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Old man’s law

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, June 20th, 2008 - 62 comments
Categories: crime, greens, maori party - Tags: , ,

Frogblog has footage of Nandor Tanczos blasting the Government’s anti-tagging legislation and noting that “Judith Collins would be screaming about the nanny state if we tried to tell her that she had to keep her Chardonnay under lock and key.”

Sounds like Hone Harawira was in fine form too:

“Tagging is ugly and offensive and it makes a town look like shit. But I don’t agree with some of the garbage spoken by others in this house.

“A lot of the kids who tag are the same ones who scribble in class, shunted to the back by an education system geared to suspending and expelling black kids from school faster than anyone else.”

“It’s the result of a growing frustration among youth to a society concerned more about profit than people. Tagging is the reaction of the poor to alienation, anger, boredom, frustration and low esteem.

“Look in all the rich suburbs. Do these kids tag out their towns? Nah – not even.”

Too true brother. It’s disappointing, if entirely expected, to see Labour trying to outflank National on its bankrupt ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric. Thankfully we have some solid voices to the left to tell it how it is.

62 comments on “Old man’s law”

  1. andy 1

    I have to disagree with Hone on one point, rich kids tag, it is a phenomenon across socio-econmic groups.

    You see less tagging in wealthier areas because they have the resources to remove it as fast as it appears.

    Stink law, these kids will rack up huge fines and never pay them. Just like the boy racers….

    1st tagger with $30K of fines gets a free box of fine tip marker pens…

  2. burt 2

    Well said Tane.

    A bit like the Greens supporting the EFA were helping to pass laws that their own supporters were most likely to be effected by – Labour passing more laws to put a ‘feel good’ band-aid over these social problems in their own supporter base is just crap.

    Vote the Labour-led govt out in Nov 08!

  3. vto 3

    victim society.

    its pathetic

  4. Tane 4

    Well vto, if you want to reduce tagging you’d be advised to figure out why it’s happening. Call it pathetic if you like, but get used to cleaning spraypaint off your fence.

    Burt, and replace it with what?

  5. Burt. isn’t National supporting the Bill?

    and given that, isn’t the answer to vote more leftwing or ACT, not for the Blue Socialists?

    [note, Red Tories is an old far lefty name for Labour]

  6. Tane. I thought that said “get used to cleaning spraypaint off your face” and I thought ‘gee, do you think tagging will get that bad?’

  7. “Tagging is the reaction of the poor to alienation, anger, boredom, frustration and low esteem.”

    Dear oh dear, yet more hand wringing socialists blaming crime on poverty and by inference capitalism. Isn’t it far more likely that poverty is caused by crime ? If these teenagers were spending their time studying, in the (free) public library improving themselves or working at part time jobs, instead of tagging, stealing or murdering shopkeepers they would be doing something to move themselves out of poverty.

    They need to take responsibility.

  8. higherstandard 8

    No wonder NZ rates our parliamentarians a poor second to used car salesman.

    Tane tagging is happening because kids think it’s cool and they can get away with it.

    In the stone age when I was at school if a member of the public caught me doing this we’d have had a visit from the community constable as well as the consequences the next day at school.

  9. vto 9

    Tane, I suffer tagging and simply get rid of it asap. Doesnt come back usually. (and dont have to be rich in resources to get rid of tagging as andy said – thats ridiculous. just need some cleaner and elbow grease ffs)

    Perhaps these taggers tag not because society gives them a hard time but because they are naughty boys???

    I used to be a naughty boy (and still am if you listen to my good lady he he) and have suffered the consequences of such naughtiness. Biggest deterrent to naughtiness for me? The risk of the consequence, and the consequence itself. Called risk and return in other areas of life. Call me old-fashioned but that appears to have worked down through the ages, why not now…?

  10. Look, you can say ‘they’ve got to be more personally responsible’ until you’re blue in the face and it won’t change anything. You can lock some fo them up and that will just make them worse criminals and cost heaps of money. Instead, you have to look at why some, a few, kids do things like tagging while most don’t. What’s different about those kids – geniuses like mawgxxxxiv will say they’re ‘bad’ ‘evil’ – but conditions lead to behaviour, change the conditions and you’ll change the behaviour.

