Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next bylaw will ban irony

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  • Andy Fraser,

    Isn't this another example of Nanny Sate? and the irony that M Laws has pushed it so hard.
    Personally I find suits intimidating...

    http://www.thedailymind.com/success/power-suit-or-open-shirt-what-do-your-work-clothes-say-about-you/

    Invercargill • Since Jun 2009 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    He said that?

    Oh yeah...Thanks to the rather user-unfriendly archives on Stuff, I can't provide a link to the column on line but describing the behaviour of Shipton et. al. as "sensual excesses" wasn't something I'd forget in a hurry. There's vile, and there's going so far beyond the pale you're not coming back.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11860 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Personally I find suits intimidating...

    Personally, the memory of a very angry Samoan drag queen built like the proverbial brick shit house and advancing towards me while brandishing a nose-bleed inducing stiletto heel still raises a cold sweat. Ban that bitch and her scary shoes!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11860 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Thanks to the rather user-unfriendly archives on Stuff, I can't provide a link to the column on line

    The page has been moved (and thus lost) but here it is reposted on Kiwiblog. Hold your noses:

    There was even less evidence and less corroboration in this current trial. I have little doubt that the attorney-general and Crown Law so advised the police. But they persisted. Why?

    Go back to my opening paragraphs. Because Police HQ regard Rickards and his mates as dirty. Morally dirty. Their sensual excesses in the mid-1980s were deemed to be wholly inappropriate in the first decade of this new century.

    [...]Then there is the specious line of reasoning – advanced on TVNZ in the wake of the verdict by a female Victoria University criminologist -that the latest verdicts will have rape and sexual abuse victims refraining from complaint.

    A commentary that presumes two things. First, that the jury were morons. Second, that criminal law need not apply if the alleged victim is an aggrieved female.

    But that’s the thing these days. If you are male, white, heterosexual and middle-aged, you must be automatically guilty. Even when the evidence does not stack up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1549 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Dude, you're not getting all Randi Krishna on us, are you?

    No.
    Did you read the story? I just seemed like so many kinds of totally stupid fuckedupness.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4659 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Further to what I said earlier in response to:

    the ban on patches is not a ban on association. It's a ban on wearing a particular item of clothing in a particular place. As a human right, that's well down the list.

    Yes, it's a freedom of expression matter. Here's the BOR on such (my emphasis):

    "Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

    As a human right, freedom of expression is not well down the list. It's right up top.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1132 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Perhaps this kind of thing plays well to the home crowd, but I found it unwatchable.

    I doubt that. Amateur political obsession is not a popular hobby/pasttime in China. Most of the self confessed experts come from elsewhere. I'd contend that the doco was probably more popularly watched in ten minute stabs offshore than likely to interrupt a gripping game of world of warcraft in the mainland.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1296 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    If someone cancelled a Herald subscription solely because Garth George writes for it, then I’d say that was pretty precious too

    Speaking of whom... did The Herald build a new Garth George recently?

    It seems to me that those who espouse the "one nation, one people" concept are invariably white, and stand to the right of the political spectrum. That, in itself, is a cause for suspicion.

    Who'da thunkit.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    As a human right, freedom of expression is not well down the list. It's right up top.

    Not really. It's probably the one most subject to caveats of all. You can't, for instance, get away with slandering people, breaching various court infomation suppression orders, copying other people's work without permission, showing other people's trademarks without permission, make claims on all sorts of products without evidence, use obscene language in public, incite a riot, tell people inside information, etc, etc, etc. And those are just during peace time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Who'da thunkit.

    Most definitely not me. I read it waiting for a journalistic not even ow but it didn't come? WTF?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2200 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    And Lhaws is now offering to have the kids over for afternoon tea. I think they've been subjected to enough of him already, no?

    (Also: whoever translated those letters for him needs a lesson in the difference between literal and comprehensible translation. Seriously.)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Who'da thunkit.

    Most definitely not me. I read it waiting for a journalistic not even ow but it didn't come? WTF?

    WTF indeed. I'm getting a whiff of a born-again-Maori.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Steve Barnes wrote :

    And meanwhile. On Craig's beloved North Shore the council's lack of commitment allows another Gang to harass an old lady and deprive her of her garden.

    It would appear to me, that Steve has made the common mistake of thinking that Herald headlines are an accurate representation of the story under them.

