Sensible Sentencing: Disgusting

Written By: - Date published: 12:50 pm, April 8th, 2008 - 75 comments
Categories: crime, scoundrels - Tags: ,

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is a backward, reactionary organisation at the best of times but this is a new low.

Responding to comments Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro made about tagging, Sensible Sentencing’s Garth McVicar said ‘Her comments are hugely provocative at a time when a decent hard working citizen is facing a murder charge because of his frustration over this issue’.

Who is this decent citizen? Bruce Emery, who stabbed 15-year-old Pihema Cameron to death because he thought Cameron was about to tag his fence.

McVicar has sunk to a new low when he excuses the killing of a young man as an expression of ‘frustration’. Emery is not a decent citizen; decent citizens do not kill other citizens over minor acts of vandalism.

Sensible Sentencing has shown what kind of organisation it is: one that will defend a killer and doesn’t give a damn about the life of a young man who was maybe doing some tagging. To them, the property of a Pakeha businessman comes before the life of some poor Maori kid.

Decent citizens should treat McVicar and his cohorts with the contempt they have earned.

75 comments on “Sensible Sentencing: Disgusting”

  1. Matthew Pilott 1

    Get the name right, SP.

    Hysterical Sentencing Trust.

    Well filed BTW, McVicar is a disgrace.

  2. I can’t believe the media go to this fuckwit for comment on crime stories so often. It’s like going to the KKK for comment on race stories. Are they really so politically naive?

  3. Policy Parrot 3

    I call on Garth McVicar to resign as head of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, for his comments endorsing murder.

  4. Jay 4

    Has he been found guilty yet?

  5. Steve Pierson 5

    I wonder if the kiwiblog right will join you? after all half of them want the death penalty back, so surely endorsing this unwarranted violent attack should have them calling for the resignation of McVicar.

  6. Matthew Pilott 6

    Jay – I think he’s (assuming you’re refeerring to Emery) yet to go to trial, but has been ordered to stand trial after a depositions hearing. Don’t hold me to that though.

  7. sean14 7

    A poor choice of words indeed, but I’m willing to give McVicar the benefit of the doubt and assume that he doesn’t endorse murder as the solution to tagging.

    As an aside, what is the value of calling people “fuckwits” (and indeed having a category on this site for “fuckwits”)?

    Cheers, Sean.

    [bro, he says that killing someone is a way a decent citizen can express frustration over tagging. That makes him a fuckwit in my book. You’ll see from the catagories list it’s not a term we use regularly. SP]

  8. Occasional Observer 8

    You’re on pretty dodgy ground, Steve, making statements like that before a man has been tried in Court, and exposing the Standard to litigation.

  9. Steve Pierson 9

    Jay. No, Emery hasn’t been found guilty of murder yet but there is no doubt that he killed Cameron, it has not been denied.

    Remember that murdering someone and killing someone are different things- the first is a matter of law, the other is a matter of fact.

  10. Steve Pierson 10

    OO. Again, there is a difference between being found guilty of a homicide-related crime (which emery has not been at this point) and having, as a matter of fact, killed someone (which is not in dispute).

    That’s why I chose the word killed and not murdered. It’s important you understand the difference between the two if you want to make a proper contribution.

    I suspect the real reason OO and Jay have focussed on that phrase and tried to scare me with their crappy understanding of the law is that they sympathise with Emery. So, why not have some guts and defend that position, rather than making flawed semantic arguments?

  11. dave 11

    Quite. But Steve, although I dont agree with the the way McVicar made his comments either, would you care to comment on Kiros comments that tagging is a legitimate art form and this art form appropriately balances the rights of property owners and the rights of children and young people…

  12. rjs131 12

    IN the issue of fairness are you able to post a link to Kiros comments? If she said it is an art form, but there is no excuse for vandalising private property, then Mcvicar comments are over the top, but if she is silent to vandalism then he has a fair point. I know it is an art form, but art is no excuse for defacing private/public property

  13. sean14 13

    Thanks Steve. I’m going to go with the poor choice of words theory (ever done it yourself?) as opposed to the Garth McVicar endorses murder as an appropriate response to frustration with tagging theory – I think the former is more likely than the latter.

