach. And if soon, we knock the virus back to see it recede, allowing our normal lives to start up again, what if the damn thing re-emerges in three months, six months – or next year? Are we going to accept lying down that our lives can be paused whenever the government decides they must be?
This is an utterly untenable option for the free people of a democratic nation.
Instead of this lunacy, I point you to an alternative for emergency measures put forth by the New Conservative Party, written by Leighton Baker, their leader. This thinking shows brave, manly leadership in a time of potential crisis, and is only too rare.
I wager that Baker’s ethereal ancestors are looking down on him right now from the Great Beyond, saying, “That’s my boy!”
There’s only one thing which should be obsessing the New Zealand government right now, apart from the sensible emergency measures that the New Conservatives suggest, and that is the acquisition of Hydroxychloroquine and Z-pac, a drug combination that has had a striking virus cure rate in New York, and well beyond America’s shores.
Instead of robbing us of our natural liberties, PM Ardern should be pulling every string she can grasp at to make sure NZ Pharmac delivers this potential cure to our sick. But will she? I seriously doubt it. She’d much rather torpedo an entire economy.
If you enjoyed this article, please buy my book "Western Values Defended: A Primer"
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