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Collins and the fist of the state

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, March 4th, 2010 - 39 comments
Categories: law and "order", police - Tags: , ,

An ugly side of the Right, one that a lot of people thought was long defeated, has reemerged in recent weeks. Yesterday we had David Garrett’s ‘sterilise the poor because they might become criminals or breed criminals’ and last week we had arguably more disturbing comments from Judith Collins about how she wanted to restore “fear” of the Police.

In a free society we shouldn’t fear the agents of the State. Collins thinks we should because her ideology is about the use of power by the powerful to preserve their privilege, it is not about freedom and democracy. Liberty is a nicety to people like her, easily pushed aside. Their solution to every issue is more unchecked power to the State to crush any threat.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that even Garth George, who himself tends toward the jackbooted end of the Right, thinks that Collins is too extreme:

“[In the wake of the] vicious and mindless assaults on four police officers that happened on the weekend before last.

As usual, all we have had so far is a series of knee-jerk reactions from politicians, senior policemen and the police officers’ union.

Prime Minister John Key and Police Minister Judith Collins talk about introducing harsher penalties for attacks on police. They say that this would send a clear message that police should be “feared and respected”.

But the last thing we need is for our police to be feared. That would not only rob them of any respect we might have left for them, but would really put us on a par with Third World, Communist and former Communist countries.

What we need is our police force to be restored to a state whereby it engenders and deserves the public esteem, admiration and co-operation”

Unfortunately, this government’s solution to crime is just to smash the boot down harder. It simply does not work.

But I think in some ways they don’t intend it to. Collins and her ilk perceive an endless battle where those with power and privilege use the force of the State to repress the rest who, unjustly, want to take more for themselves. Collins doesn’t think that giving the Police greater freedom of operation and laying down harsher sentences will stop crime but it will unshackle the agents of the State from restrictions and checks on their power.

The sad thing is that in the battle between Simon Power and Collins she appears to be winning. Power has abdicated his ministerial responsibility for the Three Strikes Bill rather than vigorously oppose it because it goes against his principles, the recommendations of the Ministry of Justice and other, and common sense. The failure of the so-called ‘classical liberals’ like Power is leaving the door open to hardliners like Collins.

This is all a microcosm of what is happening in the States where the hard core of the Right – the Tea Party movement- is becoming increasingly radicalised and militant, and the moderate Right has no answer for it. Dangerous times over there.

39 comments on “Collins and the fist of the state ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    ‘sterilise the poor because they might become criminals or bred criminals’

    Except that’s not actually what he said. At all.

    • grumpy 1.1

      Correct, that is not what he said.

      It takes a strange mind to go from taking those that Garrett described as criminal abusers of children and then attributing that label to “the poor” in general. To see this slant coming from the Left is odious indeed.

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1

        It’s not a million miles from the way some of his defenders are interpreting it though.

        Garrett: Sterilise the poor

        Note the rhetorical move from Lindsay Mitcell’s arguments about those on the DPB, to:

        “So should parents be stopped from having bad kids who will inevitably end up in jail and most likely dependant on drugs and the State? Of course they should!”

        But of course, it’s all about protecting the dear wee kiddies. It’s a proactive and sensible sentence, focussed on the right of potential victims to not be born.

        • grumpy 1.1.1.1

          All the same, it’s the gleeful linking of the criminal child killers to the poor in general by the “left’ that sickens me.

          Better that the death sentance applies to child killers, that way they get the ultimate sterilisation.

          • Bright Red 1.1.1.1.1

            what if you kill an innocent person?

            • Lew 1.1.1.1.1.1

              There are no innocent people. Only people who’ve done wrong, and deserve to die, and those who will eventually do wrong, and we might as well just prevent them from doing so.

              L

              • Captain Rehab

                I imaging that grumpy thinks that as long as they’re poor and brown they’re guilty of something.

                What makes me laugh about tinpot fascists like grumpy is they always think they’ll be the ones wielding the power. Under some regimes I can think of people like himself would be the ones being sterilised in order to protect maintain the mental hygiene of the human race.

                It might pay for him to remember what happened to the brownshirts.

              • grumpy

                And where is all this outrage about the “rights of the poor” when poor, brown children get bashed to death by their parents?

                Is there no political capital in the children? Is it only the rights of their “parents” that interests the Left?

