Monday, February 02, 2009

Ministerial bullying? It’s not OK. [updated]

Judith Collins wants to show how “tough” she is by crushing youngsters’ cars.  On that, I agree with Blair:

I honestly fail to see how confiscating and crushing someone's car represents a proportionate punishment for the offence of Dangerous Driving.  Lots of people drive dangerously, and it seems odd that our response to that as a society differs depending on how old they are or the [number of] modifications made to their vehicles. 

True enough.

Principles are principles, and property rights apply to everyone, whether a middle-aged developer, or a seventeen year old dickhead with small penis syndrome.

Also  true.  The absence of recognition of the former offers no excuse for ignoring the latter. Bullying by Ministers? It’s not okay.

UPDATE:  Police, ministers, commentators and even commenters here wish to treat every youngster with a modified car the same -- as if the number of modifications to your car made you a criminal -- or a boy racer.  Commenters talk about "their" behaviour, "these louts," "the boy racers," "these irresponsible little arseholes."
But this just demonstrates a complete failure to distinguish.
As Donal Corbett, Clunking Fist and The Tomahawk Kid point out in the comments,treating every young driver as if they were every other young driver is an unforgiveable collectivisation of criminal law.  As they point out, there are already sufficient laws out there to convict specific individual lawbreakers for specific initiations of force. There's no need for more laws, just judicious application of existing laws on those actual individuals breaking them.  
What's needed, to say it again, is simply to identify the specific individuals committing the specific criminal acts, distinguish them from innocent bystanders or non-perpetrators, and then take the necessary action.
You'd have to ask Howard Broad why his police aren't doing that, and why -- to reward their failure -- they want new, authoritarian powers instead.

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31 Comments:

Anonymous twr said...

Presumably youngsters are forced to pay their taxes as much as the rest of us when they buy their petrol and their alcopops, so it seems a bit unfair that they don't get anything for it. The politicians keep bitching and moaning about what the boy racers do, yet they have never considered actually giving them services they have paid for, and perhaps laying a big slab of concrete miles from anywhere where they can do burnouts to their hearts' content. (Or more ideally, don't take the taxes in the first place, and let someone else build it, and charge them $10 entry fee and make a profit). If they think they can just legislate to stop young people enjoying young people stuff, then they are as thick as we all think they are.

2/02/2009 01:05:00 pm  
Blogger The Tomahawk Kid said...

There are already sufficient laws out there to convict lawbreakers (of any denomination)
Send in an undercover cop (they do it with gangs and drugs) to hang out with the boy racers. Arm him with a cell phone and no instruction manual on how to wear a baseball cap, and he can witness exactly which dickheads break the law, and then bust them for the law they have just broken! By the time police cars turn up at these events in uniform, in police cars, with lights flashing , there are no witnesses, and the purpetrators have dispersed to the four corners of the city

2/02/2009 01:09:00 pm  
Anonymous Donal Corbett said...

I'm all for specific laws against specific acts of law-breaking, by which I means specific acts against specific victims.

But that's not wot this is, is it? Not by a long chalk. No, it's headline-grabbing collective-group-think grandstanding that criminalises a whole group for the stupidity of a few dickheads.

Collins is a disgrace.

2/02/2009 01:14:00 pm  
Blogger macdoctor said...

twr: Nice thought, but these kids can go and burn rubber at plenty of legitimate venues already (there are speedway, hot-rod and dragway circuits, all, of which, are perfectly suitable).

From their behaviour towards the police recently, it seems obvious to me that they enjoy flouting the law and a legal venue would just take away all the excitement and let them see just how moronic their "racing" activities are.

2/02/2009 01:32:00 pm  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

shouldn't that be:
"Principles are principles, and property rights apply to everyone, whether a middle-aged developer (or a seventeen year old dickhead) with small penis syndrome."?

I felt a chill when some copper on National State Radio set out the short comings of the existing law (they have to identify the specific individuals committing the specific (criminal?) acts) and what draconian powers they would like instead:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/mnr/2009/02/02/boyracer_crackdown_police

Hear how, instead of having to identify a perpetrators and identify the criminal act he (or she) is committing, the police would like to be able to hand out “cease & desist” orders to everyone they find at a gathering. That means, if they haven’t identified the perpetrators, they certainly haven’t identified innocent bystanders or non-perpetrators…

2/02/2009 01:51:00 pm  
Blogger Elijah Lineberry said...

In case I have missed something... can Blair confirm the Government which is proposing this outrageous attack on property rights is the same Government his party is a member of?

