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Tough on crime

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, March 26th, 2012 - 85 comments
Categories: class war, crime, prisons - Tags: ,

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of imprisonment in the world, and an international study has just highlighted the fact:

Politicians cuffed for filling jails

A political bidding war between the main parties to prove who is tougher on crime has led to New Zealand having one of the world’s highest rates of imprisonment, an international study has found.

OK – sorry to interrupt so soon, but this annoys me. Yes it’s mostly the politicians’ fault, but the media can’t escape their share of the blame for this. It is the media that sensationalises crime, uncritically repeats the nonsense claims and “tough on crime” rhetoric, and generally plays the part of enabler to our high prison rates. (Even the author of the piece quoted here has been known to buy in to this game for example.) It would have been nice to see some acknowledgement in this piece that the problem goes a long way beyond “the main parties”. Anyway, back to…

The comparative study of 11 countries’ justice systems found New Zealand’s is racist and punitive and imprisons people at a rate second only to the United States.

The United Kingdom Audit Office study looked at New Zealand, Australia, the US, France, Canada and the Netherlands among others.

It found New Zealand imprisoned offenders at a rate of 199 for every 100,000 of the population, second only to the US at 748. That is 25 per cent higher than England and Wales, and 33 per cent higher than Australia.

Between 2005 and 2008 New Zealand’s rate of imprisonment rose by 15 per cent despite the crime rate only rising by 4 per cent over the same period.

I was disappointed at the extent to which the last Labour government played the “tough on crime” card too, but when it comes to beating up hysteria on the issue it is John Key who really takes the cake. There are also questions as to how much the high incarceration rate feeds in to what some are calling “National’s Private Prison Industry Profiteers“. Hmmmm.

Crime is the child of poverty, and there is too much poverty in this country. Until we focus on acknowledging and dealing with that underlying issue, and until we mature enough as a society to focus on rehabilitation rather than retribution, our high prison rates are going to continue.

85 comments on “Tough on crime ”

  1. Kotahi Tane Huna 1

    Crime is the child of inequality more than poverty – it’s too easy to point to “poorer” countries (or US states) with better crime statistics: Daly, Wilson, & Vasdev, Income inequality and homicide rates in Canada and the United States, Canadian Journal of Criminology, April 2001: 219-236

    • r0b 1.1

      Good comment – thanks.

    • prism 1.2

      Getting started in crime is probably affected by parents attitudes to personal ethics and whether there is a strong societal ethic. We can see a drop in societal ethics in NZ. Part of the results of that were being talked about on a report about chil d health on radionz this morning.

      When children are allowed to keep other’s clothes that they have stolen from school, even after having been named is good training for further crime. That’s a common occurrence which particularly hurts people feeling poverty but still keeping to personal and societal ethics which stops the easy response of encouraging their children to do the same.

      • aerobubble 1.2.1

        People need basic clothing, food, health, housing. It doesn’t change, we haven’t evolved to need more. Many of the foods, clothes, housing etc of the past are as good as ever (even better since so much crap comes out of the third world workslave shops). So why is it that we’d have any poverty. Well simple, when we go and vote we invariable choose the right wing of Labour or the rightwing National party, who both shift the weight on the poorest and lower the bar for the wealthy. Facts of basic economics suggest that to have the most efficient economy its better to reduce thw wealth of the weathiest and churn the wealth to the next generation. i.e. what we have now is a gridlock of baby boomers sitting on a pile of wealth and not spending it (or investing in for the long term). So no, its not just child learning to steal, its children listen to politicians telling them their scum for being poor, its the stacked bureaucracies and media suits with neo-liberalists far right libertarians. Government has forgotten to govern and instead taken what we had for free and sold it off to private owners, and when they can’t they PPP it. Summed up for me by a gold mine not having to pay royalty to the crown. WTF. What we’re facing, is just the stench of thrity years of bad government produce by mean minded lazy lower class managers led by the likes of Douglas and Thatcher/Reagan. There was essentially nothing original in anything they did, they took good government and abstracted out the humanity, the common sense and ignored why they could get away with it (why it was successful), i.e. cheap oil and lots of cheap credit.

        Summing up. Anyone on the right, or of the right of the Labour party, should be had up on crimes against humanity for continuing to peddle the lazy stupid easy theories of Roger, Margret and Ronald. See no, hear no, speak no.

