just like my friends at the hand mirror, i'm appalled that the nz law society has decided that clint rickards is a "fit and proper" person to be admitted to the bar. there are so many reasons why this is plain wrong, which I/S and julie have basically covered. but let's look at the reasons the law society have given for their decisions:
* The trials involved conduct that occurred over 20 years ago.
but his conduct during and after the trial was surely sufficient to cast significant doubt on his abilities.
* The applicant had since had a distinguished career in the Police
then why is he still not in the police force? why did he not go through a disciplinary hearing and clear his name, instead of pulling out at the last minute? the man left under a cloud, which can hardly be called "distinguished".
* The applicant was acquitted of the historic charges
despite being acquitted of rape, he had admitted to behaviour that is surely not becoming of a police officer using classified information to target teenagers who were already vulnerable because of coming to the attention of the police. besides which, see item 1.
* If the Law Society refuses a certificate of character, the applicant can apply to the High Court for admission and, in other cases, the Court has taken a "forward looking" approach.
so let the court make that decision if it has to. why should that stop the law society from taking a principled approach? this is surely the biggest cop-out (pun intended) that i have heard. it is not for the law society to pre-determine what the courts will do, so this should not be a factor in their considerations.
on another note, the ACT party and its leader are looking a little grim these days. it's a similar look to the one on the face of jeannette fitzsimmons shortly after the 2005 election, when she realised that the green party would not be in a coalition government. ACT, while promising to support the national party during the campaign, are finding that the national party aren't much interested in supporting them.
this is the basic dillema of small parties to the left or right of the major parties. because it's inconceivable that they will go with a party on the other side, they end up having little bargaining power. i guess ACT would have had more bargaining power if they had a couple more MPs and the maori party had a couple less.
personally, i'm happy if ACT has very little say in the new government because i can't think of one single policy of theirs that i support. even so, there will be an arrangement of sorts and it seems that heather roy is going to be the next minister of consumer affairs. which means that there will be some policies of the ACT party that will be put forward. not even the weakest deal comes without any cost.
back to the point though: both ACT and the greens will need to be rethinking their strategy going into the next election. because when the major parties have a choice in the centre, experience shows that's the party they will go for.
finally, here's a link with further information about the "obsession" dvd that was distributed in the US (hat tip: CAIR). it looks like the same group is planning another video titled "the third jihad". i find it really hard to understand what they hope to achieve from this campaign, other than hatred of all muslims. how does that make the world a better place?
and yes, the usual disclaimer applies: i don't intend to denigrate any particular religious group; i know that hate material is produced by extremist groups run by muslims which i similarly denounce.