Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Policeman at the Dinner Table

117 Responses

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  • Peter Cresswell,

    "BTW, are you, or anyone you respect getting some of that Working for Families gravy?"

    No. Are you?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah,

    Why, my reaction to this latest killing was "ENOUGH!!!"

    My conclusion is that it'll take capitalisation and at least three exclamation points to reduce the murder rate. Probably more.

    Peter, you must try harder, it's almost as if you don't care.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cresswell,

    "In any case, the vast majority of people on the DPB are paid to support kids that they already have, not to have new ones."

    No, they're paid for both.

    And in answer to Michael, who says, "__if Peter is going to imagine the benefits of the poor not being "paid to breed", I'm going to imagine the violence of the desperate and starving which will counter it__," might I point out that there's no need for either violence, desperation or starving to accompany the end of the DPB.

    All that's needed is the simple statement that no new DPB recipients will be accepted after six months, and that the DPB itself will cease once the children of all existing recipients reach school age.

    That shouldn't be so hard, should it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cresswell,

    Yes, very good Tim. I obviously needed more coffee.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Peter, all that need be said in counter is, Tony Veitch.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    No, no gravy here either. No kids, prefer beer. I did ask one other question you've neglected to address though...

    Peter, I respect your preferences in regard to phasing out the DPB, I'm sure many would agree. Unfortunately, I don't really see it lowering incidences of violent crime; in fact it might, y'know, make shit worse.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Peter, I respect your preferences in regard to phasing out the DPB, I'm sure many would agree. Unfortunately, I don't really see it lowering incidences of violent crime; in fact it might, y'know, make shit worse.

    If only because those most affected would disproportionately be victims of crime.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Not only will there be no domestic murders in the post-welfare world, but everyone will have a pony.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    All that's needed is the simple statement that no new DPB recipients will be accepted after six months, and that the DPB itself will cease once the children of all existing recipients reach school age.

    That shouldn't be so hard, should it?

    Yes, because all lower-class women (heck, all women, why not?) will immediately gain access to and education about one-hundred-percent effective contraception, as well as abortion on demand in all parts of the country! Nor will they ever have sex when they're not fully in control of it or able to consider the consequences! Nor will they ever make any mistakes with that one-hundred-percent effective contraception!

    I really admire your utopic future's ability to stop anyone anywhere having a child when they're not ready.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I'm boggled by someone who argues that the state applying the full costs of road use to the users is bossy and interfering, at the same time as saying the state is responsible for preventing family violence by withholding support for families.

    The whole DPB enables domestic violence argument turns on the premise that the DPB makes people have kids irresponsibly. Turning off that tap will supposedly result in a corresponding reduction in the number of irresponsibly conceived children, and enable their would-have-been mothers to live a life of freely atomised social interaction where their willingness to work for money is the only thing between them and success.

    The problem is that people don't have 14 years of foresight to use in determining whether their decision (or accident) of having children will result in them being left without financial support. You can't create that foresight by punishing those who don't have it. Many families will stay intact throughout child-raising time. Many will not, through no fault of either party. Some should not, because one member is so detrimental to the wellbeing of the others that they outweigh their financial contribution. You can prevent such families forming, and you can help them disassemble, by providing alternative means of financial support.

    Having the state as a backup in case of family failure is an immeasurable source of freedom for women, and I believe, the primary reason social conservatives (who often masquerade as economic liberals) oppose it. Same with state protection of children's rights. They all conspire to interfere with the ability of the breadwinner to be a domestic tyrant, a far worse creature than a political one.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Pah! All of these arguments from wooly-headed nanny-statists are based on the unreasonable assumption that human beings are flawed, irrational, emotional creatures, when we all know that the human race consists entirely of perfectly self-interested Homo Economicus automata and Randian supermen.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    I have looked at the SST graph of Violence and Homicide. I do not understand it. It seems to show nearly nil in the 1950's and huge rise to 2005. That's not true. Is it? Can't be.
    Homicides include murder manslaughter, infacide, and I think suicide. Was up as high as 120 but now in the low 80's. The murder rate has stayed constant at around 50-60 per annum. It is a problem comparing with other countries because some for example count a mass murder as a single event. In NZ each victim is counted in the total.
    I have looked at Peters responses here and on his blog. In a perfect world everyone would be kind to each other. But thats not so. I cannot for the life of me understand what Peter is proposing. Blame DPB? Put any potential violence in prison? What is the answer Peter? Please explain or you will just scare everyone for nothing. Crime is less not more over the last decade.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Matthew, you ask, "What needs to change that would have prevented this latest tragedy?"

    Well, read my response. You don't expect to be spoon-fed, do you?

    I've read it, again, and I'm still unsure what you think the police should've done to prevent it. Yes, yes, I know you wank on about societal changes, etc, but the reality is that a man like Austin Hemmings is unlikely to have been carrying a weapon of his own. So unless you've got some way of removing weapons from society, this self-defence notion only goes so far. In its absence, we're back to relying on the police for protection, and so, again, I ask you what you would have had them do differently to prevent this? The offender appears to have no criminal history, so you can't be blaming the courts and/or police for him being out on the streets. At 40-something he's a product of the time before the DPB, too, so you can't be blaming his DPB mum.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    The offender appears to have no criminal history

    Interesting point: has that been verified?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @Peter

    You might be content to rest on your "it's only domestic violence" defence ...

