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Vax resistance and the snobbery of the PMC

  • November 8th, 2021

I’ve been thinking about immoveable vaccine suspicion I’ve recently confronted in a couple of people I regard as intelligent and public spirited. It was in my mind while listening to Kim Hill on Saturday discuss with Danyl McLauchlan his thoughtful piece called “In a captured state” in the Spinoff.

His article included a startling table. It showed NZ to be at the extremes of the left/right political divide based on income and education. Essentially,  higher income people in NZ are more likely to be blue (right in politics) than in 21 other countries and the tertiary educated were more red. I had no idea we would rate as extreme in that kind of polarisation. Danyl had several theses, but he had a profound insight into the snobbery that serves as a class marker for being in the educated camp.

 I thought ruefully of the accusation by one of my vaccine hesitant friends, that my reaction to her explanation was arrogant (snobbish).

I’ve wrongly thought New Zealand to be relatively protected from the toxic partisanship which contaminates public life in the US, Canada, the UK and even Australia. Try as they might, opponents could not get ordinary NZers to hate John Key, or Jacinda Ardern. I was forgetting about the woeful state of NZ academia – the 450 prophets of Baal.

The other anti-vaxxer just told me why he turns to conspiracy theories. He thinks what is happening in NZ cannot be honest or well meaning mistake. That would be too stupid. So he believes it must be planned, with a purpose. He sees patterns to explain it. His conspiracy explanation makes him impervious to what I might offer as counter-evidence.

 The internet offers torrents of accumulated anecdote, folklore and superstition mixed with suspicion of politics and politicians, gained from several decades of TV depictions of cynical, venal and self-serving politicians.  So while I can protest that conspiracy is too hard to pull off, he hits me with something that will in hindsight look calculated and centrally organised.  

He has been an academic. He points to our recently pervasive  academic and education establishment dogma that all knowledge is relative and that everyone’s truth must be respected. Even when it is patently false or can be falsified. Why should his vaccine hesitation be vilified he asks?

 He was told he must treat some hocus pocus as science. He must not offend Islam. He says there are attempts to cancel, sack and silence the 7 Auckland professors who protested against a demand to call matauranga Maori science.   The 7 refused to pretend that accumulated anecdote, folk history, folklore, folk wisdom, religious metaphor or superstition must be given equal or superior authority to the science that has created our current health, safety and prosperity.

 But what really struck home was his demand for an explanation why there was simply no public discussion in New Zealand of what to him was an obvious correlation. He asked why we’d started no urgent and rigorous research to find out if there was a causal connection of life and death importance, between the cultural subordination of science to matauranga Maori, and Maori resistance to vaccination? Its a fair question. Have the various  elevations of superstition over the secular rationality previously pursued by our law come to leave a generation of Maori without the intellectual bullshit detectors that our forebears developed when science confronted religion and culture?  

What else explains the lower takeup of vaccine among Maori and the huge investment going into babying Maori into being vaxxed.  If there is not a connection between the dominance of cultural safety, a woeful susceptibility to snake oil salesmen, and a lack of real science understanding, why not? In our civilisation a false compulsory respect for superstition was ridiculed out of the mainstream of other cultures decades ago (despite quaint relics such as astrology and dabbling in exotic imports like feng shui).

 He says he takes absolutely nothing on trust from a ruling education and health elite pretending that matauranga Maori is science. Why should he respect any authority dumbly confronting Maori  resistance to vaccines/science, knowing it is a problem of huge importance to Maori and great cost to the whole population? Why are DHBs or MOH alleged to be at fault, but the mechanisms and causes seem to be an undiscussible  mystery.

The weird prevalence of vaccine resistance should be sounding the alarm for the Professional and Managerial Class discussed by Kim and Danyl.  But it will possibly be overtaken by the more simple anger of the Auckland hordes looking for reasons to suspect that the elite has been lying to them, patronises them, and cannot be trusted. Our peculiarly pantheistic PMC  may be about to get a Trump style shock. Thankfully no Trump has yet emerged here.


  • Mark
  • November 9th, 2021
  • 7:10 am

Actually the matauranga Maori is science and unvaxxed Maori is an interesting angle.

Although this still very hesitant and unvaxxed pakeha bloke would also insist that this iteration of rMNA’s (which hold fantastic hope for future, esp re cancers) is a very poorly designed product, and I’m still hesitantly waiting for the data that should have come from long term trials to see if I want it in my body (because you can’t take it back out and body is an important principle): noting a lot of information given, such as it stays in your shoulder muscle for only a short period etc is patently false. And fact it has proven leaky and very transient should have been found by long term trials before it was given to whole populations – there was so much unknown about it when it was being used for mass inoculations. … But anyway, this debate then goes around in circles. I lose my civil liberties, but I accept that on basis reality will out, or I will be proven wrong. I’m only ever six weeks away from rejoining society, so it’s not the end of the world. Re business opening, we unvaxxed are not responsible for Ardern’s ‘world beating vax thresholds.

  • Mark Hubbard
  • November 9th, 2021
  • 7:25 am

typo … sorry.

… and body choice is an important principle.

Plus I meant to put my full name in first comment: I never hide behind a pseudonym.

  • Tom Chambers
  • November 11th, 2021
  • 8:47 am

If you want an insight into the PMC just look at all the journalist’s insights into the protest at Parliament on Tuesday. That the Herald and Stuff pieces were dismissive of the protests and couldn’t see any real justification for them shows how aligned the PMC is with the way NZ is being managed.
The problem is there is virtually no other way that these people can be heard with the total alignment of the ruling classes in the media. A media that has been bought and paid for by the current government.

  • TyroneNZ
  • November 13th, 2021
  • 10:11 am

There is definite snobbery, arrogance and psychosis that debate has been so restricted under the banner of misinformation.

The arrogance of believing that people with a different perspective must just need more explaining of “facts” and that they must be less intelligent underscores this.

Making the vaccine mandatory, enforced by restriction of jobs, banning of free movement and ability to get medical care, walk into shops etc once the permit system comes into play only reinforces the well-deserved mistrust some people have for big pharma and government.

It’s sad that it has come to this. I’d just suggest, for all those that believe that the ends justifies the means, that mandatory jabs must be enforced, that banning unvaccinated from public spaces and public/private workplaces, that confidence is the feeling you have just before you fully understand the situation.

And because having an opinion contrary to the mainstream seems to imply that I must be anti-vax and ignorant, I am presently double-jabbed and eligible for a passport.

  • Paranormal
  • November 14th, 2021
  • 1:53 pm

Stephen, you are guilty of snobbery, or is that a lack of intellectual rigour, yourself when you state it’s internet conspiracies that make people vax hesitant.

I’m anti mRNA vax following review of scientific data online such as;
– our world in data
– FDA and CDC websites
– Pfizer’s own website
– our own medsafe and overseas (particularly Australia and UK) health department websites.

You may consider I’m not qualified to make decisions based on the evidence, however when my findings align with Harvard Medical School professor (Martin Kulldorf) there has got be something to it.

The fact the media are singing to Jacindas TINA (there is no alternative), when quite clearly there is a very significant alternative, it’s no wonder intelligent people start to wonder what’s going on.

Suggest you read a little wider to gain an understanding yourself.

  • Angel17
  • June 22nd, 2023
  • 2:32 am

I visiting this blog again. I am reading your blog since day 1.

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