Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Mr Swann
We have had a Mr Swann in prison because he defrauded the local Otago District Health Board of $16.9 million. He was sentenced to nine years and six months for his crime. He is to be released next week after just four years and eight months in prison. His share of the proceeds was $15.1 million. They have recovered only $2.5 million through sale of assets. He has been completely uncooperative with authorities who are investigating the whereabouts of the rest of the money or his other assets.  He could conceivably have $12.5 Million of assets or money stashed away. (He was already on a very good salary from the ODHB) His "punishment" was 4years 8 months in prison so he in effect earned himself at least $3 million a year while the tax payer paid for his board and lodgings in prison.  It is a pretty good deal, hardly a punishment! I think because he has shown no remorse and continued to not cooperate with authorities he should not have been paroled. It is another example of several I have encountered where white collar crime is not seen as "serious" and treated lightly. Such crime is a violence against society, costs the community and damages the fabric of society. I favor forgiveness and restoration, but he shows no sign of regret for his behaviour.
Leave Kate and Will alone!
My other gripe is the way we treat the royal family. I am not a raving royalist, I have some skepticism about the whole system. I am, however, quite impressed with Kate and William, they seem to be using their position widely and well, making a difference for others. The first photos of the couple and the baby looked all very nice, Kate smiling suitably and William looking pleased with himself. But if you looked closely at Kate she was watery eyed, looked tired and was probably thinking, "I just want to go home!" I think its pretty tough on a young couple, particularly the mother expecting them to perform just after the birth of a child. Being young parents is a shock to the system. You need to have heaps of private time to absorb all the changes in the family dynamics. I felt sorry for her having to look beautiful, happy and rosy.  Then I open up the local news tonight and they are already assessing Kate's post-baby body and discussing her "bump"! Good grief, lay off will you! The whole thing shows up our perverted and distorted sense of values! We are such a shallow minded society, it really sucks!

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