Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So far from trivial

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  • Danielle,

    Lynching, incidentally, has almost precisely nothing to do with how we're discussing the incident. No one here has come anywhere near calling for Veitch to be hung up by a tree, burned, beaten, and have his genitals and tongue cut out, while the rest of the community has a picnic and takes postcard pictures. Nor was his infraction an imaginary one based on racist fears of miscegenation or 'uppitiness'. We were just discussing legal, justice-type stuff, because, in case you hadn't noticed, he broke his ex-girlfriend's back. In four places. And, uh, put her in a wheelchair.

    But if you want to crazily exaggerate it that way, be my guest.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Ooh. Nicely put Danielle.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Speaking of lynchings have you seen this?

    BOP Times Dick Moore

    "Well I want to look my best in a figure-hugging, hand-stitched Ku Klux Klan outfit when I zip up to South Auckland to join the newly created Asian vigilante groups.

    They've been overrun by robbers, crackheads, lowlifes and killers so I reckon they need a bit of a hand to keep the ever-increasing forces of darkness at bay."

    "But now the thugs of South Auckland are going to get a bit of a shock as triad gangs and vigilante groups, trained in martial arts, will be roaming the streets looking for trouble-makers.

    And let's hope they catch a few and deal to them in an unofficial capacity. I don't necessarily mean lynchings, or burning tyres around necks, or being dragged behind peoplemovers, but you never know."

    http://indymedia.org.nz/newswire/display/75670/index.php

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Shep:

    Littlest actions can have very bad results. TRhat's why no violence is good & we no-longer use the 'rule of thumb'.

    Ah, what? I thought it was because there's no justification, despite what certain texts say about a stick the width of one's thumb, for using any violence against another person. Not because a little light bashing can get out of hand.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    That is, any violence that's not in defence of self or another, etc.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    Touche Danielle

    What she said

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    B Jones - you're right, poorly written by myself.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Looks like there may some issues with the statement made to ACC:

    "The spokesman said it would, however, probably not be an issue as Ms Dunne-Powell did not appear to have gained financially from ACC."

    But...

    "The ACC website lists "Misrepresenting their accident and/or injury" as an example of fraud.

    "Penalties include: criminal prosecution, civil proceedings, debt recovery and penalties, complaints to professional bodies, removal of billing privileges, monitoring and censorship."

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 570 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    So legally, both TVNZ and Radio Live would be well within their rights to give him the boot (pun not intended).

    Provided they were not already aware of the incidents that caused the disrepute....

    You cant claim "oh, you've besmirched me/us by association with your actions becoming public knowledge, even though we already knew about them and were keeping them secret".... It's collusion.....

    If one or more employers decide to employ you, or renew your elapsed contract, with full disclosure of prior events..... they cant then hold up those events as evidence of bad behaviour. Hence the inability to fire Clint Rickards from his job for conduct already investigated a decade before he became deputy commissioner.... and hence the interest in what TVNZ or RadioSport were aware of, and when they were aware of it.

    If they only found out this week like the rest of us..... they should indeed fire him for bringing them into disrepute..... But if that's not the case, If they've known for longer, it's their own actions, (ie. employing him/continue to employ him/covering up for him) that has bought them into disrepute, not his actions themselves....

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 800 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Littlest actions can have very bad results. TRhat's why no violence is good & we no-longer use the 'rule of thumb'.

    And never had it.

    Debunker.com has one refutation.

    Even wikipedia would have put you right:

    The earliest citation comes from Sir William Hope’s The Compleat Fencing-Master, second edition, 1692, page 157: "What he doth, he doth by rule of thumb, and not by art." The term is thought to originate with wood workers who used the length of their thumbs rather than rulers for measuring things, cementing its modern use as an inaccurate, but reliable and convenient standard.

    It is often claimed that the term originally referred to a law that limited the maximum thickness of a stick with which it was permissible for a man to beat his wife, but this has been fully discredited as a hoax. Sir Francis Buller, a British judge, was alleged to have stated that a man may legally beat his wife, provided that he used a stick no thicker than his thumb. However, it is questionable whether Buller ever made such a pronouncement and there is even less evidence that he phrased it as a "rule of thumb"; the rumoured statement was so unpopular that it caused him to be lambasted as "Judge Thumb" in a satirical James Gillray cartoon. The "rule of thumb" was referenced in at least four legal cases from 1782 to 1897, and in each of the known cases it was referred to only to state its invalidity, with one judge calling it "...a barbarous custom which modern authorities condemn." It's certainly the case that, although British common law once held that it was legal for a man to chastise his wife in moderation, the 'rule of thumb' has never been the law in England." In the modern period, this non-law gained popularity after feminist Del Martin wrote about it in 1976.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3011 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Sacha Thom: I am totally in favour of non-violence. (I still think that a community or home or city should say overtly "In our place we don't Hit People" as does Its Not Right")
    Equally I think that it is plain wrong to condemn a person when so much is not known. The expletives against Tony and what amounts to threats, when events can only be surmised from Media reports, is dangerous. This is not a legal discussion on the the issues when a person is condemned and sentenced from the largely unknown. Does the fact that some person neither confirms nor denies, prove guilt? Should prominent people be excused because they are prominant? Of course not. Should they be condemned without evidence? Course not.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Anorak,

    Dammit, I wanted to be the one who pointed out the "Thumb" hoax!

