TWITTER WATCH: Politicising a death

By   /   December 12, 2018  /   40 Comments

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Everyone seems to want to twist the tragic death of this young visitor to our shores into their own ideological frame work.

The virtue signalling outrage olympics on social media is getting gross now.

Everyone seems to want to twist the tragic death of this young visitor to our shores into their own ideological frame work.

Some men are throwing childish tantrums that this death is being used as a reflection on all men.

Some woke are claiming this is evidence of a wider narrative on patriarchy and that men are trash.

Some Women of Colour  are demanding to know if this attention would be given if the victim wasn’t white (I feel some actual sympathy towards that perspective).

And  some trans activists are trying to make this about violence against Transpeople, which is bewildering as I think there’s been very few trans murders.

In the heat of the high emotion, especially on social media platforms algorithmically fuelled on subjective outrage, everyone seems to want to politicise this death to fit their own narrow views.

So what do the facts actually tell us?

Between 2007 – 2016 there were 686 people killed by homicide in NZ and 62% of those victims were male and a third were Maori – we do have a violence problem in NZ and it’s male on male violence.

We have a nation of damaged men who damage other men and Māori are disproportionately reflected in that damage, that’s what the facts tell us and if we are to even attempt to fix that, then attempting to create narratives that ignore that reality does little in solving it.

We have a long way to healing this damage.

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40 Comments

  1. esoteric pineapples says:

    I found it interesting to observe my own reaction to this murder which was to note it, consider it very sad, and leave it at that. I was wondering if my subdued response was due to a gradual desensitisation over time to the horror of murders like these. But I think your blog touches on another angle to this.

  2. Pete says:

    The tragedy simply painted more ugly picture of our ugliness.

    What do the facts tell us? The PM politicised the tragedy by commenting according to some, and the length of motivations she had and crimes they reckon she committed by doing that, shows deep levels of irrationality and lack of empathy and humanity impeding any acknowledgement of our realities.

  3. DOC HORRORDAY says:

    Outstanding Martyn, you nailed it.

    I also can’t stand the patronizing way “legal experts” assert that Open Justice in a publicly accessible proceeding supposedly means a fair trial is impossible. Absurd! That is simply insulting the public and the jury’s intelligence.

    And the media take full advantage of the fact that we can’t see and analyse the culprit, and therefore can’t actually assess what the relevant associated stats about the crime would be, by insinuating that all males actually remain in the permanent suspect line up.

    A sick crime, a sick court system, and a sick media, telling you that you are all sick, and they are not.

    • Emile Valkenborg says:

      It’s time to stop being so lenient on this murderers who take the lives of good honest people. Personally I feel it’s time to bring in an eye for an eye into our justice system. Why are we putting these murderers in prisons where they get to have three square meals a day, fresh sheets, tv and visits from their families, while grieving families never get to see their loved ones again. I personally would have no hesitation in volunteering to put a bullet between the eyes of every malicious murderer. Let’s save the country money and get rid those unwanted vermin of humanity. They made their choice and for that there should be a definite life ending consequence ,as that is what they chose to take from the good innocent people like Grace Millage.

      • Gordo says:

        What are your thoughts on wrongful convictions?

      • Marc says:

        So bring back the law of the Ancient Jews according to the Old Testament, or do you prefer Sharia Law, the Salafists and other extreme Muslims want to follow and apply?

        I wonder how that will work, and if a wrongly accused put to death by stoning or perhaps firing squad will then be dug out and revived somehow, years later, when facts show, the wrong person suffered a sentence under your eye for an eye justice model.

  4. Michelle says:

    We just have to be patient it will all come out as it does in court. When they talked about swift justice, we don’t have swift justice here. A homicide case might take at least a year before it even gets to court. Murderers if proven guilty usually get a life sentence this means they have to serve a minimum of ten years since 2003 new laws. In the past murderers got out after 5-7 years. They get life but they can get out if they meet the parole conditions of the community being safe. Ten years and then the possibility of getting out is too soft on murder and the law is suppose to follow precedents but it doesn’t it depends on who has the money to fight in court with a QC or top criminal lawyer and this is wrong. How do I know this, I have studied similar cases and seen very different outcomes to me this shows our justice system needs to be changed. I am a victim and this killing has upset me cause I love our country and like many other kiwis we are proud people.