    As for fuckwits, I wasn’t asking how often the term is used, I was asking about its value. I have little doubt that if David Farrar had categories on his blog with catchy titles like “fuckwits” you’d be the first to proclaim how offensive they were.

  14. I personally beleive also that they are fundementally racist. Take for example the case of Jack Nicholas, the farmer up in Hawkes Bay, this was the flagship case for Garth McViccar and the Sensible sentancing trust. With the assumption that due to the history of the area it was likely a group of local unemployed maoris who had been up in the hills growing dope, the SST were all over it, who ever shot him was an animal, bring back the death penalty, public hanging ect. Then finally the guy who did it is caught, shock horror, hes not unemployed hes a farmer too, and worst of all, hes white! suddenly silence from the sensible sentancing trust, what ever has come over them?

    like many right wing authoritarian reactionaries he is just plain racist. See there site, notice that its “Labour Government” not just “Government”. McViccar has become just another Rent-a-rightie, just like Ian Wishart.

  15. Steve Pierson 15

    rjs131. So if Kiro was saying defacing property is ok, then McVicar has a fair point that Emery was just a decent citizen expressing frustration when he stabbed Cameron to death? Weird logic there: A killing is justifed or not depending on a public servant’s comments on tagging after the fact.

    anyway. Kiro she says some people see tagging as legitimate art. and although its not the point of the thread I would say the best graffiti is great art, it is often humourous and politically incisive. Most is crap as art but is a symptom of underlying social problems, just as most crimes are. Killing taggers, apart from being immoral in every sense, won’t solve the social conditions that got them tagging in the first place.

  16. McViccar has become just another Rent-a-rightie, just like Ian Wishart.

    It’s also well known that the SST and National share many of the same financial backers. Go figure.

  17. dave 17


    Kiro did indeed say it was an art form, but no, she didnt specifically say there was no excuse for vandalising private property. She is on the side ofteh taggers when she says ” I believe solutions need to appropriately balance the rights of property owners and the rights of children and young people”.

    Still waiting for your comments, Steve.

  18. I believe solutions need to appropriately balance the rights of property owners and the rights of children and young people’

    So Dave – do you think stabbing them to death is an appropriate solution? ‘Cos from here bro it’s starting to look like you do.

  19. Steve Pierson 19

    dave. I would say the best graffiti is great art, it is often humourous and politically incisive. Most is crap as art and can make neighbourhoods less attractive but it must not be forgotten that tagging is a symptom of underlying social problems, just as most crimes are. Killing taggers, apart from being immoral in every sense, won’t solve the social conditions that got them tagging in the first place

  20. Billy 20

    Stabbing them is just stupid, Robinsod. I am with comedian Mike Loader who, when asked on National Radio what his perfect day would entail explained that it would involve he and Gisele Bunchen in a hot tub on the Bonneville Salt Flats drinking bubbly and eating strawberries. 100 taggers would be released onto the salt flats followed, two minutes later, by lions.

  21. Tim 21

    Tagging is not really an art form. However, graffiti and bombing are art forms. It’s awesome catching the train and seeing all the graffiti. I wish there were more of it in the city. There should be blank walls in the city that people can paint on.

    I can’t believe McVicar’s comments, and those of that Manukau City councillor. It’s totally disgusting what they’ve said. Stabbing a kid for being naughty? He was 15 for crying out loud and it’s shameful the way these creeps try to justify his death.

  22. Steve Pierson 22

    Billy. Wouldn’t you get lions in your strawberries?

  23. Matthew Pilott 23

    Na, they’d go for the Gisele, isn’t that what they eat?

  24. Jeez MP – that’s the best laugh I’ve had all week…

  25. Billy 25

    Hmmm. Maybe your hot tub’s in a cage. Maybe the lions are full by the time they get to you. Maybe once you’ve experienced Gisele’s attentions for however long it takes lions to eat 100 taggers you are content to die happy.

  26. dave 26

    Robinsod. Piss off, child. Youre banned for a week, remember. I`ll respond to you, perhaps after you have come back after your l week ban on April 9. And, how come `Sod gets special treatment. Hes either banned for a week or not banned.