              • Marty G

                Don’t be so fucken disgusting grumpy. You don’t have some monopoly on caring about the victims of crime.

                We write about how to reduce crime all the time.

            • grumpy 1.1.1.1.1.2

              As the Kahui case shows, better a guilty person go free than an innocent one convicted…….

              • Marty G

                you’re kind of taking both sides of the argument there, grumpy.

                Are you saying it would be better to have executed someone over the Kahui case, even if that person wasn’t the killer?

              • grumpy

                Of course not but it’s hard to find a more deserving crime for the ultimate sterilisation than bashing a child to death.

                Don’t you agree?

            • grumpy 1.1.1.1.1.3

              As the Kahui case shows, better a guilty person goes free than an innocent one convicted……..

      • Fisiani 1.1.2

        Correct that is NOT what he said.

  2. Ag 2

    “An ugly side of the Right, one that a lot of people thought was long defeated.”

    I don’t know why a “lot of people” believed this. The right is, when you get down to it, the authoritarian party. Authoritarian personality tests administered to elected politicians have proved this (pretty much all the conservatives are more authoritarian than the liberals).

    The fact that conservatives are always paranoid about an authoritarian takeover is, like much of their rantings, a canny piece of self diagnosis.

    • toad 2.1

      This study shows, to a statistically significant level, that conservatives are thick.

      Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) support Kanazawa’s hypothesis. Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as “very liberal” have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence while those who identify themselves as “very conservative” have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence.

    • The whole philosophy of the National party is ugly Ag. I’m never suprised at what they believe in. Im never surprised at their actions when in Government .
      Their whole history is one of greed, power and crushing working people.
      Their tax dodging and attacks on the gains made by workers is well documented . Chris Trotter’s latest book tells it all. What does surprise me ,even after 60 odd years of political activity, is that working people still fall for their lies and vote for them.

  3. Bill 3

    I always thought that the Keystone Kops afforded the police about the correct level of respect.

    As a btw, when did that switch occur whereby our perception of the police as bunglers and fools was replaced in popular culture by perceptions more in line with what the powers that be would prefer us to have?

    • Lew 3.1

      I noticed it about the time police procedurals like Law and Order and Homicide: Life on the Streets really took hold. There still remains a tension within the police-procedural genre between local and federal law enforcement, though, so on shows which centre around the FBI will protray the local plods as bungling fools, while those which centre around honest local beat-cops portray the FBI as out-of-touch bureaucrats.

      Just one part of the puzzle, I reckon. Safer communities together.

      L

      • Bill 3.1.1

        And through it all there is always this reality popping up on a sickeningly regular basis.

        Maybe they are just too far beyond gentle satire these days?

        Another btw. Notice and contrast how John Boy was swearing blind that the SAS shoot to wound these days and the baddies then conveniently or otherwise blow themselves up while the constabulary have a shoot to kill policy.

        Strange days.

        • Lew 3.1.1.1

          Yeah. Another by-the-by thing the P-Ps have a lot to answer for was brung up by the lecturer back while I was studying Criminology: on average, a Chicago cop draws a firearm in the line of duty twice in their entire career, and 75% of police never have to fire their weapon in actual service. The gap between this reality and the fantasy of the magic box certainly has an effect on public perceptions of the police “force”, as they’re now called. They used to be called “service”.

          L

    • Peter 3.2

      Could have been when John Banks kept his campaign promise and delivered more Police by amalgamating the Traffic and Police services ….

  4. SPC 4

    The ruling ethos of the government seems to be live in “fear” for your own good.

    Fear of being fired for no good reason, fear of losing your job and being unemployed, fear of being identified opposing government policy while on taxpayer provided welfare, fear of losing welfare support while unemployed, fear of being unable to access a place in study, fear of being thrown off study if exams are failed.

    A government minister calling for fear of the police and the police union boss wanting criticism of the police silenced, just brings the whole authoritarian nature of government for the few capitalism into light of day. Such a government needs a display of their power, with victims successfully targeted and mainstream support. With that support everyone becomes afraid of becoming one of the next group to be targeted and fear will then reign and they will have their opposition under foot. That’s their second term wet dream.

    • A Nonny Moose 4.1

      Sounds very much how the Brits have managed to get BioChipped cards, and the brown shirt minority party into parliament.

      Nats unable to think for themselves, so they take their cues from the glorious motherland?

