## Monday, 29 September 2008

### Murder? It's not OK.

You can be sure that when another blogger calls you "intelligent and engaging," there's bound to be a catch -- and in Russell Brown's latest post, there sure is:  "I personally like Peter Cresswell: he is an engaging and intelligent man," he begins.  And then the knives come out:

Unfortunately, he is also an Objectivist libertarian, which means he will often go off on ideologically-motivated rants that enjoy all the internal consistency of your average tantrum.

Fortunately for me, the knives in this case are just metaphorical.  I say that because five Aucklanders and their families and friends are less fortunate than I -- five people including Austin Hemmings have died from real knife attacks in Auckland city since mid-July -- not to mention Darnell Leslie, stabbed to death in Invercargill on Saturday.  Darnell Leslie was the fifty-first New Zealander to die at the hand of another New Zealander since the start of this year.

Russell's metaphorical knife is out for me however because in saying on Friday it is time to take a stand over the flood of violence that so far this year has cost fifty-one New Zealanders their lives I am "channeling the spirit of Leighton Smith" -- and out there in the People's Republic of Grey Lynn & Pt Chevalier, no greater crime exists.

I made the "mistake" of saying that the one thing governments are legitimately supposed to be doing is protecting New Zealanders from crime and violence -- when it's manifestly clear this government is not doing that, and has no focus on doing that.

I committed the sin of pointing out that the primary focus of law and order should not be protection for criminals, but protection from criminals,  -- and aside from criminalising good parents, the focus of our local law enforcement has been more on revenue collection than it has been on barring physical force from social relationships.

I summoned up my inner frighfulness to ask, "Will the random, violent, bloodthirsty stabbing of a man in central Auckland last night be the final straw? Is that enough, finally, to make you sit up and say 'No more!'"

And I had the temerity to quote Susan the Libertarian, actually talking to Leighton Smith: "Is this enough to pierce your apathy?" she asked his listeners.  If not this, then what?

What indeed.

Fifty-one people killed at the hands of other people this year is clearly not enough to pierce the apathetic hide of the Grey Lynn and Wadestown apparatchiks, who think (if they think about it at all) that wringing their hands and crying "It's not OK, eh" will be all that's needed to stop the bloodshed -- and if that doesn't work, that covering their eyes with metaphorical hoodies will at least help to keep the bloodshed out of sight.

Since it's my Objectivism that apparently animates my own ideologically-motivated animus to people being killed, and Russell thinks it's "not clear what Cresswell is proposing here," let's see what Objectivism has to say about all this. "The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others."  Who could object to that?  "No man—or group or society or government—has the right to assume the role of a criminal and initiate the use of physical compulsion against any man," said Ayn Rand.  "If physical force is to be barred from social relationships, men need an institution charged with the task of protecting their rights under an objective code of rules.

This is the task of a government—of a proper government—its basic task, its only moral justification and the reason why men do need a government.

A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective controli.e., under objectively defined laws."

Sounds clear enough, doesn't it:  Initiating physical force against others is wrong. It's a crime.  Government's primary task is stopping it, without initiating force in the process.  Who could possibly object?  Well, apparently Russell Brown does. Despite  a clarification in the comments for a reader  ("Nowhere at all," I say "have I suggested that the role of police is to walk around and follow each and every individual, so they can clap them in cuffs the moment they step out of line"), he wonders nonetheless what it all means.

Does this mean the suspension of habeas corpus, he asks. An expansion of police enforcement and surveillance so prodigious as to guarantee an officer's intervention?  A policeman at every dinner table?  Well, no -- although a policeman would probably be better company than the likes of Peter Williams QC, who's never seen a criminal without simultaneously envisioning a paycheck. And a policeman in every home -- or at least a bureaucrat with a clipboard -- is the wet dream of both Sue Bradford and Cindy Kiro.

What it does mean however is removing the scales (and the hoodies) from one's eyes, and urgently recognising that the focus of the law and the number one job of government -- its only moral justification -- is the protection of you from me, and me from you.

