Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Knee jerks, moral panic and "boy racers"

Are New Zealand kids out of control? More than they once were? Or is there something about the phrase "boy racers" that causes people normally hard as nails and sane as a hammer to suddenly start baying at the moon.

Do we need more state control over us -- curfews in Tauranga; lpublic liquor bans in Christchurch; raising the drinking age; a "review" of the liquor laws -- all of this just to stop a few idiots? Or should people (and journalists) just start breathing through the nose.

How many idiots are there exactly? What's the trend?

Well, there is a trend, a very clear trend; sadly for journalists and the members of Mayoral Task Forces, the trend goes against both headlines and hysterics:
  • In 1985 there were 274 road deaths with alcohol as a factor. In 2005 there were 115.
  • In 1985 23% of the drivers affected by alcohol were 15-19. In 2005, the figure was 20%.
  • In 1985 there were 8.3 road deaths with alcohol as a factor per 100,000 population. In 2005 there were 2.9 per 100,000.
    [Source Lindsay Mitchell]
So there you go. Perhaps rational thought without the moral panic would be better than knee jerk bans and headlines. How old, for example, was the bastard who killed those two young girls in Christchurch? And how much had he drunk? Answer: 22, and not very much. So why the bloody liquor bans and bans on young drivers proposed by Christchurch mayor Gary Moore?

UPDATE 1: Russell B has more figures that buck the headlines:
This is not to dismiss the problem of young people dying on the roads. But young people have been dying on the roads for a long time: the number of 15-19 year-old drivers involved in accidents has always been disproportionate. (you might also note that three times the number of fatal crashes involving young drivers occur in rural, rather than urban, settings).

But the number of 15-19 year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2005 was half what it was in 1984. The proportion of fatal crashes involving young drivers in 1984 was 19.3%; in 2005 it was 15.5%. Over the same period, there has been a 60% reduction in the number of 20-24 year-old car drivers involved in fatal crashes and a 96% reduction in fatal motorcycle crashes for the same age group.

It's all here.
UPDATE 2: Sione Vatu makes a series of great points in the comments section below. I recommend a full read.

Labels: , ,

34 Comments:

Anonymous Sione Vatu said...

Alas, the menopausal dried up old men and women who run politics are at it again. Listen to their self-righteous and sanctimonious bleatings. They always want the same thing- more power, more authority and extra-ordinary measures to make others do as they want OR ELSE. Amazing how they salivate at the thought of setting in place yet more severe laws and "punishments" to be wielded against those who they would discriminate against. Amazing how so many others go along in support. One suspects this is all about an irrational fear of the virility and passion of youth. Perhaps it is a manifestation of a jealousy for something the politicals have lost (having squandered their finest years promoting socialism and collectivism they now find life to be somewhat unhappy and unfulfilling...).

Curfews. Confiscation of property. Destruction of property by crushing cars. Huge fines. Forbidden zones. And on it goes. To what end? Who does it assist? What sort of society does it generate?

One wonders how long it will be before the idea of burning down the homes of the slightly older "criminals" among us starts to gain political traction? Economic crimes are rife after all. Gummint has ta do summit about it.

A caller to radio talkback recently pointed out that the Govt is at least a partial cause of the problems it squeals so loudly about. Who is it that made organised events for motor oriented young so expensive or even impossible to set up? What are the obstructions? OSH, lack of available venues, impossible expense and time to get resource management consents, deal with environmental objections, seek the compulsory insurances, successfully navigate all the bureacratic hoops that have to be jumped through,...

Young people are often impulsive, passionate and full of adventure. What they are not interested in is paper shuffling old-fart authority and its self-serving, expensive processes. They sure are not into the sort of compulsive collectivism promoted by Curtis, Cosgrove and theb like. What they are doing is rebelling. It is what they are rebelling against we should be considering with more scrutiny.

Talofa!

Sione

5/22/2007 01:00:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

That's a fantastic observation, Sione.

I really hope we see more of you around here. :-)

5/22/2007 02:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Sione, malo e lelei. Actually, I disagree with you and PC. See the Libertrianz are proponents of property rights and who's property are the road in our cities? Yeah, the states own it, so they have a right to tell boyracers to get off their property in whatever circumstances that suit the community.

5/22/2007 03:59:00 pm  
Anonymous JC said...