    I almost ignored this, because it's clearly not a statement made in good faith: ie, it's a troll.

    But I will anyway. If you're going to talk about an increase in violent crime, it makes sense to know what you're talking about.

    There is decent evidence that (a) the recent increase in recorded violent crime is overwhelmingly composed of an increase in recorded family violence, and that (b) that increase is very largely driven by a greater readiness to report family violence and a zero-tolerance policy in following it up on the part of police. Both of these are a result of strategies you have mocked.

    You're fond of raging about the obscenity of child killings in the home, and of attempting to depict a correlation between those and "welfarism".

    Well guess what? the vast majority of people drawing benefits don't kill their children. But I have a much stronger correlation for you: little children are overwhelmingly beaten and killed in homes where there is already an acceptance of violence. Look it up.

    You invoked the name of Darnell Leslie, the Invercargill stabbing victim, in your response today. Did you actually bother to read the reports? The 26 year-old offender was also hospitalised with injuries; the fatal assault took place at a residential address. It may well have been a fight.

    It was, in the broader sense, another domestic, and not even remotely amenable to to your analysis of a welfare-addicted underclass running around stabbing the good people.

    The thing is, reality isn't amenable to your analysis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    The offender appears to have no criminal history

    Interesting point: has that been verified?

    Sorry, my bad. Misremembered this article. He wasn't on bail or parole. The way it's written suggests that he may have been "known to the police", as they say.

    Either way, if he wasn't out on bail or parole it says that he's not the kind of habitual offender that McVicar et al get so worked up about.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • A Small Bird,

    PC,

    Brazil has, until very recently, had nothing that might be conceivably be called a welfare system and yet has also had violent crime rates (including domestic crime) that utterly dwarf ours. What's more the poor, despite not being "paid to have children" have done so there with quite some vigour.

    Do you have any evidence at all to suggest that eliminating the DPB would actually reduce crime in New Zealand?

    somewhere • Since Sep 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Not only will there be no domestic murders in the post-welfare world, but everyone will have a pony.

    That is wonderful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    The comparison with road death reporting is interesting. Here in the UK we just get obsessive reporting of young, usually black, urbanites knifing each other and there is a panic over it (despite stabbing deaths overall falling, us Scots being nicer). Howver road death reporting over here is largely left to local, often free, newspapers. The national media only report road deaths if there is a large amount of carnage or people involved (tourist bus for eg) or emotional (all but one of a family, couple on honeymoon etc).

    However a glance at the first Google hit:
    http://www.driveandstayalive.com/info%20section/statistics/stats-multicountry-percapita-2004.htm

    Shows that the roads here are safer than in NZ. Which on the surface would suggest that the constant and national reporting of EVERY road death in NZ does not make people drive more safely. Perhaps what is happening is an example of familiarity breeding contempt and it is only particularly bad holiday weekend tolls that people pay attention to.

    Or that road conditions are very different. Your average Brit never drives over 50km/h except on multilaned highways. Roads between places are at least dual carriageway and often motorway. You see it up here in Scotland where you get stuck behind someone crawling along what often passes for SH1 in the more geographically interesting parts of the country. And the appalling overtaking behaviour.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Tapu Misa: Amazing grace of victim's family
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10534658&pnum=0

    "Some victims get satisfaction seeing the criminal suffer as much as they can. They need to have some different way of dealing with the hurt."

    A restorative justice facilitator adds: "Harsher penalties are not in fact what heals victims, but are presented as the solution to victims' problems."

    Forgiveness, it seems, is the way to heal.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Much as I admire the actions of Austin Hemmings I doubt very much that he expected a knife attack, that sort of thing is not that common in church circles. So being stabbed would have, probably, been the last thing on his mind.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Much as I admire the actions of Austin Hemmings I doubt very much that he expected a knife attack, that sort of thing is not that common in church circles. So being stabbed would have, probably, been the last thing on his mind.

    I can see it now. A rash of stabbings at the altar rail, as congregants kneel to receive the sacrament. Rogue altar boys suspected, with abuse at the hands of clerics being blamed.

    OK, I'll stop with the black humour now. You're right, as I said previously the kind of man it sounds like Austin Hemmings was wouldn't have considered that he might be in mortal danger. Danger of getting a thump, sure, but stabbed in broad daylight in the middle of Auckland? Not a chance. I doubt that many of us at all would've considered that possibility.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    The comparison with road death reporting is interesting. Here in the UK we just get obsessive reporting of young, usually black, urbanites knifing each other and there is a panic over it

    i can't double-check the stat right now because the person who showed it to me is out of the office, but i remember that ~52% of 'misadventure' fatalities in new zealand are vehicle-related.

    so what you have there is a person not coming home from work to their family, because of an accidental death directly related to some sort of proximity to a vehicle.

    could someone tell me how that's worse than a murder? does it mean less grief for the partner? the children? the extended family?

    tell you what it doesn't make.

    the news.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Damn, it seems the 17yr old kid who did the two bank jobs in Christchurch used a motor cycle, not the bus or a bicycle. Still good to know the cops considered it our public transport/cycle ways efficent enuf to be explored as possible routes.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Given the geography, the bike seemed a reasonable guess right across the park.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

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