Purblind – having impaired or defective vision; partially blind; lacking in vision, insight, or understanding; obtuse; slow or unable to understand; slow in discernment; dim-witted.
Broadband money ‘just a drop’ – Gerald Piddock:
A $15 million fund for ultra-fast broadband in rural areas is not enough to improve the technology for farmers.
“It’s a drop in the bucket,” Technology Users Association chief executive Craig Young said.
The Government money will upgrade some existing mobile towers and wireless backhaul that connects remote sites and for the installation of external antennae on houses to improve coverage. . .
Winter grazing drought hits farms – Gerald Piddock:
North Island dairy farmers are struggling to find graziers to take their cows over winter because many don’t have enough feed.
The effects of the drought across Hawke’s Bay, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Manawatu mean demand for graziers outweighs supply this autumn.
Waikato Federated Farmers dairy chairman Ben Moore said farmers are getting calls from graziers saying they cannot take their cattle as planned. . .
West Cost Regional Council reverses wetland decision – Lois Williams:
The West Coast Regional Council has reversed its controversial decision on wetlands – giving relief to sphagnum moss harvesters around the region.
The council rejected recommendations in February on a change to the regional plan, identifying significant wetlands and giving them additional protection.
The change would also have taken some wetlands off the list and made moss harvesting a permitted activity in those areas. But the council’s resource management committee voted against it, saying the plan change did nothing for other private landowners whose properties were still on the list. . .
The New Zealand Forest Growers Levy Trust is anticipating borrowing and using reserves to maintain as much of its yearly work programme as possible.
The Trust has decided today (29 April eds) to reduce its work programme by a million dollars, following disruption to forest exports and production caused by the international spread of coronavirus.
But the Chair of the FGLT, Geoff Thompson, says it’s anticipating covering an even larger fall in its revenue and is planning on using reserves and borrowing so as not too significantly disrupt its funding of industry good activities. . .
Exports hit a new high in March 2020, driven by kiwifruit, dairy, and meat, even as the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world, Stats NZ said today.
The value of total goods exports rose $215 million (3.8 percent) from March 2019 to reach $5.8 billion in March 2020. This was a record for any month – the previous high was in May 2019.
The increase in total goods exports reflected a bumper kiwifruit harvest and higher prices for milk powder and meat. This rise was partly offset by a fall in log exports, particularly to China, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. . .
US could be weeks from meat shortages with shutdowns spreading – Michael Hirtzer and Tatiana Freitas:
Plant shutdowns are leaving the U.S. dangerously close to meat shortages as coronavirus outbreaks spread to suppliers across the nation and the Americas.
Almost a third of U.S. pork capacity is down, the first big poultry plants closed on Friday and experts are warning that domestic shortages are just weeks away. Brazil, the world’s No. 1 shipper of chicken and beef, saw its first major closure with the halt of a poultry plant owned by JBS SA, the world’s biggest meat company. Key operations are also down in Canada, the latest being a British Columbia poultry plant. . .
The most galling aspect of the current lock down is that we could’ve prevented it. If we had introduced strict quarantine at the border and made provision for widespread testing much earlier, like South Korea and others, we probably wouldn’t be in the situation we now find ourselves. We all have to pay a high price to bring this disease under control and that cost is now as much in our liberty as our wallets. I don’t think there is anything to be gained at this time in castigating the Government for their earlier inaction, but let’s not give them undue credit either. Hopefully there will be a reckoning after all this is over. – Kiwiwit
One should never underestimate the power of amnesia in human affairs. Even catastrophes on a vast scale are often soon forgotten, at least by those who were not directly affected by them. The young in Eastern Europe, it is said, know nothing of the ravages of communism, though they lasted decades and still exert an influence, and quite a lot think that socialism might be a good thing to try, as if it had never been tried before. Moreover, no memory exerts a salutary effect by itself unaided by thought and reflection: memory (even where accurate) has to be interpreted, and where there is interpretation there is the possibility of error and disagreement. – Theodore Dalrymple
With a full belly, everyone knows better than farmers how to manage land, and how to care for the countryside. – James Rebanks
This is our wake-up call to respect farming once more — not uncritically: we have an absolute right to want more nature on farmland, high welfare standards for farm animals, and safe and healthy food. –James Rebanks
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column in the Listener in which I was too dismissive of the health risks of the Covid-19 threat. The reaction was furious and often vituperative – which is another thing we have all become accustomed to these days. My column that would normally be spinning off the printing press right now, said, “I got it wrong”.