    Nandor’s speech is fantastic, callinf the Bill a sign of comtempt of the purpose of our legislature (‘if you want to send a message go and talk to some taggers’) and asking whether Collins etc had talked to any taggers to understand why they tag.

    “Isn’t it far more likely that poverty is caused by crime”

    That’s the most stupid thing I’ve heard in ages.

  11. Hone: “expelling black kids from school faster than anyone else”

    I’m not sure we have very many African or African-American students in our schools ?

  12. The root cause of most crime is because the risk reward ratio in this country is weighted incorrectly.
    I think it is a stupid waste of time and resources to introduce this to parliament. They are just grandstanding, we already have laws that cover criminal damage.

  13. Steve: “That’s the most stupid thing I’ve heard in ages.”

    Then how do you explain all the people who grow up in poverty, but with the help of hard working supporting parents go on to live successful lives ?

    We only have so much time available and if we use that time to commit criminal acts and then deal with the consequences of that ( courts,avoiding detection etc etc) then we don’t have time to improve ourselves. The poverty creates crime line is very simplistic. It also is a convenient way for the ‘social welfare industry’ of do gooders to continue to justify their existence.

  14. “The root cause of most crime is because the risk reward ratio in this country is weighted incorrectly.”

    barnsleybill. That assertion assumes that people undertaking crime are in rational states when they decide to do so and have the information to correctly way the costs and benefits to themselves of committing a crime. All the evidence I’ve seen (and I did some criminology at uni along with law) points to exactly the opposite conditions – most crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or by the mentally ill or by people in highly emotional states – they are simply not considering the negative consequences of their actions when they act.

    Moreover, if you rob a house what are your odds or getting caught and what is your expected punishment? I don’t know, you don’t know. How likely is it a poor kid knows?

    Lack of information on the risk in ‘risk:reward ratio’ and the fact that most people aren’t even condering such a ratio when they act makes a mockery of the idea that adding more downside to the equation (ie longer sentences, hard labour) is a solution.

  15. Steve: “most crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or by the mentally ill”

    Doesn’t this statement make a mockery of the socialist “poverty causes crime” angle ? Surely the wealthy are just as likely to suffer from psychopathology or substance addiction ?

  16. burt 16

    Steve P.

    Burt. isn’t National supporting the Bill?

    I don’t know – are they? I guess if National see the bill being popular (as Labour clearly do) then being a major (read: One-size-fits-all sell out) party, they will also support it.

    But as for what position national have, don’t ask me – I’m not a National supporter.

  17. “It’s the result of a growing frustration among youth to a society concerned more about profit than people.”

    This statement assumes that young people have no interest in making money. That is clearly wrong.

  18. andy 18

    (and dont have to be rich in resources to get rid of tagging as andy said – thats ridiculous. just need some cleaner and elbow grease ffs)

    There is ALOT of tagging in Sth Auckland, even Manukau CC struggle to get rid of it fast enough? wealthier areas don’t rely on council to remove tagging, have more money and time to throw at problems (I think Newmarket has its own anti graffiti team). As pointed out above once its removed and quick it lessens the chance of more tagging (as taggers tag others tags..).

    IMO..

  19. higherstandard 19

    SP …. forgive me but soapbox time

    Things are at a critical juncture in our country when it comes to crime. We find violence now running at intolerably high levels.

    I think the trend we are seeing in violent crime is driven basically by three factors.

    First, the P epidemic has led to a high degree of violence. Second we are starting to pay the price of a surge in juvenile crime and the emergence of new and more gangs.
    Third, we are seeing the saturation of the criminal justice system relapsing to revolving door justice as ‘minor criminality is being ignored and at the severe end prisoners are serving less and less of their sentences and are being prematurely payrolled.

    There seems to be two competing views about how to deal with this violence. One is the traditional law enforcement approach, which says crime is caused by criminals and the way we deal with crime is to use aggressive enforcement policies and to deter or incapacitate criminals through incarceration.

