Hard News by Russell Brown


Not so much ironic as outrageous

Note: I've made the decision to redact significant parts of today's post because they may breach a suppression order relating to an earlier case. This seriously vexes me, because it has the effect of protecting some people -- most notably Family First's Bob McCoskrie -- who have been dishonest about their role in what happened.

Goodbye then, Barbara Bishop. Until such time as you receive the help you need -- and sadly, I don't really think your nine-month prison sentence for your role in a beating with "unjustified, excessive and brutal force" will provide that -- your children are safer in your absence.

But I think it's time for some apologies: from all the people who depicted Bishop as a victim of the state, and who demonised Child Youth and Family for intervening and the police for bringing charges against her.

Barbara Bishop's sentence follows a court hearing in which she and her then husband were accused of hogtying, kicking and beating her 17 year-old son.

This is from the Sunday Star Times story:

The judge said Bishop appeared unremorseful and believed she had done nothing wrong. He noted Bishop had previous convictions for violence, including one for attempting to procure the murder of a former husband.

Kiro said Bishop had spoken publicly about her violent past and the violence of her previous partners, which had been witnessed by her children. "She doesn't seem to make the connection that violence breeds violence."

Bishop has claimed that it was her right as a good parent to discipline her children

And perhaps if so many people had not indulged her delusions and told her she was a hero, it might not have come to this.

Just don't blame Bob McCoskrie or Family First. Oh no, Bob McCoskrie told the Sunday Star Times, Family First had never held up Bishop as its poster girl: "The children's commissioner has misrepresented us."

Not as much as you've misrepresented your own role, Bob. It's a damn shame I've removed a large part of this post, because I think it very clearly demonstrates what a hypocrite you have been in the case of Barbara Bishop. You, a man who touts a website named stoptheabuse.org.nz. It's not so much ironic as outrageous.

While we're at it, perhaps the other news media could forswear from fanning cheap outrage every time one of these "smacking" cases becomes news. Jimmy Mason's recent account of having "flicked" his son on the ear was almost universally reported as fact, for example, when it would have been wise to avoid treating the defendant's characterisation of events as gospel until his two consequent child assault charges have been heard in court.

And I would hope that internet commenters and uploaders who have acted as enablers for Bishop will now remove or annotate material which relates to her, because leaving it intact is tantamount to continuing that enablement.

I wonder if Dave Crampton has already realised quite how marginal some of those people are. A recent post on his blog covers some IP sleuthing that led Cameron "Whaleoil" Slater to suggest that the "People Power" group chucking bricks through windows as an EFA protest is linked to the people behind the horrible CYFSWatch site.

The subsequent discussion in comments, from memory, briefly included what read like a threat against Slater's young son. The thread as it stands is deranged.

Dave concludes:

Finally Henk van Helmond, the man behind all the sites, says he did not know who threw the bricks at Clark's office. He has said he doesn't know them, nor has he met them - just had "contact" with them. He says he doesnt know the people who post on his sites either - that includes Bryn Rodda. But he certainly knows a lot about the brick chucking. And he knows Bryn Rodda more than he makes out. Both have had contact with the woman who used the riding crop on her son. They're all connected.

I know that.

I write a while ago that I thought that the anti-EFA protest movement would suffer the same fate as the anti-GE movement -- it would be undermined and destabilised by its own lunatic fringe. And some of these people seem far worse.

98 responses to this post

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last