As far as communities are concerned, boy racers are bad news, they force people off certain streets, befoul the air with smoke, noise and loud voices, are somewhat dangerous and contemptuous of them and the law. They are a blight on the communities and people want them gone. Full stop.

If communities want these oafs gone, then the lawmakers and the cops must get rid of them anyway they can. If that means crushing their cars, putting the oafs in jail, taking away licences or whatever, then it must be done. At the moment, the oafs have declared they own the night in some cities or some areas and the cops are simply not doing enough to counteract it.

These oafs are criminals, they are detested by their victims who have to surrender their neighbourhoods, their sleep, their peace of mind and their sense of what is right and wrong to thugs who are largely getting a free ride from the law and the lawmakers.

What is needed is less law and more enforcement.

JC

5/22/2007 04:44:00 pm  
Anonymous JC said...

PC and Sione.

Your arguments are that the rights of the boy racers are paramount over the rights of the communities that have to suffer them.

That's the Radical Islam argument.

JC

5/22/2007 07:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Kane Bunce said...

See the Libertrianz are proponents of property rights and who's property are the road in our cities? Yeah, the states own it, so they have a right to tell boyracers to get off their property in whatever circumstances that suit the community.

Actually they have no such right. The governments pay for the roads with stolen money, vis a vis they own the roads because of stolen money therefore have property rights in relation to the roads.

As far as communities are concerned, boy racers are bad news, they force people off certain streets

They do no such thing. Force is either violence or fraud. The boy racers do neither. The simply drive dangerously. They merely make it unsafe to take a certain route. They do not apply force. Yes, they are wrong to do so, but it is not force.

They are a blight on the communities and people want them gone. Full stop.

Then they should stop voting for the parties that make boy racers possible by denying them a means of doing what they do that harms only themselves. How do they do that? This comment from Sione states it elegantly:

A caller to radio talkback recently pointed out that the Govt is at least a partial cause of the problems it squeals so loudly about. Who is it that made organised events for motor oriented young so expensive or even impossible to set up? What are the obstructions? OSH, lack of available venues, impossible expense and time to get resource management consents, deal with environmental objections, seek the compulsory insurances, successfully navigate all the bureacratic hoops that have to be jumped through,...

In short they should vote for a party that would remove all of that bureaucratic nonsense. If they do boy racers will not be such a big issue. Government controls, on the other hand, will just make things worse, just like every government control in history has done.

Your problem, JC is that you are willing ignoring the fact the statism only creates problems, not solves them. That has been the case throughout history without a single exception and will be the same forever.

Your arguments are that the rights of the boy racers are paramount over the rights of the communities that have to suffer them.

You are incorrect. Their argument is that the state cannot solve the problem, only make it worse, and that the state is a major source of the problem, though not the only one. That is exactly what I am saying.

That's the Radical Islam argument.

resorting to insults will not get you anywhere, especially when the insults are crazy, stupid, and totally with basis in fact, i.e., when they are irrational and illogical.

5/22/2007 09:37:00 pm  
Anonymous JC said...

Kane.

Not much of a Randian, are you.

"Any alleged 'right' of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.

"The end does not justify the means. No one's rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others." -- Ayn Rand, "The Cashing-In: The Student Rebellion," Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

JC

5/22/2007 10:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Kane,

What is your street address? Perhaps if you , Sione, PC are defenders of the "boy racers" right, then I can pass on all of your street addresses to the boy-racer organizer, so they can shift their current venue to your streets? I know PC's address, but I need your address and Sione.

5/22/2007 10:49:00 pm  
Blogger Lx said...

OMG, I really cannot believe how out of touch or how totally idiotic Sione Vatu's comments are!!!!!! We are NOT talking about police or government control but about the LOSS of control that "boy racers" have...these idiots KILL people...not just themselves but innocents as well. Why should there be any kind of legislation allowing this to happen??? Isnt this why we have places like western springs?

5/23/2007 01:52:00 am  
Blogger Lx said...

CONFISCATE THEIR CARS IF THEY ARE CAUGHT!!!!!

5/23/2007 01:53:00 am  
Anonymous James said...

Who owns the fucking roads? Answer that question and the solution is clear...

5/23/2007 03:29:00 am  
Anonymous Kane Bunce said...

Not much of a Randian, are you.

I do not consider myself a "Randian," which is not even the correct term. The correct term is Objectivist. Anyway, what I consider myself is a student of Objectivism.

