Saturday, 5 November 2016

Further Thoughts on Corruption in Elevated Places

Thinking about corruption in high, or even slightly elevated places, Distant Cousin Jacinta has brought up The Profumo Affair and yes it was certainly an extraordinary piece of manipulation from above. Even so, there were still substantial differences from those lapses in justice that have prevailed in New Zealand in recent years. Stephen Ward’s catastrophe hinged upon him being a thoroughly decent and civilised human being whose greatest failing was that he constantly went out on a limb for his friends (or those he perceived to be his friends). This coupled with his unfailing generosity and slight sexual kinkiness absolutely guaranteed him to be an outstanding candidate for scapegoating. It doesn’t work in quite the same way in New Zealand where the blunders and errors and subsequent cover ups appear to be far more blatant – firstly emanating from local police persons hell-bent on making sure that they get a Conviction Come What May where notable cases are concerned. None of us have to think very hard to list those cases that make us uneasy - Arthur Alan Thomas, David Bain, Scott Watson, Teina Pora spring instantly to mind. And yes, it IS possible that each of them was in fact guilty as charged. How many of us really believe that? At a gut level we all know that there is something not quite right in the manner in which some investigations are carried out, evidence gathered, witnesses presented. We perhaps think that it’s nothing to do with us and eventually Justice Will Prevail – except that in too many instances that doesn’t happen and the unhappy victims are left to fester in prison year after year, sometimes decade after decade. And although it would be easier to shake off the urge to invest time and thought into the reasons why the Judiciary itself is content to allow this unhappy situation to continue, we are almost compelled to do so. What makes our New Zealand Judges so blinkered? What can’t they see what the rest of us can see? Never mind; people like Thomas, Bain, Watson, Pora are personally unknown to most of us. On the other hand tomorrow it might conceivably involve one of us – then what?

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