Posts by Stephen R

  • Hard News: Standing together,

    Observing in court one day, I witnessed a gentleman being prosecuted for breaching a non-contact order by driving down the street his partner/ex-partner lived on, and waving at her.

    The defendant's lawyer was putting it to the judge that the defendant should not be punished because he was driving down the road by accident, and was only waving to show there were no hard feelings. He sounded like he really believed it, and that his client was being unfairly picked on.

    My opinion was that the defendant was waving to show that he could come by anytime, and the police wouldn't be there.

    In this instance, the judge appeared to have a similar opinion to me, and remanded him in custody for the meantime.

    It occurred to me that it was the lawyer's job to try to sell that line to the judge as convincingly as possible, to do less would be not doing his job properly. I wondered whether there was some sort of code that lawyers used to judges to say "My client has told me this is his excuse, and I'm trying to sound as convincing as possible, but please don't let him off" and whether using such a code would in effect not be doing the lawyer's best to get their client off, and thus failing as a lawyer. The better the lawyer does their job, the more sleazy they can look.

    I also wondered whether since most (all?) judges have been lawyers, the lawyer could make their pitch secure in the knowledge that the judge was smart enough to know that the line was bullshit. There's a lot of twisty thinking down that road though.

    Bits of the law look fascinating, other bits make me want to wear rubber gloves and use a long pole before examining closely.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I mean, there was no way Labour was ever going to buy the "let's have a formal pre-election alliance" deal on offer, and so to act as if the rejection is a grand insult is, frankly, precious.

    And listening to Russel Norman this morning on National Radio, he didn't appear to me to be being precious. I thought that Guyon was trying to get him to play that card, but it just didn't happen (which seemed to throw Guyon off, perhaps because he didn't have any cue cards for what to do when Russel didn't bite.).

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    Listening to the interview by Guyon of Russel in the car on the way to work this morning, I had to turn it off. Guyon seemed desperate to get the narrative out that the Greens and Labour were about to go to war with each other, despite Russel being completely reasonable about Greens and Labour being allowed to disagree on tactics in fighting the election while both wanting to change the government.

    It's like Guyon wasn't listening to anything Russel said. I don't need that before the morning coffee...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate, in reply to BenWilson,

    If 320km/h lines around Europe managed to connect up most of the major centers, they'd definitely rival air travel around the continent.

    The train from Paris to London was much preferable to (and faster than) flying from CDG to Heathrow (and then training from Heathrow to central London) - the two hour check in for flying made a critical difference.

    Then we made the mistake of buying a cheap flight from London to Edinburgh. After figuring out logistics involved, it turned out to be cheaper (and not actually much slower) to abandon the plane tickets and catch a train, even though the plane tickets were a sunk-cost. 4 hours of train with free wifi went very quickly and delivered us to central Edinburgh rather than Glasgow Prestwick which would have required another train to get to Edinburgh anyway.

    Trains from Paris to Barcelona, or Rome to Paris were less successful, but probably because they were slower/older trains.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Gower Speaks, in reply to WH,

    I'd have thought there'd be at least some interest in a well-thought out election polling blog.

    We could call it FiveThirtyEight.co.nz ...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Jim looks back at the big…, in reply to Sue,

    can i cast a vote for 60 second film summaries with jimmy? this was great

    +1

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Oh, Auckland, in reply to nzlemming,

    But Russ' point is that you don't get the same scale and diversity outside south Auckland, and that's because you don;t have the same population density

    I'd agree with that. Wellington doesn't even get the same scale and diversity as I remember in Christchurch at the Riccarton raceway on a Sunday morning back in the late 90s.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Oh, Auckland, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    nor are any of the other weekend morning markets round Wellington that I’m aware of.

    Isn't there one in Waitangi park on a Sunday morning? or in the carpark under Frank Kitts Park on a Saturday morning? (Not that I've been to either, just vague signs and the traffic and parking issues seem to indicate so)

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: School bully,

    re: The Finns and their education system

    http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/03/finnish-education-chief-we-created-a-school-system-based-on-equality/284427/

    They didn't always have an excellent education system.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spring Timing,

    Seems Judith Collins might not have been entirely straight with that nice Mr Key...

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9818950/Judith-Collins-comes-clean-about-dinner

    Prime Minister John Key has signalled Justice Minister Judith Collins is on her final warning after she withheld details of a dinner in China with a company linked to her husband.

    The dinner was with senior members of Oravida, a company that deals with New Zealand dairy products, and a senior Chinese government official. Collins' husband David Wong Tung is a director of the company.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 120 posts Report Reply

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