Will Jarrod Gilbert resign if he is wrong?

Jarrod Gilbert has written a sanctimonious piece in the NZ Herald claiming that Judith Collins is wrong about gangs and that he and only he has the answers.

In an opinion piece in the Herald, Collins stated that one third of our prison population are “active gang members”. Given her own data say there are 4000 gang members in New Zealand and the country’s prison muster is over 9000 that would mean there are just 1000 gang members out of jail. Utter nonsense. It’s not even remotely close to being true. In fact, I will resign from the University of Canterbury if she is correct.

And let’s not get started on her claim that the gangs are grouping together in a strategy to sell methamphetamine to rich school kids; a better example of dog whistle politics you’d be hard pressed to find. As such, Collins joins the long cast of politicians who use the gangs for political advantage. The gangs exist in marginalised communities and the vast majority of New Zealanders reading this will have absolutely nothing to do with them – probably not even see them – and because of this they are perfect folk devils. It’s baffling really, given there are enough very real problems and concerns surrounding the gangs, ramping up the issue is unnecessary.  

Recently I wrote an encouraging view of this Government’s shift to evidence-led social policy development but good outcomes will only be realised if the approach isn’t ineptly or cynically managed. Gang formation and development are complex phenomena and unless this is understood, the gangs will invariably endure Collins too.

It has been revealed that Collins likes a “double rule” approach to politics, meaning anyone who criticises her gets double the criticism back. Given this, she may seek to attack me for pointing out these deficiencies but I suggest something different. I teach a course on gangs; meaning I have 140 undergraduate students who are better informed about the topic than the people charged with seeking political solutions.

So please accept this as an invitation to come and see me, Judith. After that meeting you will still be able to stand up in Parliament and say the gangs are bad, but you will know how and why; and knowing those things are good starting points. I’ll put the kettle on.

It is rather strident and sanctimonious of Jarrod Gilbert, but what if he is wrong?

After claiming that he is the the one with answers will he resign if it turns out he doesn’t actually have the answers at all?

Instead of hectoring and lecturing and not actually sharing with us his solutions he has used his column to grandstand and posture. Well, grandstanding and posturing is only well and good if you actually do have the solutions…if he doesn’t he should resign his column, his position and quietly go back to cuddling gangs which is his usual speciality.

I suspect that Jarrod Gilbert might get a clip around the ears in short order.


– NZ Herald

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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.