People’s Health Alliance gets international thumbs-up

By Roger Guttridge

Exactly two months after its UK launch, the People’s Health Alliance is about to roll out globally after being flooded with enquiries from at least a dozen countries.

The sudden surge of overseas interest was sparked by astrologer Pam Gregory’s interview with PHA spokesperson Katherine Macbean.

Pam has half-a-million followers on YouTube, Facebook and her website, and the interview has inspired people across the world to follow PHA’s blueprint for an integrated approach to health.

PHA co-founder Lisa Dunnington said: ‘The response has been incredible.

‘We know from the rapid growth in the UK that our blueprint is what the people want and need, but we’re now being flooded with emails from around the world.

‘In the first three days alone since Pam’s interview was released, we’ve been contacted by many people in 13 countries and the depth of feeling is evident in the words they’ve written.

‘It’s truly heart-warming and humbling to know we have touched so many people.

‘Who cares if the WHO are meeting to consider their next fear strategy, monkeypox?

‘PHA are meeting with like-minded people around the globe to create a world where we have the freedom to choose our health path, through many modalities, education and good nutrition.’

With more than 80 community health hubs already launched or in various stages of development in the UK, PHA-linked groups are now being formed in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and mainland Europe.

PHA UK hub ambassador James Edwards-Thompson said: ‘It is phenomenal how we’ve rocketed into being in just two months.

‘Already we have almost 90 health hub groups around the UK with an average of 109 people in each group.

‘Almost 30 per cent are working from physical premises and most of the others have plans in motion to do the same.

‘A huge focus now is on the provision of emergency care through the Power of the Pound appeal which is raising funds to provide emergency equipment and first aid training at community level around the country.

‘I’m in awe of every single person taking this forward with such love.’

Here are a few typical comments from people around the world:

Love your work! Thank you so much for doing this, so needed! Anna Carson, Australia

Thank you so very much for leading the way for all of us to follow. Janice Montague, USA

Thank you for doing a very large part to satisfy society’s need to have power over our own bodies and health, and to have choices that include both allopathic and natural therapies and medicines. Paulette Shalhoub, USA

Thank so much: you are an inspiration! BettJoy Alley, Australia

You are all amazingly inspiring. Sunny Hayes, Australia

I am a holistic practitioner and love everything the PHA is doing. Natascha Steckel, Canada

That you for your leadership and your terrific approach to health care for the future. Mary Lynn, Canada

Thank you for this wonderful initiative – magic! Noreen Conlon, Australia

Your endeavor makes my heart sing! Fran Sanderson, USA

Thank you so much for spearheading this incredibly timely and beautiful initiative. Carol Coughlin, Hawaii

Thank God for creative people coming up with ideas! Julia Van Run, Switzerland

And although you can’t see me right now, I’m dancing with excitement. Julie Payne, New Zealand

Thank you for everything you are doing. I’m excited for US ALL. Heidi Drake, USA

You guys rock! Thanks 🙏for doing what you are doing. Suzanne Beach, New Zealand

It’s such a wonderful initiative and I would love to be involved or connected in some way. Tory Breheny, Australia

Thank you for all you do and creating this! Gisele Pantin, USA

Here’s Pam’s interview with Katherine:

Link to the POP appeal:

PHA contact:

UK media: Trust and audience in decline

By Charlotte Hervis

The annual Reuters Digital News report has just been published. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism conducts in depth research across 46 markets exploring news consumption habits and trust levels, based on audience research (global sample size 93,000) undertaken by YouGov. This year the online questionnaire was sent to survey participants at the end of January/start of February 2022. 

The findings of the UK data set (sample size 2,410) indicate that mainstream media sources are losing both audience and trust. Curious and mindful news consumers are increasingly seeking out alternative news sources, turning to individual or independent voices to offer news and opinion. 

News fatigue: The UK was among the top five markets suffering news fatigue. In the 2015 survey, 70% of survey respondents said they were very interested or extremely interested in news. This has fallen to 43% in 2022, one of the biggest drops of all international markets. 

Active avoidance: 46% of respondents from the UK market said they actively avoid news, up from 35% in 2019. The UK was the second market after Brazil with the greatest proportion of survey respondents who actively avoid the news. Common reasons given for news avoidance include repetitiveness of the news agenda, particularly around Covid and politics, and the impact news consumption can have on mental wellbeing. 