    Steve – d`ya know the difference between tagging and graffiti art – because it doesnt sound like it.wwe`re talking aboutr tagging here – vandalism, in other words – not grafitti.

  27. Steve Pierson 27

    dave. He’s had his week out.

    Please, enlighten me with your learnings on the difference between graffiti and tagging because we can all see how absolutely pivotal that distinction is in the issue of whether it was OK for Emery to kill Cameron.

  28. dave 28

    Steve, Porter hasnt had his week out, he was banned on 2 April. A week is normally 7 days. Or is the policy of this blog that you come back after serving two thirds of a sentence….

    And on the matter of sensible sentincing, you should talk to Garth McVicar. I never commented on whether it was OK for Emery to kill cameron.If you dont know the difference between graffiti art – as opposed to graffiti vandalsim – and tagging, then you should be able to find out from McVicar. He seems to be more clued up than you in this area.

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    And on the matter of sensible sentincing, you should talk to Garth McVicar

    Why dave, is McVicar saying that killing is only ok when use of spraypaint or marker is considered vandalism, and not art? What is your point here?

  30. rjs131 30

    Of course stabbing some little pratt is completely over the top and shoudl be subject to the highest form of punishment. But if Kiros didnt condemn vandalism (as opposed to some form of acceptable/controlled art) then she should be criticised. However Micvicar was over the top in his comments. vandalism is a crime, to dream up some form of sociological excuse for a crime is jsut as stupid as saying it is ok to kill someone for vandalising your property

  31. Steve Pierson 31

    dave. McVicar says that killing a tagger is an expression of frustration by a decent citizen. He excuses killing. I don’t want to talk to the scumbag.

    I don’t religiously track when people are banned. But as its pissing you off so much, I’m prepared to let Robinsod back a day early.

    And i’m well aware that tagging is a variant of graffiti. I was wondering if you were able to articulate the distinction. seems you can’t.

  32. Matthew Pilott 32

    All this worthless bollocks of tagging vs graffiti aside, what is repulsive is that McVicar, by use of that statement, puts the blame on the deceased – as if it’s his fault he was killed. This strikes me as a typical type of distortion from the ‘sensible’ sentencing trust.

    Reading Kiro’s statement, she’s advocating against a reactionary law change, and for children to have greater involvement in public spaces (those that are the target of such vandalism). It’s what you would expect from an advocate of children. What McVicar said was indeed a new low – on a par with any type of ‘she was asking for it’ defence.

  33. Jay 33

    “I can’t believe the media go to this fuckwit for comment on crime stories so often. It’s like going to the KKK for comment on race stories. Are they really so politically naive?”

    It strikes me that you’re the one who is being naive here. Of course the media will get the SST to comment. Why? To get a rise out of people like you.

    Surprisingly enough I’ve met a lot of people who seem to have at lot of sympathy for Emery. Proportional response doesn’t seem to be an issue for them. So maybe the media is on to something here and we’re into for a law and order election.

  34. Pablo 34

    As a recent “victim” of tagging*, I was fucking ropeable about the act. However, as a sensible person, I understand that death, whether judicial or otherwise, is hardly a reasonable penalty. I was/am utterly fucked off by the James Blunts (rhymning slang) who tagged & grafittied my “for sale’ sign. Aside from a few choice words, what else is appropriate – murder? fuck no!

    (*I am trying to sell my home. Lovely big sign was tagged within 24 hours. In subsequent weeks it was tagged again. Replaced big photo sign with bog-standard estae agent sign. Also tagged. Pissed off? Damn right. In a killing mood? no. Fuck off McVicor and that cock from the Christchurch City Council.

  35. Steve Pierson 35


    a) ‘a lot’ of people agreeing with something doesn’t make it right.

    b) the media’s job is not to ‘get a rise out of people’

  36. sean14 36

    Any further comments on “fuckwits” Steve?

  37. Jay 37

    “‘a lot’ of people agreeing with something doesn’t make it right.”

    Never said it was right. It you read my comment properly then you would have understood it to be a criticism of the general public’s inability to understand that tagging does not deserve stagging as it is not a proportionate response to the act.

