Thank the sweet Baby Jesus for the public broadcasting journalism of John Campbell saving us once again from the ‘Get Tough On Crime’ cheerleaders.
His must read piece on TVNZ interviews two of the kids that National and ACT want to put ankle bracelets on and send off to military boot camps.
The pain and trauma and damage of the two children he so compassionately interviews breaks your fucking heart and highlights how underfunded and damaged our bullshit ‘wrap around’ services have been left to rot.
As I pointed out in my Waatea Column this week…
Oranga Tamariki like CYFs before it and like CYPFA before that and like CYPS before that and like the Department of Social Welfare before that and like the Child Welfare Division of the Department of Education before that, have all failed our young people.
And every version of a State Department charged with looking after the children society throws away will continue to fail us because we have relentlessly underfunded these services with the necessary checks and balances required for protecting vulnerable children.
We refuse point blank to raise taxes on the richest and wealthiest to properly fund child protection services.
Even when a liberal Government like Labour take power, Treasury still attacks the extra funding to Oranga Tamariki as loose and without clear justification for dollars spent.
For Treasury, ensuring desperate children are safe, warm, fed, loved and not abused is an unnecessary cost on the State that needs extra scrutiny.
…we underfund these child welfare services and allow inequality to run amok and when the damaged children from this environment commit violent acts we demand draconian policy!
The number of serious repeat ram raiders is about 100, 80% of whom are already known to welfare agencies who are the kids from John Key’s draconian welfare reforms that saw kids in cars, state house tenants thrown onto the street for wrongful meth testing and whose parents were incarcerated in our private prison industry.
How will more draconian policies fix the problems the last set of draconian policies created?
Ram Raid news stories make news producers orgasm. They are cheap, easy to produce and present as live breaking news and the kids committing the crimes boasting on social media for notoriety guarantees a self feeding loop which terrifies the middle classes and sets the get tough on crime lynch mob off.
That’s why journalism like John’s is so crucial in the debate!
The perception is that crime is out of control, despite the evidence showing a spike, but in context, isn’t the hysteria clickbait the mainstream media are selling it as.
Post Covid, media coverage of youth crime has exploded. Images of ram raids and organised crime violence has shocked, frightened and angered the country with a 25.2% increase in theft and a 19.7% increase in acts intended to cause injury.
The recent stabbing and killing of a Dairy worker in the Prime Minister’s own electorate has become emblematic of a narrative the Government is soft on crime while the get tough on crime cheerleaders promise terrible retribution.
Aggravated robberies of commercial premises doubled from 2015 to 2017 – from 599 to 1170 – why didn’t the National Government solve crime then, and why do the rest of you think putting ankle bracelets on children is the bloody solution?
Why do we get played like this by the ‘if it bleeds it leads’ clickbait media time and time and time again?
Aren’t you all as citizens of this country sick of having your anger and fear manipulated by corporate media and exploited by ‘get-tough-on-crime’ political cheerleaders?
The same tricks are being played to make you think Māori are secretly stealing political power and water, that Willie Jackson is taking over as Editor in Chief of the TVNZ/RNZ and that the Banks don’t need to pay more tax, etc etc etc.
The shit we get distracted by in this juvenile settler country low imagination horizon culture of ours is endlessly disappointing to me.
FFS NZ, focus on the important shit that matters, not the tricks used to emotionally manipulate you.
Thank you John for injecting deeper understanding than the knee jerk on this issue.
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