Loss of trust in the BBC: The BBC was among the public broadcasters suffering the sharpest drop in trust, from 75% in 2018 to 55% in 2022. The public broadcasters of Australia (ABC) and Canada (CBC) suffered a similar fate in terms of waning trust, but the BBC saw the sharpest percentage fall over time.  

A free online press? UK news consumers are among the least likely to pay for online news, with just 9% of respondents paying for their online news, against a 17% average for 20 markets. In comparison, 19% of US respondents said they had paid in some form for online news in the past year. 

Growing awareness of external influences on news agendas: 20% of respondents agreed with the statement ‘UK media is free from undue political influence’; the same percentage of respondents agreed with the statement ‘UK media is free from undue business influence’. This is down from 34% and 29% respectively in 2017, suggesting that there is a growing awareness of the role that third parties can play in shaping media agendas and content.  

The Reuters Institute report downplays the impact which challenger brands to publisher business models such as Substack and Patreon may be having on the trends which were reported in 2022. It will be interesting to see whether they continue to downplay this trend into 2023. 

In retreat over pandemic treaty, WHO claims conspiracy theories blocking progress


World health and political leaders hellbent on establishing an international treaty giving them the authority to dictate a global response to future pandemics are on the back foot after facing massive pushback.

A two-day window for public comment in April generated more than 36,000 written submissions, most questioning the very need for such an instrument rather than offering input on its eventual contents.

The World Health Alliance founded by Tess Lawrie mounted a #stopthetreaty campaign that reached some 420 million people, and the WHO website was overwhelmed with public input, reportedly crashing on the second day.

Then in May the annual World Health Assembly — the WHO’s governing forum — met to vote on US-proposed changes to the International Health Regulations, the existing rules empowering the WHO to act as a global disease surveillance system.

The exercise was doomed to failure because of the opposition notably of all 47 African member states as well as Brazil, Russia, India, China and others. Brazil even said it would sooner leave the WHO than be subjected to the proposed changes.

Speaking for the AFRO bloc, the delegate from Botswana said: ‘The process must be transparent, inclusive, credible and consensual, and with full respect for the sovereignty of member states … the African region shares the view that the process should not be fast-tracked.’

A set of watered-down ‘replacement amendments’ were adopted under dubious conditions in an apparent face-saving move.

Perhaps seeing the handwriting on the wall, the WHO decided to postpone a second round of public comment on the planned pandemic treaty that had been set for June 16-17.

Announcing the postponement on the website of its Intergovernmental Negotiating Body, the WHO Secretariat said it wanted to ‘ensure that the input to be gathered in that second round supports the continued work of the INB’. To be clear, it wants to be sure that the world is totally on board with the plan before it seeks further public comment.

Standing in the way, according to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is ‘a small minority of groups making misleading statements and purposefully distorting fact.’

In a tweet on May 17, he added: ‘I want to be crystal clear. WHO’s agenda is public, open and transparent. WHO stands strongly for individual rights.’

‘Barrage of disinformation’

The mainstream media got right behind Tedros with handwringing over ‘disinformation’ hindering progress towards the treaty.

‘The World Health Organization is battling a barrage of disinformation alleging it is scheming to take over health policy in sovereign nations, as it tries to chart a way forward towards averting future pandemics,’ wrote the French news agency AFP.

Washington Post foreign affairs reporter Adam Taylor described a ‘visceral, passionate online backlash that falsely accuses the World Health Organization of conspiring to take power from national governments.’

Reuters ran a fact check dismissing ‘claims’ that an eventual treaty would empower the WHO to dictate a global response to a future pandemic, overriding individual states’ sovereignty.

The British news agency quoted WHO spokeswoman Sara Davies as saying: ‘As with all international instruments, any accord, if and when agreed, would be determined by governments themselves, who would take any action while considering their own national laws and regulations.’

Well, is it a treaty or something else? Tedros, in his May 17 tweet, used the hashtag #PandemicAccord as if to say don’t worry, it’s not really a treaty, even if its formal name is International Treaty on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response and it requires ratification by national parliaments. It would be legally binding, mandating the compliance of sovereign nations.

As a result, the unelected WHO hierarchy would enjoy unprecedented power over global biosecurity, such as the power to implement digital identities and vaccine passports, travel restrictions and even mandatory vaccinations — in what independent journalist James Corbett describes as ‘the hard-wiring of a global biosecurity state’.

If implemented as planned in 2024, the treaty would swing into action once the WHO proclaims a pandemic, practically at will, under a broadened definition.