    “the media’s job is not to ‘get a rise out of people'”

    Haven’t you ever hear of that journalist axiom ‘if it bleeds it leads’ or do you subscribe to a normative model of how journalism is suppose to work (in the day when it was a real profession)

  38. Steve Pierson 38

    Not really. It’s a catagory we reserve for limited occasions when we think it is really really deserved. It’s been twice applied to Steady Eddie, which shows the level of statements we would apply it to.

    McVicar is saying it’s ok to kill a dude if he’s going to spray your fence because tagging is frustrating. He’s meant to stand for victim’s rights but he’s backing the killer, not the killed because of who the victim was. That makes him a fuckwit in my books.

  39. Pablo 39

    “Any further comments on “fuckwits’ Steve?”

    Just look in the fucking mirror Sean, you’ll see one right there

  40. Dave you fool – it’s Porton. You really are a little challenged for a self-styled journo, eh bro?

    Oh and just for the record – I’ve changed my mind on this one. From now on I’m gonna carry a screwdriver around so I can kill people who tag my property, cut in line in front of me, give me the wrong change and talk with their mouth full.

    Oh and I’ll settle for maiming those who misspell my surname. Well first time around anyways…

  41. Anonymous 41

    Sensible Sentencing don’t think either Scott Watson or Peter Ellis are guilty of anything either – in fact they’re so sure they’re not guilty they’re not listed in their offender database.

    They really do have a strange view of what a “decent citizen” looks like.

  42. illuminatedtiger 42

    B.I.H Garth McVicar!!!

  43. Hillary 43

    I find it incredible that anyone could suggest that defending property would justify taking another person’s life.

    Personally I rejoice at the tagging AND graffitti art I see in the rail corridor and various urban spaces. I accept that some people get very upset if their private property is tagged. Personally I feel depressed when I see tagging painted over eg on motorway underpasses. It makes me contemplate the boring world that some people would have us live in. These same people are silent about the visual pollution we are subjected to in the form of advertising which also inhabits those urban spaces.

    Tagging is the voice of a dispossessed part of our community. And they will not be made invisible, as some people apparently are determined for them to be.

  44. Dean 44

    “Personally I rejoice at the tagging AND graffitti art I see in the rail corridor and various urban spaces. I accept that some people get very upset if their private property is tagged. Personally I feel depressed when I see tagging painted over eg on motorway underpasses. It makes me contemplate the boring world that some people would have us live in. These same people are silent about the visual pollution we are subjected to in the form of advertising which also inhabits those urban spaces.”

    Here’s a hint to cut through your moral equivalence: Advertisers don’t spray their advertisements all over your fence.

    Honestly, do you actually have any idea what you’re talking about?

  45. Dean 45

    “To them, the property of a Pakeha businessman comes before the life of some poor Maori kid.”

    Steve, I largely agree with your sentiments in your post, but I have to ask – have you ever considered a career in spin doctory or propaganda? You’d be a shoe in.

  46. Richard 46

    McVicar’s certainly earned the tag today.

  47. Razorlight 47

    I understand he will be using the defence of “self defence”

    Anyone know who pulled the blade first

  48. Pascal's bookie 48

    razorlight, from what I remember Mr Emery grabbed a knife from his kitchen on his way out the door to investigate. Though I can’t remember where I saw that, and can’t find the link. Sorry.

    From the herald article in the post we have :

    A key police witness has also revealed how Pihema’s friend – still beside his mate’s body – told her the pair were about to tag a fence when a man with a knife chased them.

    Pihema was stabbed about 11.30pm on Saturday when he was allegedly chased down by Manurewa business owner Bruce William Emery, 50, who will appear in the Manukau District Court today to face a murder charge

  49. Who is this decent citizen? Bruce Emery, who stabbed 15-year-old Pihema Cameron to death because he thought Cameron was about to tag his fence.

    There are remarkably decisive assertions of Emery’s intent and motivation throughout this thread. How exactly were these determined? I see nothing here any better than McVicar’s rantings.