Which means apprehending and vilifying criminals, not attacking their victims

Which means focusing on crimes with actual victims, not on victimless crimes that fill up NZ's prisons with people whose only crime is harming themselves.

Which means recognising that the rise of violent crime (up 12.5% since last year) is the backfire of collectivism -- that paying several generations of New Zealanders to have children they don't want has not been a recipe for happy families, but for people who see their primary means of survival as other people, and whole suburbs in which that ethic is daily acted out

Which means recognising that every New Zealander has the right to defend themselves, and the concomitant right to possess the means thereof.

Which means taking burglary and other property-related offences seriously, so that more bad law isn't needed to fix bad sentencing; so that those criminals who start with property crime don't learn the messages early on that they may obtain financial values  from others by resorting to physical force; so that they don't learn that the word "justice" is always preceded with the words "revolving door."

What it does mean in short is recognising that if the legitimate arms of government are to protect innocent people from others who think force is the means by which humans deal with one another -- in other words, if the police, the law courts and the prisons are going to do their proper job -- then they need to protect those who value their life, liberty, property and happiness from those who've shown beyond reasonable doubt that they're quite partial to taking them all away.  ("The rights of the accused are not a primary," points out Ayn Rand, "they are a consequence derived from a man’s inalienable, individual rights. A consequence cannot survive the destruction of its cause.")  That's the only reason to lock people up, isn't it: to protect us, not to rehabilitate (or even to punish) them

Let me repeat it again: The primary focus of law and order and the sole moral justification for government is to bar force from social relationships.  The protection of our individual rights. If criminals show they have no intention of respecting others' rights, then the law should have no compunction in taking away theirs.  This is manifestly not the primary focus of the present government, but nor has it been of any real interest to most of its predecessors.

While some people prefer to avert their eyes from all the carnage, and to make fun of the likes of Garth McVicar -- one of the few New Zealanders to speak up for victims instead of for those who've done them over -- those who feel threatened are on the march.  It's the measure of a community's desperation in the face of crime, for example, that ten-thousand people marched in South Auckland's bad weather recently to demand their fundamental right to protection from criminals to be upheld.  But where the self-anointed once joined, supported and promoted marches against violence -- the likes of the "Reclaim the Night" marches, for example, were once a safe way for lefties to meet their future partners -- now they're content to sit at home in their own safe suburbs while chuckling cynically at the desperation that would motivate someone like Manukau's Peter Low to contemplate employing Triads to provide protection, anything to make their streets safer than they are now!

While the police fiddle and the self-anointed smirk, the possibilities of lynch mobs emerges from the shadows.  Look too, for example, at the gobs of support given to a Manurewa man when he stabbed and killed a tagger not so long ago -- and for the most part the support came from those who claim to be against such violence.

Such is the measure of people's desperation.  They want protection; they're not getting it.

So what's to be done right now?  For some people, I suspect the difficulty of doing something means they draw the line at doing anything. As it happens, however, I gave some sort of a prescription in a post earlier this year on Curing South Auckland, one of the places in which no-one can ignore the very real rising tide of violence that threatens to destroy the place. Here they are, in summary:

1. A police force that protects the innocent.  One that has the tools and the people to do the job, but more importantly has the knowledge, training and backup -- and the will -- to use them (which means promoting people like former Senior Sergeant Anthony Solomona, not sacking them.)
2. A justice system that takes the guilty off the streets. Rudy Guiliani's successful 'Broken Windows' policy is a guide: start with the small crimes, where failure to punish leads offenders into bigger crimes, and put these right first.  (And remember that justice isn't about retribution, it's about protecting the rest of us.)
3. Hold parents accountable in law for the offences of their children.  You have them, you take responsibility for what and whom they destroy.
4. Stop paying no-hopers to breed. We are forced by government to pay people to have children they don't want. The result of all those unwanted children appears on the front page of our newspapers nearly every day.
5. Have an education system that gives youngsters the tools for life -- that teaches each of them, not how fit in and how to follow (which is all the present factory schools teach them), but how to use the brain they are born with, and how to use it to give themselves wings instead of shackles.
6. Perhaps most important of all is this, which is much, much harder: work towards towards the destruction of what tennis ace Chris Lewis calls 'the crab-bucket mentality,' the hatred of achievement with which young South Aucklanders shackle themselves and damn their more successful brothers, and instead of the 'warrior values' of dependency and conflict and renunciation that are all many young South Aucklanders see, promote instead a philosophy of individualism that offers genuinely life-affirming values to which to aspire ...

