Tag Archives: Sensible Sentencing Trust

Now they want to break the law

This is a personal blog, with bugger all ambitions of ever achieving Pulitzer Prizes or being adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster, so excuse me if the language from time to time is somewhat colloquial.

I’m talking about those two faced bastards over at the Sensible Sentencing Trust. They’re really starting to get on my tit. Their retributive styled ideologies somehow give them the idea that they are right and the rest of society is wrong.

Why do I say all of this? Because they have a law they don’t agree with (the Election Finance Act, which limits political spending from interest groups), and because they don’t agree with it, they are going to break it. They claim flaunt it, but it’s exactly the same thing as breaking the law.

They claim “the act which limits advertising spending by non-political parties soliciting votes for or against a party unless they register as a third party is anti-democratic and stifling public debate.” This is one view, others believe that we have so many interest groups in NZ politics, that a level of transparency about who is saying what and how much it cost them is a small price to pay for putting your name at the bottom of a political message. I don’t think the EFA is stifling public debate.

This all came about after the last election after it was discovered that the wacko right wing religious idiots the Exclusive Bretheran put a $1m campaign in place to discredit Green politics and policies. Jesus would have been mighty pissed off.

So a pressure group with the express interest in making this country safer and more law abiding is going to break the law to suit their own needs, because they see fit to do so.

How does this make them any different from organised crime, petty criminals, sexual offenders, corporate criminals and violent criminals. They are all breaking the law to suit their own needs and wants, just as the SST is proposing.

I am all for political action and protest, but a law abiding pressure group telling people it’s ok to break the law is just a little too much to stomach.

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Filed under Hot Air, Media, Policy, Politics, S59

and they perpetuate the fear…

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is going around the country at the moment reinforcing the fears of the converted that NZ is no longer a safe place to live, and that New Zealand is now the land of the criminals.

So much so that they’ve created a whole new web site just to perpetuate these fears and mistrusts in fellow Kiwis. “Escalating violent crime, sexual predators and violent criminals being granted Bail!” is the description for NZ in 2008, a pretty horrid place if you believe these people. It’s just such a shame that the statistics don’t back up their claim.
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Filed under Crime, Culture, Media, Politics

Herald’s Vigilante Campaign

If you were to open a browser this morning and jump over to Herald.co.nz you would see this heading;

“Paroled killer’s lavish new life”

with this layout;

Now, I’m not sure about you, but I was drawn to the headline and the image (a very common internet behaviour to scan the page), and by association, I was assuming some very lavish lifestyle changes for the convicted killer in question. Was Bailey Kurariki the owner or guest on some luxury yacht?
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Filed under Hot Air, Media, Politics

Sensible Sentencing Trust has it wrong

The nonsensical ideas of the so called Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) just got even more annoying and once again showed that McVicar and his group are increasingly removing themselves from the reality of life.

Today is was revealed by the SST that the Children’s commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro made a submission to the Law and Order Select Committee hearing submissions on the Summary Offences (Tagging and Graffiti Vandalism) amendment Bill. And in that submission was the admission (indeed genuine observation) that tagging for some is a valid artistic expression/art.

First of all 10 points to Dr Kiro for saying what many around the world already know, that is unless you are of the nonsensical Sentencing Trust. The world itself comes from ancient Italian word graffiato meaning to scratch. Indeed Rome it was well known about the place (political protest in it’s earliest form), and indeed Monty Python used it in The Life of Brian.


Latterly one of the greatest producers of graffiti was the good old GI Joe, whom sprayed “Kilroy was here” with the accompanying nose over the wall doodle. This dated from the end of WWII through to the Korean War.

More recently however Graffiti has become synonymous with the youth culture that emerged from NY, not withstanding the rise of the Punk culture in the UK where the band Crass’ logo was everywhere along with the iconic Anarchy lgoo (as recently sung about in Nightmares on Wax song 70s/80s).


Jean-Michel Basquiat a Puerto Rican – Haitian from NY (b1969 – d1988) along with Keith Harring are possibly tow of the more well known and popular graffiti artists, whose works fetch have fetched as high as $14million USD. Indeed both of their art hangs in the prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, along with dozens of other galleries around the world.