    On the other hand we have the social rehabilitation response to violent crime. That approach tends to see crime as caused by societal ills and seeks to deal with crime by remedying these ills through social programs. Proponents of this approach say that you can’t really deal with violent crime by suppression, you have to attack it at its root causes.

    In my opinion we need both approaches, properly understood, acting together.

    We do have to take aggressive steps today to deal with the criminals of today and the potential criminals of tomorrow. But, we also have to take steps and we do need programs to prevent, as best we can, the youth of today from becoming the chronic offenders of tomorrow.

    I think too many advocates of the root causes approach just can’t bring themselves to deal with criminals decisively and they tend to dismiss reliance on police and prosecutors and prisons as unenlightened.

    Those that would give short shrift to suppression of crime through strong law enforcement measures, but would instead rely upon dealing with root causes, are missing a basic point – social programs can’t be pursued at the expense of, or instead of, tough law enforcement policies. Law enforcement is the foundation upon which all else must be built and is an absolute prerequisite for social programs to be successful.

    Phew .. I feel better after that

  20. “Doesn’t this statement make a mockery of the socialist “poverty causes crime’ angle ? Surely the wealthy are just as likely to suffer from psychopathology or substance addiction ?”

    No it doesn’t and no they aren’t (and psychopathology is the study of mental illness, not mental illness itself).

    Substance dependence and mental illness arise more frequently in poverty conditions.

  21. burt 21

    Steve P.

    Substance dependence and mental illness arise more frequently in poverty conditions.

    I disagree, we are talking about a human condition, not an economic issue.

    I will however agree that it has a greater impact in poverty conditions because it’s more likely to result in crime waves to provide cash for drug purchases and in the case of mental illness it’s more likely to go untreated in povery situations.

    Perhaps that is what you were meaning by the use of the word “arise” rather than “occur” ?

  22. Steve: “Substance dependence and mental illness arise more frequently in poverty conditions.”

    Surely “substance dependence and mental illness” result in poverty ?

  23. zANavAShi 23

    Thanks for blogging about this Tane. Hone really hits home on several significant points that are frequently overlooked.

    I had just finished reading his full speech at the Herald before I dropped by here, still with tears in my eyes (can’t be arsed explaining why cos it would only be more fodder for the “hand wringing socialists” inquisition, meh)[1.]

    I wish that I could say I am not surprised to come here and find the usual filth responses from the usual rightwing trolls and all their usual tory “trash the poor and mock all who give a shit about them” hate speech. On second thoughts… what I really really wish is to do a Morgan Spurlock on you ignorant fucks.

    FWIW, Gordon Campbell had some very interesting things to say about his current wave of ephebiphobia over at his place too for those who missed it.

    Cheers,
    Z

    PS: I know I’ve said it before, but some things just can’t be said enough… Nandor rocks!

    [1.] Lynn!!!! WTF’s the code for the sodding :rolleyes: emoticon at this joint fer cryin out loud! Gimme the code or gimme an effing cigarette right bloody now!!! (hehehe j/k about the cigarette… or maybe… meh never mind :-o)

    [lprent: They’re stored in a text file at home – I’ll have a peek after I finish getting the comments scanned. But keep off the baccy….]

  24. Higherstandard: I am standing at my table in Dellows Cafe, Herne Bay, giving you a standing ovation!!!!!!

  25. Hoolian 25

    It’s the result of a growing frustration among youth to a society concerned more about profit than people. Tagging is the reaction of the poor to alienation, anger, boredom, frustration and low esteem.

    And what’s Labour done about this problem? Zilch. Zero. Nil. Naught. Nothing.

    Tagging is ugly and offensive and it makes a town look like shit.

    But its OK for young people to do it because they’re just venting.

    How about the MoE spend $56 000 helping out these kids as opposed to spening it on “I love Maori success” badges which have little impact on anything.

  26. zANavAShi 26

    PS: And please can I have some superscript tags too??? 😛

    [lprent: those I’d have to code. I do have them in the NicEdit plugin I wrote, but which I haven’t finished]

  27. burt 27

    Steve P.