I have been wasting by breath for a couple of months asking this, but, ummmmm...anyone feel like resigning on a point of principle?

Didn't think so... (therefore the ACT people should simply shut the f**k up)

2/02/2009 01:59:00 pm  
Anonymous twr said...

And what the hell would that achieve Elijah? I know. Everything will suddenly magically be exactly as you think it should be, cos everyone will realise how wrong they have been all this time.

2/02/2009 03:00:00 pm  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

I understand the 'freedom' position on this, and how reprehensible the Minister is.

... however, if I was one of the moteliers being driven out of business in Christchurch, and there is more than one of those, because of the noise and upheaval these little thugs are making, well, I don't know.

What would I be supposed to do to save my huge financial investment: sort the little snots out with a gun?

2/02/2009 03:08:00 pm  
Anonymous Nat Supporter said...

Judith Collins is making the right noise. I have a right as much as anyone else to use the public road, stop fuckn' bringing up useless points, here.

Hands up those libertarianzs here who wouldn't mind if the boy racers will use your street for their entertainments? Anyone? I thought not. Stop being fuck'n hypocrites people, you defend the boyracers but what about my rights, huh?

2/02/2009 03:18:00 pm  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

Yes, I'm no Nat supporter, indeed, I was a Libz list candidate last year, and I reckon, in relation particularly to my post above regarding moteliers being driven (excuse the pun) out of business, that a valid argument can be bade that these louts are initiating force on other individuals, and once that position is given, then it is quite right that a limited government use its powers to stop this initiation of force.

Because Nat Supporter is right: in Chch these irresponsible little arseholes, most probably on welfare, are ruining peoples lives. The incident with the policeman over this weekend also speaks most certainly to the initiation not just of force, but of violence.

2/02/2009 03:38:00 pm  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

Ie, lets truly make this a property rights issue, and on that, the boy racers are the ones in the wrong.

Yes?

2/02/2009 03:39:00 pm  
Blogger Elijah Lineberry said...

Nat supporter, I would be delighted if boy racers congregated in my street..ha ha...(but perhaps not for the reason you think)

2/02/2009 04:41:00 pm  
Blogger Blair said...

Elijah, do you really expect that any MP supporting a government should agree 100% with everything that comes out of every government minister's mouth?

You forget that at the moment this is just ministers sounding off and it still has to go through parliament. I expect ACT will vote against it (or at least not support it beyond committee stage) and the Nats will have to rely on Labour to get it through.

I believe that's called a functioning democracy. Can't say I'm too happy about it, but there ya go.

2/02/2009 05:18:00 pm  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

Mark Hubbard says:
"What would I be supposed to do to save my huge financial investment: sort the little snots out with a gun?"

Or how about a video camera equiped with night vision and a lawyer?

Minister Collins highlighted a little issue: apparently the "lttle snots" can sell their impounded car before the police/courts can get round to it. It sounds like a little loop-hole that could be (relatively) easily plugged without trampling over the rights of ordinary citizens.

To see how laws can be mis-used, have a look at:

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-3351275215846218544

or

http://tinyurl.com/6nj9m6

WARNING: it is about 1hr 41mins long...

2/02/2009 06:04:00 pm  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

VIDEO WARNING part II: it is a bit left-wing (and full of smelly hippies, god-bless them), but the points highlighted are still valid.

2/02/2009 06:06:00 pm  
Blogger Elijah Lineberry said...

I accept what you say, Blair, of course I do.

However, you, and thousands of ACT chappies like you, have been right royally rogered (no pun intended) by your parliamentary chaps and I think that is sad.

You will stand back and defend your chaps voting for massive spending programmes, massive deficits, a curbing of freedom and property rights; a betrayal of everything you people claim to believe in....and spent years and millions of words pointing that out to the NZ public.

That Sir Roger is part of said Government will be the most bitter pill to swallow.

In short, Rodney always...ALWAYS wanted Ministerial office, nothing more, and will sell out everyone and everything to obtain it and retain it.

I expect you are already being fed the line of "we do more good than harm" at various meetings.

You know you are being conned, you know what is going to happen, you know this makes you want to vomit...

You also know that a public threat of resignation would see Mr Key backpeddle rather quickly...and must ask the question of why no one is making such threats...(in case your 'wondering' still leaves you unclear, read my comments about Ministerial office)

2/02/2009 06:19:00 pm  
Blogger Blair said...

You're awfully pessimistic, Elijah. I have to say that I have faith ACT will do whatever it needs to survive and prosper in 2011, which, if it does as you predict, it will not.

2/02/2009 06:26:00 pm  
Blogger Elijah Lineberry said...