No one, including me, says it's going to be easy to turn things round. But just because it's difficult to do something doesn't mean doesn't mean that one should support doing nothing.

UPDATE: Russell points to crime figures that he says shows there's nothing to worry about, "something that has always been apparent to anyone prepared to look up the numbers: Crime rocketed in the 1970s and has been trending down since."  However, something really is apparent to those prepared to look beyond the headlines, even the one to which he links.  "Reported crime was steady at around two crimes a year for every 100 people from 1900 until about 1970," says the psychiatrist quoted, "and then climbed steeply to peak at 13 crimes per 100 in 1992." If you believe the headline, that was then and this is now.  But how about now?  For the last four years crime figures, according to the psychiatrist, have "levelled out" at 10 crimes for every 100 people.

For Russell et al, that's nothing to worry about.  It means all is fine and dandy.  Essentially violent crimes and homicide shot up in the mid-eighties, and have failed ever since to come down, but as long as he and his friends can point to graphs showing the Red Team did less badly than the Blue Team there's nothing for anyone to worry about -- expect perhaps for those 1 in 10 people who've been victims of the crimes people say we shouldn't be worried about.

And in fact, to be precise, if we actually did look up the numbers, we'd see that violent crime in New Zealand is not so easy to dismiss. New Zealand scored highly earlier this year in an international crime survey.

New Zealand scored highest for thefts from cars, second highest for burglary, fifth highest for assaults, 10th highest for robbery and 11th highest for theft of personal property and for sexual assaults against women in The International Crime Victims Survey. The survey compared 30 countries in 2004 and 2005.

And we'd see too that levels of violent crime are not "levelling off" at all.  There were 127.1 per 10,000 violent crimes recorded last year in the official figures, and the trend since 1999 has been up, not down!

Which means the figures provide no grounds at all for back slapping complacency.

UPDATE: Callum McPetrie points out "The underlying factor, behind the government's size and the sanction of criminals, is political correctness, fuelled by the moral equivalency of modern philosophical and political thought.

It's the idea that the murderer is the true victim of an 'oppressive society,' and that the man who was murdered deserved it ... If he gets stabbed or shot, moral equivalency says: 'So what?' "

And the Prime Minister says, "It's the victim's fault"!.

1. Fortunately for me, the knives in this case are just metaphorical.

Oh, stop it. Don't even make the comparison. Posturing as a victim because someone finds fault with your argument is ridiculous, if regrettably common on the right of the blogosphere. Try and show a sense of proportion.

I say that because five Aucklanders and their families and friends are less fortunate than I -- five people including Austin Hemmings have died from real knife attacks in Auckland city since mid-July

Good grief. Were you trying to miss the point, Peter? Or didn't you grasp it?

I'll try again. Four of the five knife homicides you mention were, literally, incidents of domestic violence. They took place in dwellings, behind closed doors. How exactly is the gummint going to prevent them, save by the means you have already ranted against?

You would do better to address what I did write rather than inventing quotes to suit yourself. At no point did I say crime was "nothing to worry about". What I did observe is that we should pay attention to what kind of violence we're talking about before loudly demanding that the gummint protect us from it.

Again: the murders you cite were not street crimes, and it doesn't help to pretend that they were.

PS: One of the people most prominently coughing up "gobs of support" for the man charged with murdering a tagger was Garth McVicar, who you stoutly praise a few lines above. You're really lost me on that one.

2. "I'll try again. Four of the five knife homicides you mention were, literally, incidents of domestic violence. They took place in dwellings, behind closed doors. How exactly is the gummint going to prevent them, save by the means you have already ranted against?"

