Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Doing over the witness

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    I could construct this same 2x2 box for “aliens are invading earth!”, and come up with the same answers, so by that logic we should be trying to prevent aliens invading the earth.

    Yes, it was an argument structurally similar to Pascal’s Wager, which no scientist would ever accept as a good reason to become a Christian.

    However, it’s not such a poor argument if there is quantification the chances and costs, and outcomes.

    The cost of investigating for police corruption is not zero. The outcome if the police are corrupt and get away with it is not infinite harm. The outcome if they are corrupt and get caught is not complete negation of the harm.

    But, the cost of investigating corruption is very low and the outcome of getting away with corruption is quite high harm, which is mostly negated by being caught, and if we have some good reasons to believe corruption might have happened, then we should investigate.

    It seems to me that in absence of the last bit, the cost/harm part is usually in balance – we don’t investigate everything the police do as a matter of course just because there is a chance of corruption. And prosecutions are extensively tested in front of courts before actual sentences are passed.

    So really, it does actually come down to reasons to believe that corruption has occurred. I think that there most likely was political pressure to rumble Hager, and that this reeks to high heaven. But I accept that I’m somewhat biased towards thinking that this kind of political pressure does happen in this country, with this government, in no small part because of Hager’s revelations.

    I don’t think that legal recourses are going to do much here (although I hope I’m wrong). This one is really down to public perception about whether what is happening here is something we want in this country. That needs to be hammered. If this event hurts the Key government, or the media, they will be discouraged, or will cry foul respectively. The scary part here is that both our government and our media are practically unhurtable from having their shocking inadequacies exposed. There’s such a high level of cognitive dissonance in this country that evidence of high level corruption and crackdowns on whistleblowers seems to actually strengthen both the government and the media.

    Sleepy hobbits, wake the fuck up, cause Sharkey is here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10598 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    so by that logic we should be trying to prevent aliens invading the earth.

    If you don’t think Bart being right is at all likely,

    I tend to believe governmental influence being used to suggest that the police intimidate journalists is significantly more likely than alien invasion.

    Presenting absurd parallels does not help.

    Edit
    Because you can create a similar 2x2 logic equation that is absurd does not make what I presented less relevant, it is an utterly false equivalency.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4435 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Because you can create a similar 2x2 logic equation that is absurd does not make what I presented less relevant, it is an utterly false equivalency.

    Yes, your argument out of context looked to me like Pascal's Wager, but in context it makes sense. The missing bit was "And we also have good reasons in this case to think that I am right".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10598 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    Sharkey is here

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7818 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Nicky may technically be a witness but I prefer to think of him as a journalist. He will not be naming his source so no witnessing here.

    Is 50 hours worth of investigation in one day a lot? Take five guys and split wood for ten hours, imagine the pile of fire wood.

    This search will probably be found to be illegal, in the mean time it is clearly unjust and damaging to journalism and free democracy.

    This action is state bullying.

    Since Mar 2010 • 377 posts Report Reply

  • Peter McFarlane,

    I find it somewhat galling that Police cannot proceed with a prosecution of John Banks for electoral fraud in 2010 when the evidence was available as demonstrated when a private citizen prosecuted, yet when it seems extremely unlikely that they will find anything that will identify the hacker it's still considered worth committing considerable resources to what could be regarded as a lesser offence.
    The only answer I can see is that both incidents had more to do with politics than justice.
    I am gravely concerned for the integrity of our democracy.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes, your argument out of context looked to me like Pascal’s Wager, but in context it makes sense. The missing bit was “And we also have good reasons in this case to think that I am right”.

    Exactly my point. It always comes back to "how likely do we think that police are corrupt". Pascal's wager analysis doesn't really provide any useful answers as that basic point would be in dispute.

    This search will probably be found to be illegal, in the mean time it is clearly unjust and damaging to journalism and free democracy.

    It's a warrant signed by a judge in pursuit of evidence to identify a known criminal. Unless he's forgotten to date it, the legality of the warrant will be fine.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I see that the usual suspects are trying to get the Hager fundraising effort shutdown .... time to give a little more ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2597 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    I see that the usual suspects are trying to get the Hager fundraising effort shutdown …. time to give a little more ….

    Where does this come from?

    Since Mar 2008 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I see that the usual suspects are trying to get the Hager fundraising effort shutdown .... time to give a little more ....

    Who are these people? Do you have a reference for that Paul?

    The fund has reached $37,683 so far... and counting.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1353 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Alfie,

    Where does this come from?

    This is all I've seen, no indication of who's behind it.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Thanks Joe. Of course the related NBR story has the usual a collection of comments from right wingers who can only see Nicky as a criminal.

    And Police are finally reviewing Blomfield's two-year-old criminal complaint against Slater over the "vast quantity of private emails" extracted from the stolen hard drive the oily one used to allegedly defame Blomfield.

    In a letter dated August 28 2014, Mr Blomfield said: "I am mindful of the fact that I have waited over two years for my matter to be concluded and I am becoming slightly impatient. If it came to pass that Mr Slater receives preferential treatment for a complaint that very closely mirrors my complaint I would be quite annoyed."

    A spokeswoman for Waitemata police said Mr Blomfield's case was being reviewed by a detective senior sergeant who was currently on holiday. She didn't know how long the review had been going on, or when it was likely to be complete.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1353 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    we are the Police, we are here to help...
    a fine example of Police heavy handedness from Timaru.

