Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Friday, March 03, 2006

Get real about youth crime, says Maxim

Maxim Institute - real issues - No 194:
(highlights are mine - /Blair)
Get real about youth crime

Andrew Becroft, principal judge of the Youth Court, this week drew attention to New Zealand's burgeoning youth crime rate. Judge Becroft points out that the dramatic increase in violent assaults over the past decade is at the serious end of the spectrum, and contrasts with a generally stable picture for other less violent forms of youth crime. His question demands an answer. Why, he asks, are young people becoming more violent?

(Odd: a few days ago Judge Becroft posited on youth crime, in the NZ. Herald: But cannabis and alcohol are our real problems. /Blair)

Maori Party co-leader Dr. Pita Sharples is calling on parents and communities to 'get real about youth crime', emphasising that reversing the social disconnection and isolation of many young people lies with parents and whanau 'taking responsibility' and not leaving it to government. (also see: Judge concerned at Maori youth crime /Blair) Youth crime is our problem, not Helen Clark's.

Dr. Sharples insightfully locates the capacity to care in parents and families, not government agencies. He said, 'The last thing whanau want is for the state to intervene, and take actions which can ultimately destroy the nature of whanau relationships .... Building strong communities is not the responsibility of the police, the courts, CYFS, WINZ etc. It is families who have to get real about the behaviour of their own.' He exhorts parents 'If your kids are roaming around town, round them up. If they've got weapons, then take the weapons off them. Show the kids you care, by intervening and stopping their anti-social behaviour.'

Parents love their children in a way that a police officer or a social worker never can. Ultimately, a strong, cohesive and compassionate society is built by families working together, not by expanded government programmes. Parents, families and communities are able to build character and responsibility in their young, to provide connection and belonging. Dr. Sharples is right to say 'It all comes back to whanau'. 'If any intervention is to be successful ... [it must be about] inspiring whanau to take on their responsibilities to their children'. Dr. Sharples lays down a tough and vital challenge."
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