I did get it wrong, but our job is to scrutinise, and I remain more afraid of the economic fallout of New Zealand’s response to Covid-19 than I am of the virus itself. – Joanne Black
I don’t jeer at smokers, though. Nicotine is a drug, you get hooked on it, and it takes a lot of effort to stop – I had someone doing it with me and we could console and help each other when it got too hard. It was also a time when I didn’t have any money worries, but really, in the end I kept it up because I was determined I wasn’t going through withdrawal symptoms ever again. I hated that I couldn’t just stop without enduring what seemed like punishment instead of the congratulations I deserved. Renée
That cast iron aversion to enforcing personal responsibility is baked in to our law in numerous areas. . . Shame (whakaama) is the mechanism at the cultural heart of nearly all successful systems for control of anti-social behaviour. – Stephen Franks
It is as if the government is afraid of confronting and dealing with real hard choices – and being honest on what they value, what they don’t – and just prefers now to deal in simplistic rhetorical absolutes, when not much is very absolute at all. – Michael Reddell
Bauer’s exit is further evidence that foreign control of New Zealand media is generally ruinous. Australian ownership did grave – some would say irreparable – damage to both our major print media companies and it seems the Germans are no better. Overseas owners have no emotional stake in the country and no long-term commitment to our wellbeing. They don’t understand our culture and ethos and are largely indifferent to New Zealand affairs. They are interested in us only for as long as they can make a profit, and when that ceases, they cut and run. – Karl du Fresne
Many politicians and voters don’t seem to appreciate the reality that every dollar spent by the government needs to come from taxpayers, who need to earn that dollar in order for the government to take and spend it. Even when the government borrows money to fund its splurge, it is just postponing the bill to future taxpayers. – Kiwiwit
We will decide to end social isolation and take to the cafes (those that have survived) with gusto. It will be our duty to support what is left of the economy and keep people employed. We will rush to businesses that the COVID-19 Czars deemed non-essential and hope we have the cash to spend and hope they survived. – Judith Collins
Consistency, at least in matters of public policy, is no doubt the hobgoblin of little minds, and not every argument has to be followed to its logical conclusion. Philosophical abstractions cannot be the sole guide to our political actions, though neither can they be entirely disregarded. The man with no principles is a scoundrel; the man with only principles is a fanatic. – Theodore Dalrymple
The feminization of society isn’t the overlay of feminist values. No. It’s the overlay of natural feminine tendencies. Don’t tell me they don’t exist. Most females become mothers. They are biologically designed to nurture. To bond through touch and soft murmurs. To provide their bodies to their babies (and lovers) as cushions and warmth. They placate, they adjudicate. They practice kindness with reasonable ease because that is at the core of the jigsaw puzzle piece they are.
Mine is a traditional but organic view of what a women is. She is not less than a man. And she is not more. – Lindsay Mitchell
When the New Zealand public looks back on the response to Covid-19 they won’t be judging success by whether we went ‘faster’ or ‘harder’ than other governments. Instead, we will want to know whether the Government’s response was balanced and proportionate.
Specifically, was the response proportionate to the risks posed to the citizenry from the virus? Were the short-term and long-term consequences to health and wellbeing appropriately balanced? Were the impacts on younger members of society who bear the brunt of the financial consequences appropriately weighed against the interests of the elderly members who carry the highest health risks? And were the impacts on low-paid wage earners and disadvantaged communities who will fall deeper into poverty appropriately considered and compensated?
