Newsletter 26

10 August 2014

Rabble rousing hate speech

It’s personal, and very nasty. Mr Dotcom showed his true ugliness and vitriolic motivations when inciting an orchestrated and now well-publicised “F… John Key” chant at a party rally last week. The Internet Mana Party is using the video clip in its campaign advertising (a matter now before the Advertising Standards Authority).

People are allowed to be idiots but what’s truly dangerous about Dotcom is that elements within society are joining his campaign of revenge.

That not only includes the partying students drawn into the Dotcom rant – they can at least be dismissed for being drunk or youthful or both. It particularly includes Laila Harre and Hone Harawira for going along with this ugly agenda because it suits them to do so. Quite simply, they have sold out their principles by getting into bed with a rich rabble rouser. Not only did they betray any respect they had by hooking up with Dotcom in the first place, they have now perpetuated their ill-conceived liaison by condoning his actions.

In defending the hate chant on Radio NZ, Laila Harre said it was nothing more than an expression of youth… “normal behaviour for young people at many rock concerts… a popular chant”, she said.  She went further, saying she celebrated their actions for “becoming politically involved.”

We wonder if she would similarly celebrate “F… Laila Harre” chants as an expression of being politically involved. We can assume not given her reaction when the PM referred to Dotcom as her ‘sugar daddy’.

It seems clear that Dotcom is very personable and the liberty with which he throws money around makes him more attractive to some. The point here is whether society will be strong enough to reject his destructive behaviour.

The truth is both Harre and Hariwera would not be in a relationship with Dotcom if it were not a free pass into parliament for Harre and a chance to bump the Maori Party off its top perch for Harawira.  We believe their manipulation of MMP and the litany of deceit and lies will become even more obvious and astounding when Mana cuts ties with the Internet Party shortly after the 20 September election.

Dotcom’s inciting behaviour should be rejected by ALL party leaders. They should not only say it’s unacceptable, they should back up their words by refusing to include the Mana Internet Party in a post-election government. David Cunliffe stopped short of doing that because he too is prepared to go along with even the lowest of behaviour, while it suits him to do so.

National and gangs

Last Monday National released details of a new policy targeting gang crime. It included some interesting facts:

  • There are 4,000 known gang members in NZ (there are about 9,000 sworn police officers).
  • Gangs are responsible for:
    •  25 per cent of homicide related charges.
    • 34 per cent of class A/B drug offences
    • 36 per cent of kidnapping and abduction offences
    • 25 per cent of aggravated robbery/robbery offences
    • 26 per cent of grievous assault offences
  • Gang members average 53 offences in their lifetime.
  • The 50 members with the highest number of charges average 229 charges each.
  • Almost half of serious offences by gang members are family violence related.
  • 74 per cent of gang children have been abused or neglected on multiple occasions.
  • Corrections estimates the proportion of gang members in prison has increased from 15 per cent to around 28 per cent over the past eight years, with each prisoner costing the taxpayer approximately $100,000 each year.
  • Five out of nine child deaths in New Zealand between 2009 and 2012 involved step fathers with gang connections.
  • 55 per cent of gang members are dependent on welfare.
  • 61 per cent have outstanding child support owing.
  • 71 per cent of clan labs have links to organised crime

The release had four new initiatives. These were:  interdepartmental information sharing (we are surprised this does not occur already), new initiatives to protect children living in gang families, the creation of two “Dedicated Enforcement Taskforces” to tackle gang related drug activities, and an amendment to the Sentencing Act to allow courts to stipulate 24-hour GPS monitoring on high-risk gang members.

The release may be read HERE.

We applaud any initiative to combat criminal organisations. Targeting the worst offenders and locking them up for longer seems like a good start. It’s outrageous that gang members have the freedom to commit an average of 53 convictions over their life-time.

Napier catches the wrong bus

Veronica and Belle have cost Napier’s ratepayers a lot of money – about $1.3m. That’s how much the Council lost on two art deco buses used to provide a tourist link between Napier’s seaside suburbs and the city centre.

According to the Dominion Post the Council paid $837,000 for Veronica and Belle in the US, where they had been used as school buses. At great expense the Council converted them into Deco City Discoverer buses, only to find they were not roadworthy and required repairs. The total cost was reported to be $1.1m. Veronica and Belle eventually took to the streets in April last year, and had their final run in May this year, after accumulating operating losses $323,000.

The buses were sold recently for $25,000 each. The buyer got a steal. Ratepayers lost out. It is just another example of why Councils should stick to the basics.

The Napier Council could actually learn a thing or two from the Mayor of the Clutha District Council – see Breaking Views HERE.

Conservatives score coup

The Conservative Party has scored a coup in attracting Sensible Sentencing Trust chief executive Garth McVicar as a list and electorate candidate.

It’s no secret that Mr McVicar had been courted by a number of parties over the years, and for good reason – he is well known and well respected.  He is unlikely to win the electorate of Napier, but may “spoil” National’s chances of retaining the seat, and open the door for Labour’s Stuart Nash, especially given the retirement of sitting MP Chris Tremain.

There is also a very interesting fight developing in Epsom, and the contrasting attitudes of ACT and the Conservative Party about drugs is likely to feature.

On this point, the parties are poles apart. The Conservatives are conservative, while ACT takes a libertarian, personal responsibility approach.

We think a low tolerance approach towards drugs is likely to resonate with what is a conservative Epsom electorate, and it’s one of those passionate issues that can swing votes. Whether it’s enough to swing the electorate to Christine Rankin and the Conservative Party remains to be seen. Polling in the electorate shows the Conservative Party has a lot of ground to make. National supports have bought into a deal with ACT but have yet to consider the Conservatives as the alternative. That would require a nod and a wink from John Key, which is unlikely.

5pm Polls

Last week we asked: Do you think the Conservative Party will take the Epsom seat from ACT?

On this readers were divided:  51% said YES, 49% said NO.

Comments included:

Yes with Ms Rankin. The Conservative have an excellent candidate. Clear, understanding, knows what the people want. T he country need her with her positive attitude. John.

Wishful thinking perhaps, but a master stroke by Conservative to put up Ms Rankin up. Terry

Christine will make a terrific MP. I feel sure she will run rings around everyone else. That is if the Epsom voters have the political nous they are reputed to have. Helen

The intelligent Epsom voters will realise the Conservatives will poll higher on their Party Vote and therefore of more worth to National. Tony

This could be a distinct possibility. Rankin’s take that electors should be free to vote according to their own conscience may strike a chord. They have done what Key has told them in the past but the time may be right for them to stand up for themselves. William

As an Epsom voter I say there is more chance of Labour taking it than Conservative and we all know the chances of that happening. Peter

Epsom have become used to the Act ‘deal’. The Act candidate looks like a good guy. Frank

Not at this stage. They will have to work a lot harder to appeal to more voters. I would love to see them win though. Sarah

This week we ask: Do you think ALL party leaders should refuse to enter into post-election deal with the Internet-Mana Party?

To vote, please visit www.5pm.org.nz and look on the RH sidebar.

The 5PM Facebook Page

All your poll comments from last week have been posted on the 5PM Facebook page HERE.

 

And finally, please don’t forget to help us spread the message about 5PM! Our policies, see HERE, would have a very positive impact on the future of New Zealand.

Regards
Frank and Muriel Newman

P.S. Please feel free to pass this newsletter on.