These examples of street artists crossing over into the mainstream are relatively rare, but they did provide a point in which graffiti art changed in the States. Here in NZ we have our very own home grown examples of street artists crossing over into the main stream, and thus being very influential for young street artists. Otis Frizzel, the son of the artist Dick Frizzell, began as a rapper musician and graffiti artist. Over time his art has become more mainstream, and is now hung on the walls of galleries across the country.

Many of the meanings behind graffiti involve belonging, identity and of course protest. These are wonderfully epitomised in the work ‘Behave’ by Mike Weston and Otis Frizzell ($2000+), as seen below.


If we are going to get past any of this ‘victim’ and ‘blame’ game that the nonsensical sentencing trust play, we need to encourage these street artists, give them the tools, means and reasons to produce their art in a non destructive way.

I have no doubt that graffiti is damaging, and not all of it is art, however, there is a reason it is done and while these are varied, they are not insurmountable. The ‘lock-em-up’ approach of the SST is counterproductive and only creates an use and them situation. For instance in their press release they decried that “Graffiti and vandalism are entry level crimes and must be treated seriously” and continued to bleat on about serious violent youth crime.

Speeding along state highway 1 at 120km/hr is an entry level crime, however to be as stupid and divisive as to suggest all drivers who hit 120km/hr are on the road to car conversion or carjacking. The SST are sensationalists whom more often than not bring little to the table in the form of solutions which don’t hark back to the good ole days.

Not all graffiti artists are young, not all graffiti artists are vandals, just as not all graffiti is art, but one thing it is not and that is, Graffiti is not the slippery slope to a life of violent crime as suggested by the SST. We heard this arguement in the late 1960s with LSD, which apparently if one took this evil drug we were all going to jump out of windows and destroy our selves.

How about understanding the problem (much much deeper than paint on walls) and find solutions. How about a SST graffiti competition, in which boring industrial walls around Auckland are designated as art zones and a weekly/monthly competition is run. Throw some money at it, create a web site and give them the national and international recognition that they aim for, and at the end of the year produce a year book. How about a bloody scholarship to help their artistic leanings along.

Stop yelling at the bloody kids you old and increasingly marginalised fogies. You’re doing everyone a disservice.

Final thought, I have commented on this in the past. Why is corporate vandalism in the form of advertising posters plastered all over walls acceptable and youth art not? Hypocrisy?


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Filed under Culture, Design, economics, Hot Air, Media, Music, Policy, Politics

How long do you pay for your crime?

Rita Croskery the mother of the slain pizza delivery guy who was killed by a group of youths is rightfully upset that one of the found guilty of the crime is about to come up for parole. I can understand her concern and loss of a loved one.

However I completely disagree with her views of the justice system. She claims that she has lost all faith in the criminal justice system, citing the murder of an innocent victim from a paroled criminal. This is a different case, and has nothing to do with her son.

Bailey Junior Kurariki, New Zealand’s youngest ever killer is due for parole on September 16, still 6 months away. He was convicted for his part in the murder and in 2001 got 7 years for his crime, when he was just 12 years old. Mrs Croskery wants Kurariki to be electronically tagged until the end of his term. Further she doesn’t want anyone eligable for parole until they have served their full sentence.

Mrs Croskery claims “Some of these prisoners…you can tell they are nowhere near being ready to be released on parole” . What she is of course not telling you is that parole is not of right and the parole board needs to be convinced that you are not a serious risk to the community.

This is where I have issue with her claims. She would like to see him tagged for life (quote from TV3 news). If he has completed his time, then that person has every right of a normal citizen, with the obvious exceptions. That now 19 year old young man will never be able to travel overseas, among many other constraints on his life. I have no doubt that Mrs Croskery is also going through a life sentence with the loss of her son, but the notion that criminals have more rights than her are just the concerns of an angry (justifiably so) person.

No doubt the insanity sentencing trust will put its full weight behind these calls for life time electronic tagging, but the concept goes beyond justice and into that of retribution, of which our justice system thankfully is not based upon.

It’s a sad thing that happened but if that 19 year old boy has any chance of a life that doesn’t involve crime again, do not put a bloody tag around his leg for life (who would hire him).

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Filed under General, Politics