  2. ianmac 2

    “….the media can’t escape their share of the blame for this.”
    There was a deal made I think in Sweden, that the Media would hugely reduce the excesses of reporting on crime. Alongside that was reforming the punishment of crime with a flow on of drastic reduction of imprisonment and a more inclusive society.

    • r0b 2.1

      Interesting! Could such a deal work here?

      • muzza 2.1.1

        The real question is – Is there the appetite? I would suggest not, given the way the govt looks to be heading along with private prisons.

        I seem to recall the Blair Labour government – “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”!

        Politicians are not interested in anything other than soundbites, and the papers love them!

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Maybe we just have better police? Maybe they’re harder working, better resourced, less corrupt? Maybe our judges aren’t swayed by defence attorney flim-flam as much?

    Wonder if the study considered these factors.

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    What is wrong with imprisoning offenders at a higher rate than other countries? Would you rather have offenders left free to wander the streets?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      qstf: trust you to support putting more ambulances (prisons) at the bottom of the cliff. More than useless.

    • grmpy 4.2

      I would have thought Imprisonment was a function of both Crime and Apprehension……???

      • queenstfarmer 4.2.1

        Exactly. If our police force suddenly became less competent and effective at apprehending offenders, presumably Kim Workman and his allies would regard that as a good thing.

        • muzza 4.2.1.1

          “Exactly. If our police force suddenly became MORE competent and effective at apprehending offenders, presumably Serco and its shareholders would regard that as a good thing.”

          FIFY

          • queenstfarmer 4.2.1.1.1

            Why is that muzza? The Mt Eden contract is a fixed price contract. So how does the police becoming more competent and effective lead to Serco and/or its shareholders getting some benefit?

            • McFlock 4.2.1.1.1.1

              more apprehensions = more prisoners = more prisons = more prison contracts. 
                   
              Nice dodge with the so-called “police effectiveness” line, by the way. Gets you out of claiming that NZ is more full of criminals than anywhere except the states. So what happened in 2005-2008 to make the NZ police 15% more efficient? 

              • queenstfarmer

                But the argument is that we already have far too many prisoners. Quite how even more prisoners is supposed to benefit NZ’s only private prison operator of a fixed-capacity prison under a fixed price contract is not explained.

                So what happened in 2005-2008 to make the NZ police 15% more efficient?

                Who said they did? The increase in prisoner numbers may have been due to increased sentences or changes to parole law, which Workman no doubt also opposes.

                • McFlock

                  But the argument is that we already have far too many prisoners. Quite how even more prisoners is supposed to benefit NZ’s only private prison operator of a fixed-capacity prison under a fixed price contract is not explained.

                   
                  The argument that we have too many prisoners in NZ is different from pointing out who benefits from that condition. More prisons = more contracts in the future. Not to mention their current contract.

              • muzza

                And just imagine what could be acieved without civil juries, the gap between NZ and USA in terms of prisoners to population could really narrow down.

                The old saying bums on seats comes to mind when I think of private prisons. None will offer fixed price unless they assume the prisoner numbers will drop, in which case why is the government outsourcing? Simple answer is that there is the expectation that prisoner numbers will increase, hence the privatising, its really that simple!

                Once the system is private, and the numbers start to rise, then voila, build another prison!

                Its a very slippery slope, and becomes self fulfilling. What is is about 98% conviction rate in the US, with JP Morgan etc making a mint from more humans in prison, making munitions for the military etc.

                No Thanks!

                • queenstfarmer

                  None will offer fixed price unless they assume the prisoner numbers will drop

                  So right after claiming that Serco would like to see prisoner numbers increase, are you now claiming that Serco must have assumed prisoner numbers will drop?

                  Regardless, your assumption about fixed pricing is wrong. Govts / public authorities normally pay a premium for fixed-price contracts, because the provider takes the budget risk (which is almost invariably a budget overrun risk). The provider usually tries to take out various insurance policies against those risks as a result.

                  The Serco contract is to run Mt Eden prison which has 920 beds, and that is what the contract is based on. I suppose Serco could secretly be hoping that the Govt suddenly decides to stop putting prisoners into its brand new Mt Eden facility for no apparent reason, but I hardly think that is likely.

