ZB

Mike's Minute: Trevor Mallard and Govt have misread Parliament protests so badly

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 14 Feb 2022, 10:14am

Mike's Minute: Trevor Mallard and Govt have misread Parliament protests so badly

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 14 Feb 2022, 10:14am

Although the protestors aren't necessarily many people's cup of tea in terms of approach, demeanour and attitude - the general consensus seems to be that they in their own way represent a wider frustration, if not anger, among many of us. 

That’s why there isn't a leader or a point of contact or a specific cause.

That’s why it's been a mistake to call them an anti-vax protest or an anti-mandate group. 

It's been a mistake to suggest it’s a mistake that they didn’t have a singular point.

That’s the point, about the lack of a point. 

They represent all of us that right now have a sense that things aren't right.

We don’t all want to protest — most of us don’t see protest as being a particularly useful outworking of energy and this one will end with little or no change to whatever it was they were wanting to alter.

But it is an outpouring of emotion and I admire people who want to give up a lot of time and effort to travel and hunker down and presumably get a sense of some sort of accomplishment.

Which is why Trevor Mallard specifically, and the Government more generally, have misread this so badly. 

As a tiny collective they can be, and have been, dismissed but that’s to fail to see that they represent a wider mood.

The Government and Mallard in particular are on the wrong side of this. When you start turning sprinklers on, start playing loud, bad music at them, start pumping out covid-19 ads - you're being obtuse.

Mallard came into this with a fairly ropey reputation as a speaker, and perhaps even worse as a human being, and all he has done is display the worst attributes of himself and the Government. 

Telling the media not to talk to protestors is anti-democratic. Opening your Speaker's Balcony and telling media to look down on the protestors is also anti-democratic, authoritarian and controlling, not to mention the height of arrogance.

The fact so many of the media acquiesced is of deep concern and probably plays into the protestors beliefs that too much of the media is controlled. 

It's certainly not open honest and transparent as labour so often wanted us to believe they are. 

If the protestors need to be moved that is the job of the police, not a jumped bureaucrat with a puffed-up view of their own entitlement. 

There are no winners in this. But the more the Mallards of this world look to decry, misinform and bully, the sympathy will build behind those who just want to have their say.