    Some of the most prolific pot/speed/coke heads I’ve know (and I’ve know a few) have been professional people. The fact these people have a veneer of ‘straight’ about them only fools other ‘straight’ people.

    One or two of the most successful people I have know in business have been bi-polar. Bright motivated people who just need a few weeks off every now and then to hide away from the world while they plot their assent to Global leader of the Utopia according to their particular flavour of grandeur.
    Once they get their chemical balance back in order they are back again being that brilliant inspirational person that Joe public thinks they always are.

    Pot head professions don’t need to flog peoples TV’s to buy an ounce here is the difference as we observe it.

  28. “an education system geared to suspending and expelling black kids from school faster than anyone else”: really Hone ? Why is he making it a race issue ? Surely white kids tag too?

  29. burt 29

    Bryan

    White kids parents don’t vote in race based electorates.

  30. Byran. I really don’t have the time to teach you criminology and sociology and economics. Might I suggest some reading?

  31. higherstandard 31

    Thanks Brian

    I like to claim it all as my own work but two of my registrars got stuck in to my original post with some material they’d come across elsewhere.

  32. lyndon 32

    But its OK for young people to do it because they’re just venting.

    I think the point is it’s already illegal.

    Anyway, here’s Harawira’s full speech:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0806/S00324.htm

  33. T-rex 33

    Bryan, I’m with Steve. I have written 3 replies to you on here and deleted all of them before posting them. Suffice to say you almost everything you say is deeply flawed on almost every level. I can’t imagine HS dancing a jig over the fact that you endorse his comments.

    How do you expect an 10 year old who grew with bad role models and in a lousy environment to be able to do a cost-benefit analysis when you quite clearly can’t.

    Please go away. You are so simpleminded it hurts my teeth.

    HS – I agree completely with your rant, which is why I’m perfectly happy with this bill. I just really hope it is followed up by something addressing causes, not simply effects.

  34. Steve: Ad hominem

    burt:”Pot head professions don’t need to flog peoples TV’s to buy an ounce” that is true until they have spent all their money, sold all their possessions and lost their jobs. Then surprise,surprise they discover they are poor and living in a HCNZ flat in Otahuhu instead of the nice Ponsonby apartment they used to own.

    Our position in life is a consequence of the actions we choose.

  35. burt 35

    Bryan

    I agree with that. But by that stage we observe them as in poverty. Then we claim it’s a problem caused by poverty…

  36. Bryan I know what ad hominen means.

    You keep asking questions and making statementss that can only come from positions of ignorance on the topics we are discussing. It’s not ad hominen to say you ought to read up about this stuff before putting your thoughts to print anymore than it would be ad hominen if I turned up at a Crusaders try-out, started kicking the ball around and they said ‘hey, don’t you reckon it would be better if you learned how to play rugby at a decent level first?’

  37. T-Rex: “How do you expect an 10 year old who grew with bad role models and in a lousy environment” – simple, because I have been that “10 year old” and I know that blaming “the system” makes not one iota of difference. I know from personal experience that the only way to escape from poverty is by taking responsibility for one self and not by blaming your position in life on your colour, your home environment or anything else.

  38. T-rex 38

    Bryan, I resort to Ad hominem arguments because it’s a lot quicker than explaining in detail while almost every single thing you say is flawed.

    It’s like if someone says to me that the sky (on a clear sunny day with no particulate in the air – just because I know what a pedant you are) is bright red. I’m not going to bother explaining to them about the colour spectrum and nitrogen and energy level changes and scattering – I just tell them they’ve got no f*cking idea what they’re talking about.

    Depending on how obnoxious they are and the mood I’m in anyway. You’re very obnoxious and I’m in a bad mood.

  39. burt, Bryan. Honestly, that’s not real life you’re talking about, it’s a construct based on ancedote and fairy-tales that leads to the conclusions you want to be led to. Read up about the relatiosnhip between poverty and substnace abuse.

    And when I say read up, I don’t mean stuff by political commentators and activists with an axe to grind, I mean read material from people who have made it their lives’ work to study this issue, undertaken in-depth research and had their work reviewed and critiqued by other experts in the field (they’re called academics).

