Where Oh Where Is Our Chief Justice Winkelmann In This Time Of Crisis?
New Zealand is in a State of Emergency elongated now into its second week. Its regular residents and others unlucky enough to have done what Winston said and get home, are all on home detention for a month (maybe and very likely longer) unable to work and save their now failing businesses, Parliament effectively is not operating and bloody Hone Harawira is out standing at a roadblock pretending he is lawful authority to police on a highway who passes and take their temperature.
So what of and where are our leading legal minds?
Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann of the Supreme Court (our highest) gets herself involved in all sorts of activist causes in the pursuit of justice, liberty and freedoms. She has even let entertain the concept that law could possibly be a "vibe". She frequently speaks out about such matters.
Chief Justice Dame Helen Winkelmann saying the rule of law and civil rights and liberties need be upheld during the global pandemic.
Really? There seems in practice little to suggest this is happening. She put out a presser on such matters:
However, courts are an essential service. New Zealand courts must continue to uphold the rule of law and to ensure that fair trial rights, the right to natural justice and rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act are upheld.
That might be the case in the locked courtroom, closed to the public, as members of the essential services in the Judiciary hide away in fear of their lives from a virus that even Boris Johnson and Prince Charles can recover from as can a 104 year old man from Oregon.
Outside the New Zealand courtrooms however there is anything but a rule of law and rights and freedoms under the Bill of Rights in play.
This has resulted in a complete silence from a usually yappy Chief Justice who is usually rather outspoken on such other important matters of state that many may view as an over-reach into judicial activism.
Hone Harawira is a law unto himself, as are all the barricades, blockades and persons attempting to keep others from New Zealand from accessing freely public roads and highways.
We have New Zealand Police now stopping people for walking too closely, closed beaches because heaven forbid people may actually sit on one in their bubbles and more than the 2m's away from others in theirs.
Slowly but surely all popular walking routes are being closed down or monitored because while getting daily exercise to stop you from being driven completely mental, even forbid you go near a "runner" and s/he sprays you with Covid-19! I’m taking a bloody walk and I am now told that too is dangerous? Oh do fuck off.
This did not stop Health Minister David Clark driving to a mountain bike track and doing exactly what he has demanded the rest of you not, - do something dangerous enough that you may take up the resources of rescue helicopters, police and hospitals.
Compare Winkelmann's silence to the new Peoples hero, Former UK Supreme Court Justice Sumption who branded Covid-19 actions by Police as an "hysterical slide into a police state" and labelled the current situation as "collective hysteria". He eloquently states:
The real problem is that when human societies lose their freedom, it's not usually because tyrants have taken it away. It's usually because people willingly surrender their freedom in return for protection against some external threat. And the threat is usually a real threat but usually exaggerated.On taking a "David Clark", Lord Sumption says:
Yet in some parts of the country, the police have been trying to stop people from doing things like travelling to take exercise in the open country, which are not contrary to the regulations, simply because ministers have said that they would prefer us not to.The problem of course in New Zealand is that it is indeed Health Minister Clark asking us not to do it! Lord Sumption also has words for scientists:
There's no particular reason why the scientific nature of the problem should mean we have to resign our liberty into the hands of scientists.
Precisely. They all have NFI - no fucking idea as a collective anyway. After every other fun thing in the world has been banned the only sports news we seem to have left is to watch the counter of the number of deaths attributed (probably unfairly in many cases) to Covid-19. Reporting the numbers of dead has become a morbid fascination and needs to stop. We do not get counters of the dead from regular flu, car accidents, heart attacks, obesity and cancer on a daily 24/7 basis do we?
When is our activist Supreme Court leader going to start speaking out about the nonsensical position New Zealand finds itself in where we are defending a worst case scenario that there is 27,600 dead?
Even if you believe that model to be the sexiest one to be New Zealand's Next Top Model, does this loss of life warrant very very conservative estimates of a $50b hole in the nations economy and far more than 27,600 lives financially, mentally and emotionally, ruined, affected and in tatters because of this home detention and closure of the nations borders for an extended period?
At $1.8m a life that is an incredible price that other people right now are paying and giving up liberties, livelihoods and their personal security and everything else her beloved legal system upholds?
That’s not an act of love it’s an act of complete lunacy.
That’s not an act of love it’s an act of complete lunacy.
I will leave you with this update just in. The graph is self-explanatory and the shading is for other times in economic crisis. The blue line is their effect. You think having people die in a quick space in time is awful, try 6.6m Americans signing on as jobless in one week.
And don't you dare think it will not happen in New Zealand because it already has. The "wage subsidy" is just delaying the inevitable. There are 200,000 EMPLOYERS signed up for it already and we do not know the total number of New Zealanders receiving it. A 6m increase in US sign ons to the unemployment would equate to 100,000 Americans on a wage subsidy per head of population. New Zealand already has twice the number of that just of employers! Most of these sadly will be looking to shed these staff once the subsidies go.
And by the way, still not convinced? The previous week 3.3 million had signed up that I have not even counted here. So in two weeks 10 million Americans are out of work. Read about it here.