A small confession: Alf is not averse to a bit of biffo, in appropriate circumstances.
Another confession: he happens to regard Paul Henry as fondly as he regards a moth or fly that has flown on a kamikaze mission into his whisky.
And thirdly, as a firm believer in human rights, Alf staunchly stands by a bloke’s right to be a bigot.
Accordingly he feels tempted to take a dim view of the fellow who has been accused of assaulting Paul Henry and who allegedly told police the television presenter was “a racist and a bigot who should expect consequences for his views”.
Guilt- it must be emphasised – has yet to be established.
But Alf believes we should all expect consequences for our views.
The consequences should be a stretch in jail for someone whose view is that Henry needed bopping for being a racist and a bigot.
Certainly (assuming guilt is established) the courts must show they disapprove of anyone using physical means to express their bigotry against bigots
The bloke in question has a Spanish name.
Dunno how long he has been here, but this raises questions about the quality of our immigration screening.
Diego Leonardo Chavez, 34, of Auckland, appeared in Auckland District Court this morning facing two counts of assault against Henry during an anti-Government protest in the central city last month.
A lawyer acting on his behalf said he would plead not guilty to the charges.
In a police summary of facts, seen by NZME. News Service, Chavez was one of a large crowd of protesters who picketed Prime Minister John Key’s post-Budget speech at SkyCity events centre on May 22.
The protesters, reader might recall, were led by the veteran activist Sue Bradford.
One would think she disapproves of a bit of biffo, because she thoroughly disapproves of parents imposing discipline on their wayward sprogs with a good educative slap – to teach the little buggers a lesson they have failed to learn from verbal expressions of disapproval.
Accordingly she should have kept better control of one of her fellow protesters.
The protesters charged the entrances of the events centre, but were pushed back by police, it was reported at the time.
Police faced sustained and sometimes aggressive attempts to enter the building through various entrances, which led to a number of assaults on police and SkyCity security staff, Inspector Peter Gibson said at the time.Henry was arriving at the Federal St complex for an unrelated matter, when he was spotted by the crowd, the police summary says.
He was “jostled, jeered and sworn at”, and SkyCity security were forced to intervene in an attempt to protect Henry, the summary claims. But the protesters prevented him from entering the building, crowding and jostling him.
Police stepped in to form a physical barrier between Henry and the crowd.
As they tried to lead him away, Chavez pushed through the barrier and rushed at Henry, the summary alleges
…claiming Chavez was “deliberately jumping towards him [Henry] and colliding with the victim, while spitting on his neck”.
The encounter “caused [Henry] to stumble”, the summary alleges.
Henry was not physically harmed in the altercation, but needed to find a bathroom to clean the spit off his neck, police said.
Chavez was arrested, and according to police neither admitted nor denied the allegations when they were put to him in an interview.
“But [he] stated the victim was a racist and a bigot, who should expect consequences from his views, and should treat the assault as a lesson,” police claimed.
According to the NZ Herald report, Chavez is due to appear in court again next month, where a Spanish language interpreter was requested to attend.
Alf is bemused by the request for an interpreter.
It suggests the accused man has difficulties communicating in English.
If this be so, one imagines he had difficulties recognising that Henry has said something that might be regarded as racist or bigoted.
Alf looks forward to hearing an explanation for this at the next hearing