I SEE in your paper a father was convicted of assault for protecting his son from bullies. Seems to me that the wrong person was convicted.

It should have been the people who knew about it and did nothing about it. Apparently even now it hasn't been resolved.

Giving bullies a dose of their own medicine wouldn't go amiss. We may not want to take the law into our own hands, but if the law isn't doing the job, what are you supposed to do?



Predatory behaviour

It seems that whenever there is another case of a Catholic priest being accused of predatory behaviour towards minors we get news stories and opinion pieces from everywhere denouncing the priest and the church.

When we get cases of people like film producer Harvey Weinstein exposing themselves, using their position to pressure women for sex, and other predatory behaviour towards young women, we get news stories and opinion pieces from everywhere denouncing the guy and men in general.

On Tuesday the Chronicle published an article from the Associated Press about the statement of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. In this statement the Archbishop spoke of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and his predatory behaviour towards young men, and about what other bishops and Pope Francis knew about it.

The Associated Press article appears a little selective in their quoting and referring to the statement, while labelling Archbishop Vigano's words "a homophobic attack on Francis and his allies" and the Archbishop as "hardline anti-gay". In other words, let's try to discredit the messenger.

It almost appears as if predatory behaviour is treated differently when the predator is a homosexual, I would think that would upset the homosexual community nearly as much as the victims.


Institution a con trick


Despite studying medieval history at university, it was not until I visited Ireland a couple of decades ago, looking at various monuments, that I realised the Roman Catholic Church was primarily the multinational corporation of the Middle Ages, making itself very rich while dominating, distorting and destroying people's lives.

We have been wishing for some time, probably even those of us who couldn't really care less, that Pope Francis is going to go down in history as a nice guy who does good. His visit to Ireland seems to indicate this is not going to happen. He appears to be inescapably institutionalised (much as Jesus himself has been).

What has awoken in me is the realisation that priestly paedophilia through time would not have been random at all. There would logically have been institutional paedophilia attitudes and associations at local, national and international levels. In support of this statement, I point to the cruel treatment of unmarried mothers, which in the Catholic Church was both an institutional and international attitude and behaviour.

It really is well past time for this cruel joke and con trick of an institution to fade away. We now have more contemporary and relevant evil organisations to cope with.


'Bad eggs' must change

It seems the current topic of the month is the number of inmates in our prisons.
Well, they are all there because some learned judge put them there for any number of reasons.

Any other take on the issue is to imply that our judges are incompetent or vindictive. Of course, there may be the odd person who could possibly have been given a non-custodial sentence under current legislation, but surely not enough to get all the "experts" up in arms.

'I read in the Chronicle today (August 29) that 60 per cent of inmates are "mentally unwell", according to Justice Stephen Kos. I question the accuracy of this. I would go further and ask for a detailed breakdown of the mental problems that are causing "unwellness". I guess they theoretically range from inmates who "walk on the ceiling" down to those who sit in a corner reading a book and everything else in between.

Lacking literacy and numeracy skills is not a mental health issue in my humble opinion. I have also noticed a hugely increasing trend for defence lawyers to use childhood abuse or lack of care as a mitigating factor. I can't see much connection between robbery and assault and the fact that the offender was denied the breast as a baby.

What is a judge to do when he knows that the person standing in front of him will never pay another fine as they already have thousands outstanding, nor will adding further community service to their current balance achieve anything as the accused will raise the middle digit as they leave the court and never front up to serve their sentence. Classic case in point, also in today's paper.

There is only one way to effectively reduce the numbers of people in prison, and that is for the criminally inclined to get their act together and stop committing imprisonable offences. Unfortunately, I can't see any of the proposed "do-gooder" schemes achieving any substantial result. Bad eggs will always be rotten.

If politicians and theoretical experts start throwing wild comments around, then please let them provide concrete evidence to back up their claims.


Hollow victory

The front page headline of the Chronicle on Wednesday regarding the High Court decision to quash the seabed mining consents read "VICTORY'' and had me somewhat stunned.

A victory? Who for?

The environment? Almost certainly not — the Environmental Protection Agency has done its homework and removing surplus ironsand will improve the fertility of the sea floor.
A victory for the local community? Not if you want a good job and prosperous community.

A victory for our nation's economy? Certainly not.

A victory for the fishing community? No — fish will not notice the difference in dredge silt returning to the sea floor from new silt entering from floods and tide wash.

So the victory belongs to a group of misguided but well intentioned folk.

Protesters like KASM see the needs of their fellow humans as of secondary importance.

They have won a victory but, in my opinion, a hollow one.

No one and no thing wins ... unless you like poverty.


Definitely my type

What joy to pick up the Weekend Edition of the Chronicle and a find a font that is easily read.

Whanganui East

Send your letters to: The Editor, Wanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Wanganui 4500; or email editor@wanganuichronicle.co.nz