    • Marc says:

      A fair number of murders are in other countries called crimes of passion, basically committed by related or close people, who acted in the spur of the moment, not thinking clearly, letting anger take over, and lash out, thus killing a wife, husband, child or a mate or neighbour of sorts.

      In such cases people may reform, and can respond to rehabilitation efforts.

  5. Lucy says:

    My first reaction is that there wasn’t this outpouring when the Japanese backpacker was murdered – nor was there the police resources put into her investigation. Then I thought maybe women have finally reached our end point. We are sick of having to justify our actions, first thing was discussion on a woman on her own, then whether or not she was on tinder. We are not to blame when we are attacked and we are tired of it being our fault that men want to hit, raped and kill us.

    • countryboy says:

      @ Lucy. Please, for Gods sake. Put the word ‘some’ in there would you?

      “we are tired of it being our fault that men want to hit, raped and kill us.”

      Surely?
      “We are tired of it being our fault that ‘SOME’ men want to hit, raped and kill us.”
      I’m a man and I certainly don’t want to hit, rape and/or kill you or any other woman.
      Not all men are monsters. A vast majority of men are good human beings and those men, myself included, are right there with you.
      If you’re not careful, you’ll give the monsters oxygen to justify, in their minds the way they behave while you alienate those other men who love and respect you and would never, ever harm you.
      I know I’m treading on thin ice here but I’m not going to sit idly by and be labeled a monster because I’m a man. We’re your allies, not the enemy.
      The focus should be on WHY some men are monsters. What manufactures a man-monster? What dysfunctional short circuit occurs when a man can kill a kid then dump her body in the bush?
      I can look back, misty eyed to the days when I was a kid and we never had a house key. We never locked our car when we went to town. We had sheds full of stuff and it was never pinched. That was 50 years ago.
      Now? Well, I don’t need to explain the now, do I?
      nigel latta, jonky’s go-to shrink of choice can tell us how to get by on a stipend while the elite and select few millionaires become billionaires. Perhaps he can tell us why 50 years ago violent crime was literally unheard of, certainly within our rural/urban community of the Gore and Invercargill area. I don’t ever remember other kids mums going about with black eyes. I don’t ever remember hearing of kids getting the bash. I’m not saying it never happened, I’m saying it must have been a rarity.
      Something’s desperately wrong with us and our socio-economic environment.
      Since the rise and rise of the ruination that’s neo liberalism, we’ve been nose diving into despair on all levels? We need to go back, fix things, then try to move forward on a healthier vector. But we, the collective ‘we’, must go back and untangle the spiderwebs over the crypt doors. We must make those who did this to us atone. And be forced to give our money and stuff and things back. Then? Well, if trump’s faced with the very real prospect of prison once he’s no longer the president of the United Sociopaths of America? Why not scum like roger douglas etc?
      Things have to be fixed and they must be seen to be being fixed and that has to happen immediately.

      • David Stone says:

        “A vast majority of men are good human beings and those men, myself included, are right there with you.”
        If this were not the case then predators like this could not operate . They are dependant on a decent norm to be able to get away with it. Just as a lier is dependant on most people telling the truth to have a chance of being believed.
        The media and court imposed silence about the arrested suspect invites speculation as to identity and background that is not helpful to general social harmony.
        My instinct is not to assume a damaged victim we should feel sorry for as Martyn seems to, but a spoiled brat who has always got whatever he wants.
        If the detained man ,who apparently left the last known location of Grace in her company is indeed guilty, then he was able to appeal to a very well educated young woman with obviously very wide choices about who she associated with, enough to persuade her to leave with him. So he did not present as an ignorant victim of a deprived background. I just bet he has learned how to “pick up” a girl by a well practiced pattern and has “raped” or forced himself on many many girls in the past who have resisted with varying degrees of determination or not, but put it down to experience, and avoided him in the future. This one resisted too determinedly and paid the price. Martyn has his villains and victims badly confused.
        D J S

      • Lucy says:

        Countryboy the difference between you and me is that 50 years ago I remember all the mothers with black eyes and broken arms who had to stay with their beating husbands because there was no way out. I remember there was violent crime but it wasn’t talked about. Bet if you asked people older than you in Gore they would be able to tell you stories of the wife beaters who the cops let off with a talking to. The reason you remember 50 years ago fondly is that you were one of the lucky ones. I wont say some men because I have spent a lifetime walking on eggshells round all men – how do I know which men will not turn when they don’t get the response they are expecting? I can’t walk where I want, if I go to the male institutions like the police I am likely to be dismissed, in a job I will always be talked over, in social settings I am judged for my looks and my attitude. I am 57 and I learnt from the age of 3 that I need to talk softly, I can not get angry, my male siblings will always get the best, that as a woman it is my fault, that I need to apologise up front. Maybe you should listen to how often every woman you know apologises then you may get why we are so angry and why we say every man, as for us even though you don’t know it, it has been all men!