      • conspiracry facts 4.1.1

        and the Fatherland
        when talking of authoritarian fear, don’t forget the entire German intelligence machine was transplated to Washington after WWII.

        The CIA, the FBI, the NSA, Homeland Security and numerous sub-levels of these agencies all extract their protocols from the same snakepit

        We won’t even begin to mention the social policy infections these programmes have created

    • coolas 4.2

      Interesting post, and maybe fear is why MSM is so soft on the big issues where democracy is being eroded: Super-City, RMA, National Standards, Employment proposals.

      MSM probably think National will be in power for a decade and if they challenge now they fear their careers will be stunted.

      Authoritarianism + Fear = Fascism (does it not?)

  5. Cameron 5

    It is interesting you imply that Simon Power has some qualms about National’s tough law and order stance. However, he is the Minister who has been pushing the Search and Surveillance Bill – a piece of legislation that greatly increases the power of the police and 70 other state agencies with ‘enforcement powers’, including WINZ and the Pork Board.

    Amongst many other things the law undermines the right to silence, by allowing the Police and other ‘enforcement agencies’ to apply for ‘examination orders’ to force people to answer questions. It also allows enforcement agencies to install video devices on private property for long periods and only have to have the level of proof required to get a normal warrant for a one off search. Most scarily of all there is a section of the Bill called ‘residual warrants’, which allows for any surveillance technology not yet invented be used by the state in future, without having to have a new law passed that regulates its use.

    Unfortunately this monster of a Bill was originally the invention of the previous Labour government. Both National and Labour support the Bill. I recently chaired a packed public meeting in Auckland to oppose the Bill. Many people are very upset about it.

    • SPC 5.1

      How Terahertz Waves Tear Apart DNA

      A new model of the way the THz waves interact with DNA explains how the damage is done and why evidence has been so hard to gather

      Great things are expected of terahertz waves, the radiation that fills the slot in the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and the infrared.

      Terahertz waves pass through non-conducting materials such as clothes , paper, wood and brick and so cameras sensitive to them can peer inside envelopes, into living rooms and “frisk’ people at distance.

      The way terahertz waves are absorbed and emitted can also be used to determine the chemical composition of a material. And even though they don’t travel far inside the body, there is great hope that the waves can be used to spot tumours near the surface of the skin.
      With all that potential, it’s no wonder that research on terahertz waves has exploded in the last ten years or so.

      But what of the health effects of terahertz waves? At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss any notion that they can be damaging. Terahertz photons are not energetic enough to break chemical bonds or ionise atoms or molecules, the chief reasons why higher energy photons such as x-rays and UV rays are so bad for us. But could there be another mechanism at work?

      The evidence that terahertz radiation damages biological systems is mixed. “Some studies reported significant genetic damage while others, although similar, showed none,’ say Boian Alexandrov at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a few buddies. Now these guys think they know why.

      Alexandrov and co have created a model to investigate how THz fields interact with double-stranded DNA and what they’ve found is remarkable. They say that although the forces generated are tiny, resonant effects allow THz waves to unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. That’s a jaw dropping conclusion.

      And it also explains why the evidence has been so hard to garner. Ordinary resonant effects are not powerful enough to do do this kind of damage but nonlinear resonances can. These nonlinear instabilities are much less likely to form which explains why the character of THz genotoxic
      effects are probabilistic rather than deterministic, say the team.

      This should set the cat among the pigeons. Of course, terahertz waves are a natural part of environment, just like visible and infrared light. But a new generation of cameras are set to appear that not only record terahertz waves but also bombard us with them. And if our exposure is set to increase, the question that urgently needs answering is what level of terahertz exposure is safe

      http://www.emfinterface.com/

  6. The late Theodore Herzl once said ‘Scratch any Party of the Right and Fascism is not far away. Now i’m not by any means saying National is a Fascist Party, However I am often shocked and concerned at some of the coments they make. Many believe in Capital Punishement and their racist red neck views are well known.

  7. conspiracry facts 7

    re: Search and Surveillance Bill
    We should all remember where the technology and the will for this bill originated. It was not New Zealand and it would not have mattered who was in Government. Certain things in this world today we simply have no say in. Without overstating the fact, all those in power are complicit and corrupt.

    case and point : our Military (and Police) logistical management /and stores control signed over to LockheedMartin for the next ten years. LM are currently in control of the majority of the Western World’s Military, Police and Civil Emergency logistical systems and purchasing protocols

    it is simply not a good idea to centralise control of global security forces
    unless of course, you actually want a global security force

    • JB 7.1

      Global security forces come in handy when the aliens invade though!

