OPINION:

I am looking forward to being in Napier on December 10.

I will be at a charity event at Craggy Range, and as well as helping with the event, it will also be the scene for the handing over of the case of wine I will have won from MP Stuart Nash, who boldly, but ultimately unwisely, bet me that NZ would reach 90 per cent double jabbed by December.

I actually want to lose and have said so many times.

It would be nice to think we could collectively reach a 90 per cent double vax rate, but we won’t.

By running the DHB game the way they have, it’s been calculated the worst of the performers won’t be crossing the 90 per cent line well into next year, which of course makes the thing untenable.

Which is why I will be in Napier on December 10, because at the end of November the Government will have to admit their goal will not be reached, the lockdown will have fallen apart even further than it already has, the tension will be at such a boiling point they will have no choice but to acquiesce.

Between now and then, we will be witnessing our Australian friends on planes to far-flung parts of the world, lining up for the retail boom which is already well underway.

We will see the realisation that the doom merchants who keep predicting overwhelmed health systems are wrong, the same way they’ve been wrong in so many parts of the world.

You might note you haven’t seen Shaun Hendy for a while following his “7000 dead” pronouncement that fateful day with the PM where we all laughed.

The Government, which gave his group $6 million to come up with that stuff, has clearly decided to distance itself, as it realises that so much of the material these blokes have come up with has turned out to be dramatically wrong.

We should also note that the Auckland lockdown is collapsing on an almost daily basis.

When you push people too hard for too long, compliance falls apart.

The haircuts are being done, as are beauty treatments, there is a booming cash industry, not from people looking to break rules but just trying to survive.

When you’re in Wellington and you haven’t been to Auckland for three months you completely lose touch, and having a few apparatchiks on the phone telling you what want to hear is not accurate intelligence.

Beyond the cash black market in various industries, are the protests where ever-larger crowds turn out and a handful get a fine or two.

The legal action from the Murray Boltons.

The Radius Cares who have simply gone ahead and delivered a bit of commonsense to their sector, you’ll note the response from the Government as regards the so-called rules has been silence.

Leo Malloy opening his restaurant come December 1 … he is getting tremendous support as more and more realise that this has gone too far, and if you push back, nothing actually happens to you.

I think the gangs and the prostitutes helped there.

In many respects, it is a sad and shambolic end to this part of the pandemic.

There will be more to come next year, the new variants, the booster shots, which by the way are already overdue.

But the big deal, for now, is Christmas and whether we get one.

Of course, we will get one.

We were never not getting one.

Governments only ever govern with the goodwill of the people, and cancelling Christmas, MIQing the entire nation, so families can’t be together because some are in Auckland and some are in Taupō, was never going to be realistic.

In a sense, this has been a game of chicken.

The Government, knowing all along they’ve blown this with the vaccine rollout, and the shambolic mess around everything from testing to PPE to border leaks to MIQ, has known it had to end.

Its game was to try and keep as many as they could compliant, for as long as possible.

Hence no date, no freedom day, no target.

They would exert control until it became evident it would collapse, which is basically where we are this morning … Dan Andrews, a fellow control freak, found the same thing in Victoria.

They have been lucky we have so many sheep in the country, most countries, the vast majority of countries, would never have put up with this.

But the plan, of course, is we get set free in time to Christmas shop, go on holiday, and revel in our newfound freedoms.

So the good news is, at worst, we only have 25 days of this shambles before it’s over.

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