    • mary_a says:

      Lucy, I take on board your comments.

      However to continue to blame violence and aggressive behaviour on a specific gender, class, race, religion etc is so wrong.

      It is not a race issue, nor is it a gender issue. It’s a human issue. In my opinion to point the finger at one or two sectors of society is contributing to inflaming the issue, which in turn is causing social divisions amongst us, igniting a them and us attitude, which isn’t healthy.

      We need to get some perspective on human violence in all its forms. It belongs to us in general as a society. It’s our responsibility to make sure by utilising the correct channels this issue is recognised, identified and dealt with accordingly, so it can be contained, reducing the horrendous rates of violence in NZ.

      • David Stone says:

        Mary… Lucy says “how do I know which men will not turn when they don’t get the response they are expecting?” This is the point. How can she tell? So treating us all as dangerous is understandable. All the women I know or have known closely enough to have such a conversation have an experience to relate that supports Lucy’s position. I strongly suspect that it does not mean a majority of men are dangerous, but that some men abuse a hell of a lot of women. become adept at a chat-up and by practice and by application to a chosen “sport” become the most interesting male in any social situation. I don’t have an answer.
        D J S

    • Marc says:

      “We are sick of having to justify our actions, first thing was discussion on a woman on her own, then whether or not she was on tinder. We are not to blame when we are attacked and we are tired of it being our fault that men want to hit, raped and kill us.”

      Yes, fair enough, but also no, travelers, whether female or male, should always act with a sound degree of caution, particularly when visiting other countries.

      You would not walk around in a certain dress in a strictly Muslim country, except in secluded resorts for tourists, you would not go on a drinking binge in Saudi Arabia, you would also not lecture people having a good time during the carnival in Rio or at the Oktoberfest in Munich, for having a bit too much of a drink, while you may be a firm anti alcoholic disliking such a way of entertainment.

      New Zealand is by some portrayed as a safe and ‘clean and green’ country, which is nonsense, as we know. We have one of the highest imprisonment rates per capita in the western world, we have a high rate of child abuse, we have other domestic abuse, we have some diseases not found in other developed countries, we have a lot of hypocrisy, in some years also had a high rate of murders per annum.

      To pretend this is a pure, pristine, all embracing, warm and friendly place may be so when mixing with some or many New Zealanders, but it is foolish to think all Kiwis are warmhearted, caring and nice people.

      And a city like Auckland will have not only many poor, homeless and otherwise socially marginalised people, there are also some people with criminal minds and tendencies.

      Wake up to reality, we have the same issues as many other countries and peoples. So travelers should not be overly trusting and easy going, whether female or male. It is not the first of such cases, not at all.

  6. Mike the Lefty says:

    I can’t help recalling when Labour leader David Cunliffe made a comment about domestic violence in NZ in 2014.
    He was absolutely roasted for his temerity in daring to suggest that violence is largely a male problem and straight away we had the political right inspired reaction of how proud they were to be male – with the great Shonkey in his customary opportunistic way adding his two cents worth.
    However, the political right don’t have so much wind in their sails this time. The incident is stark, the problem is there for everyone to see. David’s comment was more general and Jacinda’s admission that it was a shameful moment for NZ was more specific but the underlying factor was the same – NZ is a violent place for its females.
    At least Simon Bridges didn’t follow the great Shonkey and start posing for photos wearing T-shirts boasting how proud he was to be male.
    Myself, I feel ashamed that so many of my sex still regard violence, particularly against females, as a normal part of human relations but deny guilt for it.
    Probably they will never see this, but if they ever do, I would like to say to Grace Mullane’s family that most New Zealanders feel a terrible sense of bewilderment, frustration and guilt that this this has happened. We do not want to live in a country where horrible things like this happen but we feel powerless to stop it.
    Grace had the right to come here for her OE, enjoy herself and be safe. Our country failed her because it cannot live up to the standards that it preaches to others.
    It is up to ALL of us to change it for the better.

