National should learn. They should never send an MP into an interview with Kim Hill unless they are completely prepared.
The latest example occurred this morning. Mark Mitchell was send in to discuss youth crime with Hill. He should have realised from the start that he was being set up when Kim started with a very innocuous question, is youth crime increasing?
He managed to get all his talking points out at once. Of course it was, he had been doing meetings throughout the country and everywhere communities were facing a “tsunami of youth offending”.
Kim then remarked that she knew that agitation about youth crime was increasing but she repeated her question, is youth crime increasing?
Mitchell’s response left no room for ambiguity. “Absolutely” and “without a doubt” were two of the phrases used and he then talked about primary school kids misbehaving and how there needs to be mentoring. He was asked how he would achieve this and in response to an example he provided was asked if youth crime in Warkworth, where the example is sited, is decreasing.
He then uttered the phrase “moral compass” and said that things were different when he was young.
Kim then licked her lips and asked Mitchell if National selecting Sam Uffindell as an MP made moral compass a bit of a dodgy expression to wheel out.
He claimed that Kim was mixing completely different issues. Apparently assaulting younger students with bed legs is not youth offending.
It all went south then for Mitchell. He basically said that Uffindell should be treated differently. The sense that the rules are different for rich kids is strong.
And Minister of Justice Kiri Allen had something to say about the issue.
I know we’re living in a time where facts aren’t that important, but Mr Mitchell on @NZMorningReport now knows youth crime isn’t increasing across the board – I gave him the youth crime statistics in estimates only last week. Increase in Auckland. Nationally, it’s down.
— Kiri Allan (@KiriAllan) August 28, 2022
And she did provide the information in Parliament. From Hansard:
There’s been a 4 percent national decline, but actually in the Auckland area we’re seeing quite an increase of 16 percent. So that was the concerning part that I was just highlighting.
She makes a good point. Shouldn’t political discourse be based on reality?
In Parliament Mitchell tried to say that there was under reporting. I can confidently say that the incidence of under reporting of ram raids is zero.
The interview highlights another issue relating to Uffindell. The Dew report was announced on August 10, 2022 and was expected to take two weeks. That time is up.
Christopher Luxon has said that he will not be releasing the terms of reference or the results. This must be untenable.