The law banning gang insignia in Wanganui has been passed. It won’t do any good, and is a major breach of personal freedom.
Just so you don’t think the liberals are all against it and the conservatives are all for it as the Herald may imply, I’ll quote Family Party leader Richard Lewis (former South Auckland police sergeant):
“Banning gang patches will only strengthen the sense of victimisation that unites gang members and creates appeal towards gang life. … Gangs have outlasted Governments and Police Commissioners. It’s naive to think banning their colours will make any discernable difference to what gangs do.” (link)
“Banning patches will help gangs take their business of drug dealing further underground.” (link)
Who supported this disgraceful law:
Peter Dunne (United Future)
Rodney Hide, Peter Garrett, John Boscawen (ACT)
Who opposed it:
Sir Roger Douglas, Heather Roy (ACT)
Most of the votes were predictable:
National supported it to pretend they are doing something.
Dunne supported it to keep in their good books, and he probably likes banning stuff.
Labour opposed it because National supported it.
The Greens opposed it because they want to ban or control anything that moves unless it is offensive, then they pretend to be in favour of personal freedom as a smokescreen so you don’t notice all the bans.
It is the Maori party, Douglas and Roy that have truly stood up for freedom and common-sense today. Hide, Garrett and Boscawen could have, but chose not to.
It is good to see ACT’s open vote policy meaning people can choose to go against the party leader when he goes against the personal freedoms he apparantly stood for before the election. But it is disappointing that three ACT MPs chose to inflict this disgraceful law on New Zealand.
A sad day for New Zealand, and a sad day for ACT.
AROUND THE BLOGS:
Andy Moore looks at what Rodney Hide said on this in the past, and his massive U-turn now.
Bernard Darnton discusses the principles of the law, a classic post including:
“Backers of the law claim that it’s necessary to crack down on gang members and that they need to be cracked down on because they’re always breaking stuff and hurting people. If that was true you wouldn’t need a law against leather jackets, you could just arrest all these gangsters under the Prohibition of Breaking Stuff (and Hurting People) Act.”