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Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Prima Facie Case; Police Are Labour's Lackeys

The NZ Police top brass are gutless wonders.

If you're doing 5Kms over the limit on your way to work to make some money to pay your taxes to pay their wages, its ZERO tolerance.

If you're a farmer in a remote area and you shoot some hood trying to steal your property, the police will prosecute, cost you a 100K, knowing they won't get a conviction, because its in the "public interest".

If you are the ruling party and you commit a blatant breach of the law, its "no worries mate".

Here are a few comments on the police decision not to prosecute Labour for their 400K overspend in the 2005 election.

Rodney Hide

"What does a Labour Minister need to do to get prosecuted?

The police also found a prima facie case against Helen Clark in 2002, after she signed a painting that she didn't paint. Then in 2004 the Prime Ministerial motorcade was caught speeding, but Ms Clark let police officers take the rap.

More recently, police found a prima facie case against David Benson-Pope, but decided not to prosecute.

There are two laws in New Zealand – and Labour Ministers carry with them a 'get out of jail free' card. Here's a government that passes laws at the drop of a hat, but thinks they only apply to other people.

It's wrong that Helen Clark and the Labour party are constantly put above the law that everyone else in New Zealand has to obey".

Clint Heine

Unbelievable. The Police in NZ have shown that they are indeed the playthings of the Labour administration and will allow them to get away with everything, while punishing other ministers outside of Labour for small infringements.

I am shocked they went as far as they did this time with the Labour election overspending. This I believe is going to start the beginning of the end for whoever is pulling the strings in Police HQ. Once National wins the next election their heads are going to roll SO FAST they won't even hear their bodies hit the floor.

David Farrar

I am disgusted. The Police have said they will issue a warning [oh how scary] to Labour if they infringe again, but despite *another* prima facie finding of the law being broken, there will be no prosecutions at all. Fucking Incredible.

I actually agreed with Police decisions not to prosecute for paintergate, for Hodgson's technical assault and for Benson Pope's assaults. While I was critical of the Ministers making excuses for what they did, I have said that the offending wasn't so serious as to need prosecution. I have been relatively balanced on the Police using their discretion.

However this case is very different. The over-spending was massive and letting them off just makes a mockery of having spending limits. A $400,000 over-spend is huge.

The Police rationale is also bizarre. You see they have found a prima facie case in relation to the pledge card not being authorised but have said they do not have enough evidence on the charge of over-spending.

Now if you conclude that the pledge card needed to be authorised, then you have concluded it is an election activity because otherwise it would not need authorisation. And if you have done that then that must count towards their spending limit. I can't see how it can be one but not the other.

My respect for the NZ Police have just shrunk to near zero. Both the Chief Electoral Officer and the Electoral Commission independently concluded that the pledge card was election spending and Labour over-spent. For the Police to conclude otherwise against the two specialist agencies is astonishing.

Well this has really fired me up and my motto is don't get mad, get even. If one needed motivation for 2008 you now have it.


Blogger Berend de Boer said...

It's a banana republic here. Unbelievable.

But that National will solve anything? Those guys haven't gotten any spine. I'm ready to take on any bets that NO heads will roll when they win the election. If there is a next election.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can express our outrage all we want, it will have no effect as they are a law unto themselves. In fact it only makes them feel more bullet proof. The only thing they take notice of is when something happens that is not in their comfort zone. The classic example is the tractor up the steps of parliament. If that had not happened we would have a fart tax by now. If the game is played by the rules they always win as they are better at playing it, especially given a dumbed down media, feeble opposition and general public apathy.
As soon as the game is taken outside the rules they do not know how to handle it and fold.
I guess what I am leading to is the only thing this arrogant bunch of turkeys are likely to notice is what I call positive civil disobedience.
It is time we looked beyond politics and politicians to deal with issues. Sure, politics is part of the process but it is not the be all and end all that we have allowed it to become. I envisage a movement (I call it "Beyond Politics") consisting of radical individuals taking control of their own lives and staring down politicians when standing on the moral high ground. I reckon it sounds a lot more fun than wasting time venting our spleen.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

What kind of "civil disobedience" are you proposing Andrew?

5:34 PM  
Blogger Just my opinion said...

I agree Berend, I guess in a moment of madness I believed the faux outrage from National on this matter.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This could take a while so bear with me.

My first thought when hearing about Labour not being charged for overspending was to withhold some of my next GST payment. If they cannot be trusted with my money the best way to sharpen their thinking would be not to give it to them in the first place and then challenge them to come and get it.
Such a move is a big step however but there are other things that can be done and I will give two examples.

1) First I will tell a story which is second hand but from a reliable source and member of the club involved.
Two 13 year olds in a provincial town raided their parents liquor cabinet and ended up doing dough nuts on the greens of the local golf club. The club arranged with the kids and the parents for the kids to apologise to the club members and then do some unpaid work for the club. To the kids credit they did this, every one was happy and it was win\win.
Then some stormtroopers from one of the Ministrys for Social Engineering found out and went ballistic. Apparently the club and the parents were guilty of traumatising the kids and damaging their psyche. The trough feeders gave everyone a right bollocking and created a climate of fear to the extent those involved are reluctant to even talk about it.

The reason they get away with it is because they can do it in secret and they are therefore not accountable. I suggest naming and shaming and see if they have the guts to fight. Call them up and explain what you plan and give them an opportunity to explain their side of it, after all if they are sure they are right then they should be proud and open about their position. Then stare them down.
In this case the parents would not consider it as they were the ones traumatised by the whole experience and just wanted it to go away.
Naming and shaming could apply in many instances such as bureacratic excess, naming serial employment grievance con artists etc.

2) My next example involves marriage. As soon as government was able to define marriage and divorce, marriage was in trouble as governments can change definitions anytime. In a truly free society the role of the state is not to assume but to uphold the arrangements individuals make with each other without imposing the consequences of those arrangements on to anyone else. If two (or more) people want to get together and then separate the state has no role except to provide a mechanism to enable disputes to be resolved.

I see an opportunity for interest groups e.g. churches to take back marriage from the state.
They could offer a form of marriage as they see it and market it. It would not need a state license, nor would it need a state endorsed celebrant. Various terms and conditions regarding the marriage could be agreed to by the parties including what would happen in the event of breakdown, including allowing fault to be a factor in divorce settlements. This agreement can only be revoked by a new agreement. If a separating couple agree on all aspects (custody, access, property division etc) of the separation then the original agreement is revoked in favour of the new one and divorce is automatic without the 2 year period. If they cannot agree then a court considers the issues, including fault.
This puts individuals in charge of how they conduct their affairs and removes the fear of unilateral divorces being imposed by one spouse\partner. It would give each partner equal power in determining the agreement and force them to consider the cost both to themselves and children. It would lead to fairer settlements and less post divorce conflict.

The potential of allowing individuals to conduct their own affairs is huge. However pollies are unlikely to give away the control they have willingly. I suggest churches (or whoever) just do it (what I call "positive civil disobedience") and see where the dust settles. It would certainly get their early attention and provide a challenge for them.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

I fully agree with both points Andrew. Naming and shaming is a big thing with me as you might have noticed from this blog.

I think Blogs could help with this. You tell an offending bureaucrat that you're going to blog your dealings with him. Naming him of course. I was going to do this to our local police over a theft as a servant case, but our key witness pulled out.

Re marriage. Stephen Franks has done some work on this concept. I support it wholeheartedy.

More indiduals making more stands, backed up by support networks and the blogosphere is a pretty powerful combo.


Trevor L

11:59 AM  

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