Two by two

In Newsletter Editorial3 MinutesBy Dave McCoidOctober 1, 2021

October already! Haven’t the past two years been the oddest? On the one hand, they’ve seemed endless, but on the other, they’ve been so crammed full of events, announcements, and unprecedented happenings that time has almost been a blur.

Speaking of odd things and blurs: last weekend, there was an anti-vaccination protest on the outskirts of my hometown, Thames. There is nothing wrong with that – freedom of speech and the right to protest without fear of being taken away in a government-sponsored bus are among the core reasons our forebearers went overseas to fight 80-odd years ago.

What struck me as odd were the last two placards being waved in the long queue of feverish (excuse that turn of phrase) protestors, passionately urging everyone else not to get jabbed. The last two said, ‘Toot for Farmers’.

Now, I didn’t toot. Not for one moment because I didn’t want to toot for farmers. Had the protest been against the anti-farmer PR strategy currently being waged, I’d have gladly sat on the horn the entire length of the ‘circus’. But it wasn’t.

At face value, those last two people appeared to have gone to the wrong protest. Maybe there was a farmers’ protest in Tirau or Timaru. But then perhaps, as is so often the case with modern left-leaning dirty politics, they were attempting to create a coercive connection or correlation – that there is some link between anti-vaccination and the farming lobby. Whether it’s right or wrong, fabricate an unconscious link, and it can be difficult to dispel.

I doubt there is a massive percentage of the farming industry who would be anti-vaccination. Like the rest of us, farmers depend on vaccinations for their livelihood. But they have an extra layer of understanding because their key assets, the mammals from which they derive a living, are also dependant. But put up a split-second connection between a significant societal subset and a fashionable paranoia, and you’ll collect a few followers for sure.

Had I been a farmer, I certainly would have pulled over and had something to say about those last two placards.

All the best

Dave McCoid