    In this case :

    Navy blocks green-finger granny

    Reading the article, we see :

    A spokeswoman said the Navy decided to take over management of the glade and instigate community planting days after Ms Barrett told them she could not continue for medical reasons.

    The Navy said Mrs Pollock agreed, but had said enough planting had been done and only maintenance was required.

    "As a consequence of this decision, and with Mrs Pollock's agreement, she was given three months' notice in accordance with the revocation clause in her licence."

    It would appear that "blocks" has a different meaning for headline writers than it has for myself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Speaking of whom... did The Herald build a new Garth George recently?

    It seems to me that those who espouse the "one nation, one people" concept are invariably white, and stand to the right of the political spectrum. That, in itself, is a cause for suspicion.

    Who'da thunkit.

    More irony. And what's worse is he is not being wry. Scary.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Also, the police didn't make the by-law. They're just the poor saps that have to enforce it. I wouldn't be surprised if significant numbers of the local plod aren't too happy about that.

    Rich: You're right up to a point, but I wish we weren't seeing pulbic statements...

    Yes, it is pure speculation on my part, but I don't think it's an unreasonable train of thought.

    The local cops probably know most or all of the local gang boys by sight anyway. The gangs are most likely going to switch away from using patches to using colours, or sportwear, or whatever, when they are within the areas covered by the ban. There will be times when they try to push the boundaries of the ban, or flaunt it altogether. It's the guys on the front line who will then be caught between their standing enforcement orders and a bunch of aggro guys up for a fight.

    On the other hand, the police might be figuring that it'll keep the gangs from congregating in the town centre, and push them out to places with fewer people, so any incidents that do take place aren't as public and high-profile.

    So, being in a gang precludes the ability to undetake critical analysis ? I have a cousin who is a very senior member of Black Power, and some of the stories he has told me about police behaviour leads me to conclude that the concept of a 'big blue gang' is not only apt, but able to be backed up by observed practic.

    Like I said earlier, those are your words, not mine.

    Gangs are made up of individual people. So is the police force.

    So it isn't very surprising that there are a lot of very smart individuals in gangs. And there are also a lot of arseholes.

    There are also a lot of arseholes in the police force, and there are also a lot of smart, dedicated, 'good' cops.

    Institutions like the police are very, very far from perfect. But this is a democracy, no matter how imperfect, and they are answerable to us.

    Who is a gang answerable to? Themselves.

    As the TV camera panned around the Council chamber, all I saw were, again, a bunch of males, wearing regulation dark jackets, making a by-law that targets etc etc.

    So what's your point? That our democratic institutions are flawed? That they don't do a particularly good job of representing the people they are supposed to represent? That we need to be taking steps to ensure they do represent all of us as best as we can?

    If you are arguing that the price of freedom is eternal vigilence, then you'll not be getting much in the way of disgreement from me.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2354 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It would appear that "blocks" has a different meaning for headline writers than it has for myself.

    Maybe it's a bad pun. Blocks could be like a 'block of land'. Try reading "Navy block's green-finger granny", and it's got a whole new meaning from one apostrophe. But it made you read the article, huh? Personally I skipped it on account of precognition that the article would bear small resemblance to the heading and it would most likely be a human interest story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Isn't there, like, some Code of Conduct for mayors?
    We have our qualms about Kerry Prendergast, but my 10 year old wrote her a steamingly indignant letter about threats to blue penguins on Wellington's south coast and got a disarmingly charming and helpful reply.
    The people of Whanganui must be masochists.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 653 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I am becoming more and more convinced that a large proportion of Laws’s policies are more about increasing his radio ratings than anything else.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Heather W.,

    Isn't there, like, some Code of Conduct for mayors?

    Each local government council has to have a code of conduct. Link here is the one for W(h)anganui.

    North Shore • Since Nov 2008 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    As a human right, freedom of expression is not well down the list. It's right up top.

    Not really. It's probably the one most subject to caveats of all.

    Is it? That looks like a guess. Regardless, I didn't say it didn't have a lot of caveats. That just indicates it’s a broad, complex notion that brings up many situations for qualifiers. The principal itself (sans whatever justified caveats there may be) is an important right that you (should) need strong justification to override. (Whereas, the right to wear “a particular item of clothing in a particular place” in itself might not be that high on the rights scale.)

