Category Archives: Bullys

Equal Under The Law (The Motto of Graham McCready)

Son of an alcoholic, a recovering alcoholic, perennial battler for justice, love him or hate him, if you read about his life you should respect him, Continue reading

Stephen Dudley, Counting for Nothing, the cost of an over tolerant, society that lacks moral fibre.

I am enraged, Stephen Dudley’s life counted for nothing in a courtroom in Auckland this week. Justice Helen Winkelmann demonstrated her complete lack of touch with reality in discharging the second of two brothers without conviction. Stephen Dudley This was no petty misdemeanour, not a boyish teenage prank, this was an unprovoked attack on a vibrant young man that ended in his life being lost and Justice Winkelmann in her manifest wisdom decided that to enter a conviction against the main instigator of this would be a consequence out of keeping with the crime.

Her reasoning behind this, is that fights like this occur every day in schools around New Zealand, this indeed is the heart of the matter, never mind the asinine judge (Peters Principle probably) because she in the end only reflects societal view (around school yard violence).  I have no doubt that these brothers are remorseful, that they have suffered consequences, (exclusion form a prestigious school they attended so I am led to believe), family and church consequences.  They walk free in time they will become anonymous and whilst they have to live their lives in cognisance of their actions so do Stephen’s family.  From whatever side you look at this it is a tragedy that is seemingly without cure.

Stephens’s family think that their loss has been made even worse, salt has been rubbed into their raw and gaping wounds, and they think a law change is necessary.  The offender’s family think that justice has been done and the consequences of this moment of madness will be with the boys and the shame of it on their family for ever.  The reality of this situation is that it is broken forever and cannot ever be fixed.  If Stephen’s life is to count for anything however there must be a change.

What is it about our society that creates a norm where violence is endemic and an incident where a young man loses his life is labelled as just another school yard fight like hundreds of others every day.  Yes it has been going on for a long time but it only continues because we as a society condone it.  We condone violence in our school yards and our homes, the same as we condone abuse and all  the other social ills that blight our society like an invasive cancer.

When it manifests itself we wring our hands and look inwards for a moment and nothing changes, there is no accountability for any actions or violence.  Schools are left with very few options to try and mop up the mess that starts in the home and is accepted by the community.

Recently I walked from the security of a full time job to go back to day to day teaching because of a school that at its heart had developed an acceptance of violence and disrespect. In my teaching I confront and challenge the narrative of violence that underpins our society.  In my opinion assault is assault and it is time that it was treated as such.  Punch one of my children in the school yard and I will refer it to the Police and expect accountability, should my children offend I will hold the same position and ensure they are held accountable.

See below for more posts on a similar vein

https://kiwipaulspoetry.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/murder-up-close-and-personal/

https://kiwipaulspoetry.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/five-years-and-change-for-incinerating-a-man-alive/

https://kiwipaulspoetry.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/rest-in-peace-robyn-alma-grace/

Rolf Harris and the suffocating silence of sexual abuse.

As the trial of Rolf Harris has progressed I have refrained from offering comment to friends and family about his alleged guilt (or innocence).  My preference is for the law to be in charge of that for without the rule of law we have nothing, but that is an aside.

I read in the Herald this morning of another “victim” of Rolf Harris coming out,
this time it was a well known broadcaster and politician Maggie Barry http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11287467.  Maggie was groped by Harris during a radio interview whilst in her studio.  My first reaction was to say to myself why did she not speak up?  There it is!  It is often the reaction people have when they hear of past sex crimes that are not reported to the authorities, people say she/he should have said something.

Abusers rely on silence because of their power, position or privilege.  I am referring to people who are known to their victims, the abusers have an instinctive knowledge that they will get away with their crimes .  I cant tell you if that is borne from experience or a cold, calculated, constructed approach that the perpetrators bring.  What I do know is that somewhere someplace the perpetrator has done this once before and got away with it.  Remember that sexual assault is driven and perpetuated by power, so back to the silence.

