A research group funded by the Government are warning that people critical of the Government are a danger to society. Is it 1933, 1984 or 2022?
‘Dangerous speech’, especially speech from those opposed to or negatively affected by the Government’s covid response who protested at Parliament earlier this year, is a threat to us all, a group of government funded researchers warn.
Te Pūnaha Matatini (TPM) is a research group that receives Centre of Research Excellence government funding. It’s covid modelling unit is funded directly by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, while its ‘disinformation’ unit is independent with no funding sources declared. Both these units have been instrumental in pushing censorship, and in the case of the modelling unit, was used to justify emergency powers that have had a devastating impact on civil liberties, the economy, and the social contract.
It is troubling that The Disinformation Project, a group warning that people critical of the government are a danger to our individual and collective safety, are attached to a research unit entirely reliant on Government money.
I imagine if you are the government, speech that questions state actions is indeed a danger – that is one of the reasons why its freedom has traditionally been safeguarded.
In a new report generated by TPMs The Disinformation Project, the broad-based grassroots protest movement that emerged from the oppressive environment created by covid-19 restrictions, is cast as the creation of a “complex meta-level scaffolding of disinformation operations, including Russian disinformation”.
But this pseudo-academic word salad is not necessary to explain why a large section of society is unhappy with the Government and its covid response.
Clear, logical, relatable, human explanations have been communicated by activists themselves, many times over: they are unhappy about covid restrictions that breach civil and political rights, medical mandates that unethically force people to decide between bodily autonomy and the ability to earn a living, doubts about the truth of the official covid narrative due to its many inconsistencies, the suspected corruption of science and regulators, swathes of people seriously injured by the Pfizer product they were coerced to take, the lack of informed consent, and a media environment that is heavily biased making open debate near impossible.
The Government did mandate injections, people have lost their livelihoods, people have suffered life changing injury – this is not misinformation, these are the direct experiences of a huge number of New Zealanders. Protest seems a perfectly logical response. What is not logical is the purported alarm from The Disinformation Project (TDP) that this section of society is finding a way to voice it concerns when nobody in the mainstream will permit them to.
For two years the Government and media ignored the voices of those sacrificed to the covid response, refusing them a voice and treating them as acceptable collateral damage. Not only have they been ignored, they have been vilified as letting the ‘team of five million’ down and scapegoated unscientifically as vectors of disease.
In a two page summary , the authors state: “Everyone deserves to be talked about in ways that uphold their dignity. The Parliament Protest, and the language that emerged from it, challenge this.”
On almost every level, the protest was about upholding human dignity – under the Government’s medical mandates, people’s were reduced to their vaccination status. Where is the dignity in that?
The report, The murmuration of information disorders: Aotearoa New Zealand’s mis- and disinformation ecologies and the Parliament Protest, begins with a quote from the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“One day it will be our job to try and understand how a group of people could succumb to such wild and dangerous mis- and disinformation. And while many of us have seen that disinformation and dismissed it as conspiracy theory, a small portion of our society have not only believed it, they have acted upon it in an extreme and violent way that cannot stand. We have a difficult journey in front of us to address the underlying cause of what we have seen here today.”(emphasis mine).
The Disinformation Project is comprised of Kate Hannah, Sanjana Hattotuwa and Kayli Taylor. Notably, its work began in February 2020, just as covid hysteria hit, and mere weeks before the first national lockdown.
The timing suggests a government getting prepared for an information war following the inevitable backlash to nonsensical and unscientific covid policies from the sector of the population more prone to questioning authority…READ THE REST: