I worry about those of us who are concerned about the government’s error ridden 3 Water proposal being seen alongside groups and individuals who are protesting about other issues. I have already written about not being prepared to be seen alongside the Taxpayers Union. I’m also not prepared to be seen as anti-vaccination, or anti 1080, or anti fluoridation, or …
Many of the protests are boiling over into a cauldron of discontent. Much of it reflects an understandable frustration with how Covid 19 is impacting on our lives. But that’s not the government’s fault. I fear that as the marches get more and more heated the issues will become more difficult to identify. Many of those who are marching have entered dark places through the internet and social media.
On Saturday morning Kim Hill again reminded me why I love her interviews. She interviewed David Farrier who investigates those who are buying into conspiracy theories. It was a fascinating interview. I recommend that you read this article and link into the interview and sit back over a cup of tea and listen to an excellent expose on how so many are falling into a black hole of misinformation. This is a real worry in our society and is an unintended consequence of the digital age.
In addition to the interview above in the Spinoff last week, they wrote:
Tuesday’s rally shouldn’t be laughed off as a non-event. It needs to be taken seriously, understood as just the latest step in a ratcheting up of the rhetorical stakes on the anti-vaccination fringe. The loud and prominent handful upping the stakes with increasingly extremist messages also deserve our focus, because they are amplifying the risk of stochastic violence.
The protesters certainly represent only a tiny minority of the population – with nearly 90 percent of the 12-plus population having had a first shot and many of the remainder not identifying as anti-vax. And only a minority of the protesters themselves are at risk of mobilising to violence.
But it doesn’t take more than a handful to cause serious damage and the security risks presented by this movement must be understood in that context.
The sad thing about the protests is that many of those who are objecting are vilifying the Prime Minister…Misogynists have an outlet for their woman hating and it is ugly. If you are a politician, you expect debate on issues to often be loud and strenuous at times but I often wonder if they would behave the same way if the PM was a man.