Alf was jolted from his slumbers by a Radio NZ report about tasers.
Nope. It wasn’t that some bad bastard had been zapped by one during a weekend in which our police officers have run into more violent stuff from drunken young people.
This time, the Government has been zapped.
The United Nations was reported to be urging the New Zealand Government to consider giving up the use of tasers.
Actually, it turns out that just one laughable bit of the UN, its UN Human Rights Committee, is doing the urging.
The committee has “18 independent experts who are persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights.”
The countries from whence they come include great upholders of civil liberties and human rights such as Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritius, Colombia and Egypt.
The Key Government had been obliged to go through the preposterous exercise of preparing a report for these buggers under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
According to Radio NZ, the committee says the state should consider relinquishing tasers, and if not, make sure strict guidelines are followed.
Justice Minister Simon Power says he argued long and hard in front of United Nations officials that police here should keep the right to use tasers.
Mr Power says he reminded the committee New Zealand’s police officers are not armed, and explained the regulations on taser use.
He says even though the committee stuck with its criticism of tasers, the Government is convinced its policies are correct.
He should say more than that.
He should say the committee is a bloody joke and he doesn’t know why anyone would want to bother giving air time to its recommendations.
The cops’ trade union is only a bit more robust in its rejection of the UN Committee’s pap.
The Police Association says the committee is out of touch. It says officers are being assaulted in greater numbers than ever before and for many in the front line the taser can’t come soon enough.
The association’s president, Greg O’Connor, says the UN statement about tasers is absurd.
“Perhaps they should be a little better informed aabout the state of violence against police officers in New Zealand,” he says.
Radio NZ perhaps was alerted by an outfit called the Peace Movement Aotearoa to the risible rejection of our tasers by the UN body.
Alf, of course, regards any outfit that incorporates “Aotearoa” rather than “New Zealand” in its title as a bunch of craven PC wankers, not worthy of his attention.
On this occasion, he makes an exception because the wankers have told him much more in their media statement than he learned from Radio NZ about the UN Committee’s report.
It sets out the Concluding Observations of the UN Human Rights Committee “(released overnight at the conclusion of the Committee’s 98th session) on their consideration of the government’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
We learn from this that the UN Committee actually welcomed some bits of recent New Zealand legislation.
And yep, sure enough, it has welcomed our legislation allowing poofs and dykes to shack up with each other and enjoy the same legal privileges as we normal people: the Civil Union Act 2005.
There’s nothing much civil about unions that involve coupling via the back passage, in Alf’s book.
Oh, and the committee has given the thumbs up to the repeal of the defence permitting the use of force against children in the home for the purposes of parental correction in the Crimes Act;
So in some countries – if Alf is reading this stuff correctly – it’s okay to stone citizens to death in some circumstances, but not to slap children to discipline them.
The committee also welcomes the contribution of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and non-governmental organizations to its work.
That’s a joke, too. Alf would shut the bloody commission to save money and do the country a big favour by obliging its interfering members to get out of our lives and go find proper jobs.
Then comes the stuff on tasers.
10. While noting the State party’s assurances that electro-muscular disruption devices (EMDs) “TASERs” are only to be used by trained law enforcement officers and in situations in which such use is warranted by clear and strict guidelines, the Committee is concerned that the use of such weapons may lead to severe pain, including life-threatening injuries. (arts. 6 and 7)
The State party should consider relinquishing the use of electro-muscular disruption devices (EMDs) “TASERs”. While such weapons remain in use, it should intensify its efforts to ensure that its guidelines, which restrict their use to situations where greater or lethal force would be justified, are adhered to by law enforcement officers at all times. The State party should continue carrying out research on the effects of the use such weapons.
The text goes on to prattle about the privatising of prisons, even though the committee includes a sheila from the USA, where prisons have been run privately for years.
11. While noting the steps taken by the State party to address the risk of human rights violations in relation with the Corrections (Contract Management of Prisons) Amendment Bill 2009, the Committee reiterates its concern at the privatization of prison management. It remains concerned as to whether such privatization in an area where the State party is responsible for the protection of human rights of persons deprived of their liberty effectively meets the obligations of the State party under the Covenant and its accountability for any violations, irrespective of the safeguards in place. (arts. 2 and 10)
The State party should ensure that all persons deprived of their liberty are guaranteed all rights enshrined in the Covenant. In particular, all measures of privatization of prison management should continue to be closely monitored with a view to ensuring that under no circumstances, can the State party’s responsibility for guaranteeing to all persons deprived of their liberty all Covenant rights, in particular those under article 10, be impeded.
Inevitably, the report expects us do all sorts of things for Maori, such as reducing their incarceration rates without much regard to the other side of the criminal coin, which is the rate at which they are arrested.
It eventually gets around to the treaty.
“The State party” (as the report insists on calling the Government)
…should continue its efforts to review the status of the Treaty of Waitangi within the domestic legal system, including the desirability to incorporate it into domestic law, in consultation with all Maori groups. Furthermore, the State party should ensure that the views expressed by different Maori groups during consultations in the context of the historical Treaty claims settlement process are duly taken into account.
ALL Maori groups.
Do the UN namby-pambies have any idea how many Maori groups there are in this country?
And does it have the slightest idea how fractious some of these buggers can be, and how the one thing we can expect from consulting all Maori groups is that we will finish up with an impossible-to-reconcile plethora of opinions on what should be done?
Alf’s advice to Key is to biff the report in the wastepaper basket and carry on as before.
Except, perhaps, for the thing about tasers.
Maybe we should think about arming the cops with guns instead of tasers and give them our blessing to use them in much the same way as the police would use them in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, etc.
Minority groups that cause political trouble could be sorted out for special treatment.