And who better than Bill Gates to shepherd the operation? The top WHO funder says he is setting up a pandemic response team complete with a catchy name, GERM (Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization), right in the spirit of the fear-mongering that has informed the entire Covid saga.

In a programme that would cost $1 billion per year, some 3,000 experts would fan out across the world to monitor for disease outbreaks.

‘The work would be coordinated by the WHO, the only group that can give it global credibility, and it needs to be accountable to the public,’ Gates said on his blog GatesNotes.

That credibility is increasingly in tatters, though. Even Gates has had to admit that the vaccines he championed have fallen far short of the mark.

At the recent World Economic Forum, he said: ‘They don’t have much in the way of duration, and they’re not good at infection blocking.’

He has also said vaccine passports are pointless because the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission.

Should the Government compensate the vaccine injured and families of the deceased?

By Rusere Shoniwa

You can find more of Rusere’s work at

No. To qualify – not the Government. But obviously someone should. In this piece I’ll set out why the Government should not be the party to pay compensation; why the Government won’t, in any case, at least not in any meaningful way, and; who should pay. The answer to this last question is a no-brainer, but the real issue is whether and how the legal hurdles can be surmounted.

It’s distressing to read first person accounts of how lives have been smashed by what are indisputably the most unsafe government-sponsored medications in modern history – the Covid injections. Under an avalanche of media, NHS and ministerial pressure, most people caved in and did as they were told. For some, the price has been horrific. Those who have paid the ultimate price may number in the tens of thousands. A scientist leading a study in Germany says the actual number of serious adverse effects there is likely to be 40 times higher than the officially recorded number. Is our medical establishment any more diligent than the German one?

Reading the above-linked first-person account triggers both sadness and rage at the callous treatment meted out to those who have suffered. This account conveys how some of these people succumbed to the pressure to get jabbed. There is no doubt that the pressure was immense, but that pressure was expedited by a trusting naivety that it was applied in good faith. One expression that sticks out for me from that piece was they “took [their] jab as told to do so”. Without any loss of sympathy for the victims, it prompted me to ask how we can all claim to live in democracies premised on us telling our governments what to do and that public servants…well… serve us, and yet many did as they were told, instead of making up their own minds?

The answer to that is as complex as the whole Covid deception itself. You can trace the origins of the Covid deception back to global pandemic simulation wargames held over many years, which were critical in priming public health systems across the world to fall like dominoes and propagate Covid hysteria. Mattias Desmet’s mass formation theory, the Government’s disgraceful weaponization of fear and military grade psyops to induce widespread compliance, the craven corporate mass media machine – all fed into a perfect storm that reduced entire populations across the Western world to a quivering mass of obedient jelly. But there is something else in this mix that aided and abetted the Government’s tyrannical mass lockdown, mass masking and mass coerced vaccination; something that will be reinforced by suing the wrong party for compensation.

The sham bargain of health and emotional harm statism

That something else is a creeping statism which, over the last 40 years, has played a role in the insidious degradation of personal responsibility. The unholy bargain at the core of statism is that you surrender to the state your responsibility for managing certain risks. The state reciprocates, not by rescuing you from the peril of these risks but by pledging to rescue you from them, knowing that it can’t. It’s a sham bargain. Government ministers know that, but most voters don’t. I’m going to restrict the discussion to two forms of statism most relevant to this piece because adopting a sweeping view of statism (positive or negative) doesn’t help in analysing specific problems. These two forms of statism are health statism and a closely related offshoot, which I will call ‘emotional harm’ statism.

The struggle for human rights, individual liberty and dignity has brought us, or so we thought, to the position where we believe that health is a private matter between the individual and their doctor. If health matters are not between an individual and their doctor, why do we constantly fight for the right to protect the privacy of our individual health records? And what was the point of hanging Nazi doctors in 1946 if not to make a very clear statement about the individual’s right to voluntary informed consent? Yes, I know – under the planned biosecurity state, nothing will be private or voluntary, but that aspiration is a criminal one so let’s put it aside for now when discussing self-evident principles of individual rights and human dignity.

Under the health statist contract, we collectively begged the Government to make good on an impossible promise – to rescue us from the peril of a virus. This deception was fostered on the statist premise that if a virus is sweeping the land, it’s the state’s job to halt it. Which brings us to the apparent contradiction between a National Health Service and the position that personal health is a private matter to be managed by the individual as they see fit. But there is no contradiction. 

