Simon Power

Protect that Child and ignore the wombles

The Sensible Sentencing Trust has launched a campaign about name suppression and flown Derryn Hinch over to speak about the travesty that is name suppression.

I may have been convicted and in the process changed the law, but the law changed put through by Simon Power were small and more interested in stopping people like me rather than actually tightening up on suppression orders.

Derryn Hinch has gone to jail for opposing suppression orders.

Derryn Hinch wants to be able to turn on his mobile phone and see the names of all sex offenders in the neighbourhood.

The outspoken Taranaki-born broadcaster, who now leads a campaign for a public sex offenders register in Australia, has come home to launch a pre-election campaign by the Sensible Sentencing Trust to get a similar register in New Zealand.

He will take part in a trust-organised debate tomorrow against liberals Dr Gwenda Willis and Kim Workman.

Kim Workman is one of those wombles who means well but is a hopeless crim hugger that the media uses all the time to promote their crim hugging stance.

Stephen Franks gives him a right good ticking off in his latest blog post.

On Sunday afternoon¬†I’ll be in Auckland to¬†chair a¬†public discussion¬†of¬† the secrecy that justice insiders defend so tenaciously. Derryn Hinch is the main speaker.¬†He’s endured prison¬†to stand up for open courts and freedom of speech.

Doing my homework, I’ve been reminded of the intellectual blindness engendered by the beliefs of well meaning people. ¬†Kim Workman is a good man. He writes thoughtfully on his¬†blog “Smart on Crime”. The¬†post prompted by the absurd discharge¬†of the Maori prince is worth reading by anyone who needs to understand the criminal justice establishment. They need to feel morally superior (compassion is their claim)¬†over¬†the rest of us, but they acknowledge the need also for research on their side.

So how do they end up so far from reality? This well written piece shows us. The reasoning is respectable so far as it goes, but it stops well before it gets anywhere near the main issues. It misses the same point as is missed by the justice insiders generally.

It measures everything according to its potential to redeem the offender. Redemption is worth trying if it does not prejudice more necessary purposes. But the fate of particular offenders is trivial, when the proper measure of a justice system, indeed any social mechanism for inculcating and upholding norm observance, is the extent of offending overall. Recidivism rates may affect offending rates, but they are much less important than rates of recruitment to offending.

Most serial offenders and hardened criminals will never be redeemed. I’d like to see Kim Workman offer to take in some of these scum into his own home if he thinks they can be redeemed.

I suspect he’d baulk at that suggestion.

Almost all cultures rely heavily on reputation mechanisms to discourage the establishment of such patterns. They commonly involve exacting a price over the long term from individuals, their families,¬†and communities that harbour them. They also commonly¬†provide well recognised paths to discharge the shame burden, to demonstrate remorse. As Kim Workman acknowledges, Maori norm enforcement¬†relied heavily on whakaama ‚Äď shame. What he does not go on to acknowledge was the extent to which shame mechanisms need practical impacts and ‘stigmatization’. They¬†depend on tangible consequences to shameful behaviour.¬†Whakaama (shame)¬†becomes irrelevant and toothless when it¬†is separated from the consequences, when the forgiveness carrots are poured out in sackloads without¬†any sticks of¬† ritual humiliation, group responsibility and formulaic depredaton (muru and utu)..

But¬†well meaning¬†‘sickly white liberals’ (in Winston Peters’ memorable words) have gutted our law of its links with reputation sanctions. They’ve left the law¬†struggling ineffectually to rely on formal punishments alone.

So Mr Workman, when you deplore the powerful¬†trend toward¬†more¬†severity in punishments, when you rail against the lack of recognition of the truth¬†that speed and certainty of consequence are much more important than severity in deterrence, take a look at your own responsibility. You’ve helped eliminate from our law the most powerful and speedy social sanctions of all at¬†the critical¬†time (in application to young people).

Rethinking Justice¬†applauds the secrecy of our youth courts. You defend our disgraceful name suppression law. You supported the Clean Slate law. And in your blog you whine about the ordinary peoples’ rejection of the expert demand that criminal justice policy be left to experts. You exemplify the establishment’s comprehensive rejection of the reputation based natural social sanctions.

You genuinely believe you have research and reason on your side, but it is fatally limited. Your post on Paki takes the shame analysis no further than the effect of shame on rehabilitation prospects. Shame may inhibit rehabilitation for offenders outside a community with high social cohesion (i.e. where the social sanctions are presumably severe, and scope for collective redemptive support). But where is the consciousness of its importance to offending rates?

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Another Con AirNZ shocker. Story is 8 years old

This story is getting murkier and murkier.

Earlier today I revealed that the Corrections union and Labour have been well aware for years that prisoners were being transported on flights, despite their fake surprise and outrage in the DomPost.

It seems that the union revealed security details about a prisoner flight and arranged for the paper to be there to take pictures. And – hey presto! – paper runs a story saying this is new and dangerous, while union and Labour are given the opportunity to bash the government.

The DomPost ran the story again yesterday claiming that the flights were “secret”.

But ten seconds on Google has come up with yet more damning revelations. 

This story first appeared – wait for it – eight years ago.

On March 27, 2006 the Herald reports:

Dangerous prisoners are being flown around the country on commercial flights, it was reported today.

