Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"US secret surveillance up sharply since Sept 11"

According to a Reuter's report carried by the NZ Herald. Other amazing bits of information that will now be newsworthy are:
Police investigative work up sharply since Murder

Sunlight levels up sharply since Dawn

Alcohol intake up sharply since Christmas

Pain feelings up sharply since Stubbed Toe
It's only the fourth day of Christmas and already one can see the desperation of the news editors in searching for something to report in a traditionally slow news month in a slow news country.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What a difference the full report makes...

Now that the full police report of the David Benson-Pope invesitagation has been released, significant developments have taken place:

1. Benson-Pope has changed his position on whether the tennis-ball incident took place. He now claims that he is one of the nineteen that does not recall the incident or believe that it happened.

2. He has apologized to the Dunedin Police for his ridicule of them for using "bozo-ish" language when they said there was a prima facie case to answer.

3. He is in trouble with his colleagues. Helen Clark has said in the house that the matter "could have been handled better" and that "advice will be forthcoming" about his misleading leaking of the report to the Herald on Sunday.

4. A scapegoat has been selected. Helen Clark has referred Pete Coleman, Benson-Pope's press secretary, to Ministerial Services for leaking selected parts of the police file and obscuring the involvement of Benson-Pope and his office in doing so. News reports suggest that he could face the sack.

With the Speaker having already rejected two complaints about a breach of privilege for misleading the House and is likely to reject the third, does this mean that the matter is over? The only problem is that there is the distinct possibility that Coleman did what Benson-Pope asked him to do. And if that is found to be the case, then Benson-Pope will have done what Lianne Dalziel got fired for - lied to the media.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Benson Pope report

The David Benson-Pope report is up at Scoop. An early tidbit from the interview that David had with the police:
INGLIS: [I]t has come up other discipline on school camps are being made to stand outside in your night attire and bare feet in the cold for a length of time in the cold, is the only other thing that came up um in relation to not going to sleep at the camp.

BENSON-POPE: It's the best way I know of encouraging people to go to sleep.

p2 Transcript of Video Interview of David Benson-Pope.
Benson-Pope confirms the existence of the "bonket" tennis ball at the end of an arrow but says the most he ever used it for was to "gently touch people on the head with it" (interview transcript p16). I suspect it's one of those irregular expressions, namely
I gently touch people with it
You give people a tap with it
He whacks people over the head with it
Certainly at least some of the students describe the use of the bonker as "banging".