Brian Edwards Media

The End of ACT – Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

A ‘perk-buster’ enjoying the perks, a Law and Order spokesman with a conviction for assault who steals the identity of a dead infant to falsely obtain a passport, a party spokesperson who keeps an 82-page dossier vilifying the party leader, but kisses and makes up anyway,  a political fossil whom no-one takes seriously anymore…  In another party all this would be incredible. But it is curiously unsurprising for ACT, a collection of intellectual thugs led by a man whom I once described as ‘venomous and gutless’. That was after Rodney Hide had defamed my wife, Judy Callingham, then Deputy Chair of New Zealand on Air, by implying  in parliament that she had used improper influence to get me a talk show on TVNZ. Challenged by me to repeat the allegation without the protection of parliamentary privilege, he naturally declined. He had his facts wrong.

But what offends me most, given these latest revelations,  is the hypocrisy of ACT, a vigilante  rabble whose uninformed, unintelligent, 12th century views on crime and punishment would see us return to the brutality of the chain gang and ultimately the obscenity that is capital punishment.

Intellectual thugs. The word comes from the Hindi meaning a thief or scoundrel. Well, we are to be rid of them at last. They are, as Guyon Espiner observed on One News last night,  ‘a party now in tatters with no credibility whatsoever’.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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106 Comments:

  1. What does all that say for the good people of Epsom who actually voted for Hide?

    The survival of ACT has nothing to do with the actions of its MPs. Survival is at the whim of John Key and whether he thinks it politically expedient to put another poodle up to contest the Epsom seat.

    • What does all that say for the good people of Epsom who actually voted for Hide?

      Well, I suppose it says he’s been a popular MP. As for John Key being the one to decide whether ACT survives or not, I think that even he may regard this party as too discredited to continue to support.

  2. Come on, Brian. Stop sitting on the fence! Tell us what you really think!

    My sympathies to Judy, but I seem to remember quite a few ‘non-combatants’ (e.g., Peter Doone, Madeleine Setchell, Rosanne Meo) serving as useful cannon fodder for one particular political party in the last decade or so…and the public did indeed eventually get around to deciding, “Good riddance to good rubbish”.

  3. Someone close to me was once on the receiving end of one of Rodney Hide’s threaten-then-back-down specials. He was a conscientious man just doing his job who had the misfortune of working for an institution Hide was trying to score political points off.

    Seeing the devastating toll it took gave me nothing but contempt for the piece of scum who would trample over anyone in his bid to suckle on the teat of power.

  4. …another thought, Brian. I appreciate the consistent approach you take in articulating your attitude to crime and punishment, although I think you would acknowledge it is not mainstream.

    The three strikes law is not primarily aimed at law breakers in general – it is about protecting the public from VIOLENT REPEAT offenders. Whether it accomplishes that is another matter (and you obviously think not).

    As a result, I’m not so sure the charge of ‘hypocrisy’ against ACT hits the spot. Of the multitude of sins you listed, only Garrett’s assault charge falls into the ‘violent’ category, and the punishment of a $10 fine gives some indication of the circumstances and level of severity of the crime.

    As for the passport forgery fiasco, like the question of whether Bill Clinton or Helen Clark ever inhaled, I find it hard to condemn anyone over 25 years later for a one-off act of of youthful foolishness, which was ultimately a victimless crime – or at the very least of a qualitatively different nature to attacking and maiming on more than one occasion.

    • As for the passport forgery fiasco, like the question of whether Bill Clinton or Helen Clark ever inhaled, I find it hard to condemn anyone over 25 years later for a one-off act of of youthful foolishness, which was ultimately a victimless crime

      The victims were every member of that child’s family, but especially the parents.

  5. …and at the risk of hogging the discussion – it must have been difficult to be a candidate for Labour in 1972 with a good old fashioned ‘Laura Norder” leader like Big Norm Kirk!

    • …and at the risk of hogging the discussion – it must have been difficult to be a candidate for Labour in 1972 with a good old fashioned ‘Laura Norder” leader like Big Norm Kirk!

      It was. But then Labour, National and ACT have always been ‘Laura Norder’ parties and still are. The lives of offenders make wonderful currency for politicians to buy votes in election years.

  6. While I heartily agree with all you have written Brian, I shall miss the Act Party. It has served as a pheromone trap for ethically challenged opportunists, compartmentalised them into a readily identifiable mob … so much better than their infiltration and subversion of other political parties.
    While Rodney Hide alludes to the experience of “the oil rig” days (common to both himself and David Garrett) it must be noted that in his autobiography those days are not padded out at all, the story stops and restarts with a void in the middle. There appears to be reason for shame in these omissions, beyond the drunken binges and senseless gambling common to many transient men on rigs and building sites … the mind boggles.
    The only thing that can be said with any certainty is that these people, touting a flawed ideology, always leave a trail of damage behind them.

  7. Kimbo…”One Act of Youthful Foolishness…”

    …that he got caught at. What else was he up to? He is a very bizarre politician and you do yourself no favours jumping to his defence.

    I believe there are more damaging reports to come. You might want to go back into your hole while you retain at least a little bit of dignity.

    I am hoping that the Paris Texts surface soon.

  8. I dont think discharge without conviction to be a fair result for a Law and Order representitive.It sickens me that the justice system seems to show favour to those within it .(I am assuming he was a lawyer at that time)The sentence he received for assalt may not represent the seriousness of the offence.An utterence by the guilty party does nothing to alay my fears of his guilt and lack of a moral compass.(Possibly an essential prerequisite of the Act party)The damage this small group of individuals have done to our country(as faux members of the labour party also) is unforgivable.I agree “Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish”.

  9. Wow, that’s a lot of vitriol for 3 paragraphs.

    NZ needs a party to represent the classic liberal free market individual freedom and responsibility point of view, to counter the degrees of socialism found in all the others.

    Their representatives have certainly been found wanting and they will deservedly suffer at the polls for it.

  10. This reminds me of that ex MP who preached the moral high-ground then went to prison for molesting children. Hypocrisy. As is the current debate. Had Garrett not been so outspoken on Crime and punishment, Name Suppression, Probation and so on would his current position been so bad?

