Saturday, 11 April 2009

What sort of law?

Ever ready to tap into the mood of the moment Media Mike apparently agrees with a 'proposal' of Police Commissioner Hyde to not only confiscate the vehicle of hoon drivers, but to "crush them" (here)

This will no doubt have some, if not a lot of, appeal in some corners of society, but is this sort of vindictive action what our justice system is about?

Would we, for example, countenance the destruction of someone's house because a crime happened to have been committed in it?

Sounds more like the world of the fascist dictator than the liberal democracy we are supposed to embrace.

We have for many years accepted that illegal proceeds might be confiscated and used to recompense victims of crime, why could these cars not be impounded and sold?

There is clearly a mind game going on here, I for one do not want to be party to vindictive retribution which serves no constructive purpose other than to appeal a vicious streak in the populace at large.

Our leaders should do better than this.


Anonymous said...

Conversely it could be that the current methods of deterring these 'hoons' is simply not working and they need to increase the consequences of the actions if you participate in illegal street racing without resorting to jail

revken said...

The State Government's rabid tough on crime measures are alarming. Whilst I in no way support the criminal activities of those who are both in a motorcycle club and active criminals, I do not believe that the attack on civil liberties that is taking place in these so-called anti bikie laws and the hoon laws is justified nor will actually work. The intense media campaign that is going on at present is actually spreading the anti bikie sentiment right across other sectors of the motorcycling community. Already "bikies" are becoming, in the eyes of the average joe in the suburbs, non citizens and to a small minority, even non-humans. Already reports of road rage specifically directed against motorcyclists are appearing on forum boards. i myself have been the recipient of pointed comments in the waiting room of a hospital's outpatient clinic. An older gentleman who was admiring my bike in the car park of a suburban shopping centre, after we'd chatted, asked if i was one of those "bikies". I think he found it amusing when I told him I'm a minister lol. I see a similar thing happening with so-called hoons. My wife recieved a fine whilst driving my car, a car she was, at the time, not used to, for a slight squeal of the tyres on taking off with a slightly increased sense of urgency. The fine was quite excessive and not in proportion to the "crime". However a government that is tough on crime can do these things with the blessing of the voting public. In the end, however, it is not the government who is to blame, but we, the voting public, for accepting this crap and not standing up to it.
Hope you're well Stephen. we must meet sometime soon.

stephen clark said...

I take the point anon. And do in fact suggest that this is a failure of policing.
Such a failure is not addressed by allowing more and more draconian measures to be implemented but poerehaps by better resourcing police.
I am not suggesting "hoons" shouldn't be punished. I am questioning whether allowing the law to be vindictive, and violent is the way to go.

The Commissioner and the Premier even use the language of "crushing their pride and joy".
I think the law should be doing more than crushing people. However misdirected they might be.

Ken, I think your point is well made. The unintended "spillover" of victimising the guilty is the inevitability that there is a cost of limitation fo liberty for the ordinary fred, and indeed results in some injustice

Anonymous said...

i'd be interested to see what you think about our minister for hoons oh I mean road safety?

stephen clark said...

I imagine the Hon Tom is not long for that portfolio. Having said that, I was amazed at the amount of time and effort that has obviously been put into exposing his appalling record.
Were I a polly I guess I would begin to wonder whether the gloves were now off and we are about to see a whole lot of personal mudslinging...on both sidesI hope not, but I guesss we would be foolish to think that there is no mud on the other side.
I also wonder whether the 'research' was done by the press or by the opposition!
Perhaps you can enlighten us

stephen clark said...

I still stand by my original criticism of the hyperbolic language and its violent overtones.
I note that in the pages of the press there has been very little support for this sort of state santioned violence.