Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Sunday newspaper prints informative and well-researched story

194 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 8 Newer→ Last

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I know calling Laws a deeply hypocritical joke is like saying 'fire hot, water wet, and look both ways before crossing the motorway during rush hour', but was I the only person who read that column with three words going through my mind: Antoinette. Beck. Resignation.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Rickards chose to be photographed with his teenage daughter for the Star Times' Focus section, presumably because it would have the effect of humanising him and emphasising his status as a family man. There is another way of seeing it: his daughter looks roughly the age of the complainants in two of the court cases.

    Good, so it wasn't just me who was creeped out by that photo, then. It was also, AFAIK, the first time I've seen that tattoo: is that all part of the "conspiracy against a Maori police commissioner" thing?

    It was like one giant San Francisco bath house.

    What, you mean it had ironically ornate wallpaper, a big balcony full of smokers, Mint Chicks gigs and comedy nights? Oh, not __that__ San Franscisco Bath House, then.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I thought the 90s were far more untrammelled than the 80s.

    :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    yes that was an unussally thoughtful article for the SST.
    for more info on herceptin that isn't motivated by big pharma or those hoping for a free trip to Fiji courtesy of big pharma, here is an informative piece on Herceptin by NZ Women's Health Action Trust:

    http://www.womens-health.org.nz/topics/Herceptin.pdf

    i doubt Pharmac is perfect but when you consider what it's up against, like the biggest, most rapacious and cynical companies on the planet, i think they're doing alright. too bad the msm are only interested in protecting the 'rights' of multinational corporates

    as for 60 Minutes, lordy - what a tragic joke that show has become.

    big ups to the Fundy Post

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Good, so it wasn't just me who was creeped out by that photo, then. It was also, AFAIK, the first time I've seen that tattoo: is that all part of the "conspiracy against a Maori police commissioner" thing?

    Given the way the pics were posed, I think that's likely too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    actually i think it's just a conspiracy against psychosadist nutjobs being in positions of responsibility and power

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Well, I think Rickards is going to be shit out of luck if he's trying to position himself as an ultra-butch Donna Awatere-Huata, toting his daughter around like this season's 'it' purse. Ugh... I'm not trying to minimise how deeply creepy that women's mag photo was, if I say it was the least disturbing part of that interview. If he'd been convicted, I don't think it would have taken too much tweaking to be presented as a shocking insight into the mind of a very, very disturbed man.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    The sooner everyone understands how hard health rationing is the better, and that since we are all part of a state health system for someone to win others must lose.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 869 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Ben:

    Well, you do have a point there - remeber when Jim Bolger got char-grilled for making the true but impolitic observation that the problem with health is that people die? (I'm pretty sure then Health Minister Jenny Shipley could have put him in an ICU ward in a heartbeat,) Of course, you'd have to be sociopath not to feel for anyone with cancer who feels their chances of survival are being obliterated by heartless bean counters. But porn-star spin ("look the budget's bigg, getting bigger all the time and don't ask what I do with it") isn't that helpful. Asking what we expect from a public health systen, and whether anyone can possibly deliver it, is much more difficult/ just isn't helping.

    Ruth Laugesen and the SST- who I've been highly critical of in the past and will be again, I'm sure - deserve credit for trying to bring more light than heat to a complex and emotionally fraught issue. Having said that, you do have to point out that the SST hasn't exactly been shy about slapping a photogenically awful patient clutching their kiddies on page A1, and implying that the health system is run by Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Totally off-topic but related to children and photo ops, anyone catch how TV3 commented on Helen Clark's appearance at a children's day thing? "Not having any children of her own to take..."

    FFS. Maybe she could have cruised past a poor suburb and picked up a couple off the street.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    she must have been out of muesli bars to bribe them with

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Hilarious blog title. *shock horror* a paper does the decent thing!

    Riddley Walker - word.