                  • muzza

                    “None will offer fixed price unless they assume the prisoner numbers will drop

                    So right after claiming that Serco would like to see prisoner numbers increase, are you now claiming that Serco must have assumed prisoner numbers will drop?”

                    Fixed price = total cost of the contract regardless of number of prisoners I assume? Why would Serco want less prisoners….to make more profit on the fixed price contract of course! That or Serco have a very high fixed price tender so they cover the various quotas with margin. Where can we get the details of the contract?

                    However, I was referring really to Wiri, where as I understand it the taxpayer is funding the facility and Serco will run the facility etc… Serco make profit from incarceration, so how many ways are they going to be able to fleece the taxpayer. One way or another the contracts will end up in Sercos favour!

                    Fixed price is not fixed price, when there are changes to scope in any contract is goes up for renegotiation

                    I have read that there is meant to be some directive which Serco are supposed to keep prison inmates below a set figure with rehab etc, but is that really going to be what the public calls for if the economic SHTF, and things get out of control?

                    I am 100% not in favour of private prisons, and this is going to go bad for all concerned, apart from Serco!

    • Macro 4.3

      “What is wrong with imprisoning offenders at a higher rate than other countries? Would you rather have offenders left free to wander the streets?”

      You ask two questions
      I’ll initially address the first:

      “What is wrong with imprisoning offenders at a higher rate than other countries?”

      Firstly, does it not concern you that we have this apparent high rate of criminality in our country? Are our Police that much more efficient at apprehending offenders? And if they are – why does the criminal offending continue to be so high, despite the apparent deterrence of apprehension and likely imprisonment?
      Secondly, prisons are not a very effective way of changing anti-social behaviours. In deed by imprisoning more people we are training more people to antisocial behaviour and are most likely to be exacerbating the problem rather than mitigating it.
      Thirdly, it costs a hell of a lot of money to imprison people. Not only do we have to provide secure accommodation and food and 24 hour surveillance. But the people who are incarcerated become unproductive to the economy not only for the time they are in prison but for a long time after as well.
      Fourthly, there is the ethical matter to consider. Is it absolutely necessary to imprison each and every offender, even though the crime may be one that carries a prison sentence? Imprisonment is the most ineffective way of changing criminal behaviour. Its function is merely punitive and to exact retribution. Imprisonment does not of it’s own amend behaviour, remedial programmes carried out in the prison environment are the means by which recidivism rates are reduced. Many of these programmes could well be carried out in the community (and are) thereby avoiding high imprisonment rates and more effective rehabilitation into society (ie more productive people).

      Now for the second
      “Would you rather have offenders left free to wander the streets?”

      Obviously it depends on the nature of the offence. There are some offences for which imprisonment is the only option. but for many of those in NZ prisons, they are there, not because of any heinous crime, but because our justice system is “tough on crime”. Theft of property is regarded particularly seriously in this country. It may however be better to have community programmes for property offences and non-association clauses. Short periods of imprisonment may be better than long lags in others – less time to develop criminal associations. The thing that everyone who is imprisoned loses is their self respect.
      Unfortunately the hysterical nature of the debate in NZ – typified by your comment – clouds the issue to how to deal effectively with each offender. The judicial system in NZ has been forced into this draconian attitude that is corrosive, unproductive, and exacerbates offending rather than working towards reducing it.

  5. Crime is not just poverty. There are obvious connections between poverty and crime. Of course if your partner ends up in jail you will be more likely to be poor, during and after due to diminished employment prospects.

    But it’s much more complex than that, with other important factors.

    Our widespread culture of violence is not just poverty.
    Our widespread misuse of alcohol is not just poverty.
    Our widespread misuse of tobacco is not just poverty.
    Our widespread misuse of other drugs is not just poverty.

    If we dealt with alcohol abuse and violence we would have much less crime – and probably much less poverty.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Similarly if we rationalised our drugs laws to something that actually made sense based on the level of harm imparted, we’d magically have less crime and imprisonment as well.

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        I don’t think there’s a magic mushroom solution, but we could probably do much better with our drug laws. Whatever is changed is an experiment though, New Zealand is a unique laboratory.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1

          Yip. Pity Peter Dunne wouldn’t countenance such a “common sense” approach back in 2002-2005.