Does that somehow lessen the severity, tradegy, and stupidity of murder?

And why does that mean that what PC has said somehow means a lot less than if the murders were out on the street?

Look at most murderers. They are depressed, have no sense of respect for themselves, and have no respect for others (which stems directly from having no respect for themselves). Surely, there are going to be murders out of sheer rage. However, that doesn't lessen the effect of murder. Nor does it mean that the government can sweep the problem under the rug.

The personal characteristics of murderers don't change depending on the location and victim of the murder.

3. Russell,

1)Do not confuse a literatary device with an actual argument (when it is being used as a device and not as an argument), or else you truely are attacking a straw man.

2) You claim PC mises your point. And you restate it for our convience. Thank-you. But your point is so minor as to border on the insubstantial. Sure, gummit is limited in what it can do about crime behind closed doors...and on the street, and in cars, on buses in planes, in caves, in the fields in the bush or in a tree house, in/on/under the ocean, in space etc etc. So what? Of course it is impossible to stop all violent crime, but that doesn't prove that govt is currently trying sufficiently.

To call PC's post a rant, you really should be able to produce much more than this single weak point. Otherwise it falls under the category of an ad hominem attack. And I really would expect much better from you!

4. Russell, do none of these killers have prior form to violence and theft or did they all just decide one day to pick up a knife and kill someone.

That may happen in rare cases, but as far as I can see you are happy with a culture of violence in this country as long as it doesn't impact on you personally.

But with Labour MPs and supporters assualting others seems to be second nature and the police don't do shit.

And most of these people live on welfare, do not work and have no intention to work.

5. Russell

You've seriously wrecked your credibility. Adding to the ruin with banal efforts at hasf-arsed excuse-making does nothing to help your cause at all. It just adds to the mess. In the end, you have nothing useful to contribue to this discussion. Admit it. You have not got a clue what to do or what should be done, let alone what is moral. Everything is too "complex" for hand-wringers like you. Best you take some good advice from an old wall poster: "How about you sit down and have a nice warm cup of shut-the-fuck-up. Think before you say something stupid."

LGM

6. I think Russell Brown's column illustrates what happened to me when I read your post: your description of how to fix the problem (of violent crime) )by upholding and expanding the role of the state in protecting individual citizens is easy to misread.

A sample of PC's original text: "the one thing they're legitimately supposed to be doing, which is protecting New Zealanders from violence?"

I submit that although the general thrust of the post is correct, PC's exact wording is loose enough to be open to incorrect interpretation.

To clarify this complex field, consider the following line of reasoning:

The ultimate role of the government is to protect our rights; the police force, created by the government, inherits this role ("protect the citizens").

They carry out this role by upholding the law.

HOWEVER, due to the constraints of reality, it does not follow that it is the duty of individual police officers to protect individual citizens.

Several high-level court cases in the US have affirmed this:

Police have no legal duty to respond and prevent crime or protect the victim. "You, and only you, are responsible for your security and the security of your family and loved ones. ... the police do not have a duty to protect you as an individual, but to protect society as a whole.

And:

"Police cannot protect, and are not legally liable for failing to protect, individual citizens"

Thus we see that there is no contradiction: the government exists to protect the rights of the citizens, and creates the police force to do so; but it is necessary to perform the role on a "societal" rather than individual level. Thus police officers cannot be sued for failing to respond to individual emergencies; their job is to uphold the law in general rather than be bodyguards for individuals (my confusion) and "We hardly want a policeman at the dinner table" (Russell's interpretation).

In conclusion, the confusion that both Russell Brown and I had over PC's original (impassioned and generally correct!) blog post demonstrates the importance of careful and accurate description of these complex ideas.

7. PC said...
A police force that protects the innocent. One that has the tools and the people to do the job...

I thought that Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Levy of the New Zealand Police Force has psychics as "just another tool" in the investigative policing toolbox.