    I think that Act is the Right rump of the National Party but serving their time at a safe distance from the middle National Party. The Act supporters will have to rejoin National should Act disappear.

    What if John Key had also been informed of Garrett’s history?

  11. Kimbo, here’s where the hypocrisy lies:

    – Garrett accepting discharge without conviction and name suppression yet campaigning against giving judges discretion for other people.
    – Garrett claiming the assault charge was a jack-up but not accepting that others in the system may be wrongly convicted.
    -Hide commenting on how people can turn their lives around, yet ACT voted against the clean slate law.
    – Hide campaigning against perks yet indulging in them himself when he became a Minister.
    – ACT campaigning on transparency yet failing to be transparent themselves.

    As for Garrett’s “youthful foolishness” – 26 is not 17, it is quite mature. And it was *not* a victimless crime.

    And as for 3 strikes only being for serious violent crimes – that is what it was watered down to, but Garrett and ACT originally had it applying to a far wider range of crimes.

  12. And I do wish they would stop denigrating oil rig workers!

    My brother in law works on the rigs off Taranaki and I can assure you that he does not sexually harass women, get drunk all the time or steal the identities of dead children just for a lark.

    Perhaps a news hack could do some interviews with rig workers sometime and see what they think about their occupation being debased all the time by Rodney Hide.

  13. I voted for MMP and my father’s response in a letter from America stated, “I suspect this new MMP system will turn out to be the very disaster I feared, with minority viewpoints not mereley being allowed fair representation, but having influence away and beyond what is proper. Think of it; any condition that has to depend on the support of, lets say, the Mickey Mouse Party to remain in office, is going to have to yield to whatever ridiculous cause Mickey Mouse might suggest as the price.. Mark my words; no good will come of it…
    well…if ever there was a Mickey Mouse Party it certainly is the ACT party. Let’s hope that in the near future it will be written in the past tense.

  14. Edward I find this a denigration to the Micky Mouse Party.I never considered “Free cheese for all”to be a ridiculous cause.

  15. @ The Real Tony

    “You might want to go back into your hole while you retain at least a little bit of dignity”.

    More likely I think I need to shower after that particular spray. Lots of speculation and grasping in your judgements at what may yet come (“I believe…I am hoping…”).

    I’ll content myself with the facts on the table at the moment, and pass on your ‘advice’, thanks very much.

    @ MollyByGolly

    Thanks for filling in the gaps. I’ll do some more research and thinking…

  16. Well said Mollyby Golly. Both posts!

  17. Oh, I left one hypocrisy out, and it’s a Biggee.

    ACT campainged on zero tolerance for crime.

    Except now they’re asking for tolerance of crimes where:

    – the facts are in dispute
    – the intent was not malacious and consequences not foreseen
    – the perpetrator went on to become a productive member of society
    – the perp was ‘only’ 26 years old at the time
    – the fines were low
    – the perp learned something from the experience and didn’t do it again

    Well, tolerate low level crimes by people who fit any of those categories and methinks our prisons would be much emptier :-)

  18. One question: The SIS spent a lot of time doing profiles of Green Party and Labour Party people…surely they’ve they’ve investigated Mr Garrett too…or did he come from the other side of the fence.

    Garrett should ask to see his file…then in the interests of openness share it with us all.

  19. “The End of ACT – Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish”

    I don’t think, that sort of gleeful headline and its content (with the highly-emotive “intellectual thugs”) goes with being a noted political commentator. Sorry, but I really don’t. It lacks circumspection, balance, objectivity, rational and dispassionate analysis.

    To be unashamedly revelling in someone’s misfortunes and, by extension, his own party’s as well — reveals a naked disposition towards a predetermined prejudice and dislike. One, that assumes shades of unseemly vengefulness and retribution notwithstanding the genuine grievance you have suffered from Rodney Hide, in the past. Had you left this grievance out, when composing your tableau on ACT’s ongoing malaise, you would have risen above Hide’s prissy slights at JC, and be seen to be exponentially better for not alluding to it. Most of the contributors, here, were aware of this incident, already.

    It was interesting to hear on Newstalk ZB, what, Coddington (yesterday afternoon) and Clifton (this morning) had to say; different viewpoints, but having equal merit and validity. Admittedly, stealing a deceased child’s identity is very “ugly” (Clifton). And being 27 years old at the time, it can’t be excused as a feckless/reckless youth’s prank. But I wouldn’t rush to judgement by thinking that Garret’s very bleak political future automatically presages the demise of Rodney Hide and ACT. I just don’t believe it to be a symmetrical comparison, because of the interplay of the different dynamics swirling beneath the surface. Note, the push from So-and-so, to assume the mantle of Leader.

    • I don’t think, that sort of gleeful headline and its content (with the highly-emotive “intellectual thugs”) goes with being a noted political commentator. Sorry, but I really don’t. It lacks circumspection, balance, objectivity, rational and dispassionate analysis.

      Bugger all that Merv. (And who are you to talk.) I’m just delighted to see the bastards revealed for what they are.

      As for ‘revelling in someone’s misfortunes’, give me a break!

  20. “I just don’t believe it to be a symmetrical comparison, because of the interplay of the different dynamics swirling beneath the surface.”

    Have you ever thought of a career writing car manuals Merv?

  21. Drat and darn, I find myself in agreement with all the pinkos! Integrity trumps political orientation for me. Just as I sympathised with Chris Carter in the face of a rabid media, so too I find myself unable to gloss over Act’s inidscretions. There is no principle or idealism here, there is only the pursuit of power by a bunch of egotistical misfits.

    PS I can proudly declare I was the only person in the country who voted against MMP and for compulsory superannuation in Winston’s referendum, so I blame the rest of you.

  22. Get real, fake Tony !!!

    (Just thought I’d get in before The Real Tony)

  23. The only break from this, “human stupidity” is death. Rest in peace Brian when it happens.

  24. Schadenfreude – and no, The Real Tony, it is not a brand of BMW

  25. “…The Real Tony, it is not a brand of BMW”

    But we knew that, already; it’s a “condition”. Treatable by way of a Secondary School education; something, he missed out on.