The silence of victims can be puzzling.  Why do people not say anything after they have been assaulted?  Well the answer to that is obvious in many third world countries, where the punishment for being assaulted can be death, physical or emotional.  Here in New Zealand it is not a lot better.  We have senior officials telling women to dress appropriately, shock jocks muttering stupidly to them selves and others, comments like she was asking for it, boys will be boys.  Who would be brave enough to open themselves to  ridicule, the whole process of notifying a rape or sexual assault claim is invasive and horrid, unfortunately to uphold the rule of law and to rule out false claims it has to be to a certain degree.

Do false claims occur? Absolutely they do. They are a fact of life that some people make up a claim of sexual assault for a variety of reasons, often there will be underlying, unaddressed  psychological issues involved, every time a false allegation occurs it gives ammunition to the misogynistic men who are too afraid and too powerful to be concerned about the reality of  sexual assault.   Make no mistake rape is a societal problem, see my blog here for a further discussion of that issue, https://kiwipaulspoetry.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/roast-busters-a-society-problem/.

A societal issue demands a societal answer, Society is made up of individuals and we know that for evil to flourish it takes good people to do nothing.  I hear misogyny and sexism most days that I am in the classroom.  I confront it, I confront it when I hear it uttered by my boys, I tell my girls it is unacceptable and I hope that I don’t model tolerance of this sickness in any manner or form.  What we need is a united approach to this kind of behaviour .  Women are dehumanised, demeaned, and demonised, it is not acceptable.  That starts with us.

There are usually warning signs when it comes to abuse, sometimes it is only intuition but I have learnt to trust my intuition.  It is informed by experience, knowledge and I guess spirituality, you meet someone for the first time and you have an instinctive dislike of them and a gut feeling about them.  My advice is to follow that until proven otherwise.  If you see something that walks, looks and quacks like a duck it is unlikely to be a pigeon. I imagine that there are a lot of people out there asking themselves what it I had stood up and said something?

Perhaps Rolf Harris may have been brought to book and stopped a lot earlier.  Make no mistake here, the cult of personality prevailed, experienced child abuse practitioners encountered and disliked Harris.  No body stopped him until a brave woman stood up and said enough.  I really want to say  shame on those who did not speak up when as adults they encountered the octopus.  Rolf Harris like all sex offenders has lost the right to live as a free man in society and society needs to be protected.  I  do not feel relief at his conviction just a profound sadness that he got away with this  for so long and that his victims have been scarred by this abomination..  As always I want to say, if you need help there are lots of places  to get it.  If you need to find help then contact me, I will assist you in any way I can.

Paul

Typical Maori, will the real Rex Magnum please stand up!

To be precise it was,  “Typical sneaky ass Maori move to blind side someone”.  This was a comment made on the Youtube clip depicting the tackle made by a security guard on the streaker in the rugby test match held in Dunedin last month. Continue reading

The razor blades are blunt anyway, so don’t worry!

I hate small towns, I thought to myself the other day, well actually for the past 4 years to be truthful. I have spent most of my life living in small towns with an occasional sojourn in the burgeoning metropolis of Hamilton. It was reinforced for me the other day when I was tagged in this post http://goo.gl/a43u09  Continue reading

Illegitimi non carborundum I think they have this time

So there it is, staring me in the face, my old foe mediocrity, A bit of reflection today and a reminder of that which is important in life. I was poked and prodded Sunday week ago as I lay on a hospital bed, Continue reading

The Art of War (Choice)

Choice is sometimes difficult, I am not talking about chocolate versus coffee here (give me coffee in the morning, chocolate in the afternoon) but rather those choices that are important in our lives, choices around integrity, anger, family, relationships. In my last post I wrote of my confrontationist type background and spoke about picking your battles. Well this week I have been battling.

 

There are people often around who set out, Continue reading