Any alleged 'right' of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.

I am well aware of that and I never implied otherwise. In fact that was a part of my point about the government not being rightful owners of the roads.

"The end does not justify the means. No one's rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others." -- Ayn Rand

I am also quite aware of that. I was not saying otherwise or that a particular end justified the means. I was saying both the government's ends and means are unjustified and cause problems. I am well aware of the nature of rights, means, and ends. In fact I was criticising the government for doing what you incorrectly thought I was doing. What I was saying was that in a laissez faire capitalist nation boy racers would have a safe place to do as they do where they endanger only themselves, which, as stupid as that is, they have the right to do as it is their lives , not anyone else's. No one has the right to tell them they may not endanger their lives.

I have no idea how you misinterpreted me so badly.

What is your street address? Perhaps if you , Sione, PC are defenders of the "boy racers" right, then I can pass on all of your street addresses to the boy-racer organizer, so they can shift their current venue to your streets? I know PC's address, but I need your address and Sione.

I do not condone their actions. I merely do not condone government controls and government ownership of the road. I was also saying that I do not recognise the government's alleged property rights over the road as they stole the money to pay for it. I do not recognise the rights of thieves, especially in relation to the things purchased with stolen money. The reason for that is that thieves have no rights. They forfeited them when they breached the property rights of others.

OMG, I really cannot believe how out of touch or how totally idiotic Sione Vatu's comments are!

Actually he is fully accurate and aware of the reality of the situation unlike most of the country, yourself included.

We are NOT talking about police or government control but about the LOSS of control that "boy racers" have...these idiots KILL people...not just themselves but innocents as well.

Yes, and as both me and Sione have said, without government controls holding back the creation of safe places for them to do it they would be endangering only themselves. Yes, it is true that the boy racers are responsible for their own actions, but the government preventing the creation of a safe location for them to do it makes it also largely to blame.

Why should there be any kind of legislation allowing this to happen?

What you should be asking is, "Why should there be any legislation holding back the creation of a safe location for them to do it?" The answer is there should not. The RMA, building consent, and a whole host of other legislations violate the rights of builders, architects, and land owners. Without those violations there would be safe places for the boy racers to do what they do. Would the b oy racers use those means? I think so, as those means would be especially optimised for boy racing, unlike our roads.

Isnt this why we have places like western springs?

Western Springs is for racing not boy racing. The two are not the same despite the word "racing" being in the latter.

Who owns the fucking roads? Answer that question and the solution is clear...

Rightfully? The people who's money was stolen to pay for them.

5/23/2007 08:28:00 am  
Anonymous JC said...

Kane,

If you are going to argue that people own the roads, then listen to them! They are howling about their roads being obstructed and misused by the boy racers. They are yelling at the Govt. to do something about it because their rights are being trampled by young thugs.
In any civilised society the people invest their Govt. with the almost exclusive right to force and they expect their Govt to do their bidding and get rid of the boy racers.

As for the boy racers being denied the right to build their own facilities.. don't make me laugh, these creeps are Marxist thugs who expect the Govt and the communities to do that for them at no cost. Give in to them and build a facility and they won't use it or they'd abuse it because the whole idea is to trample on other people's rights.

JC

5/23/2007 11:29:00 am  
Anonymous Kane Bunce said...

If you are going to argue that people own the roads, then listen to them!

You seem to be missing the point. I am arguing against government actions, not the people's opinions. Besides, I said the people rightfully own the road, not that they do. The truth is because stolen money was used no one ones the roads. People do not own goods stolen off them; ownership is something that requires you be in possession of the item in question. Since the money was stolen we do not own the money, and therefore do not own the roads.

They are yelling at the Govt. to do something about it because their rights are being trampled by young thugs.

Why are you so willing to ignore the bigger violation of rights? That being taxes and the government regulations that prevent an alternative for the boy racers being built.

In any civilised society the people invest their Govt. with the almost exclusive right to force and they expect their Govt to do their bidding and get rid of the boy racers.

Actually, a nation is more civilised when the government merely protects the people from the initiation of force and fraud, and when they punish those that initiate force and fraud, not when they simply do the people's bidding. The latter leads to one gang getting the government to breach the rights of other gangs in order to benefit. (Note: in this case gang means a group of people, not criminal gang.)