  26. Brian I have looked at the your recent posts and I began to feel a little uncomfortable when you appeared to be endorsing Banks as leader of the Supercity.

    It was with some relief to see you returning to the fold with this post – thank you for the prompt reassurance.

    However, can you see the irony that you feel Banks is probably the preferred leader of the Rodney Hide creation. I am sure 18 months ago you felt like many of us on the isthmus that this particular plan for Auckland is a sham and hardly democratic in either its creation or ultimate functioning. Oh, if only the National party voters of Epsom had seen past their political expediency and not voted for the creep, all Aucklander’s might be endorsing the Royal commission’s plans and Banks would not be a major player in implementing Hide’s and the Business Round Tables scheme.

  27. @ Logie97

    I look at this site to get some measure of objectivity.

    Seems you are wanting political cheerleading…

  28. @ Kimbo.

    This is Brian’s blog site. And you will see that it is Brian to whom I addressed my comments and I am loathed to address this to you. Do us all a favour and address the posts but leave the abuse out viz your much earlier comments. As for “Objectivity????”

  29. @ Logie97

    I’ll address whom I want in a communal discussion setting, thanks very much. You post it, we get to critique it.

    Wasn’t aware I had engaged in abuse in earlier, or any comments for that matter, and I’ve yet to be given an example. However, one of us has referred to someone as a ‘creep’.

    How about you take yourself, your opinions, and your take on the world a little less seriously. I don’t generally agree with BE’s views on crime and punishment, but I find them a good quality control over my own thinking. On the basis of your last 2 posts, it seems very little is allowed to be considered if it doesn’t sit comfortably in Logie97 world.

    Or does that observation count as ‘abuse’, and a lack of objectivity?

  30. hlogie97 – brian…a relief to see you returning to the fold.
    baa, baa.

  31. Logie97, you have made a vey valid point. A few blogs back we were being told how Mr Banks was a reformed character and I was acused of not being able to see good in anyone. Whether or not Mr Banks is reformed or not, he is undoubtedly in the ACT/Hide camp even if not a member. He has been a cheerleader for Hide throughout the supercity debate.

    So if you rejoice at the demise of Rodney perhaps you should also look forward to the demise of Banks.

    The tragedy is that Auckland will be left with a deeply flawed process of representation due in no small measure to the people of Epsom proving once again that wealth and brains do not necessarily go together.

    Kimbo, I had not up to now noticed agreat deal of objectivity from your contributions but possibly I blinked at the wrong moment. I am in fact beginneing to wonder whether you are our old friend Redbaiter who briefly contaminated this blog.

  32. However, Brian you should be pleased on another level. As Matthew Hooton in today’s NBR points out, Hide and Garrett between them have ensured that next year there will be a Labour Government, except in the unlikely event of National achieving 50% of the vote. The fact that it will be a ragbag coalition comprising Labour, Green, Maori Party should strike fear into the heart of every New Zelander.

    I very much doubt that there will be a Labour government next year. If National puts forward a winning candidate in Epsom, it will have lost only four seats. Much depends on how Key handles the downfall of ACT. Key’s handling of the Canterbury earthquake will also have further enhanced his profile. Goff – through no fault of his own – was nowhere to be seen in coverage of the quake and its aftermatch. Anyway, the prospect of a Labour, Greens, Maori coalition doesn’t strike fear into my heart.

  33. ” The fact that it will be a ragbag coalition comprising Labour, Green, Maori Party should strike fear into the heart of every New Zealander.”
    Does this mean the ACT Maori and National coalition isnt striking fear in every new zealander and at the same time making Laws which they would never abide by and still expect us to tow the line?

    • Does this mean the ACT Maori and National coalition isnt striking fear in every new zealander and at the same time making Laws which they would never abide by and still expect us to tow the line?

      Well said, PJR.

  34. Here’s Ian Shirley’s view on the new Auckland governance arrangements, and it’s not pretty:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10673959&ref=rss

    Thanks Rodney!

  35. “The fact that it will be a ragbag coalition comprising Labour, Green, Maori Party should strike fear into the heart of every New Zelander.”

    Ben…Don’t forget Whinstone and Michael Laws…

  36. Yes, I had in fact meant to include NZF in the ragbag. Add Winston and Laws into the toxic mix and perhaps you might be concerned. It is hardly a recipe for stable government.

    It is irrelevant how Key handles this; the fact is that National will not have a natural coalition partner next year; hence the need for close to 50% of the vote.

  37. “It is irrelevant how Key handles this; the fact is that National will not have a natural coalition partner next year; hence the need for close to 50% of the vote.”

    Too true…and with the war Key’s waging against the education and health sectors he is going to be generating a lot of heat…he’s gonna have to do some careful dancing next year. It’s going to be fun to watch.

    The old line “I’m pretty relaxed about that” won’t really be of much use.

  38. If ACT are toast (and the deserve to be), and if National gets less than 46% of the vote, then the consequence will be the Maori Party playing off the two main parties – with the price of government being the handing over of the foreshore and seabed and the establishment of an apartheid state in all but name in New Zealand.

    Given the current near-total triumph of the cult of managerialism in both our mainstream elite cadre parties, it is obvious both Labour and National will allow the Maori party to get their way if it gives them access to power.

  39. Tom Semmens: So what you’re saying is that ACT is the only thing saving us from the *darkies?

    I spose you’re right…3 strikes was certainly a law generated to keep a certain sector out of your neighbourhood and off your beaches.

    You must be feeling very vulnerable…I always find a cup of tea helps.

    * Note: use of irony

  40. Good point about the SIS, The Real Tony. Why is it always assumed that those on the far Left are more dangerous than those on the far Right? How can they justify watching the likes of Keith Locke – a genteel and unassuming man if ever there was one – and completely miss the insidious Garrett?

  41. Garrett has resigned and is reported to have taken a two week break ‘toconsider his options. What a lovely job these guys have – Carter, Roy, Garrett; a bit of job stress and off they go at tax payers’ expense ‘to consider their options’. Wish I had a job where I could have a fully paid two week break to consider my options every time the boss upsets me.