I am pessimistic about ACT in Government in the sense there are no 'bottom lines'..(and even the Maori party has those!)...and National could do virtually anything without a peep from Rodney, Sir Roger et al.

* A $6 billion deficit is a $6 billion deficit.

* Either you are calling for spending cuts to balance the budget or you are in Government running a $6 billion deficit.

* Either you spent three decades opposing deficits and meant it ...or you didn't.

* Either you believed every word you told people year in, year out ...or you didn't (and no, there are not 'special circumstances')

Blair, you predicted on your blog the ACT Ministers will be working towards abolishing their departments which I agree are unnecessary, irrelevant and a waste of money.
There are now less than FOUR months for that to become true...(you gave a 6 month timeframe) ..and I am happy to make a bet with you as to whether a Ministry of Consumer Affairs will exist on 2nd May.

Are you REALLY naive enough to think ACT Ministers will be abolishing their departments?

Are you REALLY naive enough to think this was about anything more than Ministerial office?

I have met quite a few ACT-ivists over the years and all have been 'true believers', all have been fanatical about certain matters and not only are NONE of those things going to happen in Government, but the opposite will happen....and happen on ACT votes in Parliament.

We in the Libz are many things, but by God we would never accept what Key and Co are doing and planning; we are principled and honest people who meant what we said when we said it.

2/02/2009 06:48:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Interesting points made by a "boy racer" on the radio this afternoon:

1/. The roads are owned by everyone and he has just as much right to use them as does anyone else. In his case he likes to do great big burnouts and make a lot of white smoke. He also likes to park his car at gatherings of like minded young people and hang out with all his mates and talk about girls and the like (as 18 year olds are want to do).

2/. There are two sides to the story. He reports the Police have been routinely provocative in their behaviour. There is a lot of pent up hatred for them as a result. The response to several years of "hard", "tough" policing action against young people who drive cars at night are begining to yield predictable results. Hard to earn respect for the law by that sort of approach.

3/. The young people who are alleged to have attacked the Police Officer are the product of 15 years of state controlled education. How they behave has relation to what they "learned" from their "teachers" in the nuturing environment of "educational institutions".

4/. The expected knee-jerk reaction of the politicians, Police and the media will result in far worse things occuring in the future. The stakes will be higher.

5/. Crushing a boy racer's car will merely encourage others to take the precaution of "borrowing" your family car for a night of street racing, ram raids and fires. It happens in the UK routinely and has started to become more common in Australia as well.

5/. It should not be forgotten that none of the boy racers has ever shot and killed another person in NZ. the same can not be said of their primary detractors.

Some food for thought there.

LGM

2/02/2009 07:59:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Blair

It has to be admitted that the ACT list of achievement is not looking particularly impressive so far- especially when compared with the pre-election rhetoric. Not so long from now a clear opportunity will arise to test the mettle of the ACT Party and its MPs. Then the answer to a very important question will be clearly demonstrated. The question is this:

"Do they tell the truth or are they opportunist liars?"

I wonder how it will play out and what the answer will be. Stay tuned.


LGM

2/02/2009 08:09:00 pm  
Anonymous Sean Fitzpatrick said...

To comment on twr's original posting here -

a) anyone can put down a slab of concrete somewhere and burn out on it - just don't demand rate/tax payers provide one for you and then use the fact that they haven't provided one yet as a justification to hoon around the streets - that's just blackmail.

b) even if such a place existed for these guys I have serious doubts many would use it. This is after all mainly attention seeking behavior - peacock syndrome, if you will. Dick Extension, if you will.

Why race around at 150kph on some race track with no one around when you can hard rev up Dixon Street at 2am on a Saturday where all and sundry have to leap out of your way?

2/02/2009 10:26:00 pm  
Anonymous James said...

At the end of the day ACT have %3.5 of Nationals attention whilst Libz have...?

Remember the days of 6000 odd votes for Libz....? Pissed away with rude,nasty,purist bullshit mixed with too much red wine...

2/02/2009 11:11:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Sean

You wrote: "anyone can put down a slab of concrete somewhere and burn out on it"

That's bullshit.

First, you need to get an RMA consent (assuming you build the slab in an area the "planners" have deemed 'appropriate in their "plan"), then various other consents BEFORE you pur your concrete, then you need an "air discharge consent" (which is notifyable so you can be guaranteed that greenies will oppose it on "environmental" grounds- ought to cost about $30k in legal fees), then whoever owns and/or allows functions/gatherings to occur at the site wil need to take out public liability and indemnity insurance, then all the OSH regulations come into play, medical and ambulance attendance will need to paid for and arranged "just in case", spectators will need to be kept at an "appropriate" distance "safe" behind barriers and safety obstacles (expensive) and so on and so on and so on. The whole mess costs a fortune and requires continuous bureaucratic oversight and command.