As for the boy racers being denied the right to build their own facilities.. don't make me laugh

I never said the boy racers would be the ones doing the building. I am talking about developers land owners doing it as a business opportunity. If someone done that the boy racers would use it as it would be better suited to their needs than the roads.

these creeps are Marxist thugs who expect the Govt and the communities to do that for them at no cost.

Actually, I would say they are probably closer to Immanuel Kant, just like most of today's society.

Give in to them and build a facility and they won't use it or they'd abuse it because the whole idea is to trample on other people's rights.

I listed above why they would use it. I also think they are unlikely to abuse it as they would probably realise they would then lose their facility and that in a laissez faire capitalist country the roads would be privately owned and as such they would be breaching property rights to do it elsewhere, which they would not get away with and they would know it.

Now this would not hold true for the most of them would. Those that wouldn't would be punished and change their behaviour.

But more importantly, whether or not they would abuse the facility and whether or not they would use it does not change the fact that out current system breaches the rights of land owners and developers to create such a facility and that there can be no justification for that.

5/23/2007 01:04:00 pm  
Anonymous danger mouse said...

kane bunce,

Arguing whether Government has the right to build roads seems to me rather like an attempt to avoid the point's being raised by falafulu (whom I fully agree with for a change) and others.
It will take a very long time for the population as a whole to come over to the argument for private roads and in the meantime these idiots are still endangering lives and property with their utter disregard for the rest of society.
Furthermore, I don't see why we should build facilities for them to race on. Why should we bend over for them? Will their world fall apart if they don't have a place to hoon about mindlessly?
And finally, half the problem is PC and others pandering to the petrolhead mob because they thinks it's oh-so-politically incorrect.

5/23/2007 08:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Kane Bunce said...

Arguing whether Government has the right to build roads seems to me rather like an attempt to avoid the point's being raised by falafulu (whom I fully agree with for a change) and others.

Actually I have already directly answered their points.

Furthermore, I don't see why we should build facilities for them to race on. Why should we bend over for them?

You misunderstand. I was speaking of people doing it for profit. I would hardly call that that "behind over backwards for them". Quite the reverse, it is rational self-interest. It is the profit motive, which, as long as no rights are violated, is the most rational motive.

5/23/2007 10:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Sione Vatu said...

JC wrote: "Your arguments are that the rights of the boy racers are paramount over the rights of the communities that have to suffer them."

Really? Did I actually argue that? Please explain.

JC concludes: "That's the Radical Islam argument."

So my position is a radical Islamic one? Really? How so? How do you get to that statement?

Looking forward to reading your reply with interest.

Sione

5/24/2007 11:38:00 am  
Anonymous Sione Vatu said...

Falafulu Fisi said...
"Actually, I disagree with you and PC. See the Libertrianz are proponents of property rights and who's property are the road in our cities? Yeah, the states own it, so they have a right to tell boyracers to get off their property in whatever circumstances that suit the community."

Thank you for your comments. I certainly agree with you that the Libertarianz strongly defend individual rights, the right to one's own property being one example. They certainly have made their views most clearly known and fair enough too.

Your remaining comments lead to me pondering some interesteing questions.

Regarding the State

Does the state "own" the roads? Are they "owned" at all? Can the state claim an "ownership" over stolen property?

Who is the state?


Regarding the "Community"

What is the "community" exactly? Are boy racers a part of the "community" or are they actually a "community" themselves? Which "community has "rights", the boy racer one or some other one? How does you know?

Can a "community" have rights or are rights properly regarded as individual in nature (that is, they are an attribuite attached to an individual and not a collective)?

Finally, how does one determine what it is that suits the "community"?

Ou te toe fo‘i mai lava.

Sione

5/24/2007 12:04:00 pm  
Anonymous JC said...

"JC wrote: "Your arguments are that the rights of the boy racers are paramount over the rights of the communities that have to suffer them."

Really? Did I actually argue that? Please explain."

Pretty much the entirety of your post was to throw the blame for the pestilence that is the boy racers back on the people who are victims of them, ie, the community.

Nowhere do you condemn the boy racers for their illegal activities that trample on the rights of citizens to use their roads freely and legally and their rights to a quiet night.
You are simply trying to create guilt amongst those that detest the boy racer activities by saying they are too old, self-rightious, too legalistic etc. You seem to think that the racers would love to go out, buy a property somewhere away from town, put in some sort of racing track and maintain everything if only there weren't all sorts of rules and regulations. Well, I've got news, they have not the slightest interest in doing that when they can use the existing roads and streets in a town and piss off everyone into the bargain. The attraction of these races is to make a public statement that they own that part of town at the times they want, and that their "rights" transcend those of the vast majority.

