Marc My Words: Bad Ideas
Marc My Words…12 May 2006
Political comment By Marc Alexander
Some ideas are so bad only government people could believe them
There's a lot to get angry about these days. Open the pages of your daily newspaper or tune in to your preferred newsreader and you're likely to come away with the desire to shake your head, roll your eyes skyward and head to the liquor cabinet for a decent shot of overtaxed single malt Scotch.
First issue to get the ulcers going is that we now have counterfeit cops - police wearing police uniforms doing low level police work paid by police but who aren't really police. Hmmmm.
Violent crime has risen and its hard to dispute that police are under-resourced. Winston Peters, Labour's parliamentary Laprodoodle, made a big noise about a thousand more cops. Good idea, but they need to be trained real cops. The subterfuge of greater public safety won't mean a damn thing by simply dressing up bodies to look like police. They have to be police.
But can we be surprised by such counterfeit cops coming as they do from this counterfeit government? This has Helen Clark 's signature all over it. My theory is that, in her capacity as Minister of the Arts, it is a great big 'installation' on a nationwide canvas showing the dissolution of the real world into the creative imaginings of socialist realism. It is yet another example of cynical secretions from the last bit of political methane from the intestine of collectivist Labour party digestion. It is a crock. If Annette King, the Minister of Police, had a shred of integrity left, she would stand up in parliament, resist the temptation to churn out more spin and accept full responsibility. Her credibility is very much on the line.
Another issue which has reared its ugly head is the group of uncontrolled 12 to 15 year old girls beating up a bus-driver and yelling "kill him, kill him" in Chrischurch this week. They punched and kicked the driver unconscious. Had it not be for a couple of supervisors who came to his aid (and who were themselves punched and bitten) the driver could have died. And for what? A wad of cash? There are more questions than answers at this stage: what were these thugs doing out at close to midnight anyway? Where are their parents? Are they truants (I strongly suspect so)?
Such violence can never be tolerated. I hope that each one will be caught, named and shamed and bear the full brunt of the law. Prison will probably not be an effective option though. If sent they will become embittered and learn to become more effective criminals. What we desperately need are tough Brat Camps to which they would be sent for no less than 2 years. These could be located away from their crime supportive associates, administered by the armed forces and specialist teachers to pump education into them whether they like it or not. They need to have their anti-social spirits 'broken' so we have a chance at rebuilding them into civilised individuals. Education is key to any future they might have. Sadly we don't really have such options at present. I suspect they will be dragged in front of endless family group conferences, counselling sessions and emboldened by anger management programs that will have the effect of letting them off the hook. They will undoubtedly be given a volume's worth of entitlements and rights and will spurn any ownership of responsibilities.
And what about the bus-driver? He'll get a hospital stay, some ACC, but justice? I wouldn't bet on it.
Unsurprisingly Finance Minister Cullen has reacted to the Australian announcement of a $37 billion tax cut by ruling out a similar response here, thereby providing even more incentive to jump across the Tasman and learn to croon 'click go the shears' mate.
What really astonishes me is that his governments response is to launch a $400,000 advertising campaign to convince expatriates to come home. It will no doubt be pitched around the nebulous concept of 'quality of lifestyle' but, truth be told, getting an extra $20,000 per year in the pocket buys you a lot of lifestyle. The simple reality is that Labour has squandered our prosperity and those who should have benefitted most (the ones who created it) have no reason to go on paying for someone elses vision at the expense of their own.
It's going to have to be a pretty persuasive jingle don't you think? What would the message be? "C'mon Kiwi! Come home to higher taxes, lower wages, and vegemite. Oh, and bring your dog, have we got a micro chip for him!"
Oh yeah that'll work.
Now, much has been said about the micro-chipping of dogs. Even the Greens have figured out that to impose such legislation makes no sense at all. Besides, no-one has come close to explaining how chipping will prevent dog attacks or how the legislation would or could be policed. It's typical of our current state of politics that some idiot government politician goes looking to write law no matter how dumb, so that they can claim a cure for a disease that never existed. Its simple: if a particular make or model of car is dangerous, ban them - but don't impose a penalty on all other automobiles. If there are particular dog breeds that pose an unacceptable risk to public safety then let's get rid of them. We don't need to go after every Chihuahua, guide dog or farm mutt as though they were violent conscripts from the local chapter of a canine Al-Qaeda.
Still, the idea of chipping does have some appeal if only we can find the right culprits to do it on. Naturally I'd be in favour of brutal criminals being tagged. Considering the sheer volume of crime some commit, it would be a huge boon to law enforcement to be able to track these offenders. Imagine every burglary, rape, assault or murder being under surveillence. We'd cut court room posturing by expensive legal aid attorneys by at least half with indisputable evidence. All we'd have to consider would be to consider the appropriate senntence.
But why stop there? I'd be in favour of chipping socialist politicians. We might then have at least a sporting chance of following the net migration of our tax dollars from its natural habitat (in the wallets and bank balances of those who earnt it), to the financial zoo of the taxation department awaiting distribution on a political diaspora of this governments current ideological pet projects. Not likely I suppose, since they already have a chip on their shoulder.
Now, was that with or without ice?