Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Naughtiness goes unpunished

There are a lot of naughty people around and it is little wonder when you take account of how weak the disincentives are for naughtiness.
One of the most obvious examples to come to my attention lately has been the head boy of Hastings Boys High School. Luke Bradley was convicted in the Hastings District Court on drink driving charges last month.
Now this was not a matter where a young man had had one drink too many and was picked up at a checkpoint. Oh, no. Young Luke, for the lad is only 17 (i.e. an underage drinker as well), got caught because he lost control of his car while over the limit and rolled it into a stream.
He got the usual wet bus ticket response from the court (a 3 month licence disqualification), but the court response was positively draconian compared with how his school reacted. They decided to do nothing and allow him to remain in his position of head prefect and role model to the rest of the young boys at his school. Headmaster Rob Sturch says, "Many people won't know how out of character this is for him.....He's made 2000 right decisions and one bad one.”
So if he had brought a gun to school and taken a couple of random pot shots in the playground this would have been one bad decision amongst 2000 good ones? I believe the parallel is a fair one given cars can kill people when piloted by drunken teens.
Sturch later says his school’s attitude to drink driving hasn’t changed. Since 1956, I’m betting. What sort of message are these half-wits sending to young people? Drink driving is okay as long as you make lots of good decisions too? If I had a kid at that school I’d be pushing for Sturch’s resignation. I’d love to have seen what would have happened if some, shall we say, boy of colour from Flaxmere with a crap academic record had done the same. My guess is he would have got the old heave ho, but maybe it isn’t like that and maybe that school just thinks drink driving is socially acceptable. Either conclusion should lead to a change in management.
But it’s all about no bugger ever being required to take responsibility for their own actions. In this same week I see ‘a comedian’ has finally saved his victim the agony of a full trial and pleaded guilty to ‘unlawful sexual connection with a child under 12’ which is a bizarre sounding charge because I can’t say I have ever heard of lawful sexual connection with such a person. However the scumbag who thinks he’s funny has been granted name suppression on the grounds that identifying him would also reveal the identity of the victim. I can call this guy a scumbag without fear of reprisals because he would have to out himself to sue me.
Now I recognise the implication here is that the victim is closely related to Mr Funny Pants, but how can we assume that this lowlife is only interested in young blood relatives? What of the potential danger to other kids? It just somehow doesn’t seem right he is able to hide under his victim’s skirt (or pants).
But this sort of thing happens far too often.  Only last year a prominent local body politician and well known person in a small rural community in New Zealand gained similar protection after he had been found guilty of possessing child porn on his computer and, I believe after some unwelcome behaviours with some young whanau members. This is a person who is out and about in the community and considered to be a good man, but he got name suppression and one of the reasons was (you will gasp at this), because none of the images were of New Zealanders! It would seem if you have images of foreign kids then clearly you will not be a danger to your local community. I can see all the perves photo shopping their images now to add the relevant features that make them look like another race.
So as I conclude this week’s posting I learn that Labour MP Darren Hughes is being investigated by police for ‘a complaint made by an 18-year-old man relating to a late night incident.” It seems the young man was a youth MP last year and the incident allegedly took place at Annette King’s home where Hughes apparently lives. So what has naughty Dazza done? Probably not a lot, but given he doesn’t exactly look like the pugilistic sort I doubt it is the sort of thing Trev Mallard got into trouble for. Far be it for me to paint too graphic a picture here, but ...young boy....late night...lonely single male MP.... you do the maths. Unless there was violence or threats involved I doubt it is anyone else’s business, but really guys, why can’t our pollies keep out of trouble? The rest of us manage just fine with far less resources and advantages than them.

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