"JC concludes: "That's the Radical Islam argument."

So my position is a radical Islamic one? Really? How so? How do you get to that statement?"

Because they are both minorities intent on imposing their beliefs and activities on the majority by any means.

JC

5/24/2007 02:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Kane Bunce said...

Sione, your questions are good one, ones that deserve mention, ones that raise good points.

The answer to the first set of questions is "no" to all of them.

JC, you totally misinterpreted Sione and I cannot be bothered explaining it to you as you have demonstrated a refusal to listen to reason. I do n ot argue or explain things to people that do that as it is pointless.

5/24/2007 04:13:00 pm  
Anonymous JC said...

Kane,

You and Sione have started from the premise that these poor boys are being frustrated by hidebound, collectivist, tired old gits from exercising their rights to be brilliant entrepreneurs just dying to build a racetrack of their own somewhere out of town.

I'm saying to you that these racers are demonstratable layabout fuckwits intent on imposing their wishes on the public and who have not the slightest intention of being wonderful entrepreneurs who would take up the challenge of doing something for themselves and their so called sport. You know that and so do I.

What you are doing is the old Socialist/PC trick of shoveling blame and guilt on to the victims for being awful to these go ahead young lads. Very shortly you'll be muttering it's ageism, colonialism and racism thats the problem here.

Now, I fully support any argument that says we have to much regulation and that this country is getting deeper into crushing Socialism, but applying this to some flat headed thugs is just ridiculous.. they are flat headed thugs *because* of Socialism and they are behaving the way they do because it brings rewards at no cost.

JC

5/24/2007 05:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Kane Bunce said...

who have not the slightest intention of being wonderful entrepreneurs

That just proves you fail to understand what me and Sione are saying. We are NOT saying the boy racers would be the entrepreneurs and I blatantly said so already, which you ignored so that you could continue to make your fallacious points about me and Sione. That is typical of those that refuse to see reason.

What you are doing is the old Socialist/PC trick of shoveling blame and guilt on to the victims for being awful to these go ahead young lads.

That is odd, I did not once say the boy racers are not to blame for their own actions. I said only that in a laissez faire nation the problem would not exist and that the government are being immoral by preventing landowners and developers from building what they want to on their own land.

You are extremely guilty of context dropping, which quite typical of those that refuse to see reason.

they are flat headed thugs *because* of Socialism and they are behaving the way they do because it brings rewards at no cost.

There you go giving blame to the government, which, according to you, is stupid and fallacious. So not only are you ignoring things that do not fit into your theory and context dropping, you are also being a hypocrite.

Oh, I do not bother to respond, as I will simply ignore you as you have proved you are not worth the effort, as minimal as it is.

5/24/2007 07:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Kane & Sione,

Would you call the council if someone drives up and parks his car on the roadside right in front of your driveway blocking any vehicle that can go in or out of your property? Suppose that this person intends to park his car in that way for the next 4 weeks, as he is going overseas for that long, before he returns.

Explain your answer why would you call the council tow truck or why you would otherwise just leave that car alone?

5/24/2007 07:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Sione Vatu said...

jc,

Regarding my questions you write: "Pretty much the entirety of your post was to throw the blame for the pestilence that is the boy racers back on the people who are victims of them, ie, the community."

I disagree with your inferences. You are mistaken.

The people I commented on were "the menopausal dried up old men and women who run politics". I referred to those who lust for more power, greater authority and extra-ordinary measures to make others to as they want OR ELSE. To clarify, I was referring to the political class and their cronies and fellow travelers. I am concerned with their excesses and their continuing campaign to get more control over other people, other people's liberty, other people's property and other people's values etc etc. It seems any excuse will serve their purpose and lately the target is the young who like flash cars and doing the silly things young people are prone to doing with flash cars and pretty women.

Now, I did not refer to "victims" (whoever you choose them to be today) or "community" (however that may happen to be defined lately and/or whatever it may happen to be in the media this week). I certainly did not place blame on such.

What I did report was that a caller on talkback radio attributed at least part of the blame for the problem onto the government. He had a sound point there.