    I am finding it oddly disturbing the lack of examination by the media into the screwed-up ethics here. So, according to the verdict, the young woman wasn't raped. But that was only part of the issue. I don't give a toss about group sex myself, having actually done it. I don't even care that it was police officers engaging in group sex (there's no law against it).

    There are two things that concern me. One is the youth of the woman concerned and the circumstances in which they mean her. Definitely crossing professional boundaries there, ick. Secondly, while I'm fine with people doing BDSM in their bedrooms *cough*, I do not want to have a person in a place of trust using their job to get their jollies.

    Screwing someone with a police baton is bloody edgy enough, even for experienced kinksters. For someone to be carrying that baton and using it in the *course of their work* as well as in a sexual context is going well beyond crossing professional boundaries. The fact it involved a young woman - obviously lacking a great degree of maturity, if not actual experience - and was in a context where consent was hazy, if not missing, and involved obstensible misuse of the police officers' power by virtue of their positions compounds the issue.

    We all know that a proportion of people who are kinky are attracted to police or military work because it gives them scope for their (often unacknowledged) leanings. And I hear a deafening silence in acknowledging that aspect of this particular case. Oh noes, some police officers probably *are* sexual sadists! I'd rather someone was open and honest about their kink, and stayed away from work that allowed their professional and sexual lives to cross over, than for someone to effectively say "It wuzn't rape, so it's all ok".

    One expects a certain degree of objectivity from police officers. If they're getting their rocks off in the course of their work, that objectivity will be flying out the window.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 456 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    anyone noticed the deafening silence on the Rickards affair from Smarmy Lord Key?

    perhaps he's still waiting for his co-leader to tell him what to think.

    it could be that he's disinclined to comment on a complex matter that is of genuine importance and interest to the nation - but then it's never stopped him before.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • ross f,

    Russell, you wrote: his daughter looks roughly the age of the complainants in two of the court cases. How would he feel if three burly, adult policemen picked her up and, without his knowledge, persuaded her to have dirty group sex with them? Perhaps he could think about that.

    Maybe you could think about the fact that Rickards is now 46 and when he had sex with Louise Nicholas, who was then 18, he was 23 or 24. So why are you comparing oranges with apples?

    But glad to see you finally confirm that consensual group sex is "dirty". Or could it be you protest too much?

    wairarapa • Since Mar 2007 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, you do have a point there - remeber when Jim Bolger got char-grilled for making the true but impolitic observation that the problem with health is that people die? (I'm pretty sure then Health Minister Jenny Shipley could have put him in an ICU ward in a heartbeat,)

    Without (no, really) wishing to get into a partisan political stoush, I think this part of one of my earlier posts on the Herceptin issue is relevant:

    Thoughtful stuff, no? But I can't help but think that such a resourcing decision would create its own crop of angry deadlines and emotional raging. Remember in 1997, when the Northland man Rau Williams didn't get renal dialysis, because, in the final stages of renal failure and suffering from dementia, he didn't qualify for it? There was a huge media circus around that, but the Health and Disability Commissioner, while finding some fault with cultural sensitivity, found that the doctors acted correctly.

    Interestingly, Helen Clark, as Opposition leader, joined Bill English in backing Northland Health, while then government MPs John Banks and Tau Henare broke ranks to join the media scrum. (Act MP Heather Roy later claimed that the case of Williams, "who was denied dialysis on medical grounds, was championed by the (then opposition) Labour Party," but she was just making stuff up.) I think National, which has strongly politicised the Herceptin issue - it featured in a highly emotional context in two major Brash speeches recently - should perhaps be asked how it would have done things differently.

    Another reason I'm not sorry to see the back of Dr Brash.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • ross f,

    TracyMac wrote: Screwing someone with a police baton is bloody edgy enough..

    I totally agree. Can you provide us with some evidence that someone has been violated with a baton. Take your time. Thanks.

    wairarapa • Since Mar 2007 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But glad to see you finally confirm that consensual group sex is "dirty". Or could it be you protest too much?