My health is none of the state’s business. The existence of a National Health Service touted as being “free at the point of delivery” does not change that: not least for reasons of individual rights and dignity but also crucially because, in the final analysis, it is not “free”. It is paid for by the individual and collective taxpayer. The Government is not an entity separate from us. It cannot open and abuse your private health ledger on the grounds that it pays for your health. It is our government and any service it provides is paid for by us. So, the provision of a “national” health service does not give the Government the right to manage my health risks, and I have certainly not abdicated that responsibility. This all seems like stating the obvious, but if over the last two years the entire nation handed over its responsibility for staying healthy, including the responsibility to decide for itself whether or not to get jabbed, then maybe the obvious needs stating.

Common sense and proper science, as opposed to The Science™, told us that you cannot stop a respiratory virus from circulating, but health statism is the compound that alchemised the impossible into the possible. Health statism was a key ingredient in the heady mix of reasons why people did as they were told on everything from lockdowns to masking to coerced jabs, as well as being open to the prospect of flashing a revolting ‘vaccine passport’ when Government ministers were doing their best to introduce them.

All these things had a government “good health” stamp on them and all of them have been inimical to the collective health of the nation. We should not be surprised by this perversion. A government can’t roll out tailor-made health solutions to 65 million people, even when there is good faith in the effort, and there was no good faith in Covid policies.

65 million potential abdicators of personal health responsibility imploring the Government to manage their health risks is an unhealthy contract doomed to fail. If you need proof that health is a private matter between you and your doctor, you will find it in the incontrovertible fact that there is no one-size-fits-all health solution. Sadly, if you ask the Government to insure your health risk, don’t be surprised if everyone gets locked down, everyone gets told to wear a mask and everyone gets told to take a jab.

In stressing the unfeasibility of one-size-fits-all health solutions, it would be remiss not to mention the WHO’s efforts to forcibly impose pandemic response measures on the entire world. This is the madness of one-size-fits-all on steroids. It also converts the global elitist aspiration of a One World Government from a ‘conspiracy theory’ to reality. The WHO is a demonstrably and grossly incompetent international organisation, captured by Big Pharma with the Gates Foundation as its second largest donor, fully on board with the pandemic industry’s goal of endless pandemics, followed by an endless erosion of liberty, followed by endlessly pumping humanity with ‘vaccines’. And it wants the right to impose its universal ‘health’ solution on 193 countries and 7.5 billion people. Happy with that?

The Government had a pandemic preparedness plan, and it didn’t need the WHO to rubber stamp it. That original plan, hastily abandoned, wisely embraced the proper science that acknowledged you can’t stop the spread of a respiratory virus. In a nutshell, the plan was to keep calm and carry on. Not to lock down or impose any of the other humiliations that we ended up enduring. The abandonment of a perfectly good plan for no good reason is one of many things reinforcing my belief that it was always the intention of the Government to lock down and mass vaccinate – this scenario had been carefully rehearsed – but that this was made a lot easier by the clamour from statists on all sides to do far more than simply keep calm and carry on.

As far as this unhealthy health statism goes, it is no accident that this clamour was far louder from the faux left than the right. The corporate right-wing Labour left miscalculated that it could embarrass the Conservatives into engaging the state on a massive scale to deal with a health scare, when all along Johnson’s cabal had decided on the health statist course of action and was grateful to have Labour as its lapdogs to cheer it on.

The outcomes of health statism are far worse than just bad health. A public clamouring for the Government to do more was like a lamb expecting a wolf to look after it. Willingly accepting the power granted to it, the Covid state zeroed in on the thing that it does exceptionally well – it went for second and third helpings of power by enacting legislation to rule under the state-of-emergency paradigm when, in reality, no state of emergency existed.

A government cannot save me from the plague and nor would I ever invite it to. The price of freedom is personal responsibility. The cost of asking the Government to underwrite total safety is Government tyranny. That’s why the tragedy of Covid ‘vaccine’ injuries should not be used to reinforce a responsibility that no state should ever have been granted in the first place – the responsibility to manage individuals’ health risk.

At any rate, we have come so far down the road of health statism that the government is confident that it has been given a licence to pretend to manage not just our physical health risks but our emotional health risks as well. This is emotional harm statism, evidenced by the fact that many people take as given the supremely infantilising proposition that the state has a duty to protect adults of ‘ordinary sensibilities’ from psychological harm caused by exposure to the written online word. The public signals that it needs protection from ‘online harms’ and the state, once again, exploits this by using it as a pretext to grab power.

