Structural inequality or a culture of excuse making – are we a malfunctioning society?

I am a bit of a study in contrasts. I come from a comfortable middle class background. I have a decent amount of education. But I have worked many, many, blue collar or ‘menial’ jobs on and off since the age of 9 – a paper round to begin with, then a supermarket job, hospitality industry, stevedoring at the port for three years (which I loved), labour hire in stints as a teen, student and adult in Australia and NZ – as well as progressing a somewhat meandering but increasingly defined professional office worker career.

At the moment, a major, major, pain-point for me, amongst others, is our Government’s extreme permissiveness of extremely irresponsible behaviour by those who will not show the appropriate, sense of responsibility, autonomy and urgency to go get vaccinated against Delta. In my opinion, this is an extremely concerning example of out of control Political Correctness.

To borrow a cheeky phrase from my life in Australia, from my Australian brothers and sisters, this situation “shits me to tears.” Massively.

I am a liberal. Traditionally, and maybe always, with a mostly left of centre perspective. With some concrete right wing views.

One of which, for e.g., reasonably well known to people who know me I think, is that I firmly believe that we should have a very cautious approach to Muslim immigration in New Zealand. I am not anti-Muslim immigration, at all, but I am in favour of a very cautious approach to allowing Islamic immigration into New Zealand.

I am becoming increasingly cynical and concerned about double standards in New Zealand society. Evident in a number of ways.

When it comes to ethnicity, in recent times we have become very accustomed to a very settled narrative of ‘we are not doing enough for Maori and Pasifika’ we are ‘too hard on Maori and Pasifika’, ‘we are not making it easy enough for Maori and Pasifika to get vaccinated’ amongst other issues.

How is that true? Maori and Pasifika people have the same ease of access to the vaccinations as everyone else in New Zealand.

How is Caucasian New Zealand responsible for that? How is Asian New Zealand responsible for that? How is UK origin New Zealand responsible for that? How is African origin New Zealand responsible for that? How is Middle-Eastern origin New Zealand responsible for that? How is European origin New Zealand responsible for that? How is American origin New Zealand responsible for that? How is South American origin New Zealand responsible for that?

Structural inequality is a reality in this country. I do not deny that.

But it is definitely not a “barrier” to getting the Delta vaccinations.

You know what the “barrier” is? It’s attitude. It’s ‘care-factor.’ It’s motivation levels.

I’m not going to bother to link to the statistics, it’s very easy to find them and see what I’m talking about. There’s plenty of glaringly obvious stats online that illustrate what I’m talking about.

New Zealand is, for the most part, a meritocracy (but definitely not when it comes to housing). When our News Media and some politicians spank on and on about how we need to do more to “engage better” with Maori and Pasifika re Delta vaccination, that’s when they are crossing a line between recognising structural inequality – a socio-economic issue – and grandstanding and smoke-screening about a nationwide health crisis / common sense.

That is a failure of politicians to show steel and nerve and integrity and they need to start calling it like it is – everyone has access to all of, or some of: social media, online news, TVs, and radio. Therefore everyone, regardless of ethnicity, knows that Delta is highly contagious and we have no choice but to vaccinate the entire population in order to keep it from decimating the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, and those who are not sensible enough to vaccinate.

Everyone knows that the vaccines are safe. Delta is not. It is as simple as that.

Our politicians will have blood on their hands (so to speak) if they don’t get stricter. There needs to be consequences for those who refuse to vaccinate. Those who refuse to accept cold hard facts and logic. Regardless of ethnicity, economic background, or an individual’s fondness for looney-tunes conspiracy theories.

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