  42. Hmmm, I wonder if Garrett will lose his weekly page 7 gig with the Truth weekender?

  43. Would someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but surely if David Garrett resigns from ACT he has to leave Parliament as he is a list MP. I thought only electorate MPs can leave or be expelled from their caucus but still remain in Parliament as an independent MP as Chris Carter has opted to become, when he eventually gets back again. I totally agree with your sentiments Brian – ACT should be consigned to the rubbish bin, or better still a compactor.

  44. Jill, Garrett can stay still stay in Parliament as an independent, even though he is a list MP, immoral as that may seem, because he got in on the list vote. When Act expelled Donna Awatere Huata from Caucus, the Party had to go to court to have her expelled from Parliament.
    Act is dead, despite it still being in Parliament. Its principles are dead, it is philosophically bankrupt. It was never conceived as a hardline law and order party, but now they campaign on one law for all, oh, except for us. It was never started as a branch of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, oh, but this victim was just part of a harmless prank. It was supposed to be a party which stood up for property rights. Oh, but Maori property rights when it comes to the foreshore and seabed don’t matter. RIPieces Act.

  45. “I totally agree with your sentiments Brian – ACT should be consigned to the rubbish bin, or better still a compactor”…together with the head cheerleader, John Banks.

    Seeing the weasel words used by Hide to distance himself from Garrett made my contempt for the man (Hide) even greater. Thank God for Hide that Garrett gave him a ‘get out of jail free card’ by not disclosing the assault in Tonga to the court. It is OK to be an MP when you have used a dead infant’s identity to obtain a passport but make a false affadavit and you are beyond the pale.

    Jill, you are thinking of the Waka jumping legislation which has now expired which was used to remove Donna Awatea Huata (strange how it is always ACT having these problems). She did not so much jump from the Waka but was unceremoniously pushed. In any event the legislation has now expired. I hope Garrett stays on and causes maximum embarrassment to Hide and co.

  46. “ACT should be consigned to the rubbish bin, or better still a compactor.”

    Man, the Milk of human kindness is not flowing, freely, here. Globs of rancid-and-curdled sour cream, more like it.

    • Man, the Milk of human kindness is not flowing, freely, here. Globs of rancid-and-curdled sour cream, more like it.

      Do you not see the irony of talkinga about the ‘milk of human kindness’ when discussing ACT or the Sensible Sentencing Trust, Merv?

  47. “Man, the Milk of human kindness is not flowing, freely, here. Globs of rancid-and-curdled sour cream, more like it.”

    Merv, One News, reporting live from inside the ACT caucus.

    Brian Edwards could turn up the vitriol a hundred fold, and it would still be meek and mild compared to the missiles ACT members are busy hurling at each other. Bring on the next leak …

  48. @ Merv – What is symmetrical Merv is Act is to National what the greens were to labour in the last centre left government, a fringe party with some MPs who hold somewhat extreme views that the majoritory centre voters just cannot relate to. Any more controversy from Act and the National led government will begin to lose support in the electorate. Any intelligent voter in Epsom will see through Ridney Hides squirming today.

  49. Merv just doesn’t ‘get it’, does he – the irony of it all, that is? Does he really expect Joe Citizen to be charitable to anyone in ACT when ‘charity’ is such an anathema to them.

  50. I agree with Merv and Greg, this party was founded on the “philosophy” of every man for himself and bugger those who can’t keep up. No wonder they behave in such a disunited and self serving way when under pressure. They’d chuck women and children out of the lifeboats if necessary.

  51. Oops, not Merv! I didn’t read carefully, seems he has sympathy for ACT as “victims”. Hmmm.

  52. “Man, the Milk of human kindness is not flowing, freely, here. Globs of rancid-and-curdled sour cream, more like it.”

    Given some of Merv’s forceful views expressed in the blog in the past, the statement in itself is rich in irony.

  53. Merv: “Globs of rancid-and-curdled sour cream, more like it.”
    Self evaluation perhaps?

  54. @ Ben: “Given some of Merv’s forceful views expressed in the blog, in the past, the statement in, itself, is rich in irony.”

    Garrett was a goner; we all knew that. But he deserves some credit — for showing us that his outer instantiations projected an unmistakable intuitive resignation and acceptance. That, his political career was finished. Even, before he resigned from ACT. And that he was genuinely remorseful for what he had done. And he gets some credit for thinking beyond himself by expressing further remorse to the deceased boy’s family, causing them to revisit his violation and the pain that went with it. You just believed, that Garrett’s public and private mien, would be one-and-the-same. Contrast this with our Judas-Is-Carter, who professes one thing in public; but, does the complete opposite in private. And with calculated connivance and malevolent treachery, too. No matter, that it was executed with breathtaking clumsiness. But, befitting his ineptness as a half-assed Minister, together with his irrepressible urge for unfettered overseas travel. At the taxpayers’ expense. And, there is the matter of Carter’s cowardice by way of his blank-faced denial when confronted by Goff. One, deserves unbridled scorn; the other, a modicum of understanding. We are — after all — talking about an unsavoury event that occurred in 1984.

    Ben, I’m in the Epsom electorate and I voted for Hide (yeah, he’s been a big letdown). But, going by your all-encompassing generalisation as to the “stupid” voters who happen to live in that particular electorate — where do I reside on your self-constructed Mentally-Capable continuum? Marginal or full-blown, stupidity?

    Key, needs ACT as a counterweight to the never-ending grasping demands of the Maori Party. It is in the country’s interest — that, ACT survives in one form or another. That’s why Key was quick to come out in support of Hide. Unless, of course, you all look forward to the day of encountering threatening petulance, every time you want to inhale salty air and feel the sand beneath your bare feet.

    Brian, I’m all for indefinite incarceration. If, after two significant criminal acts, you don’t/can’t change your ways — you can, fuckin’-well, stay locked-up. Indefinitely.

    • Brian, I’m all for indefinite incarceration. If, after two significant criminal acts, you don’t/can’t change your ways — you can, fuckin’-well, stay locked-up. Indefinitely.