  50. Hillary 50

    Dean, the moral equivalence is human life and private property.

  51. sean14 51

    Pablo – Way to raise the standard of debate (it would seem that The Standard is somewhat misnamed). Just out of interest, have I crossed you personally somehow? If not, I think your comment is unnecessary.

    Cheers, Sean.

  52. Pablo 52

    Sean. Get fucked.

  53. Matthew Pilott 53

    Really Psycho? You don’t think it’s pretty bad to make a statement placing the blame for a death upon the deceased for what is, in this scope, a trivial act?

    I can’t see any such equivalence on this thread.

  54. Steve Pierson 54

    psycho.milt. That Emery stabbed Cameron is not in dispute. he grabbed a knife from his kitchen when he saw kids about to tag his fence. read the accounts, you’ve got google.

    But, again, you are simply trying to attack the post without making the counter-argument you actually believe: ie that Emery was in the right. have some guts and make that argument.

  55. That Emery stabbed Cameron is not in dispute.

    Indeed. However, the assertion that Emery …stabbed 15-year-old Pihema Cameron to death because he thought Cameron was about to tag his fence effectively accuses him of murder, which is by no means certain.

    …you are simply trying to attack the post without making the counter-argument you actually believe: ie that Emery was in the right. have some guts and make that argument.

    And now you’re equally, and equally unjustifiably, confident about my motives. But what the hell: personally, I don’t think we have the right to kill intruders on our property. On the other hand, if someone feels safer arming themselves before going out to confront potentially violent intruders, I have plenty of sympathy for them. Like it or not, there’s a big difference between killing someone while committing a crime and killing someone while defending your property – both are wrong, but one’s way the hell wronger than the other.

  56. Steve Pierson 56

    psycho. read the eariler thread on this issue: there’s a difference between saying someone murdered someone (a matter of law) and saying someone killed someone (a matter of fact). I said Emery killed Cameron, nothing more.

  57. rjs131 57

    I accept that some people get very upset if their private property is tagged

    What kind of world do you live in Hiliary? I would be worried if anyone didnt get upset if their private property was tagged. Are you suggesting that you invite taggers to your private property (if you own any that is) to tag it in order for them to express their dispossessed status….

    Tagging private property is a crime, being dispossed is no excuse for committing crime. The poor kid didnt deserve to be killed for it, that isnt in doubt but it is reactions like yours which only stir responses like Mcvicar’s

  58. Yes the media is disgusting when it comes to reporting crime. No more so than when Steven Wallace attempted to murder a Police Officer and got shot, and TVNZ did their best to make him into a national hero, along with several political parties.

    The owners of this blog, seem to have disagreement with sensible sentencing, what I would like to know is, what is a fair sentence according to the Standard for crimes of Vandalism? Murder? Rape?

    Or do you think these crimes are society’s fault?

  59. higherstandard 59


    Like it or not, there’s a big difference between killing someone while committing a crime and killing someone while defending your property – both are wrong, but one’s way the hell wronger than the other.

    I have to agree all shades of grey – I must admist if my property and family were threatened I couldn’t guarantee that my response wouldn’t be violent.

  60. Matthew Pilott 60

    Brett, there’s no one ‘fair sentence’ for any category of crime. My personal antipathy towards McVicar is the frenzied irrational knee-jerking that occurs whenever he can get into the public eye. No sentence is long enough and his answer for everything is only “more jailtime”.

    There seems to be an exception here though, because the victim was also (so it is suggested) engaging in a criminal act.

    Why McVicar thinks that excuses murder, well, God knows, I don’t find him rational at the best of times.

    Why do you think the authors of a labour-movement aligned blog are the qualified to decide the judicial response to certain crimes?

    BTW, Do you agree with the following statement: “citizens of a wealthy society are less lilely to commit crime than those from a relatively deprived society”?

  61. Tane 61

    Brett, it’s not The Standard’s job to tell you what fair sentences are for vandalism, murder and rape. Steve is simply making the point that killing someone is not an appropriate response to attacks on private property.

