This morning we’ve been treated to the sight of the media celebrating one rich white guy (double murderer John Barlow) getting out of jail and another rich white guy (former National Minister Roger McClay) escape a prison sentence for stealing tens of thousands of dollars. You’ve got to love it.
The coverage of Barlow’s release on Breakfast was truly bizarre. Paul Henry referred to Barlow by his first name, the reporter on the scene asked him was he was going to have for dinner. It was like a hero returning to freedom. I wonder if we’ll see the same angle when double murderer David Tamihere (who, like Barlow, has also protested his innocence) is released. Somehow, I think not.
If you’re a poor Maori kid who steals $25,000 worth of goods over several offences, you’re probably going to jail. If you’re an ex-National Cabinet Minister who steals $25,000 from charities and the taxpayer, you get 300 hours community service. As far as I can see, the judge hasn’t even been required McClay to pay back the money.
Seems the rich old boys’ club is still in charge in this country.