      • conspiracry facts 7.1.1

        as a scifi loving futurist with dreams of hanging around grungy spaceports in Ursa Major, i wish i was joking, but alas i was being deathly serious

  8. Judith Collins is unfit to be Minister of Police. She’s clearly one of the arrogant Tory neo-fascists. I do not use any of those terms lightly. Their actions speak for me.

  9. Irascible 9

    I’ve said it before and now Garrett & Collins & Coleman demonstrate the truth of the criticism… NACT is a believer in the stasi state.They’ve taken their role models from the texts written by the East Germans and cemented them into the constitution of the National & Act parties.
    The venal behaviour of their cabinet members also mirror the behaviours of a stasi state.

  10. the sprout 10

    sheesh, how far out there do you have to be for Garth George to think you’re a bit too extreme right?

  11. BLiP 11

    Given the long list of police fuck ups since Collins was appointed minister and her complete inability to take measures to improve the situation, perhaps we should fear the police. In just the last month we’ve seen:

    14/02/10 – Auckland High Court takes two minutes to throw out a murder charge brought by police who had used huge amounts of resources and dodgy investigation techniques to manufacture the arrest and 16-month incarceration of an innocent man.

    16/02/10 Christchurch police are slammed in a report for failing to adhere to policy during a chase which left an innocent bystander in hospital with horrific head injuries.

    26/02/09 – Innocent Auckland man, 62 year old Brett Abraham is admitted to hospital for weeks of treatment after being savaged by a police dog. The police dog handler left Mr Abraham alone, bleeding and crawling up the driveway to his home.

    28/02/10 – Christchurch police, despite a complaint of theft, failed to arrest a man who, the next day, committed murder. Police said at the time they were too busy to handle the theft complaint. Area police commander, Dave Cliff, refused to discuss the matter.

    01/03/10 – Union’s criticise a double-jeopardy situation produced by police circumventing privacy legislation in grubby deals with employers to ensure drink drivers are dealt to at work as well as in Court.

    01/03/10 – 1300 Police officers fail their fitness test.

    01/03/10 – Auckland police go to great lengths to keep the identity of the officer who shot to death innocent man Halatau Naitoko secret. His lawyers had earlier sought to deny justice by seeking to have the shooter exluded from attending the hearing at all.

    03/03/10 – Dunedin police reveal that they failed to follow up a possible sighting of missing British girl Madeline McCann after a local security guard’s approach to police was disregarded.

    It is becoming apparent that in considering one’s personal safety one should avoid the police altogether.

    • BLiP 11.1

      Ooops – turns out Dunedin police did follow up on the possible sighting of Madeline McCann, it just took them more than a year to get around to it.

  12. “Fear of being fired for no good reason, fear of losing your job and being unemployed, fear of being identified opposing government policy while on taxpayer provided welfare, fear of losing welfare support while unemployed, fear of being unable to access a place in study, fear of being thrown off study if exams are failed.”

    Fear of brown people…wealthy, educated, poor, enlightened, united. scary thought eh ?

    I say give it 2 more generations and polynesians will have assimilated euro cultural supremacists and be running tings proper. It’s only a matter of time before we get a polynesian PM and head of state.

    On topic though. Someone should send ‘crusher’ collins the complete series of “the wire”. Its got it all…political backhanders, corrupt unions, drugs, youth crime, dysfunctional police, racism, violence, national standards, unscrupulous media and gay sex.

    captcha : nature (of the beast) 🙂

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  • Regional approach the focus at ASEAN and East Asia Summit talks
    The Foreign Minister has wrapped up a series of meetings with Indo-Pacific partners in Cambodia which reinforced the need for the region to work collectively to deal with security and economic challenges. Nanaia Mahuta travelled to Phnom Penh for a bilateral meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and Aotearoa New Zealand, ...
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  • Speech to the Criminal Bar Association
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  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
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  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
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  • More women on public boards than ever before
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  • Awards support Pacific women
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  • Govt investment into Whakatāne regeneration reaches new milestones
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