Bob Jones on idiot coroners, they deserve a good bum-kicking

Bob Jones does not tolerate fools…or coroners. But before we get into Bob’s thoughts about coroners let me tell you how useless they are.

I rang the Wellington Coronial Office last week, asked for information about a particular case. Was told the media liaison person would deal with that and given his number, mobile and DDI. I called the DDI and it has no voicemail and just cuts off…his mobile goes unanswered and I have left several messages.

I rang the office again this week, same deal…so I told the poor woman on the phone to make sure the coroner sacks his nephew from the media relations role. She informed me that he wasn’t his nephew…so I asked what possible excuse could there be for retaining the services of such and inept and useless comms person who actually fails to communicate….anyway still no response.

Onto Bob Jones now:

What a damn silly suggestion by coroner David Crear following the death of 30-year-old Invercargill woman Natasha Harris who, having drunk up to 10 litres of Coca-Cola each day, unsurprisingly died of caffeine poisoning.

Mr Crear first correctly said that the soft drink company was not responsible for the woman’s death. Unfortunately, like so often with coroners, he then went further with a totally absurd proposal, specifically that the Government should consider imposing caffeine and sugar warnings on soft drinks. 

We read this sort of coroner guff frequently following unusual deaths in which, not content to simply do their job and officially state the cause of death, they instead ignore the extreme oddity of the circumstances and ascribe them to the community at large.

A circus elephant escapes, runs amok and tramples someone to death and the coroner will urge that the government makes us all build elephant-proof fences. A 158kg woman rolls over in bed in a drunken stupor and crushes to death her ex-jockey husband. This actually happened in Tasmania in the late 1980s.

Coroner Crear presumably would urge the government to ban jockeys and other small males sleeping with fat women, or alternatively, that fat women have a warning sign tattooed on their buttocks. In short, coroners too often fail to recognise freak accidents as simply that, namely freak.

Bob proposes a solution for coroners who issue dud decisions:

The fact is hundreds of millions of people drink Coke every day throughout the world. It’s a sugary drink and too much will make you fat. So too will eating too many oranges. Everyone knows that and view both Coke and oranges as a treat to be indulged in with moderation. They certainly don’t need Coroner Crear’s molly-coddling warning stickers implying they lack judgment. Aside from that, if they wish to consume products to excess then that is their business and not a busybody coroner’s affair. Why do coroners so frequently behave this way? I can only assume they suffer from Gareth-morganitus syndrome, namely an obsession with seeing their names in print.

At the next coroners’ annual conference, instead of speeches they should have half a dozen ex-All Black forwards present to line them up, bend them over and render hourly bum-kicking sessions which hopefully will bring them to their senses.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.