The occupation of New Zealand’s Parliament grounds by a disparate group of protesters – ostensibly over the Covid mandates, but representing a multitude of causes and apparently without a single organiser – follows similar occupations in Canada and elsewhere. It’s a disturbing development. Protests usually focus on an issue. They are usually led and organised … More New Zealand’s parliamentary protest and the lessons of 1848 Europe
In my previous post I suggested that 2022 was arriving like a Medieval butt-trumpet, with all that this implies. This wasn’t entirely for satirical effect though, you have to admit, Medieval butt-trumpets are pretty funny. But there’s a serious issue behind it (see what I did there). Back at the beginning of 2021 I joined … More Predictions for 2022 – what’s going to happen?
New Zealand has a fantastic record of biosecurity. We are the only country in the world to have eliminated microplasma bovis from the cattle population. We eliminated hydatids from the sheep population. We got rid of fireblight from the apples. And recently we also eliminated pea weevil where it had arrived in the Wairarapa. New … More New Zealand’s looming failure to control Covid
It occurred to me that there’s a benefit to the Covid lockdowns, relentless sanitising and masking precautions that nobody much talks about. Yes, these help protect populations against Covid spread. But they also help protect against every disease. Certainly in New Zealand, it seems that rates of seasonal flu, colds and so forth are well … More The science of masks and sanitising
I write this in December 2020, as one of the most difficult years in living memory draws to a close. Globally. It’s rare that virtually the whole planet shares a crisis. Usually it’s due to war. This time, it’s a pandemic, and the whole has been buoyed on an unprecedented swirl of social media. The … More Will things be better in 2021? Read on…
Just now the New Zealand property market has gone into turbo mode. It’s been hot for the past few years. Now it’s gone mad – and this in the middle of the deepest recession the country has seen since the 1930s. The country has long had a tradition of home ownership. Back in the nineteenth … More Why are houses so expensive in New Zealand?
It’s fair to say that 2020 has been the worst year in living memory. The world has, in the span of just a few months, been plunged into one of the most widespread and severe crises since the Second World War. Even the Cuba Crisis of 1962, with all its implication of nuclear armageddon, was … More How to understand 2020 – the worst year in living memory
One of the things that has puzzled a lot of people about the Covid-19 is why it affects some people very severely – even to death – and yet others can be completely asymptomatic and not even know they had it. This very wide range of possible severity has fuelled a good deal of ill-informed … More Why Covid-19 affects some and not others – maybe
This week’s resurgence of Covid-19 in New Zealand – and the very sharp government response – to me underscores the genuine care the Prime Minister shows for the people. In many ways Ardern is the right person at the right time. Just now, New Zealand – like the rest of the world – is amidst … More Why the New Zealand 2020 election is its most important since 1935
I can’t help thinking that the twenty-first century is going to be one of general crisis. We’re seeing the start of it now, and on historical precedent of similar scale things in the past I imagine disruption will carry on for a generation or more, one way or another. It’s not the first time such … More The general crisis of the twenty-first century