The Mayor of Manukau and the Police District Commander for Counties Manukau want to “get tough” on violence in the Manukau area, where twelve people have died in recent months from violence and destruction.
Do they want to seriously crack down on vandalism, graffiti and hooliganism -- stopping young criminals before a career of criminality -- along the lines of New York’s enormously successful ‘Broken Windows’ programme? No, they don’t.
Do they want to unshackle policemen like the former Sergeant Solomona who was sacked for treating young criminals as young criminals – for literally getting tough with criminals and demanding respect for the law? No, nothing like that.
Do they back a man’s right to defend himself and his co-workers against a violent machete attack? You must be kidding.
Are they calling for sentencing, parole and bail provisions that ensure that those charged and convicted with violent crimes aren’t able to threaten peaceful people, and that demonstrates to those contemplating violent crime that criminals are not role models, and that serious crime will guarantee serious consequences? No, of course not.
Are they demanding a change to the failed education policies of the state’s factory schools in which up to sixty percent of Maori and up to forty percent of non-Maori emerge functionally illiterate, and the majority emerge having never learned that their actions will have real-life consequences? Not a bit of it.
Are they demanding a change to the endemic culture of welfare dependency, a culture that all-but engulfs South Auckland’s suburbs, which are awash with government money and government programmes? You really must be joking.
Getting tough? Really?
What they say is “Let’s Get Tough,” but what they’re doing is … trying to close down Manukau’s liquor stores. As always when tough political problems are raised the tough questions are unasked, and the easy political solution is wheeled out. “Get tough on violence” say the Mayor and the District Commander, and the district’s alcohol retailers quake. This ignore the many causes, and remove only a symptom. They seek to look tough, and succeed only in looking pathetic.
This is just more of the same short-term blindness that has caused the problems they now claim to be addressing. I look forward to Mayor Curtis and District Commander X genuinely getting tough – perhaps by acting on even one of the real problems just touched on above.
While I’m waiting, I might just have a drink. Or even two.