Certainly, extending the lockdown beyond four weeks and prolonging border closures would be the right thing to do only if it saves more lives than it costs. Grant Guilford
I get home and just try to catch up on all the news I missed while I was writing it. As with March 15, I find filtering the horrible events through the filter of a news story that I am writing the best way to numb myself to their power. If you have to sit back and think about the world shutting all its borders for years to come, of a recession deeper than any we’ve felt in a century, of needless deaths if we don’t resist all the things that make us feel alive, then it all gets a bit much. When you get to write it out as a news story its just data to feed into a well-worn formula, a coping mechanism that also happens to be your job. – Henry Cooke
The best battery of all is a lake. Water management allows more investment in plant based proteins, better management of waterways, and more green industry. If we want this renewable future then as a country we need to have a mature discussion about water storage which must be, and will be, a net positive for the environment. – Rod Drury
One of the lessons from the animal world, is that every disease has its unique characteristics that determine the specific strategy. But every time, one way or another, it requires a track and trace that is carried out with speed and rigour. – Keith Woodford
I write my way into a story, a poem, a play and I write my way out. One thing I know for sure – there’ll be sticking points, hurdles. Writing that flows like it was effortless and easy to write comes only after hard work. Renée
There must be many other people in these strange times who find that having the time, no longer trying to stuff too many duties and activities into their day, they can now discover the world of small things around them, and find it utterly loveable. Birds singing, leaves unfolding, spiders spinning their miraculous webs – all these things can be food for the soul and can remind us of the goodness of life even in ‘these interesting times’, in the words of the Chinese proverb. – Valerie Davies
What other industry is allowed to steal the product of another industry’s endeavour and pay nothing for it, while at the same time steal their livelihood through advertising? Because that’s what social media does. They pay absolutely nothing for the product that is the lifeblood of their operation and that is the news content made and paid for by news media organisations.
“I know of no other industry where you can steal something and not only get paid for it through advertising but get the government’s backing for it as well. – Gavin Ellis
So let’s use every nuanced tool we have available to us. Let’s protect the vulnerable, require businesses to prove they can operate safely before reopening, seriously consider regional alert levels, and continue with our physical distancing and virus hygiene protocols. But let’s also move quickly to staunch the bleeding of our troubled economy. Otherwise, we may need to start including suicide statistics, domestic violence call-outs and bankruptcy numbers in our daily briefings. – Lizzie Marvelly
My mum has probably never shown up in the GDP. Men can be pretty shit with a tape measure when it comes to women. No offence. But she could help you with that. Run it down your arm. Around the cuff. Calculate costs in an instant. Show you where you went wrong. Pins askew in her mouth. Glen Colquhoun
We’ve been bemoaning the fact that no one wants to listen to the good stories for years. Who would have thought it would take a global pandemic to give us a window to be able to have that voice again? It seems bad taste to be observing silver linings and opportunities whilst so many are suffering however, an opportunity to connect and support our country can only be a positive for everyone in my books. The primary sector’s social licence and our economy depends on it. – Penny Clark-Hall
The people that we are talking about now are not the sports stars, not the celebrities, they are the people at the front line -the health workers – the Jenny’s from Invercargill, they are the special people. – Sean Fitzpatrick
One of the problems with Government money is that it always feels like other people’s money, doesn’t it? At the end of the day it’s ours or at least future generations’, who will have to pay it back in some way. We ought to be just as cautious with that money as we would be in our own businesses.
If you give cheap or free Government money to enable businesses to continue, in doing so you may be destroying the very thing that is valuable in business, which is the ability to evaluate risks and to take risk where the benefits that flow are greater than the costs. – Rob Campbell
Not all deaths have the same social cost. The death of a 90 year old can be sad, but the death of a child or young adult is almost always a tragedy. Burden of disease estimates often adjust for the number of life years lost and this adjustment should be made in assessments of the benefits of intervention options. – Ian Harrison
Is there any rail network in a sparsely populated narrow and skinny country like ours that has ever paid its way? Perhaps the Greens can enlighten us if there is. The Greens will probably say that there is a financial cost to an economy where climate change is front and centre, but we already know what a carbon-free economy in the year 2020 is like – we just have to reflect on the economic destruction that has taken place during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Rail is not an asset – it’s a liability. And it’s not a stimulus package, any more than spending money on people digging holes in the ground is. Stimulus money should be spent on work that will facilitate commerce and enhance the economy in the long-term, not destroy it, which is what the Greens are proposing. – Frank Newman
If the government wants to build on its success so far and continue running an effective public health campaign against Covid-19 at minimal cost to the economy, it needs a robust decision-making framework that will allow rapid response to changing circumstances and reflect a broad range of health, social and economic considerations. – Sarah Hogan
The more the government can show it is learning and carefully considering the complex sectoral, health, social and economic trade-offs at each alert level – most likely by comparison with a ‘no intervention’ alternative – the more likely it is that decisions will prove durable.