    (As an aside, I don’t see all the examples you used as direct “freedom of expression” caveats. Of the ones that are, most are clearly justified, and at least one is pretty much an anachronism.)

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1132 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Well Brent, it goes on to say;

    Mrs Pollock - who is fit for her age - said she wanted to keep caring for the land herself.

    She was worried that her project would be undone by managers who did not understand the glade's history.

    She had suffered health problems after an operation on her leg this year but was almost back to full health, she said.

    Which in my mind says she wanted to continue and the Navy forced her hand. The attitude of the Council was appalling. Who is the interfering old codger in this story?. It's the Council.
    And trust me, I do not take the Heralds Headlines as any indication of the story, far from it.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4659 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    WTF indeed. I'm getting a whiff of a born-again-Maori.

    Nah... Looked to me more like Maaris and their deep, untainted "spirituality" being co-opted as the latest cudgel in Garth's never-ending culture war against the Feminists, Gays, Liberals and the rest of you un-Godly secular humanists who've fucked up everything. You want to cuddle up to that, be my guest. But this Maori doesn't need or welcome friends like that.

    And don't forget that fundies of George's stripe regard anyone on the right who doesn't buy into their theo-con/kulturkampf conception of politics with the special "suspicion" always reserved for heretics and back-sliders. I'm sure John Key has been a particular disappointment, but you know something -- I don't care.

    Yes, it is pure speculation on my part, but I don't think it's an unreasonable train of thought.

    It's not, and I've talked to front-line cops who've said as much in terms I can't really repeat on a family blog. :) We're not actually disagreeing on much, but it's a rather simple matter of fact that their own management and union president have been vocally in support of this by-law and the enabling legislation that went through Parliament. If front-line officers aren't having their concerns represented by these people, I've got a big fucking problem.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11860 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Yeah, Steve, you could be right. The trouble is, it is so appallingly written that the poor readers such as you and I, are left trying to read between the lines to work out what the heck is actually going on.

    Ahh. The Herald's stupid put-the-last-few-paragraphs-on-a-second-page-to-increase-our-page-hits policy stymied me. It makes the situation a little clearer, but I still don't see the Navy being bullies over this.

    The spokeswoman said the Navy was determined to carry on Mrs Pollock's good work and would keep in touch with her about future management.

    But as you say, it makes the Council look like right prats.

    Cheers,
    Brent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 400 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Is it? That looks like a guess. Regardless, I didn't say it didn't have a lot of caveats. That just indicates it’s a broad, complex notion that brings up many situations for qualifiers. The principal itself (sans whatever justified caveats there may be) is an important right that you (should) need strong justification to override. (Whereas, the right to wear “a particular item of clothing in a particular place” in itself might not be that high on the rights scale.)

    (As an aside, I don’t see all the examples you used as direct “freedom of expression” caveats. Of the ones that are, most are clearly justified, and at least one is pretty much an anachronism.)

    It's an opinion, rather than a guess, that freedom of expression is one of the rights that has the most exceptions. Those exceptions are usually caused by the fact that rights often conflict with other rights and resolution is needed, and freedom of expression gives way frequently to other rights and considerations. I gave a number of examples. There are plenty heaps more.

    All that said, in this case, I personally don't think that wearing gang patches is a sensible 'expression' to override. However, now that it's happening, I am open to see the evidence that it could actually help. That way at least something useful might come from this particular round of Laws-induced-idiocy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Yeah I know it's your opinion, but it's an opinion based on a guess.

    Those exceptions are usually caused by the fact that rights often conflict with other rights ...

    Exactly. One of the key reasons to limit a right is because it conflicts with another right. By its nature "Freedom of Expression" often conflicts with other rights - much more often than your right to "be told of the reasons for your arrest or detention". If a right conflicts with other rights a lot, it is more likely to be subject to justified exceptions. That doesn't mean we consider the right to be "weak".

    I gave a number of examples.

    There are examples of limits to the of the right to not be discriminated against on the basis of "sex, marital status, religious belief" etc... but that doesn't mean we don't value that right very highly. On the contrary, it is extremely important. But again, it often conflicts with other important rights, and so is not a given in a particular real world situation. Also, some rights have inbuilt "caveats", such as: "the right not to be subjected to unreasonable search or seizure", making it hard to compare on the grounds of which right has more caveats.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1132 posts Report Reply

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