Monday, June 27, 2016

Lawyer blames Moko's death on "extreme poverty"

Ron Mansfield, the defence lawyer for one of  Moko's killers, Tania Shailer, blames "extreme poverty" for her actions.

You can listen here.

Not twice but three times he said that 'we' need to deal with poverty or more of this will happen.

What an insult to the many thousands of parents who would be financially in the same boat as the killers were, but who still manage to make their children's safety and well-being paramount.

Resorting to the poverty excuse is just facile.

( I can agree however with Mansfield's assertions about mental ill health. But even that has many of its roots in the welfarism - not poverty.)

Update: RNZ has written up some of his statement to media:

"As a country we need to stand back and we need to look at how we're dealing with poverty. There's extreme poverty out there and where there's poverty there's stress. And all of the reports on child abuse show us that where there's stress there's going to be higher rates of child abuse."


Allan said...

Excuse me but wasn't Sue Bradford's anti smacking bill meant to stop the deaths of innocent children.?? All that was put in place there was a Law that meant that good parents who were trying to bring their children up well by giving them a smack on the bum when they misbehaved would risk prosecution. As many people stated when this ludicrous law was enacted, it wont change anything, and so has been the case. How many young lives have been taken since then because of child abuse by those who should have given protection, care and love. The whole law change has been proven to be a pointless exercise and while the current welfare exists which encourages those who shouldnt breed to breed by paying them money to do so the whole futile situation will continue and may I say get worse. Parenthood should be a privilege not a right in my view.

JC said...

"And all of the reports on child abuse show us that where there's stress there's going to be higher rates of child abuse."

Again that old myth..

Poverty, like child abuse is a *consequence* most times in a country like NZ.

The *cause* is something else like gambling, mental health, addiction etc.


Anonymous said...

I saw the Mum of Moko on the news last night, reading out her heart-rendering statement in court. I did feel for her of ocurse, but all the same, why did she not check up on Moko personally in eight long weeks, and why did she place him with those monsters to start with? They both look scary. I just shiver when I think of it, weeks and weeks of brutal abuse, by two towering adults, and nowhere for him to turn, too young to find someone to help, just absolutely helpless. What makes someone behave with such evil purpose? That lawyer probably would say it was the poverty. Call it what it is- base evilness and nastiness, to say the very least. Also, where the heck was his Dad? The usual non-answered or even spoken, question.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Anon, I don't get it either. When my two were toddlers the only person I ever left them with was my Mum and then I would be anxious to get back to them. The first time I spent a weekend away from my children, they were almost teenagers. And I was miserable. I am going to be the worst empty-nester. But I thought it was natural to be so connected.

Plus, if a child was put temporarily into your care, you would be even more careful with him or her than you are with your own.

There's something dark and inexplicable behind this whole episode. And it isn't poverty.

Barry said...

One day it will dawn on people that the underlying factor that encourages violence is that thing called the Haka.

Its spoken about by most people as the best thing since sliced bread. Its half the reason for people watching Al Black games and its more violent and grotesque aspect are repeated in slow motion.

The Haka is all about doing violence to other people.

The first three words of the All Black Haka are "Its is death"

Look no further.

Anonymous said...

You are right, Lindsay, it is natural to be connected to your children. Same here, I never left my kids with someone unknown or not related, and I could never ever have left them with someone for that long, no way. There is more to this than meets the eye, for sure. It's not poverty, it's drugs, alcohol, gangs, a violent culture, learned and taught. Apparently she tried to phone and talk to Moko from Wellington, and that pair would not put him on the phone. I could not have lived with that. Children are precious. Such a tragic outcome, and the charge should have been murder. Finlayson makes me sick also, defending the charge of manslaughter, when its such a henious crime. So sad that such a thing can happen, and as a country we are too scared to state and charge murder. Bring back the fifties, we were better off, such insane policies these days.

Eric said...

Anonymous @ 4.24pm said:

"They both look scary. I just shiver when I think of it, weeks and weeks of brutal abuse, by two towering adults, and nowhere for him to turn, too young to find someone to help, just absolutely helpless."

That made me feel very sad.

JC said...

There is a book called "Eichmann in Jerusalem, A Report on the Banality of Evil" by Hannah Arendt. Its about Eichmann's trial but more importantly her conclusions were that Eichmann was exceedingly normal, but a bit stupid.

I remembered it when I saw TV footage of the couple and felt they possibly fitted Arendt's profile.

Why didn't the mother check more regularly? Perhaps because the couple seemed so normal and too dim to be evil.. we tend to correlate evil with maniacal laughter and mad genius, like a character in a Disney cartoon.

But when I look at individuals before the court for something terrible I've often thought they look somewhat thick and uncomprehending about what they've done.. no surprise to find they've been poor at school work and unsuccessful in life.

I suspect the trick to being evil is to think you are smarter than you really are and rationalise what you are doing as something important and/or producing something better in the great scheme of things. But how the hell that applies to torturing a child defeats me... but some sort of stupidity has to be present.. surely?