Election Promises


It’s full on election time, we have had the first debate. One thing that I thought was very cool was that TVNZ ran the debate in conjunction with YouTube. People were invited to record their questions for the leaders of the Labour and National parties on YouTube. The questions and responses, such as this one on Law and Order are also available to view on YouTube which means everyone has easy access to the parts of the

debate they are interested in. Great use of new technology and kudos to TV One.

And the NZ Herald has regular features talking about the different offerings on a topic, from each party. Today’s topics are law and order. I was telling my wife about the Act policy which I like.

Key things I like are that you serve the sentence you are given and 3 strikes and your out. I think this policy is based on the system that made many of the streets in New York safe. The first time I went to New York and wanted to go to the Cotton Club, I was told that taxi’s would take me there before dark, but they wouldn’t come back to pick me up because it was too dangerous in Harlem and taxi drivers were being murdered. In recent years the Zero Tolerence policy has made the area much safer.

They also said that if you are sentenced to 5 years in jail, you should serve 5 years. This is something that we have been asking for for years. The problem is that parties make all these statements, but they have very little credibility because they never seem to follow through. I am thinking that one possibility is using our political system to vote for a party like Act on the party vote to give them the legs to push through one of these policies.

Law and order is an election issue and in my humble opinion Helen Clark and the Labour Party want everybody’s vote and are saying they are against gangs and organized crime, but sympathizing with the reasons people join them. The National Party doesn’t seem to be much better. John Key is saying that he wants to lock up recidivist criminals and will build a new prison to house them. In my humble opinion young gang members who go to jail will add to their ‘mana’ (in simple terms Maori for honor or power) within the gang and will be heroes when they come out. They will be looked after ‘inside’ by their gang family and life won’t be too bad at all.

My wife said, “It’s all very well them saying these things when they want to vote for you, but after the election all the promises go out the window”, well actually she said something more colorful, but she’s pretty much on the mark. How many times have we been conned by politicians, voting for them on the basis of their election promises and then when they get in they have loads of great reasons why they couldn’t go through with it, usually blaming the outgoing parliament.

The addage is that it doesn’t matter who you vote for, a politician will always get in. It’s funny really that at election time we elect people that mostly we don’t trust to keep their promises and give them a mandate to run the biggest organisation, our whole country!

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What happens when the consumers can’t buy anymore?


Everyone has a deal. Harvey Norman is offering 12 months deferred payment and 12 months interest free, Noel Leeming has deals, Bond and Bond has deals, there is even a web site called Perweek that lets you search for products by the period of interest free terms they are offering.

The Scooter Bar has ads on Trade Me offering deferred payment and special deals on new motorcycles and on it goes.

There is always something essential that you need, like a new HD TV with Freeview, an iPhone, a new car, a stereo that you can plug your iPod into and on it goes.

A couple of years ago I bought a new Canon camera. I had the cash in my savings, but I decided to take the 18 months deferred payment and then pay it off straight away. I paid a week late and GE Money, the company that seems to be offering a large chunk of retail finance wanted to charge me a hefty fee for that, but no one sent me a slip or reminder to say it was due and I had diarised it a week out. I stood my ground and as Noel Leeming wanted to keep my business I didn’t have to pay the late fee.

6 months or so later I got a letter from GE Finance offering me a special deal with pre-approved finance for a sum, I can’t remember exactly, but it wasn’t interest free, they were offering me finance at 24% interest!

They have all sorts of great ideas and of course you could say that anyone silly enough to take that deal deserves to be taken to the cleaners, but the problem is that there are people who are struggling and will be thinking, these guys want to lend me money and I need money, so lets do it.

I wonder if there is recourse in the finance. If the person who is paying for their new HD TV defaults, does it become the finance company’s loss or the retailers problem. Finance companies are typically risk averse, so I’m guessing it’s the retailer. It would be great if someone can clarify that for me.

So here’s the thing. There are loads of people spending money they don’t have on things they can’t afford and chances are it’s not one item, it’s several over a period of time. So when the masses are broke and the retailers aren’t getting paid, what happens next?

