Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

Here’s some­thing we don’t want. A Gov­ern­ment whose se­nior fig­ures are hazy about hu­man rights.

When Bill English said ’’it’s clearly not the case that some New Zealan­ders have less hu­man rights than oth­ers’’ it wasn’t half as clear as it should have been.

Not after his deputy Paula Ben­nett had mud­died things might­ily by say­ing there are dif­fer­ent stan­dards for peo­ple who leave a string of vic­tims be­hind them.

We’re not be­ing dainty here. She’s de­scrib­ing gang mem­bers with bad crim­i­nal records, and il­le­gal firearms, sell­ing metham­phetamine. These would be poi­sonous scum­bags.

When we catch and con­vict them their civil free­doms (not the same thing as hu­man rights) are rightly yank­able. For in­stance, your free­dom to move around your so­ci­ety as you wish gets sus­pended if you’ve been jailed, pal.

We must be as adept as pos­si­ble in our ef­forts to hunt out their il­le­gal be­hav­iour but some things can­not be swept aside in pur­suit of that worth­while end. We can­not cre­ate a sub­set of peo­ple who, un­der law, are less hu­man than the rest of us.

If his­tory has taught us any­thing it’s that fight­ing hor­ri­ble be­hav­iour with hor­ri­ble be­hav­iour tends to lead to more, not less, hor­ri­ble be­hav­iour all around.

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