The online ‘protection’ proposition now seeks legal endorsement in the free-speech-crushing Orwellian Online Safety Bill, a fig leaf for legalised censorship, which is of course a key pillar of the New World Order power grab. The idea that the Government, of all institutions, can or should protect adults from written content is preposterous. The failure to comprehend that the Government would use this power chiefly for narrative management of its own policies and objectives stems from a naivety which I can only attribute to Western populations having had it too good for too long. But this is where we are. Infantilising statism is now a cancer that cuts across the political divide.

Working hand in glove with the health statism at the heart of the Covid deception, emotional harm statism has exploited another societal cancer – wokery. To be sure, wokery is a complex phenomenon. It is many things, but one of the qualities it encapsulates is the desire to be agreeable even if it means being stupid and often paradoxically downright mean. Wear a mask to protect others (when masks don’t protect the wearer), don’t kill granny, and so on.

I want to stress that I’m not arguing that the Government, under the NHS umbrella, should not provide health services: the issue is that, under health and emotional harm statism, it is not providing the health service that we’ve paid for. Instead, it’s stepping into people’s private lives on the pretext that it will prevent bad things from happening to them. It is saying in loud totalitarian overtones, “I will stop the virus reaching you even if I must lock you up and force vaccinate you. I will protect you from unpleasant words even if I must censor your online content.” The only response from any self-respecting adult to HMG’s proposition should be: “Turn around and take a running jump.”

The government won’t pay out so let’s go after the Godfather

Returning to the question of compensation, I don’t deny there is a very strong case for holding the Government to account through a proper compensation scheme given that it used the full weight of its power to coerce people into vaccination. But there is another party to this crime: Big Pharma. If we go after the hand that ultimately pulls the strings, we stand a chance of killing two birds with one stone. This might initiate a move away from health statism that poisons personal responsibility. And we would be targeting the Godfather of vaccine failure before going on to deal with its government puppet enforcers. We should marvel at how Big Pharma has, so far, succeeded in heaping insult on injury by getting its government puppets to open the taxpayer money taps for the ‘vaccines’ and then getting us to pay, albeit in token fashion, for the injury caused by them.

Big Pharma knew the dangerous nature of the experiment it was conducting, which is why it got governments everywhere to underwrite the risk. To make matters worse, most governments have miserly and meaningless vaccine compensation schemes. These pathetic compensation schemes are the direct consequence of successful Big Pharma lobbying to shift liability onto the Government, which in turn has abdicated its role to compensate properly by enacting inadequate legislation. The truth is that both parties think they are being quite clever in letting the liability for damage fall between two stools, pun intended.

A big part of the reason why the Government simply won’t do the right thing by compensating people fairly and squarely is because an even-handed compensation scheme might attract the sort of publicity that could severely dent the New World Order agenda of its corporate masters. Part of that agenda involves coercing humanity into a never-ending ‘vaccine’ regimen that will have your doctor examining the results of your blood tests and being pleasantly surprised that some blood has been detected in your polyethylene glycol. So, the ‘vaccine’ juggernaut is not to be impeded by minor considerations of safety. Government pay-outs of huge damage claims for Covid injections might alert the public to the possibility that the whole ‘vaccine’ industry has less stringent quality control than a Columbian cocaine lab – somewhat of a narrative management problem for the Great Reset project.

Evidence of the Government’s determination to evade responsibility for vaccine injury is provided by the UK Column’s harrowing account of a vaccine injured claimant’s attempt to get compensation. For starters, the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme’s (VDPS) capped amount of £120,000 for each claim is appallingly scant redress for the devastating injuries that too many people have suffered. Inordinate delays in replying to claimants seems to be standard operating procedure for the VDPS and, when the automatons deign to respond to the victim’s case letters, they do so not with care and compassion, but with a callousness and indifference to rival Kafka’s most absurd visions of bureaucratic despotism.

Some hard facts about VDPS performance:

  • 2,347 claims were submitted to the VDPS in the 21 years up to June 2021. The scheme paid out on just 41 of those claims. That’s a payment rate of 1.75%.
  • Since the roll-out of Covid ‘vaccines’ up to 18 February 2022 (roughly a year), 920 claims have been made, which is a 720% increase on the previous annual average. Based on the historical payment rate of 1.75%, we can expect just 16 of those 920 claims to be paid. 