My conclusion was that some young people are rebelling. Perhaps they are expressing a natural affinity for freedom (sometimes recklessly or carelessly, but they are expressing it). They appear to be rebelling against that which opposes it. One should carefully consider what, at core, they are rebelling against. That deserves fair scruitiny.

Sione

BTW as to saying my argument IS the Radical Islamic one- now that just does not follow. Perhaps now that I've clarified matters a little you'll see that I am not of a radical Islamic persuasion. I certainly did not purvey the Radical Islamic argument or, for that matter, any sort of collectivist argument either.

5/24/2007 08:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Sione Vatu said...

Falafulu Fisi,

What'd I do? I'd merely move the silly fellow's car myself and park it a few metres further down the road. Somewhere where it wouldn't obstruct anyone going about their business at all. No damage. No fuss. No drama.

BTW you didn't answer those questions. I posted them for you, as I thought you'd be interested.

Best regards

Sione

5/24/2007 08:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Sione Vatu said...

Kane

Thank you for your comments. I've been thinking about this subject on and off for a while now.

Interesting aside:

Some years ago a some concerned people, their friends, work colleagues and a group of supporters got together and raised money to put down a concrete pad on a remote piece of industrial property in the Manukau City district (borough?). The idea was that the young people could take their flash cars there and do burn-outs, slide their cars and the like or turn up that ugh-worthy boom-boom "music" they favour or even just hang out and "look cool". The council opposed the entire project from the get-go. They erected every barrier they could. Obstructive is hardly the word for their behaviour. Obnoxious more like. And petty.

The people looking to lay the motor-pad of concrete were informed that the council would not grant any consents or permits to proceed. Central govt depts said it was an OSH no-no. Environmentalists started complaining. Expensive insurances, warrants, indemnifications, bureacratic mumbo-jumbo and make-work all conspired to destroy the project dean in the water. Too hard to do it became. Too expensive it was. Soon enough the resources they’d raised were exhausted- all wasted trying to negotiate a way through the morass of old-fart gamesmanship.

So now there are no-go areas and curfews in Manukau City instead. And ever more regs and rules are in the works. To what end, one wonders.

Cheers and regards

Sione

5/24/2007 09:16:00 pm  
Anonymous JC said...

Sione,

The "political class" etc that you describe are mostly elected to their positions for limited terms. If they are able to exceed their authority or become generally obnoxious they can be voted out. In fact, as you well know, they mostly aren't voted out, and that shows their communities accept them and are happy or indifferent enough to allow them to continue with their activities. I suggest this shows that this political class and the community are one in attitude and values. As the saying goes, communities generally get the politicians they deserve.

Next, boy racers are basically gangs or even cults. At the time and place of their choosing, they mark out their turf and become the political class and enforcement agent of that area whether locals, police or passers by like it or not, so much so that on a Napier visit, Theodore Dalrymple was moved to write that the boy racers were sending an unmistakable signal to Napier residents that they "owned the night".

There is nothing reasonable, praiseworthy or acceptable about such behaviour, and much to be concerned about. My Radical Islamist comment reflects my concern that you were excusing the racers' behaviour in much the way that members of the Left, the media and some politicians do with the Islamist thugs. However, a better analogy would have been Tiriana Turia who is always able to produce an excuse for errant Maori behaviour.

JC

5/24/2007 10:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Sione Vatu said...

jc,

Interesting indeed what you write. I'll ponder on your comments some. In the meantime here are some questions you may like to take a look at.

Are the boy racers part of the community? Or are they outside of it? Who decides membership of the community?

Is a cult or gang a community? If not, what is the difference exactly? Who decides?

Moving on. If the attitude and values of the community and the politicians are the same, does that make those values and attitudes correct? I submit that it does not. Still, I'd be interested in what your thoughts are on that issue.

Sione

BTW I did not excuse anyone's behaviour. What I did say is that some young people are rebelling. It's worth considering why this may be and what they are rebelling against. When discussing ideas and commentary with other correspondants it is most important to read what was actually written prior to making accusations such as the radical Islamic one.

5/25/2007 06:02:00 am  
Anonymous JC said...

Sione,

Why don't we start with "the Yoof are revolting".