      • prism 5.1.2

        @Lanthanide
        I agree. The more laws we make that relate to people’s basic drives means there will be more miscreants, and the drug situation is an example. Marijuana banning is a good example. Though as we don’t seem in this country to encourage what would have been a normal range of business activity, there might be jobs in increasing the prison system. At least it would reduce the unemployment statistics, and increase opportunities for wardens. Privatise the prison system and create another service industry, harvest the have-nots for dosh.

  6. How was poverty connected to this?

    Court backs hardline sentence for ‘cowardly’ street attack

    Is it too tough on crime> Is this media sensationalising? Was it mostly mostly “the politicians’ fault”?

    Would more money somewhere have prevented it? If so how much, and where?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1

      “How was poverty connected to this?”

      It isn’t – see my comment above.

      Wilkinson, R. (2004). Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1036, 1-12. contains very good discussion of the issues involved.

      • Pete George 6.1.1

        Yes, there’s something unequal about some people’s behaviour when pissed compared to sober.

        There’s also something unequal about smacking someone in the head from behind.

        There’s something more unequal about smacking someone repeatedly in the head while they are unconcious on the ground.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1.1.1

          What is your point, dickhead?

          • Galeandra 6.1.1.1.1

            His point may be that some people are bad bastards irrespective of their relatively impoverished upbringings.
            Rampaging capitalism has nothing to do with increased criminality or damaged mental health y’know. Though the link he provides reports that ‘Walsh was heavily intoxicated ‘ at the time of the assault we wouldn’t want to do do anything to impede lawful capitalists going about their daily work, would we? Roll out the RTDs and the baccy….. personal freedoms for vendors and customers you see.
            Synthetic pot etc not so much.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Alcoholism and substance abuse also demonstrate a clear relationship with levels of equality.

              • james 111

                Kotahi
                Totally agree with you on this point,and I guess one can easily say if they werent stoned or drunk all the time. They could hold down jobs rather than be on the Welfare ,and would be earning more money not trapped in the poverty trap. So how is it the Governments fault to easy to blame them. I dont care whether its Labour or National in

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Once again you demonstrate complete incomprehension. Alcoholism and substance abuse at all socio-economic levels within a society demonstrate a clear relationship with levels of equality.

            • Bored 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks G, it seems to always come down to “punish” those who do the crime as opposed to giving them a reason not to do it.

              I have a theory that crime pays in a relative sense: if there is perceived benefit and advancement to doing it an individual will do it. If you are at the bottom of the social scale you have plenty of “relative” incentive. The same applies for those relatively advantaged corporate criminals who get relatively more advantaged by doing the financial crimes. I don’t see enough of them doing time yet.

  7. Peter Meyers 7

    Whats your point?
    Do the crime do the time and hope your butthole does not get bigger in prison.

    • Blighty 7.1

      what is it with the right and their disgusting fascination with prison rape?

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Childhood anal preoccupation remaining into adult maturity.

        Reminds me of Republican congressmen who push for bans on gay marriage and gay sex…then get caught propositioning policemen in airport toilets.

  8. james 111 8

    Peter
    Agree with you also our widepread Child abuse, and beating isnt poverty
    Our widespread Domestic violence isnt poverty.
    Thisis very poor parenting by people who are often trapped on welfare dependency ,and unfortunately have witnessed it all before with their parents ,and grand paretns. Many of these incidents take place where they are single parents, and the kids that get beaten dont belong to the boy friend.Giving them a whole lot of extra money to spend on Lotto Alchohol, Hooch will have no effect on those latent behavioural problems. People and ethnic groups need to take accountability for their own actions , and stop blaming the government. What is good is how much the crime rate has fallen under a National Government they have lived up to that promise.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1

      Misunderstanding is rife on this topic. Levels of violence against children are higher at all socio-economic levels in more unequal societies.

      • james 111 8.1.1

        Please show the figures what are the % in demographic area ,and by ethnicity?. We all know the answer but are to PC speak up

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.1.1

          James111, take your racist dogwhistle somewhere else, you grade one creep.

    • Blighty 8.2

      crime has been falling for the past 20 years. National has done nothing spectacular, the primary reason for the crime rate falling is the falling proportion of the population aged 18-24 and male. Look at the prison stats and you’ll see there’s a huge demographic factor in crime.

  9. Bored 9

    Why the hell does the Maori Party support (supply etc) a government that has no policy to address why the penal system is disproportionately full of Maori? Why do they give supply to a government that wants to shut down regional prisons so that whanau will have to travel to see their incarcerated family members? If they are doing anything here I am not hearing it, it seems very quiet.

    • james 111 9.1

      Probably because they know that Maori are committing a high proprotion of the crime ,and the elders are to weak to speak out about it. What are you proposing one law for Maori, and one for others ? Yeaa that will really work wont it lower the Bar!

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 9.1.1

        We could never lower it far enough to accomodate your low-life ethics, James111.

        There simply is no depths of perfidy to which we could stoop.

        Perhaps I’m being unfair. After all, low intelligence is a gateway to racist attitudes.

        I’l rephrase.

        James111, there are no levels of stupidity to which we could sink to out-stupid yours.

        • james 111 9.1.1.1

          Never been before the court in my life so wouldnt worry me. Do they crime do the time no soft approach. You have to be accountable for your own actions and stop blaming a 3rd party. You make the decision not them they only act when you are caught.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 9.1.1.1.1

            Who said anything about “blame”, James111?

            Do you think this is about making excuses for people? Low intelligence may lead to racist beliefs, but it doesn’t excuse them: you can’t blame your IQ.

            • james 111 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Kotahi so you would like to see a seperate justice system for Maoris so they dont go to prison so much Look forward to Shearer selling that to the Electorate in 2014 a sure winner I bet lol. Can just imagine what your mate Winston will say about it

              • McFlock

                rofl:
                   
                “bzzt —does not compute— insert generic non-sequiter to feign cognition— add Winston or Labour reference to provoke outrage—system restore—nominal behaviour restart—“

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Oh well I tried 🙂

                  It’s a good thing James111 wasn’t there when Sir Isaac Newton had his revelatory encounter with the apple….

                  Newton: “Ye gods, that explains it!”
                  James111: “It’s a green apple.”
                  Newton: “What has colour got to do with it?”
                  James111: “So, you’d like to see them cooked differently!”

      • Bored 9.1.2

        James, you will note that I was not proposing one law for Maori. You are attempting to put words into my mouth: my comments are not meant to be racist, I suspect your response is.

        Please crawl back into the primeval ooze beneath the rock you slid out from under.

  10. Capitalism needs to create criminals to keep its middle class happy.
    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2011/09/riots-from-looting-to-expropriation.html

    • james 111 10.1

      Dave One could equally state that Socialism needs to create a welfare state so they can control the masses

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        only if one has no understanding of socialism, particularly democratic socialism. 

  11. grumpy 11

    Seems to me that if you want to reduce the numbers in jail you either;

    a. reduce offending, or
    b. reduce sentences, or
    c. decriminalise some current offences.

    which way do we want to go?

    • Te Reo Putake 11.1

      d: Create some jobs and pay proper rates for the work done.
       
      By way of illustration; Whanganui in the eighties still had a large employer in the Eastown Railway workshops. Most workers lived locally, either in Wanganui East or across the river in Aramoho. Nowadays, there is no railway workshop, but a notorious gang problem. Guess which suburbs the gangs mostly live in? That’s right, Wanganui East and Aramoho.
       
      Where there are no jobs, crime fills the gap.

      • james 111 11.1.1

        How does that work Labour had lees people umeployed due to better economic circumstances, but the crime rate was higher than now?

        • muzza 11.1.1.1

          James you know that statistics , just like your keyboard skills, can be fixed!

          • Bored 11.1.1.1.1

            Actually, the crime figures are skewed the wrong way because there is insufficient prosecution of the swindling financiers etc responsible for the fraud (as demonstrated by SFC – one of the few prosecuted).

      • grumpy 11.1.2

        Nope, that’s still “a”.

    • muzza 11.2

      What about the root causes G?

      I’m a big fan of addressing the real issues!

      • grumpy 11.2.1

        I presume you mean (a) then…….

        First identify the “root causes” and that seems like a very difficult thing to do objectively.

        Just crying “racism” won’t wash.

        • muzza 11.2.1.1

          Well language can give (a) more than one meaning – reduce offending, can take various forms, but if having to choose one of your list, then that would be a starting point.

          “Just crying “racism” won’t wash”

          NZ has become a scared, mean, dumbed down country, where we are told we are offended at every turn. It would help to look at why the PC movement came about, and whats its purpose is likely to have been, and where it has gotten us overall.