    • Sam Sam says:

      Standards are always higher than what they say in textbooks. When losing some one cuts so deep there’s a kind of realisation that at least older people have also lost some one the care so deeply about. There’s no universal way to grieve, some never come out of it because of the bonds they share. Seeing the pain caused on other peoples faces is possibly the most difficult to coup with yet many still do come to terms with their loss.

      Religion plays a massive part in the rituals of grief. It’s a long standing kiwi tradition that the departed family members house be blessed by some one with tradition and spirituality, mana and grace. Not only to help the deceased move on but also to help the living move on with the decency afforded to all elder people.

    • Mark says:

      “Myself, I feel ashamed that so many of my sex still regard violence, particularly against females, as a normal part of human relations but deny guilt for it.”

      What an absolute load of baloney.

      “It is up to ALL of us to change it for the better.”

      Change what exactly? Can you be more specific?

      • Mike the Lefty says:

        If you think this is a load of baloney Mark, then you are also part of the problem.
        What needs to change?
        Excuse me!
        What needs to change????
        Do we really need to spell it out,
        are you that thick?
        A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E.
        And your attitude particularly.

        • Mark says:

          Pathetic – come on, spell it out properly. To make it easy for you just come up with one concrete action.

          • Sam Sam says:

            Well if you didn’t get it first time around what’s to say you’ll get the secound time around? It all starts in the home. Can’t get any more concrete than that.

          • Mike the Lefty says:

            OK.
            Here’s one concrete action.
            Stop referring to assaults that happen between spouses/partners, etc as “domestic incidences”
            That implies that because it is between people who are in some kind of relationship in their home then it is somehow less serious than if it happened in the street.

      • Emile Valkenborg says:

        It’s time to stop being so lenient on this murderers who take the lives of good honest people. Personally I feel it’s time to bring in an eye for an eye into our justice system. Why are we putting these murderers in prisons where they get to have three square meals a day, fresh sheets, tv and visits from their families, while grieving families never get to see their loved ones again. I personally would have no hesitation in volunteering to put a bullet between the eyes of every malicious murderer. Let’s save the country money and get rid those unwanted vermin of humanity. They made their choice and for that there should be a definite life ending consequence ,as that is what they chose to take from the good innocent people like Grace Millage.

        • Michelle says:

          no emile that is too quick better for them to stay in prison and suffer and when they leave they can leave the same way their victim did in a coffin

  7. Johnnybg says:

    Just another example of our deeply ingrained cargo cult mentality. We value everything & everyone form across the seas more highly than everything & everyone right here in Godzone. There is something deeply pathological & disturbing about this state of mind.

    • Marc says:

      Yes, some truth to that, and it is perhaps a greater concern for many to have lost the ‘clean image’ of NZ that is sold to the world out there, so sheer embarrassment for losing reputation.

  8. Spoon says:

    I was thinking about this tonight.

    I think the whole movement is getting out of control.
    I certainly don’t think there was any out pouring when Dagmar Pytlickova was found dead with her killer dead nearby in 2012.
    The killer use to live around the corner from my Parents house.

    “The herd” have only showed me that they are sensitive to reality

  9. Zack Brando says:

    Perennial Social Issues = inequality, welfare and violence all over the headlines ..

    NZ culture breaking down ..

  10. Emile Valkenborg says:

    It’s time to stop being so lenient on this murderers who take the lives of good honest people. Personally I feel it’s time to bring in an eye for an eye into our justice system. Why are we putting these murderers in prisons where they get to have three square meals a day, fresh sheets, tv and visits from their families, while grieving families never get to see their loved ones again. I personally would have no hesitation in volunteering to put a bullet between the eyes of every malicious murderer. Let’s save the country money and get rid those unwanted vermin of humanity. They made their choice and for that there should be a definite life ending consequence ,as that is what they chose to take from the good innocent people like Grace Millage.

    • Mark says:

      “would the MSM spend as much time and effort on vigils and so by a few dozen or a few hundred concerned citizens here and there, if the person were a dead Indian or East Asian girl, or God forbid a Maori??”

      Excellent point. There is a phenomenon called ‘missing white woman syndrome’, and sure enough the media is going into overdrive over this tragic event, and are milking it for all its worth.