    Before the court hearing, police discovered that the briefs of evidence of the two officers involved were contradicted by the Taser camera footage, but the prosecution was still allowed to proceed.
    The IPCA found that both officers knowingly gave false evidence in court and recommended the Police Commissioner investigate the conduct of all officers involved.

    Trust Brutish Cops, sure can...
    Oh, hang on that's a compromised slogan....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7818 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    David Fisher has an in depth piece outlining the background to the Slater v Blomfield case. It contains information that's new to me and further evidence of just how nasty whaleshit and his associates can be.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1353 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Without the camera footage.....the IPCA would have backed the Police.

    Betcha.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1333 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    And here's NZ 1st = with Denmark in the international corruption perception index for the last 2 years. How much longer can that last?

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    I did hear this Nine to Noon interview on RNZ yesterday, with Andrew Geddis, and he summarised all the legal issues there may be, that the police, and to some degree Hager, may be facing in this context, being the excessive application of search and seizure:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/20152607/law-commentator-andrew-geddis

    It is worth having a listen to.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Also here. Mr Geddis on form, cutting through the fluff.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I suspect it’s something to do with being traumatised by the discovery that one was deceived over the existence of Santa Claus.

    In Oz (Vic.), where I went to school on and off instead of NZ, they teach teenagers not to trust the police. In high school. It's a very old thing between the teachers union and the cops to some extent, but it's also an accurate lesson on police powers and the best use of individual rights in the face of them. From memory, "don't say anything, get your parents in, get a lawyer in, let your lawyer talk, no exceptions".

    Obviously we don't have that here, but the news media is also very police-friendly in terms of framing stories and demonising the "criminals". That probably leads back to access, you only get the stories if you can tell them right.

    My experience is most people in NZ think the police are this magical wall holding back the growing darkness, and continue to until one day a policeman stitches someone they know up for some bullshit little thing and their whole world tuns upside down for a while. Then none of those media stories about "criminals" look quite the same again.

    Since Nov 2006 • 605 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The bizarre and confusing timeline of Cameron Slater's feelings about Hell Pizza ...

    In 2009, Hell's stunt with a billboard outside Mark Hotchin's house is "superb timely marketing". And more of the same.

    By 2011, Slater says Hell has been "persecuting" and "vilifying" Hotchin and founder Warren Powell is "scum".

    In May 2012, he complains that the makers of a Sunday report "pursued a story irrespective of the facts with the pre-supposed idea that Hell and in particular Warren Powell and the other directors were bad bastards. They did no research into the backgrounds of those they featured and ignored evidence when it was offered to them by independent third parties."

    So they're the good guys now. Curiously, May 2012 is also when Slater began his crazy, abusive vendetta against former Hell Pizza marketing manager Matt Blomfield, using a hard drive of Blomfield's emails apparently provided to him by Powell and others.

    Does Carrick Graham fit in anywhere here?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22695 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That David Fisher article is a disturbing and soul destroying read. Matt Blomfield has every right to feel intense anger over this. It’s a bizarre story .

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm told Marc Spring is a good mate of Carrick Graham's so yeah, he does fit in.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Alfie,

    David Fisher has an in depth piece outlining the background to the Slater v Blomfield case.

    Compelling. Recommended read.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19611 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to tussock,

    My experience is most people in NZ think the police are this magical wall holding back the growing darkness, and continue to until one day a policeman stitches someone they know up for some bullshit little thing and their whole world tuns upside down for a while.

    IMHE Australians aren't that different. Class certainly colours attitudes. Justice James Roland Wood, who presided over the 1995 NSW Royal Commission into police corruption, was described by an experienced court journalist as having been very 'North Shore' in his attitudes as a judge. For example, he'd become 'squeamish' when counsel got the better of police witnesses.

    The remarkable rigour he eventually displayed as a Royal Commissioner came as a surprise to many, including no doubt the widespread corrupt elements in the police force and their allies, who in some cases openly gloated that he'd turn out to be a compliant patsy.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to tussock,

    In Oz (Vic.), where I went to school on and off instead of NZ, they teach teenagers not to trust the police. [–snip–] My experience is most people in NZ think the police are this magical wall holding back the growing darkness

    That’s the way I grew up in NZ, with Constable Keith and Sniff on What Now, making sure I knew I could always trust the community police officer. Later on we went on a school tour at the Police College, where they did an entertaining re-enactment of two cops entering and searching a house, only to be attacked by a baddie leaping out of the wardrobe (whom they overpowered and we all cheered).

    My view of Police now is more sceptical, especially with how it’s run from the top down. I try hard to give individual officers the benefit of the doubt until given reason to do otherwise, and I appreciate what they do in what are obviously very trying conditions, but the Timaru thing is just another reality check. It demonstrates that individual officers also can’t and shouldn’t be automatically trusted. The courts in this case probably would have taken the Police story as authoritative if the taser hadn’t been recording. The report noted that a technical problem meant they couldn’t see the recording immediately to correlate with their notes, but they shouldn’t need the recording to to file a report on what happened for submission to court. For anyone who hasn’t already experienced this stuff first-hand, reading the report should at least cause them to ask how frequently officers report stuff wrong, overly embellish their stories, or outright make stuff up, when they’re not being recorded.

    Also on the side, it was a culture shock shifting to Melbourne a while ago (now back again), where most of the cops on the street walk around in gangs, in multiples of 4, they always have guns, and they shout at you angrily if you’re spotted trying to cross Collins Street when the green man isn’t showing, even when there’s no traffic. For my whole time there I never developed an affinity for the Police in the slightest. I hope NZ police don’t go down that path. I’d rather aim for a police force that I know I can trust than one that I know I can’t.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

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