Where were the Sensing Bullshit psychics, when they were needed to forewarn the police against murder crimes which were just about to take place? Umm! What a waste of taxpayer $1 million dollar fundings for the Sensing Bullshit program that could have been diverted to the police undercover crime units. 8. Oh stop it with your faux outrage, Russell, and as Sean says above, don't pretend you don't know the difference between a literary device and an actual argument. Which means, at minimum, arguing with what I do say, not with what "the right of the blogosphere" might say -- to which, as you know, I don't belong. "Good grief. Were you trying to miss the point, Peter? Or didn't you grasp it? " As I've said at your own blog, it's you who wants to tie the argument down only to domestic violence -- I'm talking about the much wider problem of nearly 53,000 violent crimes and rising, of which this year's 51 homicides are just the most tragic tip of the iceberg, and of which domestic violence is about 11%. You would do better to actually address all that I wrote, rather than sniffing because I didn't choose to take your angle on it, and ignoring every single one of the substantive points I make. PS: You say I "really lost" you when I talk about people like Garth McVicar expressing support for the bastard who killed the tagger: The point, I would have thought, was obvious -- while you and other status quo merchants are happy to paint over all the violent cracks and assert that everything is rosy in the garde, it's not. People like Garth McVicar and Peter Low know that it's not -- and they're so desperate that they're prepared to say and countenance things that aren't always correct or desirable. Instead of laughing at them, why not try to address the reasons for their desperation. 9. I may as well shamelessly plug my recent press release seeing as it is relevant to the "51 murders so far this year" (although it is phrased a bit differently to "Stop paying no-hopers to breed."). :-) 10. Hi Luke .. I made that same connection on the radio last Fri morning. Cheers. 11. Does that somehow lessen the severity, tradegy, and stupidity of murder? No, and I thought I'd gone to some lengths to say the opposite. And why does that mean that what PC has said somehow means a lot less than if the murders were out on the street? Peter was demanding that the government protect "you and me from every nutter who'd like to raise a hand against us in violence". I'm genuinely still none the wiser as to how the government would do so under Peter's masterplan, given that the violence he mentions was committed in people's homes. It is not a matter of the bad people running around stabbing "you and me", it is violence between people known to each other. Peter today mentions Darnell Leslie. I'm not sure if he even bothered to read the news reports before fulminating. Again, the fatal injury took place at a residential address, and in this case the 26 year-old offender was also hospitalised. It would seem to have been a fight between people who had weapons. It is not some dark underclass roaming the streets stabbing the good people. I'm damned if I can see away that it's amenable to Peter's solutions, to the extent that I can even decipher what they are. 12. 1)Do not confuse a literatary device with an actual argument It was a tacky, self-dramatising "literary device" and I'll find fault with it if if I want, thank you. 13. People like Garth McVicar and Peter Low know that it's not -- and they're so desperate that they're prepared to say and countenance things that aren't always correct or desirable. I was simply pointing out an obvious inconsistency in your argument. You praised McVicar as a man prepared to speak his mind, then you condemned people who sympathised with the man who killed the tagger, which McVicar very clearly and deliberately did in a press release for goodness sake.. Unless you're into special pleading, it's not that complicated. 14. "It is not some dark underclass roaming the streets stabbing the good people." So what? It's still thugs acting violently, irrespective of the identity of the victim. Violent crime has been increasing for a number of years. The question is why? 15. The 'concealed carry' laws in the US saw a rise in gunshot related deaths within a short time of enactment. Followed by a marked decrease as crims were eliminated or reconsidered their options. No other laws changed. Just the fact that citizens could defend themselves with like weapons. It went back to the law empowering individuals to look after themselves. I would not like to see pistols and revolvers introduced as weapons as of right in NZ. But I would like to see the protection of life guaranteed by legally owned rifles and shotguns. It would lead inevitably to a lot of holes being blown in rural violent offenders, followed by a huge decrease in offending. As to the bs with police charging people protecting their life and homes, well, enough said... 16. Russell, A tacky device it may well be. And you are entitled to deal with it on