      Agree entirely that we should execute this vermin, if he is indeed guilty. Where the evidence is absolutely incontrovertible (i.e. not circumstantial or one person’s word against another – ala the racist jackup of Mike Tyson), the vermin should be taken out of the gene pool.

      This accomplishes three things: (1) dead people don’t re-offend (2) possible deterrent effect (3) even if there is no deterrent effect it demonstrates society’s moral outrage and thereby delineates the difference between right and wrong – there is an educative benefit here, (4) in the case of crimes against women and children, killing the vermin demonstrates society’s care and esteem of women and children (5) saves heaps of money – money that would be better spent on cancer drugs etc.

      The above would accomplish far more in reducing crimes against women, than banning so-called ‘sexist’ references or jokes.

      • David Stone says:

        The problem with capital punishment is that the courts and justice system get it wrong so often. And once is too often when the state on behalf of us kills someone. The last person hung in NZ almost certainly was innocent.
        When there is a high profile case of murder the police and the courts feel an especially strong incentive to convict someone , and our history of convicting the innocent first suspect to come to police attention is in deep shit irrespective of their guilt or innocence. The police for a start do not represent the intelligentsia of society, and the courts feel a responsibility to reassure the public of the police rectitude.
        What they should do is put them away for good. Not for revenge but to keep the rest of the country safe.
        D J S

        • Mark says:

          The last person hung in NZ almost certainly was innocent.

          That case was based on circumstantial evidence, and the popular prejudices of the day (vis a vis extramarital relations etc) certainly did not help Bolton.

          Also at the time the sheer speed of justice did not allow much time for opportunity for error correction, with executions taking place within mere weeks of sentencing (unlike the case in the US where prisoners languish for years on death row).

          Nevertheless your point on possible police misconduct, particularly in high profile cases and enormous public pressure is well taken.

          Certainly, put away for good, and made to break rocks at least.

  11. Marc says:

    We get presented certain narratives, but the case has not been heard and decided on by any court yet, so we do not know what has happened, and why an alleged killer did commit what he has been alleged of doing.

    I find the media focus on this case disturbing, I wonder also, would the MSM spend as much time and effort on vigils and so by a few dozen or a few hundred concerned citizens here and there, if the person were a dead Indian or East Asian girl, or God forbid a Maori???

    Emotions are exploited for certain ends, by various players, I fear.

    We are presented the oh so innocent, nice and good NZ Inc image, sadly disturbed by this great injustice. But is NZ Inc really that pure, innocent little nation and society, except in some gated communities and leafy suburbs?

  12. Andy says:

    Well said Martyn; once again I find myself in complete agreement with you.

    We should grieve in private for these victims of violence and abuse and do our collective best to ensure it doesn’t happen again, however futile that ambition may be

    • Sam Sam says:

      Futile? For every death due to domestic violence, police attend about 500 domestic violence call outs. Are you trying to say we can’t knock off 500 police call outs? So why don’t you go find out what’s what.

  13. Lucy says:

    I for one am sick of grieving in private! We grieve then there is another victim.
    I have spent my life being afraid of every man I meet – it is every man not just some men.
    In my life I have had to make sure that if I go out at least one person stays sober to ensure that we all get home safely, I always get talked over by men in meetings at work, I have to be careful where I work at night, I have to be careful when I am talking to someone I don’t know so I don’t “give the wrong signals”, I have to be careful about how I dress – I have spent my life being wary of all my interactions so stop telling us its “we do have a violence problem in NZ and it’s male on male violence.”

    • Marc says:

      There will NEVER be a perfect society where there will be no crime at all, unless you want a total control police or surveillance and robot human society and state.

      When you have large urban populations, offering some anonymity, then there will always, regrettably, be some risk that some persons abuse their rights and more, and do things that are illegal.

      So do you want a total control police state or dictatorship?

    • Marc says:

      You have obviously been hurt and suffered, and that should teach some men a lesson, others also to be acting appropriately.

      But you have as a consequence internalised fear and distrust, and thus become over sensitive, as some would see it.

      While you deserve respect and help also, you cannot expect that all people will change to the degree you may see necessary, as they may act rather normal, and not abusive, although you may see this very differently.

      Not all men are abusive, or have rape on their mind, or are violent and disrespectful. It is only some who fit such criteria.

  14. Knarf says:

    On the bright side, at least our media haven’t asked Arsehole McVicar for his opinion…. yet.


 
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