Without more structure, rigour and intense communication effort, the gains won so far against the virus risk unravelling if public scepticism and weariness combine to thwart the battle in the months ahead. – Pattrick Smellie
We shouldn’t take our culture and heritage for granted because it has helped us to strengthen our resolve and courage in such an uncertain time.
I have found that looking out for each other and valuing our culture makes us stronger and although it has been tough we will come out stronger as a community. – Hana Halalele
It does stick in my craw that even the most self-reliant of us have all become dependent on the state. I can’t help thinking that this is seen by those in power as a useful by-product of their Covid-19 response. The metaphysical basis of almost all political belief today is social, cultural and economic collectivism. We are all just part of one big, global village, and, as in any village, every person should be concerned with everyone else’s business. Self-reliance is seen as selfishness and is not to be tolerated, and if you think you know what is best for your own life, you simply don’t know what is good for you. – Kiwiwit
As leader of the nation, Ardern is unparalleled. But her performance as leader of the government is less flash. – Matthew Hooton
Amid the coronavirus implosion I’m guessing productivity failures won’t even get much attention this election. But they should, and any serious recovery plan should go hand in hand with a strategy that has some credible chance of finally beginning to reverse decades of failure. Turning inwards and looking more heavily to the state is most unlikely to be such an answer. – Michael Reddell
Any one country trying them will quickly find that tariffs meant to protect domestic steel producers, for example, ruin domestic industries that use steel. And when everyone turns protectionist, the complex international supply networks that deliver us everything from cars to phones seize up. –Eric Crampton
Given that a supply chain these days can take in the entire globe, how is the official to know whose making “essential” parts and who’s not? How, even, are manufacturer’s to know, if the screws they’re making are just the ones that are needed to hold together this machine that when running properly makes thatmachine, and that machine is the one that makes ventilators, say. – Peter Cresswell
Here’s what politicians don’t understand: The economy isn’t a lightswitch that can be turned off quickly, then turned back on without consequence. Economic freedom isn’t just an integral part of the American dream, it’s a prerequisite for prosperity.
Most importantly right now? Everyone’s livelihood is essential to them.
Economic activity is, at its heart, a human activity. To disregard some as non-essential is a mistake with heavy consequences. – Amanda Snell
I find myself wondering if people can identify with what I have written about how it feels to be diagnosed with cancer and whether they have found themselves glimpsing the world I live in. In some strange way it could be possible that people are experiencing to one degree or another, what it feels like to have the rug abruptly pulled from under their feet and to wonder if they are going to die. Right now, people are facing one of the greatest challenges in life that they could ever imagine, just as I and many like me faced when we were given our cancer diagnosis. No words can ever describe what it’s like living with cancer but maybe an experience such as what we’re currently living through might provide a glimpse. Like with a cancer diagnosis, this pandemic will change lives and for many life will never return to what they have always known. It will change the way they view their lives and the world, perhaps even their priorities so post-pandemic life becomes a new normal for them. That phrase is one that everyone who has experienced cancer will have heard at some point because life post-cancer is never the same again, it actually does become a “new normal”. – Diane Evans-Wood
You know, the theatre has kept going through the plague in the 1600s and it has a 2000 year-old history. Performers are part of that whakapapa and there will always be a need for human beings to connect…and, of course, that is what the arts does for us. – Jennifer Ward-Lealand
We need to balance the ability to be financially sustainable while being environmentally sustainable, not be expected to reach lofty targets set when the world was burning more fossil fuels and living beyond its means before the pandemic.