      I’m assuming that after the first ‘significant criminal act’, the person was sent to prison as punishment and to be rehabilitated. Clearly the first aim was achieved but not the second. Repeating the process made no difference. That’s the problem with incarceration – without effective rehabilitative programmes it simply makes people worse rather than better. Your next problem is that with 15% of the population acccounting for 50 percent of the prison population, you’re going to end up with an awful lot of Maori in prison for life. That, in turn, is the result of our failure to address the causes of offending while concentrating instead on the clearly ineffective deterrent value of prison. You really do have to ask the question – why are Maori so heavily overrepresented in our prison statistics. The options seem to be societal failure of bad blood. I incliine towards the former. It surely isn’t a coincidence that colonised peoples make up the bulk of prison populations in the United states, Australia, South Africa and many other countries.

  55. I agree that it isn’t coincidence that colonised peoples make up the bulk of prison populations in Us, Australia etc. Neither is it coincidence that many boys who start out as victims end up as perpretrators. However, the macro view is a difficult one to concentrate on when one is on the receiving end of criminal behaviour.

    I say that not as one who supports three strikes legislation but one who believes criminality must ultimately be judged by its expression and not its causes. I guess that makes me one who regards prison as more a means of punishment than rehabilitation. That said, the search for ways to prevent ciminality should also continue.

  56. @ Merv – New Zealand needs Act like it needs a hole in the ozone layer. This party is not a countenance to the Maori Party. Act caters for those few individuals in New Zealand society where individual greed overides any form of collective community spirit and humanity, and most of the electorate can see through this party. Eventually the Maori party will be found out also, because its main supporters are mainly well educated ethnocentric Maori and dienfranchised uneducated Maori. Middle Maori have, and will always be Labour supporters, and that is why when the wheels fall off this centre right Government eventually, the Maori Party will be seen as complicit in the centre right downfall. I agree with Brian, our prison population is over represented by young Maori. The reason is, that successive governments have tried to educate New Zealanders on the cheap. “If you want to plan for a year plant rice, if you want to plan for a decade plant trees. If you are planning for a lifetime, educate children”.

  57. Alex, there could be an argument for NZ needing an ACT party if it were a party based on the principles put forward by Deborah Coddington.

  58. @ Merv
    Jesus, Merv !, watch it with those stray commas – you nearly had my eye out !

  59. I wouldnt give Garrett credit for his sudden remorse.Im sure that he and Rodneys only regret is being outed for the scoundrals they are.They both had an opportunity to show remorse when the Garrett disclosed his past to Rodney.If these are the best candidates the extreme right can offer I think I’ll pass thanks.

  60. What I am astounded at his Rodney Hide’s brazen lies. He has stated that when Garrett told him about this he didn’t ask any questions / get any details. WHAT? So, let me see, Garrett says “Rodney, I’ve had a conviction for passport fraud”. What DID Rodney say next if he didn’t say something like “Tell me about it..” …”What happened..”

    YES, I know he’s lying but this just tops every political lie ever told in it’s absolute transparency.

    How can he keep a straight face.

  61. How relevant is Hide? – yet Auckland region is getting his new administration which few Aucklanders want.
    Further, he has recently been given Roy’s Associate Education Ministerial roles and we know his thinking and agenda there. If he ever had one, where’s his mandate now…

  62. Interesting discussion. I’m on the other side of the world, so it is too hard for me to judge whether Brian’s gentle obituary is premature or not. Here’s hoping ACT are not merely experiencing a Mark Twain moment.

  63. “give me a child who is 7 and i will give you the man.” too late for serious offenders in prison to be other than superficially rehabilitated. when entrenched fear and hate have made their way to indifference or glee in causing serious pain to others. when the genteel will invite the parents of such children round for tea, when the law abiding will go to the movies with them, when the common garden tax payer rubs shoulders with them in jovial banter – then the prison take for maori will go down. means purist caring community.of course no nation has ever achieved that, but certainly there is a departure, in this high tech age, and we can wave goodbye out the back of the bus to community. (nor is having people paid to care- “community”)
    agree with merv, brian, that you’re not being even handed with your tolerance of politicians going feral. eg. chris carter. also-if you are talking rehabilitation as in your prison post- you should apply the thinking across the board. has the misguided twat. that stole a dead child’s i.d., been rehabilitated to serve fellow man/woman? some will say yes in much of the work he has done and some will say no as their hatred of act philosophy makes them retch.(conditons for the virulent virus “anyplebhgetsintoparliament” have been bought on by mmp. virus very difficult to contain)

  64. I agree with everything you say. But you’re now framing the Three-Strikes issue by way of selective reference and context. My pov, on this, was about crime and punishment, generally;
    not about Maori crime, and how they are disproportionately represented in prison statistics. Delving into that, is like lifting the lid on Pandora’s box. But open it, and you’ll find the heavy multivalence of their mainstay
    cultural symbolism — the anachronistic but ugly haka, signifying their Eternal Warrior heritage. And that always comes with a primal kind of
    violence, accompanied by little regard as to consequence; and even less, when it comes to introspection. Hence, the high reoffending rate amongst many Maori.

    Why are pakeha so quick to embrace this artifact, and perform it on the flimsiest of occasions? Is it their way of reaffirming a shared identity (oneness), or is it fawning cultural deference. “If Mohammed won’t go to the mountain……..”

    Forever, acquiescing to Maori outrageous demands by way of continuous handouts and straight out guilt-laden capitulation, is never going to appease them. Ever! It’s very much like to trying ingratiate yourself with someone who, you know, just doesn’t like you — such as, a bullying work boss. The more you try to ingratiate yourself with him/her, the more it invokes that person’s contempt. It exacerbates the problem rather than mitigates it. Same, with these wretched Treaty settlements: it’s like trying to treat an angry rash, by rubbing poison ivy on to the affected area.

    Grant Maori customary rights to the seabed and foreshore (however vague), expect to see them with their strapped-on money belts, patrolling
    any remote pristine beach. Surly aggression and all, I promise you.

