Skip to Content »

Is Jack Straw a Garth Mcvicar convert?

  • September 27th, 2008

The UK Home Secretary Jack Straw seems to have signed up to Sensible Sentencing.

"Labour will always put victims and their families first," Straw said. "That’s why we are transforming criminal justice from a bureaucratic system to the public’s service. It’s about a change of culture, of attitude, about lifting the veil which sometimes keeps justice from view: explaining more, hiding less."

He’s using attack as his defense of Gordon Brown’s New Labour (or perhaps as his assault on Gordon Brown’s position?).

Straw reprised Blair’s most famous line. "…our values are the ones most likely to create safer communities. Fair rules, firm punishments. Rights but also responsibilities. Deterrent and reform. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime."

He is targeting the lawyers’ legal aid budget .

More significantly he pushing to "open up" the justice system. For example he wants to:

• Introduce online court records "so anyone can see for themselves what happens when someone appears in the dock" .

[I’ve urged for years the restoration of open justice in our courts.]

•  make community sentences more visible to the public so that people can see them working. "We are introducing high visibility jackets for all those on such sentences"

[Wellington’s Constable Theo Gommans has pioneered this, with pink jackets on graffiti artists.]

I’d love to see a similar automatic penalty for Wellington litterers. Regular pink jacketed work gangs of litterers and graffiti artists could clean up the noisome wildcat dump sites in our reserves. They are inevitable since council tip charges became absurd, but that does not mean we should not use social slobs to clean them up.


  • mike mckee
  • September 28th, 2008
  • 2:24 pm

I too would like to see online criminal info.
The way society is one can live anonymously, comit crime and move somewhere else.
There is no real shame unless the press gets hold of you.
I’d like to see victims come first, offenders 2nd, with reparations being paid by the offender to the victim with no exceptions.

To have all offences online for 5 yrs or until the sentence has finished whichever is longer.

Sexual offenders should be on a separate list with city living in.

if offend on bail then never get bail again.
recall to prison must be seriously monitored.

No home detention for violent or sexual crimes at all.

then we’ve got to renew the current buildings.
build 1 new prison each 3yrs starting with low level facilities type with built in school/teaching facilities for 1st offenders.

that way we get rid of all the old stock in 15yrs and have state of the art training and rehabilitation (which we don’t do well) spread throughout both islands.

we do need to have separate facilities for youth on both islands. they could be alongside existing facilities or next to new builds as part of the plan.
allow for double the bed space as needed now for 10yrs.

  • mike mckee
  • September 28th, 2008
  • 2:26 pm

How about on Friday morning paper in each big city a photo, name and offence convicted of with sentence every week.
there is a shaming in that which I think is healthy for society.
that could put pasted straight into the online database.

  • mike mckee
  • September 29th, 2008
  • 12:10 pm

A question for your Te Aro meeting.
Assuming that you were a National party MP at the time.
Would you have voted for the anti smacking bill if whipped by National?

  • Jim Maclean
  • October 2nd, 2008
  • 8:04 pm

Stephen the sooner you become the Minister of Justice the better!
Perhaps Mike McKee might also stand and become Minister of Police!
I despair of the time it is taking for society to embrace the inevitable (in my mind) transition to where we focus on picking up and punishing those who do wrong and stop putting those who are only defending themselves and their own property under a stressful and expensive “microscope” in an effort to appear even handed.
I believe it will happen, and when it does we will wonder why it took us all so long to do it!

Leave your comments:

* Required fields. Your e-mail address will not be published on this site

You can use the following HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>