Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Staying Alive

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Stewart,

    The Grate Gadsby…

    I was just pointing out that there is a sub-section of society that scoffs at our ideas of civilised behaviour and cocks a proverbial snook at rules, licences and the like

    Why just yesterday in Chch a well known comedian, ex-editor and toper was convicted of his third drink driving offence (“It is effectively his fourth, although an earlier prosecution was found to have special reasons and no disqualification from driving was imposed.”), but he was not jailed as would happen to most any one else under the new laws, he was disqualified from driving indefinitely (can reapply to resit his licence in a year apparently), had his car confiscated (I guess permanently) and has to do community service (120 hours plus 6 months supervision) – his nattily suited lawyer said words to the effect that he had been suitably named and shamed this time – but he was named (and shamed) the other times as I recall, with no real affect it would appear…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7565 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Did he get alcoholism treatment the other times, though? But yes, the celeb double standard continues. If he were a rugby player, we might never have even heard about it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to James Butler,

    So then you’d have 20+ years before the majority of the fleet were fitted with it, and a massive perverse incentive for people to hang on to older cars.

    Not if your WOF depended on it

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2818 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to nzlemming,

    Not if your WOF depended on it

    But that would force everyone to buy a new car. I like old cars ):

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Uses GPS to track local speed limit

    Good idea. One would be able to make a fortune selling GPS spoofing devices.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5543 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Maz,

    Two-abreast is fine - if they are riding cycles WITHOUT panniers ( which add a good -up to- 40cm EACH SIDE of each bike - unless you're like several nullbrains who strap their tents on lengthwise, when you can then add quite a bit more...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Gadsby has been known as, erm, a toper for quite a while -one of his colleagues, whom I esteemed rather more, died of cirrhosis much earlier on.
    Someday, someone will do an investigation into the drinking culture of ANZ broadcasting - especially the TV wing- it doesnt just devolve upon the comedians...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Islander,

    Distilled life... or brew ha ha?

    Someday, someone will do an investigation into the drinking culture of ANZ broadcasting – especially the TV wing- it doesnt just devolve upon the comedians…

    ...and journalists in general (maybe more so the old school variety) if these Chch quakes had happened twenty years ago and The Press had had to move away from Warners, as it has now, I would doubt they could get a paper out (ditto The Star and its reliance on The Albion at the time)...
    a broad brush I know, but I remember similar symbiotic arrangements with The Dom / Post and the pub next door in wellington as well...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7565 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Not wrong Ian- even extended to the provincials. I was a journalist, trained on the job, and card-carrying for my last 6 months at the "Grey Evening Star" (as it was then.) The editor, Russell Nelson, and sub, Frank Neate, were moderate in their drinking, but the head journo? Waua! And there were certain - um, territories?- you just didnt pursue stories in...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to James Butler,

    Retrofit? You never know till the law compels you to try ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2818 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    GPS spoofing devices

    the new radar detector

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Stewart,

    I was just pointing out that there is a sub-section of society that scoffs at our ideas of civilised behaviour and cocks a proverbial snook at rules, licences and the like.

    Yes, but there's also a section of society who would still not get a driver's licence if they were offered $100 and the licence on the spot if they showed up with proof of their identity. But we don't write our driving laws to pander to them, thankfully.
    Most of the discussions around driver licensing/testing in this country revolve around language that treats it like a right. It's not, and it was heartening to see that message starting, albeit weakly, to break through during discussions about raising the driving age. If we can just keep it going, eventually we might start seeing people being retested every renewal and having their licences suspended on the spot if they fail.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4091 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    One could view driving a car as part of a right to free movement. After all, many people believe Internet access to be part of a right to free speech.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5543 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    OMG thread takes a sudden turn to the heavily authoritarian.

    It's worth noting that no one was actually harmed by said comedian. He was punished in a way commensurate with the crime, I think. Much harder than some other unrepentant drunks I know who have managed to get dispensations on the license revocation because they need to be able to drive for their work.