It's the nature of youth to rebel, but in previous generations they did so under much stronger parental, family and community control. Outside of organised events like outdoor concerts, they did their thing in relatively small groups that were mostly out of sight. That could include having a "party" house in an area out of sight of prying eyes or earshot, or in the rough pubs of yore.

Now, texting can migrate hundreds to a house in town or the suburbs for a party or racing, electronics can give them the boom box and wealth and credit can give them quick and potentially dangerous games involving cars.

Thus rebel youth can congregate in hundreds in an hour and create great disturbance. Communications give them the ability to thwart the cops and anyhow, fast communication and buildup of people numbers is beyond the ability of the police to respond in sufficient numbers to control the activities.

"Are the boy racers part of the community?"

I see them as a sub culture within the community. They are also potentially destabilising because their ages range from 16 to 30, ie, they are able to constantly replenish themselves like the motorcycle gangs. As a subculture they are not really rebelling so much as driven by loud music, distinctive cars and dress, booze, vandalism and dangerous bad behaviour. Their chief danger and annoyance is that in, say Auckland, fast communication means they can assemble in their thousands very quickly. I see that ability to concentrate quickly, hold territory and behave badly as part of the subculture more than rebellion.

"Moving on. If the attitude and values of the community and the politicians are the same, does that make those values and attitudes correct? I submit that it does not."

I'd suggest that when the vast majority of the community, the police and lawmakers are of one mind, that their standards prevail and not those of the boy racers. Provided those standards uphold the rights of the community and individuals within it the boy racers are way out of line in bucking them.

I don't see boy racers as rebelling, or having cause to rebel; rather they show more the aspects of cult behaviour, organised crime and the activities of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation gangs of the US, South America and parts of the Middle East.

There was and is a related activity that may help explain the phenomena and that was kids rebelling and running away from home and partying down town. In the 60s and 70s, parents were told they were running *away* from home because of conditions there or because of youthful rebellion.
But in the 80s, a more sensible view was taken.. the kids weren't running away from homelife or rebelling, but running *to* fun, parties, sex, booze etc.

IMO, the boy racers are like that, there's nothing wrong at home, nothing to rebel about.. it's just there's more excitement to be had downtown and they now, more than ever, have the means to get there in time for the action.

JC

5/25/2007 01:33:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Sione said...
I'd merely move the silly fellow's car myself and park it a few metres further down the road. Somewhere where it wouldn't obstruct anyone going about their business at all. No damage. No fuss. No drama.

Now, multiply that one car that you have to move by say 50 cars from boyracers? They wouldn't listen to you if you try to move one car that directly blocks your driveway, since there would be many of them that even block the your whole street and that makes no one in the neighborhood able to get to the supermarket or able to get back home. What you do then? I am sure that Kane Bunce can help you with the solution, since he is a man full of reasoning.

5/25/2007 01:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Kane Bunce said...

Sione, that Manukau City District example you gave is the sort of thing I am talking about. If that had of been built, the racers would of had a more preferable place to race, the public would of been safer, and the people that made the facility could profit by charging a small fee. That is a situation where everyone wins and yet government regulations stopped it from happening.

In a laissez faire capitalist nation such a win-win-win situation would not of been stopped and its success would result in the creation of new and competing facilities, which would lead to price lowering through cost-cutting and facility improvement, making the market more profit for the owners, and the boy racers get a better facility, making everyone better off still. That is the nature of a laissez faire capitalist society: a continually improving standard of living.

(Note: that explanation was for your sake, JC, not Sione's.)

5/26/2007 02:03:00 pm  
Anonymous Terry said...

Sorry, but some of you seem to be missing all of the point all of the time, and all of you seem to be missing some of the point some of the time.

PC's original post is not about whether hooliganism on the roads should be allowed or not (it shouldn't be). It is about denouncing the idea that more state controls, including the knee-jerk proposals of curfews, public liquor bans and raising of the drinking age, among others, are the solution.

Sione's point that the increasing prominence of street hooliganism is in part caused by existing government controls is particularly poignant.

What is wrong with each of the new controls being proposed by the knee-jerkists is that they are pre-emptive in nature and thus will make criminals out of innocent people - i.e criminals out of those who break curfew, who proceed to drink liquor in public places, and who purchase liquor under a certain age REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THOSE PEOPLE HAVE IN FACT INFRINGED UPON SOMEONE ELSE'S RIGHTS (TO LIFE, PROPERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS). The controls in and of themselves would be an initiation of force by the State - it is this that is so objectionable from a libertarian standpoint.