For NZ those targets need to be readdressed as soon as possible. We must lift the lid on the pressure cooker the primary industries have been under as we look to the future. – Craig Wiggins
One thing I do know is that what has become important now has always been important – food, shelter and good company – Craig Wiggins
Everyone who has a job in this economy is an essential worker. Every single job that is being done in our economy with these severe restrictions that are taking place is essential. . . People stacking shelves, that is essential. People earning money in their family when another member of their family may have lost their job and can no longer earn, that’s an essential job. Jobs are essential – Scott Morrison
Merit of action should be based on decisions made (or not made), the application of reason and science, and of course, the final results. Merit and accolade should never be given simply because of person’s age, gender, belief system, or political leanings. Sadly, we are seeing a commentariat very willing to continue its pursuit of identity politics where the ‘who’ is more important than the ‘what’ and ‘how’. Simon O’Connor
Whether a farmer, café owner or self-employed plumber, the driving force behind most small businesses is the dignity of self-employment. For some people (me for starters) that’s a huge factor overwhelming any other consideration. – Sir Bob Jones
And yet, if there are any two countries that could pull off a clear if hermetically sealed victory — offering a model of recovery that elevates competence over ego and restores some confidence in democratic government — it may be these two Pacific neighbors with their sparsely populated islands, history of pragmatism and underdogs’ craving for recognition. – Damien Cave
You are going to be part of a team facing tradeoffs. Will we cancel the upgrading of the Tauranga to Katikati highway where there are too many road deaths so we can plant trees on good farm land to suck up CO2? Will we delay buying equipment for an isolation strategy in a probable flu epidemic or build a cycleway on the Auckland harbour bridge? Should we introduce tough new water quality measures while farmers are struggling and suiciding? Will Pharmac get more money for new drugs to save five to ten lives or will we build a tramline to the airport? Can we afford to close maternity hospitals in Southland risking mothers and babies lives so we can shift the Port of Auckland to Whangarei? – Owen Jennings
I have been alarmed to see that disdain for the mainstream media has spread to the mainstream media itself. Recently I was contacted by people who should know better, asking me to send them a copy of my column because they refused to fork out the readies to breach this paper’s paywall. The total required at the time was $1 a week. This much they would not sacrifice because of their aversion to one columnist. They would forgo the fine work produced by many excellent writers who did not have that columnist’s attention-grabbing profile and gift for alienating readers. . . .
Now more than ever, mainstream media which, for all its flaws, continues to uphold basic journalistic standards has a vital role to play in society.
As I explained at the time, refusing to share my column with my stingy friends, if you think life without magazines is bad, wait until you live in a world without newspapers. – Paul Little
We must never again allow a situation where the law allows a young woman with much charm and little real world experience, to legally take such dictatorial powers.
The current legislation needs to be reconsidered in Parliament. While it’s conceivable such situations could arise in the future requiring such a heavy-handed approach, the supporting legislation should require say a 75% Parliamentary vote. Sir Bob Jones
There are two clear dangers for New Zealand.
The first is the virus – or more specifically, the prime minister’s strategy of eliminating the virus; how many lockdowns can we endure?
And the second is our prime minister, who fundamentally believes in state control, and is being given a free rein to embed her agenda deep into the heart of our democracy. – Muriel Newman
Instead of adding to the deficit by throwing expensive shovels at projects, and thereby taking the public sector’s share of total spending up even further than its current, very high, level of 40 per cent of GDP, let’s hold the line on spending and cut tax revenues for a while, and let the households and the business sector sort out the shovelling for themselves. – Tim Hazeldine
For a Government, public confidence is the most precious of commodities. In ordinary times, it allows businesspeople to take more risks, invest in plant and technology, open new markets, start new ventures, employ more staff. It allows householders to decide yes, we will buy the new fridge, take a bigger holiday, eat out more often. Confidence turns the wheels of the economy. Simon Wilson
We are right to take a strong stand to value life and be against premature death. What we should now ask of our leaders is that they be consistent and place equal value on the risks, both physical and mental, for all people. One of the important roles of teachers in a crisis situation is to hear students’ questions and concerns with an open mind and allow them to work their way through things. Suppressing this process can only lead to conformity for the sake of it and a deep sense of helplessness. – Alwyn Poole
We’ve flattened the curve; we don’t need to flatten our country. Indeed, we now need another curve, an upward growth curve – growth, jobs, and a track back to normality. – Simon Bridges
The instinct of the Labour/ New Zealand First government will be to assume that a committee of Wellington politicians and officials, with a couple of business folk, a union rep and two iwi leaders should steer our path into the new economy. The likes of Shane Jones and Phil Twyford will implement it. . .
But the core engine of growth will always be private sector investment – men, women and their businesses taking on new ventures, rebuilding their businesses, expanding, hiring people – taking mad risks. No committee would have thought Kiwis should get into rockets, or into online accounting systems.
The recipe hasn’t changed. Successful economies make it easy for the investment to flow to more productive activities – they welcome investment, they don’t over regulate or over tax, they provide clear and consistent rules, properly enforced, and don’t go changing them all the time. – Paul Goldsmith
This is not a time to panic or point fingers. It is time for us to reveal our true character. Sir Don McKinnon
We need to speak very plainly about this: these three career politicians have absolutely no idea what sectors of the economy are doomed, which have a future, and whether any particular commercial proposal makes sense. Add Economic Development Phil Twyford to the mix, and it risks the appearance of a circus run by clowns. . .