We are already officially in a recession and things aren’t getting any better. Very soon a large number of people will owe much more on their homes than their value, especially the thousands who bought at 90 to 100% of the property value in a growth market and those who leveraged heavily for their retirement funds.

If retailers can’t recover their money, they can’t buy new product, they can’t afford their staff and the manufacturers can’t keep manufacturing. If houses aren’t being built because people can’t afford to buy them, all the trades will suffer, plumbers, electricians, builders, labourers, the list goes on.

Is this inevitable? Is there a solution?

Some people got hurt in 87′ but most people in New Zealand have not lived in a depression and have lived a life of instant gratification. Of course there will be some fortunes made as well. What could some of the consequences be?

Increased domestic violence is on the rise, violent crimes are on the rise including aggrevated robbery. Drug use is on the rise which increases crime and the worse of things are, the more displaced young folk will be heading into the welcoming arms of gangs.

How can we avert this?

While this blog is starting to get a good following, I would love to get more readers and encouraging me to keep writing. If you feel that my blog is interesting I would be very grateful if you would vote for me in the category of best blog at the NetGuide Web Awards. Note that the form starts each site with www whereas my blog doesn’t and is of course https://luigicappel.wordpress.com.

Thanks so much for your support:)

What do you do about local crime


Over the last few weeks there were a couple of violent incidents on the North Shore that very much disturbed me and many others who enjoy a peaceful a ‘safe’ life in our ‘burbs’. Near Milford Beach 2 people were badly assaulted by youths who asked if they had ever met ‘real gangsta’s’ before and after accepting a beer from them proceded to beat them so badly that they both need plastic surgery and one needed emergancy brain surgery. A similar incident happend the following night and it appears that it was the same 5 boys, average age 18 who are now in custody.

We live in a ‘safe’ neighbourhood, statistically the safest city in NZ and we aren’t used to this sort of thuggery. One of the incidents happened while a couple were walking on the beach in the late evening, a time when people often enjoy a quiet walk. Initial reports suggested that they were ‘prospects’ for a street gang trying to get a foothold in the area and everyone hoped that they were from another area, but 4 of the 5 were local. As regards the gang, that is now probably sub judice and they probably don’t want to give the gang any more notoriety through publicity.

The local police chief said that if gangs ever got a foothold in our neighbourhood he would resign and I am sure he is committed to his position and will do what he can. The thing is, we haven’t had to deal with this sort of situation and it makes you feel very uncomfortable. My first thoughts were, do I need to consider my safety? Do I need to consider carrying some sort of weapon in my car in order to protect myself or my family? I don’t want to, but if my family are ever threatened, I would certainly lay my life on the line for theirs in whatever way I can. I don’t want to even contemplate this, but here’s the thing. If citizens leave it up to the police who are always under resourced and we look away or do nothing, leaving it up to someone else, will we end up having to live in this environment?

I’ve been to cities in South Africa where violence is commonplace, I’ve been to shopping malls where shops sell self defence products over the counter including pistol flame throwers etc. I have a friend who lives with a loaded pistol on his bedside cabinet. One of the reasons I live where I do and not earning the biger dollars in the USA and other places where I have been offered positions, is because I feel that here is one of the safest places to raise a family and I believe it still is, but I need it to stay this way.

I don’t have any answers, but I have an uneasy feeling that things may get worse over time and I don’t want that to happen. I do believe that as citizens, we have a responsibility and a right to a safe neighbourhood and I don’t know what to do about it. Maybe with the benefit of 20:20 hindsite, someone could look at us and tell me what they would do if they have a second chance, because we still have a chance.

I suppose the good news is that most crimes like this in New Zealand do get solved and the poor unfortunate youth who ‘never had a fair chance in life to start with’ are put away for a period of time, to learn more tricks of their trade (getting really cynical here).

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10488807 On a happier front, a 16 year old boy was chased and caught by the public after stabbing someone to death in a milk bar. But of course by then his victim had lost his life.