Christchurch Earthquake 2011 – Day 28.

Monday 21st March – Day 28.

Very little has happened here inside the cordon. Nothing has changed since yesterday. The police and soldiers are still at their checkpoint on the bridge, the armoured car appears from time to time, and the police caravan is still in place. There is no sign whatsoever of the cordon being pulled back towards the City centre. It is wet and miserable and cold, conditions that match my mood entirely.

Grand Chancellor Hotel from the intersection of Fitzgerald Avenue and Cashel Street.

I managed to make it to the mail centre without incident, and I was able to stop on the way to take a photograph of the Grand Chancellor Hotel. Even from the very considerable distance of at least a kilometre from the intersection of Fitzgerald Avenue and Cashel Street, the damage is apparent. The eastern wall with its great windows now askew looks for all the world like some vast doleful face with a droopy eyelid. Impressive, but depressing at the same time. I did not linger.

If there is little new doing within the cordon, there is certainly a lot of controversy looming about it and its possible effects. A revolt by business owners who have been forced to remain outside while their businesses, together with records and chattels, are summarily and often without consultation demolished and hauled off to the tip, is gaining momentum and there is talk of demonstrations, even of storming the checkpoints. The Tory government, known for its preference for autocracy over democracy, is talking of a State of Emergency for months to come. This will allow it to virtually rule by decree, possibly installing all sorts of social and economic changes that it would never ordinarily be able to initiate.

Memories of the arrogant and autocratic dismissal of ECan, the Canterbury Regional Council, because it was taking too long to make a decision and was, moreover, veering towards a decision favourable to the environmental lobby, will long remain in memory. We can only wonder what decisions will be imposed on us, decisions that can be effected with the wave of a ministerial hand but may take years of legislative wrangling to unravel. Meanwhile, the Civil Defence National Controller is El Supremo, capable of overriding the elected governing bodies of Canterbury, a position that surely will be deeply satisfying to a group in Wellington who see in our present pass fertile ground for the creation of a whole new world in their ideological image.

We live in interesting times indeed.

To be continued…

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  • Craigoh  On 22/03/2011 at 10:40

    Aye. Central Govt by decree from the Capital upon ChCh… Not a good recipe, Methinks. The sooner ChCh gets it’s democracy back, or at least some constituents parts of it back, the better.

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