  62. Steve Pierson 62


    a) appropriate responses and punishments for crimes depend on individual circumstances.

    b) crimes are a range of behaviours that a society deems so unacceptable that the society, through the state, may inflict punishments on the person who does the behaviour. People have varying propensities (determined both by nature and nuture) to such behaviours and whether they actually do them also depends on the social, economic, political, and physical conditions they find themselves in.
    People with jobs don’t steal as often as those without jobs
    People with easy access to firearms are more likely to shoot people than those without
    People living/growing up in violent conditions are more likely to engage in violence themselves
    Areas that are isolated, dark, far from the eye of police, security, and ordinary people experience more crime.

    c) I know that might be hard to fit in your stockholder paradigm but the Standard doesn’t have owners. We don’t have shares, a board of directors, or even an AGM. Hell, we don’t even reserve copyright.

  63. sean14 63

    Pablo – Do you find it easier to be abusive while anonymous?

  64. I find it incredible that anyone could suggest that defending property would justify taking another person’s life.

    You haven’t spent much time on kiwiblog then have you?

  65. Steve Pierson: I said Emery killed Cameron, nothing more.

    Not so. You said Emery stabbed Cameron “because he thought Cameron was about to tag his fence.” That assertion of intent and motive turns it from a simple statement that a person was killed, to a declaration of murder. If you kill someone because you thought they were about to tag your property, that’s murder plain and simple. Not explicitly using the word “murder” doesn’t alter that fact.

    We don’t know the circumstances of this killing. Maybe Emery was real mad at having his property tagged and stabbed the guy in anger. Maybe he’s a cold-blooded killer who hates darkies. Maybe there was a struggle and an accident. Maybe it was self defence. Any opinions we express on the case should reflect that absence of knowledge.

  66. Steve Pierson 66

    psycho. read the accounts. there’s no dispute that of the facts I’ve given – those facts do not necessarily make Emery guilty of murder, there are a number of defences that are possibly applicable and if they do apply they would mean it was not murder, that would not change the fact Emery killed Cameron..

  67. Hillary 67

    RJS131, what exactly would you be worried about if someone wasn’t upset if their property was tagged? I wouldn’t be particularly worried if someone tagged my fence, although I would prefer they did something with artistic merit. I haven’t had my property tagged, but I have been burgled and it didn’t bother me too much. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a nice home, but I’m not going to get bitter and twisted if something happens to it. I am very aware that the majority of people in the world, including many New Zealanders own very little private property.

    killinginthenameof, no I haven’t fortunately.

  68. Billy 68

    You sound really cool and neato, Hillary. What’s your address?

  69. Hillary 69

    Why, do you want to go on a date Billy?

  70. Jay 70

    “You sound really cool and neato, Hillary. What’s your address?”

    Better yet what’s your licence plate number? Watching the news several weeks there was a story on how ‘etching’ seems to have become the newest trend as well as forcing the replacement of windows for businesses costing thousands of dollars. Given your stance on this behaviour I’m sure you’d like to be on the cutting edge of this new urban artform.

  71. Billy 71

    No, dummy. I want to tag your fence. Since you don’t care I don’t expect you to have a problem with that. Or was that just bravado?

  72. Pascal's bookie 72

    I think that was understood Billy.

    Does knowing the Dalai Lama is a pacifist make you want to meet with him so you can give someone a consequence free kick in the nuts?

  73. Billy 73

    If he told me he wanted a nuts-kick with artisstic merit, maybe.

  74. Ari 74

    Milt- Steve is saying that the MOTIVE you question is also a matter of public record, not just the fact of the killing. Thus stating a killing along with the motive on record should not be considered controversial. 🙂

    Billy- Is your last name Clinton, by any chance? 😉 Just wondering.
    Seriously though, I agree with some of what Hillary said- artistic Graffiti is okay on bland, undecorated public spaces. I’d much rather see these painted by the community- even if just improvisationally- than simply blank. That said, I think we ought to invite people to do so in predetermined places, rather than accept uninvited art.

    Tagging/graffiti on private property is almost categorically unacceptable.

  75. Matthew Pilott 75

    We could combine the tagging-is-not-art concept with the artistic-nuts-kick, and everyone would be happy – apart from taggers with sore nuts.

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  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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