Terry Waite visit
The visit by Terry Waite to discuss, among other things, restorative justice brings to mind our own champion on that subject, Chester Borrows, the former National MP who seems to have experienced the wonder of an epiphany.
I often wonder at what point that occurred. Was it when he found himself having to face the judge himself?
After all, I have been told by several folk he was an extremely zealous cop in South Taranaki at one time — one who didn't enact restorative justice or anything like it.
It would be an amazing turnaround for such a man if he truly believed in his rhetoric regarding restorative justice. However, to believe would one not also need to practice that belief?
We, the "old dears and an invalid" who were driven into (Chester stated to the judge that he had made a conscious decision to keep driving with us standing in front of his car), injuring two physically, are almost three years later still waiting for him to sit at a table, face us and apologise.
It doesn't seem that he is so immersed in the restorative justice belief that he is prepared to practice it.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Chester Borrows was found not guilty of careless driving causing injury at Whanganui District Court in May 2017.
In order to prevent democratically elected Chilean leader Salvador Allende from coming to power in 1970, US President Richard Nixon ordered the CIA to destroy Chile's economy.
He famously commanded his advisers to "make the economy scream".
As the economy neared collapse in 1973, Salvador Allende, President of Chile, was assassinated during a coup d'état. The US-backed dictator Augusto Pinochet ruled Chile for another 17 years ushering neo-liberal economic policies leading to the widest inequality gap of any nation in the OECD.
When Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998, with mild social reform, the forces of the far right immediately attempted to undermine him followed by a coup in 2002.
The coup failed, and Chavez was quickly restored to power. He was re-elected for another term within an election system that former US president Jimmy Carter called the "best in the world".
Last year, Chavez's heir, Nicolás Maduro agreed to an early election which he won despite an economy crumbling since 2012.
Bizarrely, at the last minute, a significant portion of the opposition withdrew from this election. Journalist Gregory Wilpert wrote last year that the only logical reason for their withdrawal was "to provoke a political and economic crisis that would lead to another coup".
He suggested the failed economy was mostly due to "a fixed exchange rate, a concerted business sector effort to undermine the economy, declining oil prices, and, lately, US financial sanctions".
The new coup he foresaw appears to have taken place. The country's opposition leader Juan Guaidó last week was endorsed as "interim president" by President Donald Trump.
After defending the murderous Saudi regime, Trump is now "upholding democracy" by sending the indicted Iran contra figure and a "crucial figure around the Venezuelan 2002 coup", Elliot Abrams, as envoy to Venezuela.
The Venezuelan economy has "screamed".
Contrary to 'popular' belief, I am not always the faeces-agitating bloke standing far to the right of Attila the Hun.
Sometimes, I can even embrace the concept of Political Correctness, although not often.
However, the front page headline in the Chronicle on January 11 — "Prison term for pervert at Splash Centre" — is a classic example of selective PC ignorance.
While I agree with his description of the offender, it is totally over the top in terms of today's PC-driven media reports. Nowhere in the published report was the term "pervert" used. This is a slur on the guilty character by a journalist with no right to do so under our PC onus these days.
Obviously, I agree with the sentiments expressed and had it been my child photographed, the miscreant would be in hospital, not prison.
Further to earlier comments regarding the current 1080 travails of the SPCA, I can offer a case that may refocus their expertise on a less contentious and more relevant episode.
I am appealing to the Ministry of Primary Industries to make some case against absentee owners of a property adjacent to mine, where an increasing herd of un-managed cattle have been left to invade neighbouring properties.
About this time last year, temperatures here reached 40c and soon there may be no water.
I have carted water up to them, but I am not doing it any more. There are about 23 of the thirsty brutes and they suck up a heap of water per day.
Some Quango somewhere, needs to start "walking the walk".