This morning's Herald quotes Labour's Corrections spokeman Clayton Cosgrove thus:
Labour law and order spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said the concept of a separate prison centre where the inmates go flatting and the focus is on healing was "mind-boggling".
"Your wife gets raped by a Pakeha, and he goes to the clink, the prison. Your wife gets raped by a Maori person, and he goes off and goes flatting with his mates in some sort of strange separatist concept."
It didn't take long for the racist dog-whistles to start did it. Lee C at Monkey With Typewriter has already lambasted Cosgrove over this, and we agree wholeheartedly.
Now, regular readers of Keeping Stock will remember that a couple of weeks ago, we got stuck in to Metiria Turei over her proposal for a seperate Maori justice system. Are we being hypocritical here, not criticising Sharples, and not criticising Judith Collins for daring to consider Sharples' proposal? We don't think so, and here's why we say that.
Sharples is not proposing a totally seperate system for Maori. He is proposing a small project which will be available to a small percentage of the prison population; inmates who have complied with a specific set of requirements. He is also proposing a project which will only be available to inmates nearing the end of their sentences. It is an extension of the Maori Focus Units which already exist at many of New Zealand's prisons, including Wanganui, and which have had some success in reducing reoffending.
Not that such facts matter to Clayton Cosgrove. His "Your wife gets raped by a Pakeha, and he goes to the clink, the prison. Your wife gets raped by a Maori person, and he goes off and goes flatting with his mates in some sort of strange separatist concept." is nothing but a blatant lie, and he knows it. But like his other Labour colleagues, he's quite happy not to let the facts get in the way of a good story. And we don't like that one little bit.
Let the government consider this proposal by all means, and see if a case can be made that it will have a positive impact on offending by Maori. Then a decision can be made.