Colin Espiner gets to the heart of the government’s latest knee-jerk policy:
I have to say I’m a bit wary about elevating the status of police to a higher level than anyone else. It sets a dangerous precedent, in my opinion. Because once it’s OK to set higher penalties for violence against police, then what about other professions held in high esteem? Doesn’t that somehow devalue similar attacks on the elderly in their own homes, such as has just happened in Christchurch? It’s all a bit Orwellian, isn’t it? Everyone’s equal, but some are more equal than others.
Of course I’m not trying to belittle the problem of violence against the police. But don’t we have to look at the root cause rather than simply reach for the sentencing lever yet again? Both National and Labour before them have been merrily increasing sentences for violent crimes for ten years now, and has it made any difference? Not that I’d noticed.
A crime policy that doesn’t reduce crime isn’t really a crime policy, eh? It’s a show, a charade, a con. And, worse, it’s a distraction from real solutions. The best crime policy is a full employment policy.
It’s always so knee-jerk as well. A couple of weeks ago there was a spate of attacks on dogs and cats. So the Government immediately responded by drafting legislation increasing the penalties for that, too.
That’s a sympton of a do nothing government with no other agenda than backhanders to its mates and staying popular. Brings to mind gobsmacked’s comment:
1. At the weekend, there is News. Usually, it’s bad (because that’s what news is).
2. On Monday morning Key is interviewed by Hosking, Lush, Henry, etc. They ask him about the News. Key says Something Will Be Done, about the News.
3. (optional) Policy work is done, on a response to the News. This might involve research, analysis and awkward conclusions. If so, Policy work is ignored. So Step 3 is superfluous.
4. Either a) the subject is quietly dropped. The media don’t bother asking about this.
or b) A law is proposed, and probably passed. ACT don’t really think it will work, but support it anyway. Maori Party are not really interested, but they support it anyway.
The News could be anything. Whales, gang patches in Whanganui, sow crates, dangerous dogs, Ed Hillary and Auckland Museum, the rugby. It doesn’t matter.
It is the News. Therefore, John Key must respond, expressing a firm view that he has held since about yesterday. And will no longer hold next week.
Keyism. The doctrine for our times.”
I think they’re simply drugged or drunk or angry or insane or all of the above. [Likewise] sending someone to jail for feeding kittens to his dog isn’t likely to help either. It kinda points to a deeper malaise, don’t you think?
Yeah, it is. Crime is not, as Judith Collins seems to think, evil people doing evil things that can be repressed by ever greater state violence. Deterrence doesn’t work because crime, especially violent crime, is not a rational outcome of weighing costs and benefits. Crime is a symptom of a society and individuals with underlying problems like poverty, alienation, substance abuse, and mental illness.