  65. Merv – The great pandoras box- It has surely been opened for you now, the racism, the lack of any empathy, you must have had some very bad experiences in your life to hold such vehement views. For the Maori that I work with every day, from all backgrounds, most just want a decent life for themselves and their families. A job, a house in a nice street like their pakeha friends, and a decent education for their children. Nothing more. In all societies you will always have a fringe minority who expect more. There are many Eurpoean families from “good” backgrounds who are as dysfunctional as any dysfunctional Maori family. You really should embrace Maori people Merv, because statistics tell us that they are going to be a significant portion of our population in the next 40 years.

  66. fear of communism created the nazis. fear of the asian immigrants creaed nzfirst, fear of maori demands created…probably act? while railing against a movement/situation that you know will change the way we live it is sometimes hard to choose the vehicle for representation. a small vehicle like act is just not roadworthy for the whole trip. when the steering went (i think, when rodney fell in love) it was difficult to maintain it’s direction. you gotta choose another vehicle merv.i think act won’t get another wof.
    the haka has become a symbol of nz- sometimes i like it when there is true appreciation and spirit of a ‘battle’ – ironically i’m not mad about it for all blacks, because it encourages some rugby supporters to think we own rugby-which is false,ignorant, unsporting arrogance.
    anyway- we, voters of these democratic isles, have let the governments over the last generation to fumble and bumble with maori policy. this has left chasms of financial opportunity for clever – and also some grasping – maori.it has also created expectation that – ask and you will be given.

  67. Merv. I know of some good anti-depressants which might help your anguish. But alcohol is not a good substitute.
    Your allegiance to ACT shows why even its intentions hardly fit the intentions of most NZers that I know. I have met a strange soap-box fellow in Wellington who raves on just like you. I waited till he stopped frothing and asked him if his name was Merv but he didn’t seem to know.
    As Alex says: “For the Maori that I work with every day, from all backgrounds, most just want a decent life for themselves and their families.” Yes.

  68. ianmac- most just want a decent life for themselves and their families- applies to all. don’t mistake anti open slather treaty deals as anti maori or you create a bunch of unnecessary weaselly trouble.

  69. Where do you find the time to write Merv, shouldn’t you be checking the locks?
    Out in the real world things are quite different from the paranoid racist mantra you spout. I urge you to take a road trip to get in touch with the small Maori communities around the coastlines of NZ, meet some REAL people.

    All adolescent males are potentially dangerous animals, no matter to what race or species they belong, they need constant challenge, supervision and focus to achieve their best as mature adults.
    You need to get out more, Merv, you’re mixing in the wrong circles. Propinquity has a lot to answer for … out there in Epsom.

    Deborah Coddington summed it up perfectly: “It was supposed to be a party which stood up for property rights. Oh, but Maori property rights when it comes to the foreshore and seabed don’t matter. RIPieces Act.”

    I am also reminded of what Thomas Keneally said on Nat.Rad. about history showing how the groups of immigrants who were most persecuted in their home countries have always become the worst oppressors in their adopted countries. Perhaps we should not underestimate their legacy? The sins of the fathers …

    I feel the same parallel might be found in Rodney Hide’s attempted ascension from mediocrity, at any price, tenaciously grasping at any platform to maintain personal power. Alas, as ‘make-overs’ went, he only addressed the most shallow and superficial aspects of his veneer. So much to do, so little time left.

    Time to check those padlocks again Merv … some big tattooed warrior might have his eye on your knick-knacks.

  70. Seriously, some of you guys are truly blocked: I was referring — Pandora’s box — to Brian’s reply re Maori recidivist criminal offending, not about Maori per se, for F’s sake!!

    BE: “why are Maori so heavily overrepresented in our prison statistics. The options seem to be societal failure of bad blood. I incliine towards the former. It surely isn’t a coincidence that colonised peoples make up the bulk of prison populations in the United states, Australia, South Africa and many other countries.”

    But the words of Tame Iti rings in my ears, still — when he said, before the TV camera: “One day, we is going to be your boss.”

  71. I wouldn’t express myself in Merv’s terms but I do find the responses fascintating. It appears that the old saying “some of my best friends are Maori” with all its baggage reflects the views of some writers.

    Those would be the same left leaning middle class liberals I mixed with in a small town with a very high Maori population. Oh so liberal in conversation except when it came to educating their little darlings. At that point they all congregated at the small farming schools on the edge of town to avoid Maori.

    I sent my kids to a low decile school and there was a white reality about that. My kids learned to fight both metaphorically and literally. It is idle to suggest otherwise. It is the reality for many of us.

    Neither I nor my kids demonise Maori as a result. That experience was what it was. But I have little sympathy for white middle class denial practised by those who haven’t a clue.

  72. entrenched views and the stereotyping of people do not lead us forward. little toot -you are more guilty of this than merv, on the basis of your last post. negatively presenting-a big tatooed warrior, as a thief – could be Warrior manu vatuvai, league legend and well known, genuine guy setting up house with handsome new contract income.

  73. I’m somewhat amused by the news media’s sudden discovery that Act is a party of damaged nutbars.

    It has long been thus. This is the party that made Trevor Loudon — an adherent of a paranoid far-right capitalist cult, spun off from Scientology, once aligned with neo-Nazis, whose leader claimed godlike powers — its vice president.

    Which flirted with making Muriel Newman, purveyor of a panoply of crazy-assed racist myths, its deputy leader. Which happily keeps loathsome brats like Clint Heine (he’s the one who posted photoshopped she-male porn of Helen Clark on the internet) in the camp.

    Then, of course, there’s Donna Awatere-Huata. And Owen Jennings, who, with his leader’s help, managed to survive this bizarre incident:

    http://www.nznews.net.nz/hardnews/1998/19980522.html

    Then you’ve had Stephen Franks, who told a journalist that the gay community was so “riddled with pathologies” as to be beyond help.

    Other parties have, of course, had their bad eggs and idiots — Philip Field being a very notable example. But none of them have been anything like Act.

    I say this as someone who does see a place for a genuine classical liberal party in the New Zealand political environment. But Act was never that party. It was undone by its contradictions, by the crushing weight of craziness in its ranks, from the very beginning.

