Run you fools!
Farmers, bring your cattle in from the field.
Parents hide your children.
DON’T LOOK DIRECTLY AT IT!
Folks, it’s that one time of the year Mike Hosking is kinda right…
Mike Hosking: Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha and the witch-hunt into his appointment
At first blush one can only conclude that Wally Haumaha is in some serious trouble, as regards his new job as Deputy Police Commissioner.
After all, why else are they investigating? What are they investigating?
What they’re investigating is whether the comments he made all those years ago around Louise Nicholas were part of the appointment process.
Because only one of a couple of things can be at play here.
One, they weren’t, so therefore the people in charge of filling the role are at fault for not passing on the appropriate material to Police Minister Stuart Nash before he signed it off.
Or two: they were and it got signed off anyway.
You can’t tell me the current commissioner didn’t know because he did, you could argue Stuart Nash should have known but didn’t.
Or – here’s where it gets a bit tricky – did everyone know, and decided that time had passed, remorse had been offered, and we all deserve a second chance?
And if it’s that, why have an investigation?
All this leads us back to the trouble Haumaha appears to be in – the Government is looking for an excuse to get rid of him.
The inference is someone, somewhere along the line should have run the highlighter through that particular part of his career. And at the very least, if not culling him early in the process, someone should have alerted the Commissioner and certainly the minister, who appears not to have been told.
But then we get to the bit the current Government – the very ones looking into all this – tend to favour on past indiscretions, and indiscretions a great deal larger than Haumaha’s.
Things like criminal activity, they favour rehabilitation. They favour second chances, they favour a new start.
Three strikes was gone remember? Andrew Little tells us punishment doesn’t work, rehab does.
Has Wally Haumaha not been rehabbed? It is claimed he’s admitted wrong, repented and gone on to do good work in a reformed and transformed police service of the 21st century.
Is that good enough for the people Wally arrests but not for Wally himself?
Remembering that although what Wally said was repugnant and wrong, it wasn’t actually a crime.
Even if you accept that the police should be above the rest of us in terms of standards, are we saying the sort of wrong Wally committed is irreparable?
Say it, and that haunts you forever, is that our rule?
And given we all make mistakes, and the best we can hope for is to repent, put it behind us, and in a productive and positive way move on.
How are the indiscretions measured? There are thousands of Haumaha-type incidents, is every one of those individuals damned forever? No promotion? No breaks? No opportunities?
The very premise of our system is we learn from our mistakes and wrongs and are given freedom to make amends.
If this investigation is a witch-hunt because they believe they’ve made a mistake that would make them, given their three strikes thinking, hypocrites.
…there is an odd tension at the heart of the progressive movement right now.
Old school class Lefties see crime as a symptom of the hegemonic inequalities within capitalist society which require rehabilitation not punitive punishment, but the new generation of identity politics activists see sexual harassment and abuse as fixtures of a patriarchal rape culture that must be punished, challenged and attacked without mercy.
The Sensible Sentencing victim grief harvesting is being replaced by the #MeToo movement where grievance and micro-aggression policing is subjective, personalised and communicated on social media networks fuelled on algorithms of outrage.
In the post #MeToo world of immediate zero tolerance condemnation, where accusation is the new evidential threshold and due process a dead concept, it doesn’t matter what Wally Haumaha has done in the 14 years since he said he supported his mates in the Louise Nicholas rape case, the woke social media megaphone of the present is as unforgiving as Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution.
Fourth Wave Feminist Identity Politics activists have bypassed corporate media gatekeepers and have enormous power for the first time through online media platforms. Every movement in history who takes its first gasp of power overcompensate for the centuries of voicelessness and injustice and once having tasted that power, they refuse to ever be silent again.
Labour have to find a solution here or their Deputy Police Commissioner will become a target around their necks.
What should Labour have done? They should have been aware of his comments and they should have gone to Louise Nicholas on bended knee to ask if she would support Wally’s appointment.
That’s what Labour SHOULD have done.
They didn’t and that’s why they are in this mess now.
So what should Labour do now? They should be sending a group of representatives to Nicholas to beg her forgiveness and ask to meet with Wally and allow him to convince her he has changed. If he can do that, then, and only then, Nicholas can give her public agreement of his appointment.
If they can’t get her agreement, they have two choices.
1 – Replace him because it will be untenable for him to hold trust and respect.
2 – Decide to tough it out and retain him.
The first solution is the only durable one. The second solution will only attract never ending social media condemnation which will eventually rot away at everything and everyone around Haumaha.
The current holding pattern of Winston making inquires as to who knew what about Wally is to see how much of a backlash there will be. If the backlash is huge, Wally is gone, if the backlash is minimal they will try and keep him.
Beyond the politics of this and how the new Government must tread is a far wider cultural debate. How do men who have in the past behaved inappropriately make atonement? How do we as individuals find the language to discuss the frayed ends of our pain and abuse? Dave Chapelle in his most recent Netflix stand up set talked about how we needed a truth and reconciliation moment between men and women to find common cause for the victims pain and the abusers repentance.
We are currently very far away from any such moment.
The Minister of Police, Stuart Nash, is in for some long nights ahead.