Be in no doubt about the Government’s strategy on Covid vaccine damage – erect an impenetrable stone wall guaranteed to condemn already traumatised victims to deeper despair. Applying the historical payment rate to the 920 Covid vaccine claims received thus far would see a maximum pay-out of £1.9m. That’s the price the Government would place on damaged lives, many of whom would arguably not have been damaged had it not been for the industrial scale coercion and propaganda to which the Government subjected them in its effort to ensure that mass vaccination was the only way out of its manufactured ‘health crisis’. Compare that to the £37 billion it splurged on consultants for the Test and Trace surveillance project, to track and trace you like animals, and which a parliamentary committee concluded made no “measurable difference to the progress of the pandemic.” It has of course made a measurable difference to the pockets of the corporate masters the Government serves.

Proving contract fraud – do we still have rule of law?

Evidence of fraud in the clinical trials, if you can even call them that, is mounting as investigative reporters and scientists who care about real science pore over the releases of the Pfizer trial data. Surely what we need now is a serious legal project in the UK to prove contract fraud, thus paving the way for legal action which would in effect nullify the indemnities granted to Big Pharma companies like Pfizer.

Citing the case of a vaccine injured Argentinian lawyer whose trial medical records appear to have been doctored to obfuscate the true cause of his injury, The Daily Sceptic claims:

“The evidence of malpractice and possible fraud in the Pfizer Covid vaccine trials is certainly stacking up now. But very few people are aware of it as it is mostly only being reported in alternative media.”

Ventavia is a large Texan CRO (contract research organisation) contracted by Pfizer to conduct Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials. In January 2021, Brook Jackson, a whistleblower who worked briefly in 2020 for Ventavia, filed a lawsuit against Pfizer alleging that it made false and fraudulent claims. The case was placed under seal, preventing the evidence from entering the public domain at the very time that it should have – when the ‘vaccines’ were rolled out. A sinister move to say the least. In February 2022, the case was unsealed but Pfizer has filed a motion for dismissal on a US contract technicality – namely that the contract was executed by the Department of Defence and not the civilian Department of Health.

And of course, your head would be firmly screwed on if you asked some basic questions like: Why would a pharmaceutical company contract with the government’s military instead of the civilian health department for the domestic supply of drugs for the civilian population? Was this a cynical ruse to shield the US Government from any accountability?

We cannot overestimate what is at stake here. If Pfizer succeeds in dismissing the case, then American citizens, and indeed everyone in the West, will have to accept that the ‘rule of law’ is a fig leaf for dictatorships ruling for the benefit of powerful corporations. But if Pfizer fails, it would signal a turning in the tide of global corporate totalitarianism.

You can find more of Rusere’s work at

Media myth-making: time to take a long hard look in the mirror

If the media doesn’t check itself, it’s likely to censor itself out of existence.


I’ve been reflecting on the Parliament protest and the media coverage of it, and how strained the relationship between reporters and editors and that portion of society that have lost faith in the current Government – the whole system, really – has become.

I listened to an episode of The Fold, a Spinoff podcast, in which Dominion Post editor Anna Fifield was interviewed about her personal campaign to reform the Official Information Act, and to address the breakdown in communication between journalists and Government PR staff. She also spoke for some time about the Dominion Post’s coverage of the anti-mandate protest that occupied Parliament for three weeks, and how ‘dangerous’ it was for reporters to cover.

While I’m deeply cynical about the last point, one of the few areas of reporting I still think the press are doing a good job on is calling out the Government’s bloated public relations machinery.

Andrea Vance wrote this scathing piece about it in June last year: The Government promised to be open and transparent, but it is an artfully-crafted mirage.

She describes how the number of communications specialists for Ministers and Ministries has risen exponentially since Labour came to power in 2017 – Ardern has four press secretaries for example, while the Ministry of Transport’s comms team has grown to 72 staff, up from 26 in five years.

“In my 20-year-plus time as a journalist, this Government is one of the most thin-skinned and secretive I have experienced.”

And it’s not just the numbers, it’s the tactics, she says. Journalists can’t just pick up the phone and get a simple answer to a simple question anymore. Much of the communication is funneled through email, and responses come back without a name for attribution. Vague responses which manage to both use lots of words and at the same time say nothing, are the norm. Transparency is not a priority.

A campaign called ‘Redacted: how many state secrets are being hidden from you?” looks to be putting pressure on the Government for Official Information Act (OIA) reform. Of course, the OIA is one of the most important tools in a reporter’s tool box. Also for the public. It lays out this simple fact – that if you ask the government for information, it has to give it to you.