A libertarian solution would be to focus on laws which enable the police to temporarily confiscate the vehicle of people found to be driving dangerously enough that they are posing a risk to the life and/or property of others, and to arrest people who insist on defacing the roads and bringing nuisance to others through burnouts and the like.

The direct threat of injury or death to others, which dangerous driving is, is as much of an infringement of other people's rights as if a lunatic were running around the streets shooting a gun in the air haphazardly, even though no one was hit by the bullets yet. Police would in the latter example be allowed and in fact have an obligation to confiscate the weapon and then prosecute the offender. Pre-meditated and purposeful dangerous driving is no different. Defacing the road with burnouts is no different to someone graffiti-ing a fence. Causing nuisance to others through the smoke creation and loud noise of burnouts is no different to the neighbour who lights his incinerator and turns up his stereo to full volume such that you cannot breathe or hear yourself think in your own home. The road is the property of the taxpayer, held in (mis-)trust by the government. Even though it is public property, the principle remains the same: if one's life, property and/or the pursuit of happiness is threatened or taken away by the actions of another, then those actions should be found to be illegal. Such is common law.

5/26/2007 02:39:00 pm  
Anonymous JC said...

Thank you, Kane.

However, Sione got it a bit wrong. Manukau council bent over backwards to find a suitable burnout site, supplied it, got the consents through, built the pad and got the first burnouts going in 2000.

You can read about it here

http://tinyurl.com/yuf6pl

This is a report from the Youth Group of the Rotorua District Council which covers a number of similar actions by other councils. Note that the Youth Group stresses such solutions don't work for those who get their thrills from breaking the law.

Note too, that the problem has escalated since then, showing what I said earlier, yoof want to break the law, not do stuff safely and legally... that's the nature of a sub culture.

JC

5/26/2007 06:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Sione Vatu said...

jc

I didn't get it a bit wrong at all. I was there at the time. I'm well aware of what occurred. I didn't see you around...

Anyway you should be very careful quoting council reports. They are somewhat self-serving. They are written for a purpose.

The "report" is notable for what it leaves out as well as what it includes. I guess they couldn't quite bring themselves to hide everything.

As previouly mentioned the original groups (there were two) who wanted to build a concrete pad (on their owm land) were seen off by the council. Subsequently the promoters mentioned in the report turned up and held a few events at the velodrome. They had more pull with the council and were well known local personalities- that is, "important" people. The other guys were no-bodies as far as local body politics was concerned. No deals for them then.

Note the features of the event:

compulsory warrant-of-fitness type checks on all vehicles (for "safety")- submit or go home... or back to the streets...

substantial police presence

crowd excluded from events (kept 30 metres away from the action behind barriers- actually for most it was more than 30m)

infrequent events (not held regularly)

massive council presence

Massive "organisational" effort and bureaucracy

alcohol bans

fees (yes, they were eventually charged once the suckers started coming)

council authority over everything.

And so on...

Not what was wanted really. And as predicted at the time, it failed to achieve much in the end. Old-fart stuff...

Now you may hate the boy racer crowd with passion. I don't. Sure I'd agree may of them are foolish and there is indeed an element of stupidity among their number. However I do not see them as the cult of evil media hysteria portrays them to be. They are just inexperienced young people who happen to undertake unpopular and silly behaviours from time to time. It's a minor issue and simply dealt with (no, not by confiscation and curfews and no-go areas and 3rd party insurance and all that mumbo-jumbo). The real issue of concern remains the mob I identified in my first post. Check it out.

Sione


BTW, you wrote: "I'd suggest that when the vast majority of the community, the police and lawmakers are of one mind, that their standards prevail and not those of the boy racers. Provided those standards uphold the rights of the community and individuals within it the boy racers are way out of line in bucking them."

This is an argument to social metaphysics- that the majority is right and therefore minorities are wrong. Think on it some. You'll find such arguments are invalid, that is, false.

5/29/2007 07:13:00 am  

Post a Comment

Respond with a polite and intelligent comment. (Both will be applauded.)

Say what you mean, and mean what you say. (Do others the courtesy of being honest.)

Please put a name to your comments. (If you're prepared to give voice, then back it up with a name.)

And don't troll. Please. (Contemplate doing something more productive with your time, and ours.)

<< Home