  40. Rex Widerstrom 40

    higherstandard, I’m standing at my kitchen-table-come-desk and applauding you too. Not quite as dramatic as Bryan’s Herne Bay cafe since only my parrot can see me, but it’s the thought that counts.

    Hone is taking far too narrow a view of the issue when he says “Tagging is the reaction of the poor to alienation, anger, boredom, frustration and low esteem.”

    I recall working on an ad (can’t for the life of me recall the name, doesn’t matter anyway) shot in Wellington where we hired a tagger to tag an entire street (the buildings were sprayed first so it could be hosed off afterwards. Wonder why they just dont coat every building and fence with whatever that was?).

    He worked all weekend with the same level of pride and attention to detail I’ve observed in artists working in other media. Since it was part of my job to sit in a car and guard him from the repeat visits of the Plod (“Yes, astoundingly we still possess the same permit I showed you an hour ago, officer”) we got to talking. And clearly his motive came from an overwhelming need to express himself artistically and he was delighted to be recognised and paid to do so. No boredom, no frustration, no low self esteem.

    He had anger though. Anger with the talentless little dirtbags whose motives had nothing to do with art and everything to do with the human equivalent of a dog’s pissing on a tree. They just wanted to see the nickname by which they were known scrawled artlessly on a wall. Preferably obscuring someone else’s nickname which had been equally artlessly applied.

    They were, he said, ensuring that spray-can created art would never be appreciated or achieve any legitimacy as an art form because it would forever be associated with mindless vandalism. He admitted to spraying where he hadn’t been asked to, but said he chose walls that were ugly anyway, often disused buildings or those facing railway lines, usually covered in grime and surrounded by weeds. His paintings couldn’t make the view any worse and probably improved it, he said. And he was probably right. Though being a young Polynesian he didn’t quite use the terminology I’ve quoted here. I think “dicks” and “f***wits” were mentioned at some point.

    Some tagging might be the result of “alienation, anger, boredom, frustration and low esteem” but I doubt much of it is. A small proportion of it is motivated by the same need that drives any artist, and we ought to be doing more to acknowledge the talent involved and find ways to use it to improve our urban environment (take a look at a_y_b’s “reverse tagging” post, as well as the video I’ve linked to in comments. Graffiti can be clever, surprising, artistic and – no doubt much to Judith Collins’ surprise – even be used to sell stuff!).

    But sadly for the real artists, the majority of it is the work of some talentless cretin wanting nothing more than to look cool in the eyes of his equally cretinous mates.

  41. Matthew Pilott 41

    I like to claim it all as my own work but two of my registrars got stuck in to my original post with some material they’d come across elsewhere.

    Public service waste!! (I don’t even know if you workin a public hospital)

    Interesting comment in general HS, but I think that a problem right now is always percieved as the worst it has ever been.

    It’s very difficult to place a proper historical context around a problem, and all to easy to say that it’s a new and increasingly bad problem. Once this has happened, it’s all to easy to overreact or demand dramatic courses of action.

    I’m not saying crime is not a problem, but I propose what’s happening now is more of an “issue” than a “problem”. What I mean by this is that once something is in the public’s conscious, and that of the media, it is hyped and over-presented. We now hear about every little thing that goes on, and it’s generally on the front page.

    That doesn’t make it ok, nor does it mean that it hasn’t been going on since time immemorial.

    Which is why I advise caution against overreaction, and detest the political hay-making that comes out of law-and-order issues. And specifically why I loathe the Hysterical Sentencing Trust – McVicar is the epitomy of what I detest when it comes to this.

    White kids parents don’t vote in race based electorates.

    Burt, thank you for the lesson in “why we need apostrophes”, but Uncle Tane gave us all one yesterday.

    Edit – there should be “joke” tags around my first and last statements, but something ate them.

  42. T-rex 42

    Bryan – Woohoo! And now you’ve grown up to be a maladjusted bigot with a grudge against the less fortunate, what a success story!

