At the start of the year, our team decided we'd comment more on events happening around us. And that's what I'm doing now.
The illegal occupation of Parliament grounds and surrounding streets needs to end.
We as a community have the right to take collective decisions and take collective action against COVID, including lockdowns and vaccine mandates. I was reminded of a 1987 speech by the then British Labour Leader, Neil Kinnock. Here's an extract:
"We cooperate, we collect together, we coordinate so that everyone can contribute and everyone can benefit, everyone has responsibilities and everyone has rights. We do it together. It is called collective strength, collective care. And the whole purpose is individual freedom...We speak of collective strength and collective freedom, collectively achieved."
Kinnock was opposing the grim years of Thatcher's Britain. I'm opposing the falsehood that elevates the mis-informed beliefs of a small number who want to impose their will on the well-informed collective majority.
We cooperate, we collect together, we coordinate to fund our public health service.
We cooperate, we collect together, we coordinate to provide free education.
We cooperate, we collect together, we coordinate to provide basic levels of income.
It's what makes us civilised.
And we've cooperated, we've collected together and we've co-ordinated to ensure we have one of the lowest death rates from COVID worldwide. Check out the WHO Coronavirus Dashboard. I do so regularly. So far the world has seen 418,650,474 confirmed COVID cases and 5,856,224 deaths.
Aotearoa has suffered 53 deaths. That's a result of collective strength and collective care. Let's keep it that way.