The presumption of innocence and its importance in a just and decent society is not as well understood or zealously championed as it should be.
Worse, some citizens who would deny others the presumption of innocence show deeper flaws. They make themselves candidates for deportation by wanting to weaken the All Black team.
This is tantamount to treason, and would be treason, if Alf had his say in definining this very serious offence against the state. Every self-respecting Kiwi should have a powerful urge to see the crap beaten out of the Springboks on the rugby field.
Any hint of this urge being diluted should disqualify people from citizenship.
Alf makes these observations on reading that:
The mother of a young man allegedly assaulted in a pub carpark by new All Black “superman” Rene Ranger is stunned he has been picked to play in tonight’s test against the Springboks.
Her 26-year-old son lost two front teeth, needed stitches to his forehead and injured his knee in an alleged assault in Mangawhai, north of Auckland, last August.
The Weekend Herald tried to contact this bloke yesterday, we are told, but he could not be reached because he was working out of cellphone coverage.
But his mother expressed her disgust to the Weekend Herald at Ranger’s selection despite the alleged attack.
“I just didn’t think you would let somebody in that team after [what’s happened], but obviously other people think otherwise,” she said.
“I was a little pissed off when I found out this morning.”
Hence she makes herself a candidate for immediate exiling.
Alf is pleased to report the Rugby Union has defended Ranger’s selection.
Anyone who is before the courts is presumed innocent until proven guilty and we as employers must leave the judicial process to run its course,” said acting chief executive Neil Sorensen.
“That applies to rugby players just as it does to nearly every other employee.”
And as the Weekend Herald reports, Ranger has impressed selectors with his Super 14 form.
This week, assistant coach Wayne Smith used the label “superman” to describe the 23-year-old’s “exceptional” fitness test results.
If there is anything to complain about here, it is that the wheels of justice move slowly. Too slowly.
Ranger must wait till November before he goes on trial in the Whangarei District Court charged with injuring with intent to injure in relation to the alleged assault.
Alf has no idea of what happened to result in Ranger’s arrest.
But he would like to think that an All Black capable of knocking out a few teeth is just the ticket for dealing with the Boks.
If we don’t do it to the Springboks – preferably without being spotted by referees or TV cameras – you can be damned sure they will do it to us.
Alf was a great supporter of the selectors’ decision back in 1956 (ah, they were the days) when we brought Kevin Skinner out of retirement to deal to the boisterous South African buggers in the front row of the scrum.
Skinner knew how to handle himself and do a mischief to the good health of the Boks. He was a former boxer.
We won the series, and that’s about all that matters, really.
Besides upholding the presumption of innocence, of course.