TV3 news – you are better than pimping the Sensible Sentencing Trust



TV3 News is better than this. For a network that can proudly hold up Campbell Live, First Line, 3rd Degree and The Vote up as some of the country’s best current affairs shows, their story last night which pimped for the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s latest fear mongering hate merchantry however is a low point.

Which is terribly disappointing because TV 3 news is better than this.

Last night, TV3 ran a story about this new bullshit ‘Judge the Judges‘ virtual lynchmob website without making it clear until half way through the story that it was actually every rednecks favorite book burners, the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

When Tim Selwyn and I hosted talkback on Radio Live! The Sensible Sentencing Trust was a massive advertiser and I’d hate to think that relationship allows the SST to gain news traction by hiding their involvement in whatever their latest crazy message is because they’re self-aware enough to know they have the brand credibility of Jehovah Witnesses.

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This latest ‘Judge the Judges’ bullshit is an attempt to discredit the judiciary in the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s ongoing attempts to lock-as-many-NZers-up-for-the-longest-possible-time campaign. It can’t be easy for a ‘charity’ that trades on victims grief when crime is at an historic low. It’s hard to frighten when there isn’t anything to be afraid of, so what better way to restore some flagging political capital than attack those soft activist judges who are turning these crims loose to rape and kill your children.

It seems the only people who ever benefit from the types of draconian old Testament mentality towards crime are the private prisons who are now paid more for the longer periods of time we incarcerate NZers.

Like the 3 strikes law that was rushed through with the usual knee jerk justifications, we have politicians who empower groups like the SST for easy votes to create warped legislation that only seems to make the private prison profit margin happy.

So who actually donates to the Sensible Sentencing Trust? We know that The GEO Group who are pitching here in NZ are major funders of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington, D.C. think tank that lobbies for tough-on-crime legislation and free-market principles such as privatization. These think tanks whip up the public debate to scream pitch and the politicians do the rest. In NZ, the Sensible Sentencing Trust refuses to disclose who funds them, GEO fund these groups overseas, do they do it here? Has the Sensible Sentencing Trust been funded by GEO to push for longer sentences? How about Serco who won the contract? Just who benefits from the Sensible Sentencing Trust and why are they still allowed to have such a negative impact on our law making process by warping social policy with fear and anger?

Rather than hiding the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s involvement in their latest hate crime against reason Judge the Judges project, why doesn’t TV3 actually put the SST under some actual scrutiny?


  1. Yer I saw it too, and was horrified by its content and more the fact it was run by the SST. Why wasn’t their leader presenting the story? Oh, that’s right…

  2. Can’t agree with you more Bomber – the level of influence McVicar and his cronies have in Parliament is disturbing to say the least. The website makes no mention of the statutory setting in which judges operate or anything regarding the Sentencing Act. Disgraceful garbage once again from this lot.

  3. If Sensible Sentencing Trust has the funds to do huge amounts of advertising on radio, then it definitely isn’t being funded by your joe blow kiwi supporter.

    It’s interesting that the Three Strikes law didn’t even come up in the last election campaign but then suddenly became law.

    ALEC is hugely influential in right wing American politics, as a search on Democracy Now! for old interviews relating to it on their website will testify.

    Three Strikes appears to be a direct graft from the United States. So what’s the back story?

  4. PS perhaps SST is basically a tool being used by someone or other to attack and weaken the judiciary

  5. Tough-on-crime legislation and free-market principles – what a wonderful mix.

    A number of cases I’ve known over the years with acquaintances that appeared before the courts, the judges proved to be the most reasonable entities in the case. Many lawyers unreliable, the Police – the worst. It’s despicable how with a minor offense; cannabis possession or traffic offenses, the Police in many cases will exaggerate, harass and further incriminate the alleged “offender” often with allegations that are simply lies. Fortunately in these cases the judges could see through the nonsense. Comes down to luck I suppose, might strike a reasonable judge or one who is prejudiced.

    Those preoccupied with “being tough on crime” and organisations such as the SST, in my opinion have an agenda to make sure the poor, brown and youth “know their place”. The situation reminds me of the Rodriguez song: Hate Street Dialogue. Replace the 60’s “pig and hose” with the 21st century “pig and Taser”. After all they’re getting a set of shiny new ones.

  6. God , I’m half pissed so I can’t really contribute as much as I’d like to save to say great work Martyn . Excellent writing .

    …. Oh ! Wait ? I do have something to say . Lets all hide under the kitchen table ! ?

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