It’s curious then, that being fully aware of how deeply the Ardern government’s image is massaged – a major production – and of the sheer speed and scale of its law-making, that our media are not more suspicious of its motives. There are plenty of dubious things the Government is doing in plain site that the public is unaware of because they are not reported, at least not in the way they should be.

The vast majority of legislation and decision making that has been introduced by this government completely up-ends the social contract, re-engineering the rules of society and the power balance further and further away from serving citizens and closer and closer to a highly surveilled, centralised, and in some cases even globalised centre of gravity. Consider the proposed WHO Treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations. According to Guy Hatchard, the country is in the midst of a full blown constitutional crisis, a crisis of truth. It’s hard to disagree.

“It is an honor to welcome the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta to WHO and to express my deep gratitude to New Zealand for its leadership in public health and invaluable support to WHO, including the pandemic treaty and increase in assessed contributions,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General on 28 February.

They are hardly ever preceded by a public conversation, and though they go through the motions of consultation, these merely pay lip service to democratic process. However strongly civil society objects to various new pieces of legislation vis-à-vis submissions, the Government marches on regardless, fully set on implementing its agenda.

Ardern’s public image, around which a cult of personality has grown up, is used to placate and distract a clueless public from looking into the dark corners of Government and demanding to know what the hell is going on.

The irony is the press are as in love with her and her policies as her supporters, despite their protestations about a lack of government transparency.

The press and the public

In the Spinoff interview, Fifield and her interviewer discuss the difficulties in covering the protest, due to the levels of hostility directed at news reporters. Reporters were sent in pairs for ‘safety’.

But there is a strange distance in the way protesters are spoken about in the conversation – as if they were creatures from the swamp, their humanity stripped away. The core reasons for the protest go unaddressed.

Just as legacy media were – and are – cheerleaders for the Covid response, the vaccine rollout, and the crackdown on free speech and the bogus danger of ‘mis- and disinformation’, they also led the charge against the backlash from civil society, having planted their feet firmly on the side of the Government on all the issues related to its abuse of emergency powers.

Credit: Bob Moran

They avidly demonised the unvaccinated and showed not an ounce of compassion for the professionals losing their jobs due to mandates, embraced the discriminatory measures used to ‘fight Covid’ and ‘save lives’ – abandoning any pretence of balance, inclusion and kindness. They refused to ask basic journalistic questions of the Government about its extreme actions, constitutional abuses or their statistical shenanigans. They ran hit piece after hit piece on dissenting voices, while the press gallery played a sycophantic game with the Prime Minister and Director General of Health at the daily propaganda stand-ups.

They ignored the deep social fractures taking place – the public supported restrictions, and those against them were just a tiny, unimportant minority who could safely be ignored; they did not tell the stories of people who were unceremoniously kicked out of their own lives, the impact of mandates on mental health, family life and finances; they ignored and denied vaccine injury despite it being everywhere you look, and when they finally did acknowledge it, downplayed it. Overall, the media gave the message loud and clear – these people were acceptable collateral damage, and nobody needed to hear what they had to say.

I don’t believe in violence and will never condone it, however, I’m hardly surprised reporters faced hostile attitudes from protesters at the camp – it became immediately evident that any coverage was set on framing these everyday people as far right loonies, radicalised by disinformation, and gathered at Parliament with violent treasonous intent. In reality, all they bloody wanted was for their government representatives to talk to them and face the destruction they had caused in the lives of so many.

“The threat was very real for us … I always said to the reporters ‘safety first, story second’,” Fifield commented.

Graffiti at Camp Freedom, Parliament, February 2022. People who attended described the incredible atmosphere of love and togetherness that was generated. Media reports repeatedly described the environment as menacing and threatening.

Personally, I think the perception of threat was at least partially self-generated. The media had spent so long stabbing these folk in the back, they had come to believe their own stories about them. One clear example, ironically, was Andrea Vance claiming she saw nooses hanging from the trees at the camp. Knowing as I did that nothing of the sort would have been permitted by the camp security, I asked someone there to scour the camp in search of a noose. I was sent back multiple pictures of ropes hanging from trees – clearly used to secure tents and structures in the face of the cyclone that ripped through Wellington – and which the protesters stoicly endured – early on.

