A Week Of It: Crime And Parliamentary Punishment
Crime And Parliamentary Punishment
Parliamentary Bullies Go On Verbal Rampage
This week the opposition bullying squad set out to give Police Minister George Hawkins a veritable parliamentary towelling. The sharply dressed duo of NZ First's Ron Mark and National's Tony Ryall acted as ringleaders of the parliamentary verbal bash, but received plenty of help from the justice bovver boys of ACT, messeurs Shirley, and Franks. Every now and then National Deputy Leader - and one time technical drawing teacher of St Bede's College (Canterbury) - Gerry Brownlee stepped in to the bear-pit, presumably to lend weight to the opposition attack.
It wasn't long before any salient points brought up by the opposition were lost behind endless points of order and desperate attempts by members of ACT, National And New Zealand First to show just how blimmin' tough they were on crime. NZ First MP Ron Mark, a man who strangely enough does his best to look like a 1940s gangster, tastefully dredged up actual victims of crime to emphasise his points.
Ron Mark: Does the Minister think the family of 83-year-old Mona Morriss, who was sexually violated and murdered in her pensioner’s flat last month, and the 14-year-old girl who was raped in her bedroom in south Auckland, then thrown over a 3-metre fence, in the same month, would agree with his comment that women are more concerned about speeding than they are about being attacked in their own homes; if so, why?
Not wishing to outdone by Mr Mark, ACT Agriculture spokesperson Gerry Eckoff asked Mr Hawkins if he'd been ringing the bereaved families of violent crime for statistical purposes.
Gerrard Eckhoff: Has the Minister considered—or, indeed, sought - the opinions of families such as the Bouma family or the Bentley family as to whether his view that a speeding car is more dangerous than a violent criminal is, in fact, correct?
Will NZ First, National And Act be Abolishing Fines For Speeding In 2005?
Strangely for a party willing to be seen as strong on crime and fiscally responsible Steven Franks adopted a devil may care attitude to New Zealand's road toll when he urged the Police to "focus more on deliberate predators - those who set out to burgle, rob, rape, and hurt people - than on those who do things we all do from time to time, by mistake or otherwise, intending no harm."
Presumably, if Mr Franks had the misfortune to live in Hazzard County, those ''good old boys never meanin' no harm'', the Dukes, would have had free reign to cause vehicular destruction at will. Thankfully the fictional Boss Hogg was keener on public safety and law and order than ACT's justice spokesperson.
It also goes without saying that should Boss Hogg have been the victim of an assault, both Enus and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane would have been out there looking for the culprit. When the victim of a scuffle upon Lambton Quay some years ago, Mr Franks, caused some controversy by failing to immediately report the matter.
If opposition members had been more willing to look into road safety statistics they would have discovered that the road toll has nearly halved since the 1990s, and that the single biggest factor in fatal accidents is excessive speed, a factor in 35% of fatal crashes.
Long Gone Don
Much like a modern day fiscally conservative vampire, National Party Leader Dr Don Brash has slunk away from the harsh glare of publicity after sneaking out into the sunlight of media exposure. After a speech of Dr Brash's, advocating increasing child poverty in New Zealand, was warmly received by elderly Rotarians and resulted in the firing/demoting/re-assigning his welfare spokeswoman, Dr Brash has once again slipped from view.
This week in Parliament Dr Brash's vocal chords failed to get any sort of workout whatsoever during question time. It is possible other members of Rotary New Zealand were having New Zealand's political future mapped out by Dr Brash and attending parliament was seen as too much of a distraction from this valuable work.
Interestingly often overlooked in Dr Brash's Orewa II speech is the remarkable statement that the liberal left leaning Labour Government is insidiously planing to line incarcerated overly sensitive evil doers pockets.
"I've also made it clear that we would block Labour's plans to pay compensation to some of our most vicious criminals for their hurt feelings," Dr Brash assured his octogenarian audience two weeks ago.
Why isn't this startling statement news, have the allegedly notorious liberal left leaning media from Newstalk ZB Larry Williams and Leighton Smith been protecting their lefty mates.
Will this vile piece of legislation one day be uncovered via David Farrar's powerline-esque bastion of truth Kiwiblog.co.nz, or is Dr Brash actually referring to the legislation that has half the legal fraternity and civil libertarians up in arms because it takes away the rights of prisoners to keep their bruise money – "The Prisoners and Victims Claims Bill".
On the plus side for Dr Brash was the heartening news that the Mccully.co.nz column – a.k.a the Listener's politics column - is back and in fine form giving the Dr's side of the story regarding the Katherine Rich firing/demotion/re-assignment hiccup.
Robson Returns From Cuba
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to readers of the DomPost, this week Progressive MP, Matt Robson, returned to Parliament from the sunny isle of Cuba. Whilst in Cuba, Mr Robson has apparently been planning a revolution against illiteracy.
It is understood this war against poor educational standards may have received funding from United Nations affiliated sources. Look out next week for more details of this radical war against educational failure, as well as Matt Robson attacking some of the most disgusting barbarity known to humanity and inflicted on dissenters in Cuba.
"Guantanamo Bay is an absolute international disgrace, torture has been and is being carried out" Mr Robson told Scoop yesterday. Watch this space.