    Blaming the system won’t deliver salvation from poverty and yes, people need to take responsibility for themselves (for what it’s worth – congratulations). This DOESN’T mean that those in a position to influence and improve the system are absolved of responsibility though. Failing to provide and improve the system is an unforgivable failing on the part of its administrators.

  43. T-rex 43

    Interesting you mention McVicar there Matt – he’s a shiny example of one of my “sky is bright green with yellow stripes” category of people.

  44. Matthew Pilott 44

    T-rex – he’s more of a “the sky is very naughty, and needs a longer sentence” kind of a guy when you’re talking about the colour. I bet he mumbles “longer sentence” in his sleep.

  45. burt 45

    Steve P.

    burt, Bryan. Honestly, that’s not real life you’re talking about, it’s a construct based on ancedote and fairy-tales that leads to the conclusions you want to be led to.

    I guess growing up in Taita in state housing isn’t real life. Sorry I added my 5c of artifical experience to you lofty academic view. I’ll try to remember that academics scratching the surface do a better job than real people living ‘fairy-tale’ lives.

  46. vto 46

    I actually tend to agree with HS’s rant way up above.. In that both approaches are required. Work on the underlying causes and wield a big stick. Pretty obvious. Don’t have a lot of time for the poverty causes crime, poverty causes obesity, poverty causes drunkenness, poverty causes dirty houses, poverty causes weeds in the garden and car wrecks in the driveway, etc etc stuff though (tho there may be well be a small element of that in some small number of specific cases). Poverty of attitude certainly causes a great deal though.

  47. Joker 47

    It must be easier to subscribe to the “poor wee chaps from poverty stricken homes just need a hug” theory when it is not your grandma getting brutalised in her home.

  48. T-Rex: maladjusted bigot

    Rex Widerstrom: “But sadly for the real artists, the majority of it is the work of some talentless cretin wanting nothing more than to look cool in the eyes of his equally cretinous mates.” I’m going to have give you a standing ovation also ( at the bus stop now waiting for the 005 into Sky City).

  49. T-rex 49

    lol, Bryan, everytime I see your comments I have this mild sense of unease that you’re about to say something sensible and reasonable and I’ll feel bad for giving you grief.

    Hasn’t happened yet though.

    Joker – I would quite happily shoot all the grandma brutalisers. However I’m not so retarded as to think that’s a better solution that preventing them from becoming grandma brutalisers in the first place.

  50. Joker 50

    “However I’m not so retarded as to think that’s a better solution that preventing them from becoming grandma brutalisers in the first place.”

    You might of stumbled on to something there Rex maybe you could shoot them while they are still at the tagging/shop lifting stage.

  51. Matthew Pilott 51

    I guess growing up in Taita in state housing isn’t blah blah blah mumble mumble

    Burt, want me to play you a small violin, you seem to be having a cry over there.

    This might come as a shock, but growing up in Taita isn’t a substitute for study in analysis of the causes of criminal behaviour.

    That’s like saying that growing up in Orewa is the equivalent of an MBA and ten years’ experience at some form of getting rich..

  52. Joker 52

    I’m sorry but sometimes as Kenny Rodgers once sang about, its hard to be the better man. So I am just going to say it.

    Matthew Pilott you are a cock.

  53. burt 53

    Matthew Pilott

    This might come as a shock, but growing up in Taita isn?t a substitute for study in analysis of the causes of criminal behaviour.

    Perhaps not, but it’s no fairy-tale either. Getting rich in Taita is easy though, replace the tomato plants with dope plants and let supply and demand and drug laws do the rest.

    Perhaps I’ll put an add in the paper: Volunters wanted for drug/crime/mental illness study – must be wealthy and full time employed….

    I’ll get no responses so I can conclude it’s a poverty problem – end of story. Brilliant.

  54. higherstandard 54

    This is an interesting piece from Gareth Morgan on a very similar theme but from almost a decade ago – I doubt it’d be allowed in todays society but I for one wouldn’t mind NZ giving it a try.

    http://www.articles.garethmorgan.com/curfews-incite-indolent-parents_156.html

  55. burt 55

    HS

    Interesting, but we would call it nanny state…. We simply can’t win when we take partisan stands on issues like this. It’s about what’s good for society, family, individuals. Problem is the political parties are forced to compromise (to tone it down) because it’s simply not popular. We get the govt we deserve.