  74. Oh the other hand — I think there are still people within Act who want it to be that principled, classical liberal party. Nick Kearney strikes me a honest and decent, Heather Roy actually was a good associate education minister, whose work impressed the disability community …

    But I’m not sure if they have much of a chance of salvaging anything from this cesspool. For goodness sake, the leader-in-waiting is Boscawen, who’s wasted half of Act’s Parliamentary questions this year on his ridiculous conspiracy theories about climate change and Niwa. That hardly seems a path to sanity.

  75. No bje, my intent was ironic … when Merv gets paranoid about Maori ‘taking over NZ’ he has a picture of Tame Iti et al. in his head (as if Tame et al. would covet Merv’s knick knacks).
    Like Tony, I have lived in a predominantly Maori community. Shunned by the white liberal middle class wannabes (I lived on the wrong side of the white geographic demarcation line), it was the old Maori women who came to my rescue in my time of utter despair. I also lived with a ‘big tattooed warrior’ and have first hand experience of politics and socialising in an alternative reality on the margins of ‘whiter than white’ society.
    From the margins one can see a constant procession of materialism and conspicuous wealth … not only across the community border, but displayed constantly in magazines and on TV. These represent ‘social standards’ that young Maori, the poor, and the under-educated, can only envy … the privileged ‘white ceiling’ prevents equal access to opportunity for the majority.
    While Merv seems to be sheltering with other fear driven racists under the Hide umbrella, in reality they appear to be following a Judas sheep.

  76. @ Marcus

    Seems like I’ve already gouged your eye out, dude. An exclamation mark, followed by a comma? Oh, and I’m not known to go watching a “it” “with stray commas”, we have different interests. Not sure what I’m on about? Take your illiterate dreck to a half-decent English teacher.

    And who’s the idiot who took you down from the cross?

  77. Merv should like this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM

  78. a biblical montage. what – with jesus and judas in the mix. makes me want to break out, for tooty’s sake, into monty python’s “always look on the bright side of life.”

  79. For those of you bemoaning Mr Edwards’ supposed lack of ‘even-handedness’, could you please explain how Chris Carter’s behaviour was in any way illegal? Please try and compare like with like, otherwise it simply looks like you have a particular axe to grind.

  80. Edward really enjoyed that.I enjoyed Nazi Zombies
    also.
    Thanks

  81. @PJR: “Edward really enjoyed that.I enjoyed Nazi Zombies also.”

    PJR, I came to that conclusion, too. That’s why, our Edward posted his ‘Glorious’ tribute to Q.T, in the first place.

    Oh! Unless, of course, you meant to say: YOU “enjoyed that”. In which case, your sentence requires the interposition of a ‘comma’ after, “Edward”. As in: Edward, really enjoyed that. I enjoyed Nazi Zombies, also.
    Is that what you meant to say, PJR — that, You enjoyed the hilarious parody?

    No point, our near-blind One-Eyed Marcus Spartacus, trying to comprehend that, though — especially, when he ‘don’t’ know Jack Schitt.

    Edward, I, wearily, re-post this:
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,967673,00.html

    With the rider, Mod-Writ-Eng is trending away from the use of commas, provdided — it doesn’t convey ambiguity. (As with PJR’s declaritively-flawed sentence).

  82. My mistake .What is the current punishment for this action?Should I refer to “Grammer Nazis”for my punishment?I have mispelled a few words in earlier posts.Can I make a clean breast of it ?

    +36

  83. @ PJR: It was meant to shine some light into Marcus Spartacus’s dark void. And — as with the others that came before this myopic dude — I have never brought myself into this junk, voluntarily.

    Final Word: Commas and capitalisations are important. It can be the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle, jack off a horse. (If ever called upon, please, lend a hand to the first one, only).

  84. Thanks for the Grammar lesson Merv. “Jerk off” would be more appropriate, since that is how Tau Henere described the leader of the Act Party. Now back to Brian’s schadenfreude at your chosen political party’s laughable state of affairs. Tee hee hee.

  85. the only time i have ever seen tame iti in the flesh, honestly, was seeing him selling souvenirs down near auckland’s waterfront some years back.he was very friendly even though i didn’t purchase anything.
    i think maybe merv has derailed into a fit of punctuation pox because tooty has convinced him he’s rascist.nothing merv has posted is rascist. oooohhhh toot, is he placing maori out of their quaint little domain you like to keep them in, stroking them daily? cringe.maori can speak for themselves.

  86. @ Merv

    A few examples, DUDE:

    “I don’t think, that sort of gleeful headline…” (comma after think entirely redundant)

    “That, his political career was finished.” (comma entirely redundant)

    “Even, before he resigned from Act.” (comma redundant as anything, dude !)

    Cowabunga, Dude !!!

  87. @marcus: Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! You are confused. And it shows by the way you write: “dude”. In one sentence, it’s written as a proper noun (capitalised); and in another instance, you write it in lower case. You are hopelessly befuddled.

    You, also, reincarnate yourself, in many guises; it tells me you can’t back yourself. You lack self-belief, if you have to keep altering your online identity.

    I’ve just read what you’ve written, on the next blog. I give, Brian, permission to send you my email address, and I will correct it. Free of charge. Then, take both versions to your English teacher. Better, still, print this off, and have it checked.

    • I’ve just read what you’ve written, on the next blog. I give, Brian, permission to send you my email address, and I will correct it. Free of charge. Then, take both versions to your English teacher. Better, still, print this off, and have it checked.

      I’m not getting involved in this pedantic nonsense, Merv.

  88. BE: “I’m not getting involved in this pedantic nonsense, Merv.”

    Wholeheartedly agree, Brian. It’s junk! And it MUST stop! But it’s being thrust upon me. As you will recall: I requested, that you remove the original catalytic posts. I will refrain from commenting on ‘Trevor’s’ latest effort. (Noted, more, for its solecism as opposed to correct syntax).