    I don't much mind what consenting adults do, dirty or otherwise (and from the descriptions given over the course of three cases, I think it's fair to say that what went on was dirty sex). You may be happy with the degree of consent in these cases, and not think there was an imbalance of power, but I beg to differ. The most recent complainant was 16, and Louise Nicholas was 17 when she first came into the ambit of these men, of whom Rickards was the youngest, but still half a lifespan older than her. So yes, I do have a problem with that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I totally agree. Can you provide us with some evidence that someone has been violated with a baton. Take your time. Thanks.

    Check the Weekend Herald. A few other cops seemed to think it happened more than once.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    indeed ross, read anything on the case instead of just talking to your 'mates'

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Russell:

    You're not going to get any argument from me that politics and health go together like me and a bottle of tequila - things get messy and incoherent PDQ. I'm not going to get into any kind of 'partisan stoush' because you've pointed out no party has clean hands on that score. (And I think it's fair comment to point out Labour wasn't entirely scrupulous about jumping on every health horror story bandwagon while in Opposition either. to be coldly cynical about it, Health is always going to be a gut-issue on the political radar. Admitting that it's often about picking the lesser evil off a menu of less than ideal options is never going to get you face time or poll traction.)

    How you get around it is quite another question, and I don't have any simple answer for you. The Sunday Star Times could do a lot if the Herceptin story they ran was the rule for health coverage, rather than an all too rare exception. It's so much harder for politicians to get away with the bullshit, when the plebs are well-informed by a media doing their jobs.

    ross f.:

    Can you prove to me that everyone except the toxic trio are lying - and explain why? There's a difference between showing all due scepticism about what you read in the paper, and hypocritically accusing others of... well, hypocrisy.

    TracyMac:

    I don't really want to get into an entertaining - but pointless and gross - sidebar about how 'normal' gang-bangs and toys are to your average sexually-active adult. (I may be a screaming queen, but I've never viewed intercourse as an exercise in crowd control or logistics. Far too lazy to write all the thank-you notes or wash up afterwards.)

    But let's look at another story in this week's Herald on Sunday about a 24 year-old man screwing a 17 year-old girl. Illegal? Well, no. Gross to many- sure, though I'm in no position to talk as I'm 28 years younger than my partner.

    So what's the issue: He was her drama teacher. And that raises some pretty clear questions of professional ethics and abuse of power. IMO, you can say the same thing about Rickards - he hasn't been convicted of any crime, but you've got to ask whether he's ever displayed at any point the character and good judgement you can reasonably expect from a very senior Police manager in 2007.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Craig

    Well said - regardless of legality, these guys shouldn't be in their jobs just on the basis of professional ethics

    Good Herceptin article - I find it interesting that Pharmac have to date been largely silent on the way in which their funding works, leaving themselves open to the emotional media 'hit' and PR lobby of big pharma.

    Nice to see another side to the story

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I don't really want to get into an entertaining - but pointless and gross - sidebar about how 'normal' gang-bangs and toys are to your average sexually-active adult. (I may be a screaming queen, but I've never viewed intercourse as an exercise in crowd control or logistics. Far too lazy to write all the thank-you notes or wash up afterwards.)

    LOL. Literally.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    These guys are not all in their jobs: two of them are convicted rapists serving time. The third has become a senior officer, despite his seedy past apparently being known throughout the police.

    Does anyone remember the case of the female police officer who was moonlighting as a prostitute, who was told to make a career decision? Does anyone remember the female detective who was having a relationship with a pornographer and was told to make the same decision?

    Are these recent cases evidence that the police culture has changed or that ethical issues only happen to women officers?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Nice to see another side to the story

    I think the thing that really amazed me was the origin of the 12-month course as the standard, and the received truth: it's that way solely because Roche said so. I can see how a serious researcher would get unhappy with policy being made like that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    i know, that's what amazes me in any msm story about Pharmac, is that whatever pharmacy reps or their plants say is always taken unquestioningly as the voice of public interest. it's ridiculous.

    actually come to think of it, the same happens with the RMA and property developers.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 8 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.