I actually think this has gone beyond "dirty politics" and into outright corruption.
The UK police distinguish between cops who are "bent for the job" (those who use illegal and unacceptable practices to pursue those they honestly believe to be guilty) and those who are "bent for themselves" and protect criminals for personal gain. Of course, one often tips over into the other.
I think there's a similar thing in politics. The right is intrinsically "bent for the job" - they seek to promote the interests of the wealthy as a group through "legitimate" policy settings and laws. But this has, as can be expected, tipped over into being "bent for themselves" and taking money from individuals for privileged treatment (ranging from a photo with the Minister through to escaping prosecution for large scale fraud).
I think the traditional threat of "we know where yer live" is regarded as unlawyerly, even in Belfast.
Labour or the Greens could also do this.
So basically, a bunch of finance company directors stole money from NZ investors, and their mates in the National Party were complicit in bullying the SFO to help them wriggle out of their accountability for this. Not to mention several of these National Party people taking money to help out.
I wonder how this will play with the fleeced investors, most of whom will be lifetime voters for that very same National Party.
Labour and or the Greens should be promising legislation to make finance company directors retrospectively accountable and watching National standing up for their mates and contributors against ordinary NZers.
While I'd agree that violence and bullying by children needs to be reduced, it's hard to judge where the full force of the criminal law needs to be brought to bear. If every kid who hits another ends up going through police action, suspension from school and a criminal record, we'll just get a lot of young violent criminals.
In general, I'd say that discharge without conviction should only be used in fairly exceptional cases, where a case should really not have reached court, but it wound up there and the judge needs to correct that. I'd think that working on making the long term effects of a conviction less devastating is better than not convicting those who are clearly due a punishment, but can make a case for disproportionate effects (For instance, one could envisage imposing a community sentence but suppressing all identification details, including withholding them from foreign states).
In the case in question, there is a reasonable argument that had the assault not had tragic consequences, the culprits would have got diversion and that lead the judge to reasonably sentence to a discharge without conviction,
I will wait for Slater, Farrar, Hooton and Odgers to be charged for their rather more substantive conspiracy, then. Think I'll be waiting a while.
(Paremoremo's convenient for Warkworth though - maybe they'll give Farrar day release to attend foo camp?)
Suggesting Dotcom is @whaledump is libellous, I reckon, unless one happens to have beyond-reasonable-doubt evidence. The Lange defence doesn't apply to a direct factual accusation of criminal conduct.
I suspect a number of media sources will be hearing from m'learned friends.
What you're saying is that all our parties, without exception*, are owned by huge foreign multinationals who do their best to obfuscate this through layers of flag-wrapping.
* I checked. Emersons ∈ Lion ∈ Kirin ∈ Mitsubishi
Boundary Road ∈ Independent Liquor ∈ Asahi
fairly unique in our potential for massive growth in renewable energy
Exactly. And there's an argument that by growing sustainably and taking a reasonable number of immigrants, we are easing the burden on more populous and strained ecosystems, like Europe and China.
Before the early 20th century the Republicans were on the whole the more left-wing of US political parties. Lincoln was a Republican and Jefferson Davis a Democrat.
It wasn't until FDR that the current positions became fully entrenched.