Sunday, February 18, 2007

post missing

missing i say


jo said...

hey, just came across your blog thru Anarcha-fairy...Actually think that what u say is v relevant to the bigger picture of things. And also (just quietly) think much of the debate over there is simply young, academic middle-class posturing by supposed Anarchists..(outside of supposed hierarchys - though very much ingrained through the schooling system and their upbringings)
Unfortunately the police in NZ whilst relatively benign towards most of our white and middle to right society, do like to pick on to name a few .. working class youth, the poor and homeless, immigrants, women (working class)and of course
Maori or Pacific Islanders.
NZ does have a very strong class culture and boundaries, even though many try to denial or minimise this it is very apparent to me as a working class radical/anarchist feminist woman. Excuse the spelling, been studying at the University of Life ;-)

Terence said...

Hi Jo,

Thanks for your comments and no worries about your spelling - mine is only rendered intelligible by Firefox's cool new spell checker.

I agree with you that NZ is more class based than many would like to admit. And I also think you make an excellent point - one which I totally neglected - that the benevolence or not of the police will vary a lot according to one's position in society.

Tim said...


I've finally got around to reading some of your new posts. You're much too smart for me, so I won't try and think of something clever to say, but I have an interesting story for you about the police.

My girlfriend dealt with cops as part of her job, and we went for a drink with one who had been particularly friendly with her over the phone (I came along because she wasn't quite sure if he wanted to be PARTICULARLY friendly).

Even though we'd only known him half an hour, as educated obviously non-criminal people we must have looked trustworthy so he told us a story about a cop somewhere else in NZ who was legendary for once beating up a suspect with a frozen fish, whilst wearing a wetsuit, mask and snorkel, and a tutu... he didn't say anything to the guy, just gave him a fish whacking while the rest of the room was empty. Him and the other police figured it was so ridiculous that no-one would believe the suspect if he complained.

I'm 99% sure we weren't being stringed along by the guy we were having the drink with. He never told us later that he had made it up, and he didn't seem like the type who would play a practical joke on us by making up a crazy story for us. He was typical cop, straight-up and friendly.

I'm not sure quite what I learnt about police culture from him telling us this story. I think he wouldn't have told us unless he was quite sure that we'd NOT be shocked about it. Which suggests that he had a clear perspective that my partner and I were "us", and the suspect was "them", and he was also sure that we'd share his perspective.

The fish thing was not really so worrying (it's funny, sort of...), but that he shared the story so easily with two virtual strangers did make me slightly uncomfortable. What made us so trustworthy?

I guess you'd go crazy as a policeman if you didn't draw yourself a mental dividing line between those you trust completely and those you watch closely. If you went about your day to day job with a presumption of innocence, you'd probably do a terrible job and get yourself in dangerous situations to boot. And if you lived your life, including outside work hours, suspecting everyone, then you'd quickly get bitter and have a horrible life.

A tough job I guess.

Anyway - ciao

Terence said...

Beating someone with a frozen fish. While wearing a tutu.

Shesh - just when you try and post a qualified defense of the police and you run up against that!?!? that's just kind of weird. I have to admit though that from the insider goss I've heard there are definitely some very unsavoury people in the world of law enforcement. I guess all this falls under the heading of "need checks and balances" although it does make me wonder - when the fish start flying...

by the way - the suggestion that I'm too smart for you is almost as strange as...well...flailing someone with a fish while wearing a ballet dress. In particular, I'd love your comments on my upperty post regarding what's wrong with mainstream neo-classical economics.
(ps will reply to your email shortly)

Tim said...

Aha, in fact I have your economics post open and I'm waiting til a rare clear-thinking day comes along before I reply to it. I should really use those days on my thesis, but that wouldn't be much fun.


Terence said...

cool - looking forward to it