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 61 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    a little light bashing can get out of hand

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    Please Thom, think hard about your use of the word "cunt" as the ultimate insult for a male.

    My bad

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    That makes far more sense.
    Thank you Graeme.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Thank you Anorak as well :)

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Sacha Thanks for the light relief. His your timing- excellent

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    My apologies for a lengthy comment, but this case has really had me thinking.

    I too, found Tony Veitch likeable and positive onscreen (as opposed to, say, Paul Henry, who puts people down all the time). I avoid One Network News, but will watch for Veitch's segment, so I came into this biased.

    Frankly, if I were the partner of a media figure, I suspect I would rather take the money and privacy than the court case. Name suppression doesn't prevent gossip. A court case is hugely stressful. Who wants to spend days, weeks of your life preparing and in court and reliving a "victim" role, rather than moving on?

    She's clearly a smart woman, hugely capable given the jobs she's held, and aware of the media. He must have been heading to a meltdown, and I presume she was also smart enough to leave him before the assault so credit to her for that too.

    I can well see that she might see little benefit in taking time away from her recovery and career to put energy into a court case, and disclosing personal medical records to strangers in a court room. Negotiating a financial settlement can put you back into a position of power (and if she complained to the police, his career, and financial position would have been ruined. A friend's husband faced a bill of $57,000 to be aquitted) So in her position I'd probably do the same. The best revenge is living well.

    That said, there is a public interest in holding people accountable for their actions (in this case must be a large ACC cost too) And it's about more than money. How is justice best served? And do the public interest, and the victim's interests coincide ? The victim's interests and the interest of the public don't, as the public is interested in the double-page spread in Women's Day, and a surrender of privacy. Oddly, private payouts like this can potentially produce the best results for the individual victim.

    As for Tony Veitch I believe there is good in almost everyone, that finding compassion within ourselves for both victim and offender will in the long term lead to better outcomes than condemnation, pillory, and punishment. It's easier to feel compassion for someone likeable like Veitch than the "criminal" pilloried on ONN for our evening's infotainment.

    I also believe restorative justice usually produces better outcomes, and that prison is best used to protect the public, rather than a place to tuck away social problems. And yet....

    When someone snaps and goes madly violent like this, what is the best outcome for all concerned? Are they beyond redemption?

    If there were something that a person who snaps, acts atrociously and reaches rock-bottom can do to redeem themselves what is it? A year of therapy? Financial compensation? Contrition?

    How far must a victim go against their own immediate interests in the public interest?

    I really don't know what to conclude, other than to say, whatever happens to Tony Veitch, I hope Kristen goes on to a wildly successful and happy life and career (please God not including a Women's Day double spread). And I hope Tony redeems himself too.

    here endeth the comment.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ian, fair argument about our rush to judgment but the nature of this situation means there is unlikely to ever be evidence of the type you are seeking.

    My own personal feelings about Veitch are admittedly biased by distaste for the wider culture whose blokish persona he cultivates so profitably, and which condones violence, sexism, racism and all manner of similar ills.

    Thank goodness for light relief.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    Equally I think that it is plain wrong to condemn a person when so much is not known. The expletives against Tony and what amounts to threats, when events can only be surmised from Media reports, is dangerous. This is not a legal discussion on the the issues when a person is condemned and sentenced from the largely unknown. Does the fact that some person neither confirms nor denies, prove guilt? Should prominent people be excused because they are prominant? Of course not. Should they be condemned without evidence? Course not.

    It's not really a case of Veitch being "condemned" without evidence. He's been hoisted by his own petard; Veitch has fronted up to the media and admitted assaulting his ex-girlfriend, and has thus far not denied anything that has been reported. Regardless of what else comes to light, the inarguable fact is that he has physically assaulted someone.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Lynching, incidentally, has almost precisely nothing to do with how we're discussing the incident. No one here has come anywhere near calling for Veitch to be hung up by a tree, burned, beaten, and have his genitals and tongue cut out, while the rest of the community has a picnic and takes postcard pictures.

    you have an active and colourful imagination not short on gory detail

    wiki cut and paste

    Lynching is an extrajudicial punishment meted out by a mob. .... is defined by some codes of law as "Any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person which results in the death of the person,"

    group hug?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Rachel Prosser: Thankyou so much. Well said. I can easily live with your balance and vision. Kirsten might well be in a better place now than the Court alternative, though of course she would have been even better off if she had not been hurt.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Women's Refuge response to yesterday's media event at the beginning of this story:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10520857

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    I wrote of lynch mob mentality which means to me a bunch of people who rush to condemn without due process.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    you have an active and colourful imagination not short on gory detail

    No, I have a vivid memory of all the tutoring I did in American history. Someone says 'lynch mob', and I think of the 19th and 20th century lynchings of African-Americans. Which included everything I mentioned in my previous post, right down to the postcard pictures. So I get a little antsy with the metaphor when people are having a civilised discussion, and aren't actually calling for anyone's death by mob. It's needlessly escalating the argument - it has a certain Godwinesque quality to it. But hey: maybe that's just me.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

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