Free-market capitalism works not because it is individualistic — although it is — but because it collectivises everyone’s best guesses and analysis. In contrast, collectivist economic systems reply on the brilliance of individuals or, worse, committees. Again, we should speak plainly: central planners are not just often wrong, but invariably wrong, just like most of us. – Matthew Hooton
If you have one tenth the number of intensive care beds per capita that Germany does, if you don’t have contact tracing in place, then if you don’t have that level of resourcing available, you’ve got to focus very hard on the keep-it-out strategy. The fact that we’ve had to work so hard to stamp it out can only mean we’ve failed to keep it out. – Des Gorman
Winston Peters gave what he thought was a big reveal:
The Health Ministry initially recommended New Zealand shut its borders completely – including to citizens and permanent residents – but this was rejected by Cabinet, the Foreign Minister has revealed today.
In a media conference early this afternoon, Winston Peters said health officials had strongly pushed for shutting the borders, even to New Zealanders, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Peters said while this was “understandable and appropriate advice” from a health perspective, Cabinet ministers rejected that as it was “inconceivable that we [would] ever turn our backs on our own”. . .
It was understandable and appropriate advice from a health perspective and that’s what people in the Ministry of Health are paid to provide.
Cabinet rejecting the advice is appropriate too. Ministers are supposed to weigh up all the advice they get and decide on a course of action which would very, very rarely, follow all the advice they are given.
He said it was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) that convinced health officials to keep the border open to some in both directions, and the reason he brought this to the public’s attention was because they deserved to be thanked. . .
The Ministry convinced health officials to keep the border open?
Really? Why did anyone need convincing when this was the only legal course because New Zealand signed a United Nations convention which means we can’t refuse entry to our own citizens.
So what was all Peters’ grandstanding about? Mike Hosking reckons the government was playing us like a fiddle:
Did you notice we were played like a fiddle yesterday? Well we were, if you weren’t alert to it.
From nowhere comes Winston Peters, with his startling revelation that Cabinet was given advice by the Ministry of Health to lock all overseas New Zealanders out of the country.
What Cabinet deals with is under the Cabinet Collective. It’s secret. We don’t know what they’ve been advised, and by who.
When was the last time you saw a press conference in which we are told what the Cabinet had been advised on any given day? You haven’t, because it doesn’t happen.
But yesterday it did. Why? I reckon it’s because they’re panicking. They are panicking about the reaction to the health side of their response and the growing reality that the economic fallout is going to be their nightmare. . .
It will be a nightmare with high health and other social costs too.
But back to yesterday’s charade.
All this shows us is ministries offer free and frank advice devoid of circumstances outside their mandate – ie health doesn’t know, nor care, about UN conventions, they were merely worried about people coming back and infecting us.
And as irony would have it, they were quite rightly worried given we didn’t quarantine. We favoured self-isolation, and we all know where that got us.
And I reckon the Government is now freaking out about the economic fallout, so they need a narrative that shows they care. More teddy bears, more hugs, more of what the Prime Minister does well, like empathy. But not cold, hard economic reality.
In essence, Peters’ revelation is a non-story. Because despite their “oh my god look how kind are we” playbook, they never, given the UN convention and Helen Clark’s tweet, had any real choice to make other than the one they did.
So why did they turn it into yesterday’s pantomime, soaked up yet again by a compliant media? Because when it comes to playing us for suckers they know they have, tragically, an easy audience.
An audience so easy, that no-one has thought to ask the questions that are begging: when did the Ministry of Health give this advice and given the strength of it why weren’t the borders closed to non-citizens earlier and why weren’t people who came in quarantined far earlier?
New Zealand has had a relatively low number of cases of Covid-19. It would have been even lower had the borders been closed sooner and if everyone who came in was put into quarantine far sooner.
Delaying both those decisions has cost lives from the disease.
The extended lockdown as a result of the delay is costing livelihoods and the economic devastation will take more lives too.
Instead of crowing about the non-decision to stand by the UN convention, the government should be apologising for not taking health advice more seriously, sooner.