I think I might have joined the dots in what it is that is causing me such unease about the arrival of Crime Stoppers.
Sure, there’s the whole ‘Big Brother’ thing as citizens are rewarded for anonymously spying on their neighbours, colleagues and team mates, that whole Stasi dimension it brings to our communities, but yet, with most things, I suspect it might be more use in this case to ‘follow the money’.
First, a quick history lesson. During the Roger Douglas privatisation blitzkreig there were huge fortunes to be made for those pulling the strings. The average punter and the tax base, of course, got creamed but those involved in looting DFC, the National Provident Fund, and Railways etc., were made for life. The double-entry book keeping at Treasury made it look like New Zealand was doing wonders, so much so that other countries wanted a piece of the action, little realising the neo-liberal scorched-Earth economics they were releasing.
Just across the ditch in the great state of Victoria, the wholesale distribution of its infrastructure to bankers, shareholders, foreign multinationals and anyone else with enough cash to get in on the act began in earnest. The raid was all over by 1992; $30 billion of assets sold and $10 billion of state government functions handed over to the private sector. It was the biggest privatisation programme of any region in the world. Needless to say, Victoria’s infrastructure is in the same parlous state as New Zealand rail.
Meanwhile, a few years later the New Zealand Police were suffering the fall out from another momentous cock-up when the Communications Centre sent a taxi to Onehunga instead of a police car to Piha to rescue Iraena Asher. Urgent action was required so the Government ordered a review.
So, who do you suppose:
was mates with Douglas, Prebble and the Business Roundtable
was intimately involved with DFC, the National Provident Fund, Brierly’s, Chase Corp & Co
was the State Government of Victoria’s Deputy Secretary of the Privatisation and Industry Reform Division of the Department of Treasury and Finance
was Chairman of the Advisory Board to Oversee Police Communications Centres
and is now Chair of the Board of Trustees of Crime Stoppers?
John Key’s mate Ashcroft owns Crime Stoppers UK where all New Zealand calls will be directed to ‘for the moment’, and one of its primary functions is to establish:
an Integrity Line service, which organisations and businesses can sign up to. It provides a safe way for employees to anonymously report crime or other types of undesirable behaviour, which will help provide transparency to shareholders, investors and taxpayers.
. . . and the service it is being brought to us courtesy of, among others, Chapman Tripp, Ernst and Young, Gen-i, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Quantum, TelstraClear and Western Union.
I’m surprised not to see Intergraph amongst the generous foreign corporates.