that level. But you did not. You pretended to be dealing with a substainial argument. That is dishonest. You have yet to establish how your point of "it is difficult" is anything beyond the trivial. You claim PC is prone to rants, yet filling pages of cyper-space reitering such a minor point is far more egregious than we have seen from PC thus far. 17. Russell, it's not "inconsistent" at all to praised McVicar for standing up for victims, but condemn him for sympathising with the man who killed the tagger-- in fact my point, one of them, relies upon it. And here it is again: my point on this score is that one of the dangers with the failure to adequately address violent crime -- and anyone in South Auckland knows that it isn't being adequately addressed -- is that people lose faith is police and justice, and put their faith instead in lynch mobs instead. That, as I said, is Garth McVicar's danger -- that he sometimes sounds as if a vigilante response is the answer. And it's not. 18. Well said re "Murder? It's not OK" - the NZ government has been apathetic in addressing violence and crime. Because of this abject failure, don't be surprised if more vigilantes like Peter Low emerge to protect their own. NZ should have a nation wide hikoi to protest our government's impotence in protecting its citizens. 19. PC, although I think it's pretty clear Russell doesn't fully understand your position, his sentiment that you advocate the implimentation of a radically different system based on ideological assertions is quite correct. This reply of yours is just an objectivist rant in reply to a criticism about yet another objectivist rant. Objectivism is mostly just a bunch of Ayn Rand's subjectively based opinions. Your an engaging author when you decide to examine opposing view points, but like most people who hold a "belief", you fail to critically examine, or justify, your own point of view beyond the context of that belief. 20. Peter was demanding that the government protect "you and me from every nutter who'd like to raise a hand against us in violence". Well, yes; I don't know why someone who thinks the government should protect them shouldn't also think that the government should feed and clothe them, etc. Ojectivists are minarchists, and minarchism, objectively, doesn't make sense :) But the government certainly shouldn't be protecting the criminals-outside-parliament and treating their victims as criminals. 21. David S, You assert that ideology is bad. Yet you provide no evidence. Just the assertions you are so critical of. You assert that PC's particular ideology is a bunch of assertions. Yet you provide no evidence. You assert that PC's ideology is a collection of subjectivist assertions. Yet you provide no arguments. You claim PC is quilty of being "uncritical". Yet you ignore the numerous posts PC makes defending his ideology. You claim PC is a fine critic, yet all his criticism of other positions is based explicitly on his ideology. If his ideology is so bad, then his criticism should be declared as meaningless drivel. Yet you wish to use his ideology in one breath and condem it in the next. 22. As I understand the situation PC's position is that the sole legitimate activity of government is to ban the initiation of force from human affairs. For that purpose (and that purpose alone) he accepts that the government should be granted a monopoly over the use of non-emergancy retributive force. He's written on this topic on several occasions, over several years. He's also provided numerous links and cited books, websites, authors and so forth. He has gone to considerable effort providing material for readers and contributors to this site, so those who are serious and interested are able to obtain a detailed understanding of what he writes about and how he came to those conclusions. How many of you have even bothered to look at any of the material he cites? Be honest for a change. Ask yourself that question. Answer it honestly. Don't deceive yourself. Meanwhile, what do we see here in response to PC's recent posts regarding the murders and violence blighting what was once known to be a peaceful and safe place? Certainly there are some uninformed turd-heads whining and hand-wringing about a topic they know little or nothing about. Worse is when these same turds start whining about the solution to the problem of the murders (a solution which requires the abandonment of the most cherished ideas of those same hand-wringers; ideas that have been shown to contribute to the violence if not actually cause much of it). In essence the argument against PC boils down to a plea that domestic murder is not all that bad since it happens behind closed doors and drawn curtains. It's not all that bad as the streets are not yet awash with blood. Pathetic. There has been an alternative line taken by apologists for all the violence and murdering. This variety of turd retreats to the position that PC is an Objectivist. Objectivism is bad somehow. It's a "rant." Thus the apologist kids himself PC's position can be disposed of and PC's argument conveniently ignored. Notice how the substance of what PC wrote is completely avoided. Pathetic indeed. Don't be fooled by the likes of such vacuous people. They have nothing to offer but a weak helplessness in the face of any serious problem. They are the vermin of hollow excuses. They have no credibility. LGM 23. This 'debate' is a crystallization of how ideological positions actually prevent anything from getting done. Everybody sits in their respective corners patting themselves on the back for being 'right' whist the real world continues to go to hell in a hand cart. Zzzzz... One ideologue is as bad as another. 