Hard News: Denial
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It was always going to be hard to prove historical claims beyond doubt.
Stephen Price makes an intriguing point about this on his media law blog: the cases heard were criminal trials and therefore the standard of proof was beyond reasonable doubt.
Nicholas has called Rickards a rapist in her book. Rickards has called her a liar who needs help.
Both are potentially actionable for libel - and the std of proof in a civil case is balance of probablity. If one of them were to sue the other....
If one of them were to sue the other....
Ouch... Thankfully (or not, depending on your POV) it looks like her attitude is 'who give a shit what this arse says about me anymore, I've got a life to get on with', and surely someone has to sit him down and write out the mother of all reality checks? If he doesn't STFU soon, he's going to lash out at a few people who can hit back. And I don't think his payout was that big he can fight multiple court cases.
I did take exception at what seemed to me your willingness to escalate rumours in a fairly dangerous way: so an alleged "intimate search" became a confirmed "cavity search".
We saw the same thing with the supposed busload of traumatised schoolchildren that was boarded and searched by armed officers. It didn't actually happen. As I think everyone seems to accept now, the only kohanga reo bus involved on the day was waved through by police. A school van with three people in it (including one 14 year-old, not a kohanga pupil) was very briefly searched, after the occupants had disembarked.** I think it's fair to see some hysteria in the way the wildly exaggerated version gained currency.**
Let's get real here. There was no exaggeration. A man claiming to be the van/bus driver stood up before the media (and his whanau, I believe) and said categorically that armed Police stormed the kohanga reo bus and searched children. He was not exaggerating, he was LYING!
And this is why, a few pages back, I asked Sarah to substantiate her statement that a "cavity search" on a school girl had taken place. I wanted to know if it actually happened, or was it part of the mis-information put out by (presumably) aggrieved Tuhoe. Sarah has explained her source for that claim, and she is prepared to accept it. I'm not, in this instance (altho' I can sometimes agree with Sarah on other matters).
Maybe the Operation Austin Inquiry Team can get onto this now? (the Police anti-terror operation)
oops, should be:
... searched children at gunpoint!
81st column: yes to gap filling and constructive memory. I also have a problem with conflation - remembering one or two parts of something and that becoming"the whole thing".
So the Urewera 17 - gets conflated with Tuhoe, and suddenly Tame Iti, JL and Save Our Snails are treated as a unified group which is somehow misinterpretted as Tuhoe. I realise I am as at fault here as others - given my connections to the particular part of Tuhoe that Iti, Kruger et al represent and my long involvement with their objectives, I am inflamed by the accusations when they are mistakenly made against Tuhoe rather than individuals. Then I write a defense of this conflated group rather than for the particular members of Tuhoe that I have an association with.
The antidote to escalation is, perhaps, clarity, which is so easy to overlook in the heat of the moment.
Russell - I had the exact same misgivings re LN to start with - still do to some extent, but I guess given my "superstitious" approach (ie seen it before so bound to be true) to sexual abuse my feeling/belief was that she was bone fide. Like David Bain - my experience is of nutty fathers, therefore I'm inclined to believe Robin did it. All with the proviso that I don't really know. On the other hand I'm inclined to think Michael Jackson innocent. BUT WE CAN'T REALLY KNOW.
Are you prepared to acknowledge yet that the police action was not without foundation?
I don't think I have ever said that ANY police action was unfounded under the circumstances - I certainly believe some police action was necessary - but not this.
And that maybe the community should also be prepared to blame some of its own for bringing this down?
This isn't clear enough for me to be able to answer... What community? Blame who?
My point really is we don't know, we can't know, we could all do with being a bit more circumspect about our judgments of people and events - especially media events, which is what these are, mostly, to the public. Yes I'm talking about me too. But as a third generation anti-racism proponent I am not really willing to rebalance the beneifit of the doubt I tend to give Maori and other indigeneity in favour of the state.
link This is a link to an online test that assesses implicit associations between black/white people and the good/bad judgment. It is quite fun, takes about 5 min and can be a real eye opener. There are lots of other implicit association test there too - but my challenge to you is to assess your own degree of "racism" to the extent that this test is able to reveal it. (It is reasonably robust according to psychological research criteria - run by Harvard, and some of the accompanying information is interesting too).
I realise I am as at fault here as others - given my connections to the particular part of Tuhoe that Iti, Kruger et al represent and my long involvement with their objectives, I am inflamed by the accusations when they are mistakenly made against Tuhoe rather than individuals. Then I write a defense of this conflated group rather than for the particular members of Tuhoe that I have an association with.
I much prefer to see Tuhoe as characterised by Tuhoe.com, the wireless broadband network being built by the Tuhoe Education Authority (with the help of goverment agencies and Waikato Uni) where Telecom was never going to bother. It's Tuhoe owned and controlled and it's a visionary project. (Which reminds me I must grab the interview we did with Riaka Hiakita at the Digital Summit and put it on the podcast.)
But I'm not sure most people really made the equation Tuhoe = Terrorist. I can understand the hurt people feel, but no one with any sense has said anything like that. OTOH, I think a lot less of Tame Iti than I used to. I keep going back to the Dom Post story in the first couple of days quoting a kaumatua saying people had been anxious about the local self-styled radicals and weren't too sorry to see the police get involved.
I much prefer to see Tuhoe as characterised by Tuhoe.com, the wireless broadband network being built by the Tuhoe Education Authority (with the help of goverment agencies and Waikato Uni) where Telecom was never going to bother. It's Tuhoe owned and controlled and it's a visionary project.
Well, yes... I agree. But it's also important for Tuhoe to characterise themselves.
And also, chances are there are plenty of Tuhoe who don't like the Tuhoe.com characterisation, as well as many who do. Perhaps there are plenty of Tuhoe who simply don't want to be lumped in under a particular label (terrorist / internet-ist / whatever). That's because I'm suspicious of group identities in any case.
And getting back to an earlier point, I think your analysis of the Louise Nicholas case was exactly right, Russell. No matter what the truth of the matter (and I'm not prepared to put my opinion in print for fear of opening this site, and myself, up to libel worries), getting a conviction was never going to be a likely outcome.
Clint Rickard should remember that he was found 'not guilty', not 'innocent'.
And while I'm at it, and being a galss, or two, or three, of Oyster Bay Chardonnay up (my father has a good wine cellar), I do think that there is an important parallel between the inappropriate power that police officers exercised over young women in Rotorua and districts twenty or thirty years ago, and the inappropriate use of power in Ruatoki just a few weeks ago. In both cases, I can't help think that police officers were putting uppity people in their place. So I can see why Sara wants to comment on the similarities, and to wonder why it is that in one case, the general NZ public seems to think that the exercise of police power was inappropriate (to say the least), but in the other, the exercise of police power seems to be accepted.
So I can see why Sara wants to comment on the similarities, and to wonder why it is that in one case, the general NZ public seems to think that the exercise of police power was inappropriate (to say the least), but in the other, the exercise of police power seems to be accepted.
Conversely, I can't see why people can rush to cry, "Guilty, even if the cops didn't get him", while chanting "LalalalalalalaIseenoevidencehere" for others.
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