    And you did note: that ol’ ‘marcus’ just had to reference his “Honours” study. What a vapid joke; further testament to his lack of self-belief. Forever, in need of validation. (Shhh…. he doesn’t need to know, that: Dr. Andrew Sharp rated my “intelligence” as being in the top 7% of all Auckland University students. And that’s genuine; not apocryphal).

    I don’t mind, being called outside for a fencing duel. But it’s disappointing to see my so-called adversary dressed in boxer-shorts and wearing jandals; feinting — in high expectation — with a celery stick. (And a limp one at that, too!)
    It makes me feel — that, I have just wasted my time, putting on my nice kevlar suit and masked helmet. It’s a very uneven contest.

    But: Enough is enough.

  89. BE: I’m not getting involved in this pedantic nonsense, Merv.

    Quite right Brian. You should have handed that reply over to Judy, who is a self confessed pedant when it comes to grammar. I mean no offense when I say that, as grammer is quite important to good writing, which is becoming a dying art.
    My father was a real grammar nazi and used to thrash me over the head with a rolled up newspaper if I didn’t speak what he called the Queen’s English. He would be rolling in his grave if he were to hear the grammatical errors of so called educated people speaking on the National programme.

  90. So Brian, JK thinks Hide is a good party leader … and further strategy displayed by the stance on the alcohol limit and drinking age (how many young lives have been ruined by Shipley’s change in the drinking age?), the great ‘Knowledge Economy’ theory abandoned to be followed by accusations of the great ‘Brain Drain’… still draining John, still draining … does the man lack moral leadership? Next thing you know they’ll be giving each other Queen’s Birthday awards for their assumed contribution to NZ.

    bje: “quaint little domain”? Keep stroking that armadillo boyo, I have no delusions or illusions about Maori, nor dear, Merv, our old line dancing adversary.

  91. “No bje, my intent was ironic … ”

    Of course it was, my Dear; of course it was. (Tui caption in the making).Showing, remarkable fleet of foot (actually, backtrack) I can imagine your doing a quarter-decent quick step; galloping around the dance floor at breakneck speed. I have no delusions NOR illusions, about your competency.

  92. Only “quarter decent” dear heart? Nay, I shall spring ahead on horseback and you may of course follow me, though I do not recommend backtracks without glancing behind for you never know where cads and bounders are lurking these modern days.
    And your thoughts on JK’s declaration re. Mr Hide’s leadership qualities?

  93. “And your thoughts on JK’s declaration re. Mr Hide’s leadership qualities?”

    Key needs Hide. As I’ve mentioned, Act is a counterweight to the Maori Party. They all share the same bed, with the Nats in the middle. But there’s no real ardour being shared around, they remain fully clothed.

    A Herald reader writes: that, Key, would rather have Hide keep Epsom, because he delivers 5 Act MPs, which he can rely on. And that’s always going to worth more than another ‘Worth’. In a way, both these minor bedfellows provide a kind of double indemnity to National. From the beginning, Key opted for the All-Inclusive insurance policy, by including the Maori Party. Act and the Maori Party, together, help to consolidate Key’s position. But he doesn’t want to rely on either one of them to be the fulcrum, when it comes to his balancing act.

    Act is wounded, but not fatally — especially, when Key is only too willing to ‘act’ as the proactive paramedic with the bandages to staunch the bleeding.

    Garrett is about to resign from Parliament, and this can only be good for Act. If you get the chance, read today’s Herald, and John Armstrong’s column.

    It may repel you to see Key wax lyrical over Hide’s “leadership qualities”. You, probably, regard this show with some distaste: as engaging in foreplay to more active concupiscent behaviour. That (comma) this is happening with the bedcovers off, probably, doesn’t make it any more palatable for you. It still seems unseemly. An unnatural act, so to speak.

    Contrary to what you think about me, I’m not a great fan of Rodney Hide. My respect for him, diminished, when he went on the Speaker’s tour to the Iguaçu Falls and other South American exotic destinations. You know, the travel junket, where fat boy-who-ate-all-the-pies-taxi-user-extraordinaire-minister-of-wine-and-cheese-and-waste-of-space, was the tour leader. At the taxpayers’ expense, of course.

  94. I never thought you were a fan of Rodney Hide, Merv … I just never thought. Sorry old chap. What you say makes sense of course, this ‘marriage of convenience’, though the lack of moral integrity burns. While my mind can easily dismiss David Garrett as an opportunistic fool, it cannot believe Hide. In my mind (such as it is) I align Key with Hide in sharing the same acquisitive viewpoint, and I guess as pissing competitions go, Key has one over Hide now.

    Where you and I drift apart in this dance is where I trust Maori to do the right thing, I believe (without listening to the radicals) that there is sufficient collective wisdom amongst the elders to ‘do the honourable thing’ by NZ’ers. Sadly, I doubt it will happen in my lifetime, people fear change. Call me naive if you wish, I had to look up ‘concupiscent’ … do you think Hide will put his ugly bits away and leave the leadership? I thought National was planning to put up a candidate in the Epsom electorate?
    , (for ewe) Why don’t you attack the apostrophe? I hate them and they hate me.
    P.S. If you reformat Heather Roy’s ’82 page wonder’ to standard format, it shrivels to approx. 22 pages including references etc… Not so impressive, huh?

  95. @merv… I’m assuming someone with this
    Much time to pontificate on an online forum doesnt work; surely you at least have a life?
    May I suggest a visit to http://www.Literacy.org.nz? You can put a passion for words, a privileged upbringing and a sense of superiority to an area where people want, and need to learn; rather that waving it around in an arena where people would rather you took it elsewhere so they could actually discuss the topic at hand.
    I’m not sure you would get through the training though, you might have to pause long enough to listen in order to teach.

  96. Mate, don’t make phone calls on behalf of….
    Yes, I do happen to know.

  97. Oh Russell, you keep banging that drum about that photo on my blog at every opportunity – anybody would think you had a wee man crush on me.

    Loathsome brats like Clint Heine? Funny that we have never met nor did I ever force your wee sensitive self to visit my blog. I do rather remember that your blog was in a complete kerfuffle when that picture was published and yet on my blog – not a single word from you or your friends. No email. Nothing.