          Meaningful debate has been removed from our landscape, and the leaders debate is left as the example to the public which gets associated with the word debate. This could not be further from the truth.

          Until regular people in this country take back control of the discussions, the slide will continue, its as simple as that!

          • grumpy 11.2.1.1.1

            ….common sense from muzza????…..can’t be Monday?????

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 11.2.1.1.2

            So far as I can see the only person trying to control how people discuss things is you.

            • muzza 11.2.1.1.2.1

              Kind of hard to tell, but given the echo of the word control, I will assume you aimed that at me…

              Having a bad day One?

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                1. Yes, I did:

                “the PC movement…
                Meaningful debate has been removed from our landscape…
                Until regular people in this country take back control of the discussions, the slide will continue…”

                Regular people?

                2. No.

    • Lanthanide 11.3

      In an ideal world, grumpy, all 3.

  12. Clashman 12

    Another antiquated system that doesnt really work and needs a fairly radical rethink. The deterrent and rehabilitation effects of prisons are negligable and the costs are unsustainable particularly as it seems we are trying to catch up to the US incarceration rate. Its probably the only solution for violent criminals but there has to be a better and more effective way of dealing with the rest.

  13. DH 13

    “Crime is the child of poverty”

    I think there’s a need to quantify the term ‘crime’ here, only certain types of crime that bring imprisonment can be linked to poverty. There’s probably more while collar thieves than there are burglars & muggers, for example, but it’s the latter who end up in jail.

    We fill our prisons up with people who commit violent crimes, drug and physical crimes against property such as burglary. Look at the prison stats and you’ll find that over 90% of those types of inmates left high school with no qualifications and can be (broadly) considered uneducated. Take that a step further & one can state with reasonable authority that, generally, educated people don’t commit violent crimes. They can still be crooks, just different crooks, and for whatever reasons we don’t put them in jail so much.

    I think it’s more complex than a poverty/crime dichotomy.

    • grumpy 13.1

      Very true DH. We are talking “comparitivity” here. All countries imprison people pretty much for the crimes we do. Most for longer.

      Why then do we have such a high rate of imprisonment?

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        All countries imprison people pretty much for the crimes we do. Most for longer.

        Where did you get that idea from?

      • DH 13.1.2

        I think its because for the last 30yrs successive governments have cast adrift the sector of society who are most predicated towards a life of criminal offending.

        National represent venality & selfishness, they don’t give a shit about the less fortunate. They have to pay some lip service to the issue to retain a degree of social cohesion but again it’s selfish in nature; they don’t want to be mugged on the streets they abandoned.

        Labour lost their way & just swept the underprivileged under the carpet with welfare handouts, it’s been apparent for a very long time that Labour really don’t want to know about them. I can’t recall a single initiative from Labour in the last 20-30 years that lead directly to creating jobs for the low socio-economic groups. Instead they stuffed the civil service with handsomely paid graduates.

        Crime may well have a lot to do with poverty but IMO it’s also a penance; a message that us comfy white collar class aren’t the only people living on this land. Unfortunately few people seem to receive the message.

        • Bored 13.1.2.1

          Beautifully put, could not agree more. The problem with those of us one step removed is that so long as the problem is “over there” we don’t care. Long term that’s a recipe for getting mugged.

  14. james 111 14

    Have you ever noitced that Idealism is fine but as it approaches reality it becomes cost prohibitive.

    • McFlock 14.1

      when did you last approach reality?

    • prism 14.2

      Idealism needs to have a pragmatic filter I think – with the thought ‘What is achievable here and if it isn’t much, how best can we expand its positive outcomes’. Instead it ends up just choosing the immediate goal with the biggest personal payoff which can lead to losing the whole impetus and integrity of an organisation.

      Idealism on its own can be a pain when there is no practicality applied but it keeps us from being smug and cold in our attitudes to others trying to manage a better life.

      • james 111 14.2.1

        Prism totally agree with you pragmatism can easily go missing, only to be taken over by the faction that is the most vocal. Not always the majority

  15. her 15

    There should be no victimless crimes. A simple fair solution that saves billions every year.
    The rest of the western world is moving in that direction and it’s only a matter of time before NZ and the US catch on to the benefits to all society.

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