How about the now famous example of the media reporting that protesters were emptying sewage into the harbour, when in reality the police had blocked access to the portaloos to use as a bargaining tool, creating a health and safety issue. Later protesters plumbed the toilets directly into the sewers to solve the problem. This went unreported in legacy media.

Reporters were simply too willing to see the worst in the protesters. There are too many examples of misreporting about them to list here. They were legion.

I have no doubt that if a reporter had approached with a genuine desire to hear their stories and report their views without bias, people would have opened up to them with warmth and honesty. Sure, they would have had to work to earn trust but that is only fair. The only time I ever saw that come close to happening was in Melanie Reid’s report for Newsroom.

By mid-next year, the media will be even more closely tied to the government through its announced merger of TVNZ and RNZ, and massively increased budget. How can the public be reassured by that?

I have no sympathy for the media playing the victim – it is sickening. A dereliction of duty as huge as the one they have been responsible for cannot be easily forgiven.

Unless they wish to censor themselves right out of existence, and they are doing a very good job at that presently, editors and reporters need to face themselves and stop hiding behind fairy tales about a long suffering heroine saving us from a terrible plague while under attack from the lunatic fringe.

The myth-making has to stop. Legacy media admittedly know the depths of this government’s opaqueness, its level of spin. They must understand the scale of reform taking place without public mandate. They bury the biggest stories of the century to protect Wellington from accountability. Where other public institutions – the watchdogs, the courts, the professional associations, the school boards, still have an opportunity to redeem their woeful performance – I can’t see media ever regaining the public’s trust.

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Call for a MILLION people to help avert ambulance failure death toll

The People’s Health Alliance yesterday launched a crisis fundraising appeal days after an ambulance service revealed it could no longer stop people dying from avoidable causes.

WATCH: HTL’s Roger Guttridge interviews PHA’s Katherine Macbean

Just a month after the official launch of PHA, West Midlands Ambulance Service announced in late May that by August it could be too busy to respond to 999 calls.

Mark Docherty, Director of Nursing and Clinical Commissioning at West Midlands Ambulance Service, said patients were already “dying every day” from avoidable causes created by ambulance delays.

Now PHA is launching its crisis Power of the Pound appeal to help local communities to fund emergency first aid training and equipment.

Its goal is to appeal to ONE MILLION supporters to each donate £1 per month.

PHA says its emergency appeal is vital if it is to try and stem the avalanche of deaths that will result if ambulance services break down.

The bold plan will enable one million people to play a small part in funding emergency back-up when ambulance services fail to respond.

Created in February and officially launched a month ago, PHA has already helped communities across the UK to form more than 60 local health hubs.

Its goal is to bring together conventional and alternative health practitioners and empower people in local communities to take charge of their own health. 

However, its plan to focus on primary care has been reworked to include its emergency Power of the Pound appeal following news that 999 calls could soon go unanswered.

PHA’s Katherine Macbean says: “This has been described in recent days as a ‘Titanic moment’ and, although our initial plans did not include support of emergency care so soon, we have no choice but to respond immediately to this cataclysmic threat to life.

“People are already dying because of ambulance delays. Just imagine how bad things will get if ambulance services stop answering 999 calls altogether. This is a crisis that could impact any of us at any moment. We cannot stand by and do nothing.”

The answer, says PHA, is its Power of the Pound appeal, which will enable everyone to play a small part in attempting to prevent huge numbers of needless deaths.

“We understand the enormity of the goal we have set,” says Katherine. “How many millions does this message need to reach for one million people to donate £1 per month?

“We also understand the economic pressures that many of us face. The point is that £1 is affordable for almost everybody and there isn’t any time to lose. We are in an emergency and one of those unanswered 999 calls this summer could be for us or for somebody we love.

“We need to join together to take action and we need to do it now.”

PHA has pledged to be fully publicly accountable and transparent when it comes to allocation of all funds. Its Power of the Pound appeal is one its most ambitious projects to date and, as part of the campaign, PHA is also urgently appealing for trained first aiders and for medical equipment suppliers to step forward and help. 

“If a million of us each contributes the price of a can of baked beans each month, we will be in a position to take emergency action,” says Katherine.

“It is down to the People now and we can do this if each of us simply contributes £1.

“We cannot leave it to others to solve this crisis,” she says. “We should all know by now that this isn’t going to happen. So, what have we got to lose by responding to this appeal? More importantly, what have we got to lose if we don’t?”

Please donate now by clicking the link

WATCH: HTL’s Roger Guttridge interviews PHA’s Katherine Macbean