And:

 Any prisoner, including maximum-security inmates, could be transferred on commercial flights.

And the incredible line: ¬†¬† Read more »

Will Green Taliban MP apologise??

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It’s quite amazing how rabid Green Taliban activists get. Take for example old Steffan Browning.

Just a month before the November 2011 General Election which saw this fool enter Parliament, Browning was the spokesperson for another fruit-loop organisation, the Soil & Health Association – Organic NZ.

As spokesman he banged off a media release saying the¬†Government must separate GE food in NZ shops, issuing a challenge to FIGJAM Simon Power and Comrade Kate Wilkinson about GE. A key plank of this attack was a study by a scientist called Gilles Seralini. ¬† Read more »

Now that’s what you do when you win

Julie Bishop has wasted no time in wielding the axe and getting rid of Labor troughers. She certainly shows John Key how it should be done.

Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks has been sacked from his position as Australia’s consul-general in New York ‚Äď before he officially started in his new role ‚Äst in a decision described as ”petty and vindictive” by Labor.

Fairfax Media understands that one of incoming foreign minister Julie Bishop’s first decisions in her new position was to sack Mr Bracks on Monday.

Mr Bracks concluded previous employment in preparation to take up his position, which was to start this month.

Drinnan on blogger remuneration

John Drinnan¬†laboriously¬†writes about bloggers and remuneration. Interesting that he didn’t bother to ring me for comment yet felt obliged to use my name to make some sort of point.

Canterbury University senior lecturer in journalism and new media Donald Matheson says bloggers risk being called hypocrites if they accuse professional media about lack of transparency while not declaring payments from other sources.

Really? …does Fran O’Sullivan declare all her other income at the bottom of every article she writes? Does Bernard Hickey? What about Russell Brown’s¬†multiple¬†sources of income. What a¬†sanctimonious¬†twat. Plenty of people in the media do¬†multiple¬†jobs and work on multiple contracts. They also take¬†separate¬†advertising revenue and perform consultancy work, not to mention the lucrative speaking circuit…why the focus on bloggers and what and how they earn money? Everyone else in the media gets paid somehow and no one digs into that.

The only people I need to declare my income to is IRD. Everyone else can get stuffed. ¬† Read more »

Trevett on National’s lack of courage

Claire Trevett rang me for a chat yesterday about Maurice Williamson dropping out of the mayoralty race. Strange since Helen Kelly thinks I am irrelevant.

One of National MP Maurice Williamson’s supporters says he dropped his ambition to run as Auckland’s mayor partly because the National Party refused to let him stand under the party’s banner.

Unlike Labour and the Greens, National has never stood candidates in the local body elections but National-aligned blogger Cam Slater said Mr Williamson was trying to get the party to change its stance. Mr Slater, who is a friend of Mr Williamson, believed National’s refusal had cost the centre-right the only chance to beat Mayor Len Brown.

Mr Williamson announced yesterday he had decided against standing, saying he had taken personal, political and funding issues into consideration in his decision.¬† Read more »

Williamson quits, Nats bottle the challenge

Maurice Williamson has announced he won’t contest the mayoralty and National has bottled the chance to tip out Len Brown.

Unfortunately for Maurice Williamson the beltway politicians lacked the courage to commit their brand to the battle. If they had bothered to lift their heads from focus groups results for just a moment they should have realised that the anger building in Auckland against Len Brown and his unitary plan needed a person to coalesce behind.

Now there is no one. C&R as a brand is stuffed, and quality candidates that may have been found to stand under the National banner will now go back into hiding. Several I know of will be unlikely to want to have to deal with the muppets in C&R¬† Read more »

Another Simon Power screw up

Yet another Simon Power screw up has been revealed, and once again it will have to be Judith Collins who has to repair the damage that FIGJAM rushed through in his final months.

The courts will continue to operate with the current legal aid system for the timebeing despite the Court of Appeal ruling it unlawful.

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) launched court proceedings after the Government’s cost-saving shake-up of the legal aid system, which resulted in legal aid lawyers getting a 10 per cent pay cut.

The CBA lost a High Court case but took it to the Court of Appeal, which today held that the Legal Services Commissioner, who is responsible for granting legal aid, was unable to function independently of the Government.¬† Read more »

Stephen Franks on matters criminal

Stephen Franks comments on the changes that Judith Collins is making in Justice to repair the damage caused by Simon Power and the liberal elite he pandered to.

The Hon Judith Collins justifies the ordinary voter’s support for National. Her¬† preparedness to establish a register of convictions is another example.

Let’s hope that she makes it simple. The current system has converted “open courts and justice being seen to be done” into a hollow slogan.¬†A Press editorial¬†advocates simplicity as far as it goes ‚Äď but that is not far enough.

The record should be open. What happens in open court¬†should be on that record. It should mean that people ‘live down their crime’ if people who know their offending gain¬†confidence¬†in them from long term reliability. That is¬†not the¬†current version. System¬†defenders claim without research evidence¬†that not being caught and living among¬†unwitting associates is rehabilitation.¬† Read more »

Polls, Poles, who cares, sounds the same

Apparently Van Ginsbergen is now enjoying politics rather than motor racing…but who cares, it’s just a word, sounds the same…I really should stop pointing out all the error’s that Bryce Johns’ “decent journalists, trained and skilled” are making…but then he did email me to try harder.

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