24. BBFB, You state the world is going to hell. By what atandard? That is, by what idea? That is, by what set of ideas that make up your set of values? That is, by what ideology? Look, ideas matter. Even to you. Stop pretending they don't. 25. "Everybody sits in their respective corners patting themselves on the back for being 'right' whist the real world continues to go to hell in a hand cart." You may wish to ask why the world is going to hell. 26. "Peter was demanding that the government protect "you and me from every nutter who'd like to raise a hand against us in violence". I'm genuinely still none the wiser as to how the government would do so under Peter's masterplan, given that the violence he mentions was committed in people's homes. It is not a matter of the bad people running around stabbing "you and me", it is violence between people known to each other." No, the police can't necessarily be in everybody's homes to prevent domestic violence as it occurs. However, the problem's roots are exactly the same as violence out on the street: a culture of welfare and warriors that exists today, due to political correctness and moral equivalency. As government can only hand out so many resources at one time, what goes to welfare (which is the government's priorty; after all, people on welfare tend to vote for the government that's giving it to them) gets diverted from policing, and other sectors. This has also led to an increase in violence. But, on the subject of violence which is out on the street, the police's job is to be out on the beat, walking around neighbourhoods, making sure everything's in order and dealing to the problems. Having police locked up in police stations all day unless a 111 call comes through is not the police's proper job. 27. Perhaps the solution is to legalize murder :) 28. What would Trevor Mallard do? 29. PC, although I think it's pretty clear Russell doesn't fully understand your position I think I do, but it just seems to me to be yet more argument by proclamation. Ditto for when he has Callum "pointing out" that "political correctness" is to blame for the sorry state of things. You "point out" empirical facts, things like statistics; this is not one of those. It's an ideological belief. The increase in recorded violent offences announced today is, according to the police, entirely composed of an increase in recorded family violence offences. They further say it is an increase in reporting, rather than incidence, as a consequence of the "It's Not Okay" campaign, and new police practices, which require reporting of even minor incidents. Although you will doubtless regard the various policies at play here as yet more "political correctness", they are in fact an example of the zero tolerance you claim to espouse. 30. Russell, this is spin. You demand empirical facts, yet you cite blatant spin as if were unarguable. In fact, there's no evidence at all that the rise in recorded crimes is due to "an increase in reporting, rather than incidence" -- apart from the police, Annette King and yourself saying that it is. Further, if the rise in recorded crimes is largely due to "an increase in reporting, rather than incidence," then that means a) the number of people hitting other people has been bloody high for a long time; and b) violent crime is not going down, it's staying stable. Neither of which is very good. and this means too that the chief result of the "It's Not Okay" campaign is that people are telling on people who hit people more, not that they're hitting them less. Now surely we can all agree that none of that is good, can't we? 31. When I heard Annette King explain the increase in violent crime by an increased reporting of domestic abuse, I shook my head. 1. It's 2008. Does she think we came out of the kitchen last month? That we only found our tongues last week? 2. If domestic abuse stats have indeed risen out of sight (as per her implication), it doesn't speak much for the large sums of public money spent on the nauseating Nanny State ads, does it. You know, the ones that only the truly stupid can't see merely preach to the converted. It was a pretty pathetic attempt to colour over the fact that the streets are more dangerous. Untimely, too, after yet another liquor store was attacked in Sth Auckland yesterday, and a man attacked in Wanganui. "Since 1999, NZ's violent crime rate has increased over 43%. (NZ Crime Statistics Police National Headquarters, April 2008)." Franklin e-local, Oct 08 A 43% increase during Labour's tenure. 