Why don't you join a sports car club and try running a function to find out about all the bullshit compliances first hand BEFORE posting nonsense?


LGM

2/03/2009 06:31:00 am  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

Yes, but Sean is right in that 300 louts chasing a single policeman around Chch is intent - to initiate force and violence in this case. These louts have a collective intent to infringe on an many peoples right to be left alone as they can: that is their purpose. I think this is a property rights issue, and thus these arseholes deserve to lose their property, their cars, and have them crushed, whenever they are caught in a directly related incident.

I know the Minister's solution is reprehensible in many ways, but you get these creeps on your street at 4.00am and see how far freedom principles go.

I'm completely torn on the issue.

(Although I suspect chopping the welfare state at the knees would be the 'holistic' solution.)

2/03/2009 07:59:00 am  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

And no one has yet given me the moteliers solution as posed in my posts above. What about their property rights?

2/03/2009 08:00:00 am  
Anonymous twr said...

Re: S Fitz, point a: At least part of my point was that the boy racers have already been forced to pay for public services, so they have justification to complain when facilities that *they* want are not provided from the stolen money (rather than art galleries and the like).

And another point - a "boy racer" on the tv news last night claimed the cop "started it" by coming in and trying to be the big man. I think we've all seen cops doing this lately, particularly when dealing with law abiding citizens. Howard Broad needs to rein in his thugs and remind them what they are there for - to catch criminals and let law abiding citizens go about their business without constantly being pushed around and told who's boss.

2/03/2009 08:43:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

MARK, you said, "And no one has yet given me the moteliers solution as posed in my posts above. What about their property rights?"

1) Convict individuals for specific crimes like dangerous driving -- which could happen now, but isn't.

2) Actually recognise motelliers' property rights, by allowing them property rights in their roads.

Call it the 'Hunter's Corner' solution. Either allow individual property owners' ownership up to the centre-line of their roads (with all the necessary easements), or (in the case of subdivisions), vest the whole estate in a body corporate, that can make whatever rules it likes.

Oh, and abolish the RMA so young drivers can easily build or lease or own their own roads or concrete pads.

Simple, huh. Unfortunately, there's nothing in it for cops who just want to practice intimidation instead of policing.

2/03/2009 08:57:00 am  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

Peter, I love those as solutions. No argument with them at all.

(While noting the pity that we will most probably never move our current regimes to this position in my life time, so I have to put up with the louts down here in the meantime, and some moteliers will (and have) gone to the wall in the meantime.

As the saying goes, life wasn't meant to be fair.)

2/03/2009 09:09:00 am  
Anonymous Nat Supporter said...

PC : Either allow individual property owners' ownership up to the centre-line of their roads (with all the necessary easements), or (in the case of subdivisions), vest the whole estate in a body corporate, that can make whatever rules it likes.

PC I can't believe you said that. First, deal with the now and not what you dream of. Do you see that or not?

NZ roads are not in the private hands at the moment and I doubt that will ever happen in the next 100 years or so. I am in for privatizations but we just can't not wait till that day arrives (hopefully in the next 200 years or so). Other citizens like myself have the rights to those roads use and not to be selfish about its use (ie, not to disturb other taxpayers who have also have rights to the roads). It is equivalent to us co-owning a beach house, but you don't have a chance to its use, since I can enjoy it every weekend and not give you a chance to do the same. My example is not quite the same as the roads, but that is the issue, deal with the fuckn' problem now and not wait until the roads are privatized.

2/03/2009 11:34:00 am  
Anonymous Matt B said...

You'd have to ask Howard Broad why his police aren't doing that, and why -- to reward their failure -- they want new, authoritarian powers instead.

Yes. Exactly.

2/03/2009 12:47:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Nat Supporter

Your analogy does not hold. co_ownership of a beach house occurs within a completely different context to road use in NZ.

As the boy racer who spoke on the radio recently put it, he owns the roads just as much as you do, he merely uses them in a different way to you. Why should anyone else be forced to do what YOU happen to arbitrarily demand?

The fact that the roads are not privately owned (as you correctly identified) is the key issue. In the absence of private ownership the problem is not solvable unless yet more crime is introduced and the application of uncivil behaviours intensified. Is that what you really want? Are you really a national socialist?

LGM

2/04/2009 07:09:00 am  

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