    The community service might actually work on him, and the loss of license reduces his danger to society.

    In theory I like the idea of cars being a lot smarter about unsafe driving, but practically there is a long way to go before that's viable. To have a GPS setting the speed limiter could be incredibly dangerous. GPS software is still often confused about what road you are actually on, and even if it got it right, the database of speed limits has to be kept strictly up to date. If a limit set by a road work is taken away but not changed in the database you'll have cars driving dangerously slow. Hell it took several weeks before Google even acknowledged that there was a huge perfectly formed motorway from Westgate to Albany, any time I drove along it, Google said I was screaming along through farmland.

    Yep, would be some issues around surveillance and privacy to take care of, but most arguments against this that I anticipate come down to people arguing for the right to break the law if they think they won’t get caught.

    I'd object most strongly to the data of where you were at all times being compulsorily kept by the government. The idea horrifies me. It wouldn't be long at all before it started being used for more than speed limiting, and always the creeping wedge that it's about preventing crime.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Then you'll love the proposed future from the draft central city masterplan - scroll about halfway down until you find an picture of this

    I do love it, btw. It's almost like Asimov's vision of Trantor, the Imperial capital planet, so completely covered in buildings that the area on top has actually been reverted to the great outdoors. If you like, you can play on top, but when you want to go somewhere or do some work, you pop into a lift and go down to the enormous infrastructure below the surface, where billions of people administer the entire galaxy.

    Ah, futurism. In practice, I'll just be stoked to have a small concrete lane to avoid the K-Rd ridge.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    a good foundation

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    One could view driving a car as part of a right to free movement.

    That notion certainly seems to animate some fervent anti-public-transport advocates, as if providing other options somehow reduces theirs. #zerosum

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Either fully commit to bicycle lanes that are fully safe and functional or don’t have them at all. Also we need a Govt. system that can approve or disapprove transparently this kind of intention.
    Yes I think the funding model is broken and dysfunctional, we need a new system for funding and we need to make transparent any lobby groups.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to merc,

    Also we need a Govt. system that can approve or disapprove transparently this kind of intention.

    That was Joyce's aim in changing regional transport authority arrangements to force more explicit obedience to the Goverment Policy Statement (GPS) which shifts funding priority from things like cycleways and potholes to building new highways.

    Naturally you heard all about that at the time. Transparency only works when the rest of the political system is functioning properly.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Sacha,

    Transparency only works when the rest of the political system is functioning properly.

    One day we will see the knaves for what they are, because if anyone thinks this system has been devised democratically...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to merc,

    It has. Democracy is not much more of an answer than transparency is, on its own.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Sacha,

    I disagree that it has, I think it has been captured in the absence of NZ having a fair written constitution, see other thread. I no longer have any faith in our political system, it has been too easily hijacked and continues to be so.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    One could view driving a car as part of a right to free movement. After all, many people believe Internet access to be part of a right to free speech.

    If you have absolutely no other way of getting around (you're confined to a wheelchair and live on a sheep station, for example), then yes, possibly. Most people, though, have options to walk, bicycle, catch a bus, etc.

    The argument that Internet access is fundamental to free speech relates to the quantity of discourse and volume of information that is only accessible electronically. To be denied access is to be denied full participation. To be denied the legal mandate to drive a car is not the end of your right to freedom of movement, it's just an impediment that balances your right to movement against the rights of others to not be put in harm's way at the hands of a reckless or untrained individual.

    ETA: The right to not be unduly denied freedom of movement is not abridged because the government won't let you drive a car. You're still free to travel at will, it's just a little bit harder.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4091 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to merc,

    The presence or absence of a codified constitution is irrelevant. The problem is that Parliament is supreme, and behaves like it. Unless a codified constitution changed that, nothing would be any different.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4091 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The argument that Internet access is fundamental to free speech relates to the quantity of discourse and volume of information that is only accessible electronically. To be denied access is to be denied full participation.

    Still the situation for some disabled and elderly New Zealanders.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

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