32. Is it just me, or does anyone else find it weird that PC has to point out, to a media analyst, the most blatant of spin?!? 33. Sean said at 05:59:00 PM: “Is it just me, or does anyone else find it weird that PC has to point out, to a media analyst, the most blatant of spin?!?” Come on Sean, we both know that Russell Brown wasn’t appointed to his taxpayer funded role at TVNZ for his media analyst "skills" but instead for the specific skills a Labour apologist can provide in an EFA environment. 34. PC, looks like David over at Kiwiblog is fighting the same fight regarding Labour apologists making excuses in the face of reality. Typical smears The just have to smear the messengers of truth because they can’t cope with what a failure the Labour government has been. How are they going to handle the change that is coming on 8 November? 35. "How are they going to handle the change that is coming on 8 November?" What will change? The Labour/National coalition will continue as previously. Does anyone really believe in the fairey tails these guys excrete? It's taken years to create the present culture and conditions. The ideology (premise and principles) of the politicians, bureaucrats, consultants, special interests, enforcers, cronies, lobbiests, professional guilds and welfarists is supreme. It aint going to alter any time soon. Prepare for conditions to get much, much, much more difficult. Always remember, "Democracy is when the people get what they want; good and hard." Best prepare for it! LGM 36. A National/ACT coalition might make a difference LGM. ACT is serious when it comes to the issue of crime. It’s true a lot of damage has been done to the country courtesy of the 5th Labour government. It might also be true that New Zealand is beyond saving. Just as well most decent, hardworking New Zealanders can bail out to Australia or some other destination where Salaries are higher and taxes are lower. 37. Reflecting on the issue I was thinking that perhaps the motivation for why Russell Brown is so keen to support criminals is that he has had a brush with the law himself. So if Russell Brown is a criminal it stands to reason that he wants to shape society in such a way that he avoids responsibility for his own actions. It's a disgrace that TVNZ has given him a medium via which to peddle this agenda. It’s sad that taxpayer funds go to support such a person of such low character. It’s also interesting to note that the amount of taxpayer funds he personally “games” from the system must be substantially more than that of a DPB beneficiary. He pleads poverty for DPB beneficiaries and then goes out and buys a large flat screen TV courtesy of the taxpayer without a blush of embarrassment at the contradictions of his own socialist beliefs that the money he bludges off the state would be better allocated to the DPB beneficiary he claims to represent. Nothing new there with the hypocrisy and sense of self entitlement that the socialist left possesses. Helen Clark claims to represent the poor and down trodden while her main achieve in her political career has been to accumulate six houses for her ever growing property portfolio, all courtesy of the New Zealand taxpayer. Just as well a stop will be put to all of that on 8 November. 38. I think you're going several speculations too far there, OECD. 39. Speculation or do you mean facts without specifics? Russell has some kind of criminal record. It’s the kind of criminal record that requires you to make mention of it to insurers or potential employers. What the criminal record actually is would be speculation which is why I don’t make random guesses. TVNZ 6 and 7 are funded by government throwing$70 million plus of taxpayer’s money at it. Media7 is part of TVNZ7 therefore funded by taxpayers. Russell derives a salary from “working” on Media7 therefore it is not unreasonable to point out that his main source of income is derived from the state, a state currently controlled by a Labour Government.

40. What do we have here? Look at what Chris Trotter has to say in a Stuff article:
Turning the clock Right back

Another Labour apologist making excuses for criminals. Why am I not surprised?

41. No Minister passes judgement on whether New Zealand has a serious crime problem:
Time to make some political capital on crime and punishment?

ACT once again provides the practical solutions while National tamely follows. At least both parties approaches are better than Labour’s “deny the problem exists” strategy.

42. It is curious why Russell has got himself into quite a spin over this... it must be election time!

43. OECD,

It is fair to point out that RB is working for the state. It is also fair to point out that his 7 show lacks serious analysis.

However, I think it is unhelpfull to speculate about his psyhcological motivations. Only RB (and perhaps someone extremely close to him) truely knows them.

Sean.

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