Thursday, October 14, 2021

Labour's 2023 election manifesto

This morning Health Minister Andrew Little effectively unveiled Labour's 2023 election manifesto: 5,000 cases a week in Auckland alone:

Thousands of people will be infected with Covid-19 every week even with vaccination levels at 90 per cent, and hospitals face being overwhelmed once restrictions are eased and borders opened, the Government says.

Modelling showed there could be up to 5200 Covid cases a week – just in the Auckland and Northland region - at 90 per cent vaccination rates, Ministry of Health chief medical officer Andrew Connolly said on Thursday. The figure doesn’t include the rest of the country south of the Bombay Hills.


Between 0.2 and 0.4 per cent of Delta patients will be sick enough to need to stay in the intensive care unit, while the others may need a “short, sharp burst” of hospital-level care with special masks to give high doses of oxygen, he said.

Plus an unstated level of long Covid and deaths. And thanks to the structural racism of our vaccination rollout and health system, most of that burden will fall on Labour's core voters in South Auckland.

This is a nightmare scenario, completely unacceptable to the New Zealand public. But instead of treating it as a warning, something to be avoided, Labour are running headlong into it, promising to open borders and make it happen if vaccination levels are "high enough". Whereas the message I take from this is that 90% isn't high enough, and that we can't even think about opening up until we have much higher coverage (and/or the rest of the world gets their outbreaks under control).

In political terms, Covid is the biggest political game in town ATM, so this is basicly what Labour will be running on in 2023: not "keeping us safe" (as they ran on in 2020) but "5,000 cases a week". Which is a pretty bold political play. Ditto effectively promising to kill their own core voters in South Auckland. But the core problem now is that Labour's Covid policy is no longer being driven by the ethic of keeping everyone alive, but one of pandering to the big business death cult. And I don't think that's going to be seen as acceptable by voters.