  56. burt 56

    One might reasonably expect that an issue like curfew with fines/community service for the parents would be a valid candidate for a binding referendum. No luck I’m afraid, that $100m (I made that figure up by the way) it would cost, it’s too expensive, so we’ll debate it in parliament. Ummm, sorry looked like a vote killer didn’t make it past the first reading… sorry. Oh yes, same problem with the smacking legislation but, ahhh , we got cornered and … move on.

    BTW: How’s that lifting the school leaving age to 18 legislation coming along?

  57. deemac 57

    on radio nz today hone was asked what he’d do if he caught someone tagging HIS property and he said he’d “kick their arse”
    doesn’t sound like a voice of the left to me, more like a berk who opens mouth before engaging brain…

  58. Matthew: “I guess growing up in Taita in state housing isn’t blah blah blah mumble mumble’

    So am I to understand from your response to burt that you have a post graduate qualification in an area that qualifies you to comment on these issues ?

    I find it interesting that the Labour Party like the christian church fear ‘personal responsibility’. I guess if people take responsibility for themselves the Labour Party
    lose their power over them.

  59. Lew 59

    Nobody credible ever called Hone Harawira a `voice of the left’. Certainly Hone never did.

    L

  60. Ari 60

    VTO- I agree that both approaches are required, too.

    I just disagree that we’re not already overdoing the traditional “lock ’em up for good!” approach and under-performing on the social justice aspect.

    Rex: You’re conflating graffiti with tagging. Tagging is writing your name on a surface as a sort of territorial pissing contest, graffiti is public art without permission. Graffiti can often be positive, and the young man who so impressed you would probably be better classed as a graffiti artist than a tagger. If all taggers had an outlook similar to him, it wouldn’t be a problem for us to deal with. Those of us calling this a social justice issue want to figure out how we can encourage kids to see our public spaces in that light, whether we need to involve them more, listen to them more, and generally have a more youth-friendly culture.

    Given that you didn’t talk to the kind of person whose behaviour you really want to address, how can you hold this up as a counter-example? 😉 Not that I don’t applaud you for being willing to listen and respect the opinions of the young man in question, a quality that is all too rare in adult society.

  61. You know, I’ve travelled around the world and seen a lot of tagging and graffiti in every conceivable place.

    What always strikes me is the fact that both graffiti and tagging happens on the most dangerous places and mostly in Anglo Saxon cultures, and on surfaces almost guaranteed to make smoke come out of mostly middle aged white Anglo Saxon people.

    Sure you will find some tagging around the world but never with the same intensity. You will more often find some political slogan or such but just to write your name seems senseless to most people in most countries.

    It is almost as if this is what mostly young boys have to do here as a way of being recognised by their peers. It is also it seems as if to test their manhood. So to put your tag somewhere is not so much a pissing contest but more a show of courage. You know you do something to annoy people and as we have seen this can be deadly. Tagging a train or concrete walls of the train tracks or having to climb a scary wall to get to the tagging spot. It all seems to be for that same reason. To test you strength, your courage and to make a place for your self in you community.

    The Anglo-Saxon culture is incredibly judgemental of it’s youth and yet it tries to keep their children behaving like children for as long as possible. Chastising them for not taking responsibility without teaching them how to behave responsible. Like telling them you can’t drink until your eighteen, while the grown ups every weekend drink themselves into a stupor. Instead of teaching them to drink responsibly from an earlier age in the company of trusted adults and family members like in Mediterranean countries.

    There used to be a time when young men had to proof themselves to their tribe by killing an animal or by going alone into the wilderness to find their totem etc. If the kid succeeded he was taken into the group of young adult men and taken serious as man from then on. I see tagging more in that light.

  62. zANavAShi

    Way to go on Nandor.

    I have met the man and I was deeply impressed with his intelligence and compassion and with his insight in politics.
    I am very sorry to see him leave politics.
    I also have to say I really like Hone’s style of “politics”.

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