“The Prime Minister seems to be an astute man; my advice would be that he makes sure there are no unpleasant surprises behind the action against SST and proposal to bar public access to the sex-offender register."
The full link is here; http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1404/S00421/government-about-to-repeat-legal-high-mistake.htm
Of course 'no unpleasant surprises behind the action against SST ' refers to the SST being taken to Court by the Privacy Commissioner for publishing an offenders details and historical convictions as a breach of the Privacy of that offender and his family. What McVicar doesn't speak about is that the offences dated back over 25 years, the offender had gone on to lead a law abiding life and was approached for money on the basis that if it wasn't received then the offenders details would be given to the SST for publication. In other words, a form of blackmail. While there is no suggestion that I'm aware that the SST approached the man directly it remains that if the money or published 'threat' is true then not only did the SST ignore the threat, or find nothing untoward about it - they helped carry it out. Exactly why John Key should be concerned about 'unpleasant surprises' for not condoning 'private' activities of this nature, which have the hall marks of vigilantism, is unclear to probably most people - but clearly not McVicar.
Although the 'work' of the SST is being increasingly marginalized as the Government looks to balance the books on the public safety aspect of some offenders and where they might live in the future, and with whom, SST have no doubt played a role in encouraging the Government along these lines. But to be fair also the cases of abusers 'adopting' roles in new family situations have given Government cause to take effective action. It seems that McVicar rather than support the Government's initiatives appears to see them as taking something from McVicar himself, and the SST, rather than giving security to the public.
This was always going to be an issue it appears because of the 'position' McVicar saw himself entitled to take. Regardless of that 'position' his inability to recognize the Law first, and foremost, put him on a likely collision course with the Authorities. In a sometimes highly emotive subject, child sex offender's in particular, boundaries were not only going to be tested, but also broken. That is the reason why the SST has been taken to Court, because it saw itself as a Law unto itself - this brought a whole range of other problems and shortsightedness. Where the SST have seen the rights of victims as being foremost they have never shown the capacity to see their position has created victims. An example of this could be the man at the centre of the dispute between the Privacy Commissioner and the SST. After a cup of tea to settle down, it would be hoped that McVicar would see that the man was entitled to get on with his life privately, not be subject to blackmailing but mostly not have his family affected by his past being re-visited in a very public way.
I listened to Anne Tolley interviewed about her plans for a Register, her opinions are very considered and sit inside a frame work of Privacy, rights of the individual and so on. She is dispassionate about creating greater protection for the public. Although it is clearl, she is highly motivated that it is a Government role and not one for a group many see as vigilantes ready to support attacks against families who are expected just to weather the storm as a husband, or father is attacked publicly for historical convictions. One can almost imagine that the lack of the vision by the SST on this, indicates that the SST has a position that the families 'deserve' to be outed or simply seen as 'collateral' damage.
Enough of that for now, and putting aside that McVicar may simply be distressed that the Government is taking action that he has long called for himself it's important to consider how far the vigilantism has reached while successive Governments have either sat on their hands or conducted a relationship with the SST. The current case is one, there are others that we may not hear about and at least one more that will test the credibility of those running the SST to the max. Firstly however, it is important to highlight the distinction between those 'running' the SST and the genuine membership of victims. The actions of the administration, lack of action, compliance in threats doesn't reflect on the genuine membership nor should it do so. Many, including myself have said that the SST hierarchy takes advantage of the vulnerability and distress of the genuine membership.
The test of whether some are being used by others is perhaps best characterized by the fact that the most vocal in the SST are not themselves victims. Taking a broader look at the membership it is unfortunately confirmed that many members of the SST were either members or associates of the 'hate' sites successfully sued by Karam. Those individuals, sadly to say, are recorded as threatening to send gang members to the houses of those opposing them, taking their children and laying false complaints with the police and other organisations. Most of that is recorded in material leaked from the hate-sites or expressed in 'on line' anger of the 'hate site' membership.
The distinction between the broader membership and motivation of the SST administration and 'hate sites' membership is also characterised by 'advice' from 'Lawyers' of a nature to say the least is stunningly stupid and down right vicious. Of course I exclude the late Greg King here and point to the current 'legal advisors' of the SST and other disbarred or disgraced Lawyers who advised or encouraged Kent Parker to jump off a 'financial' cliff even knowing that he is an ex mental health patient.
In many ways the SST strive for legitimate recognition has resulted in the SST being subject to the Privacy Act and the Official Information Act. Both Acts which on the face of it one would expect a legal and charitable organisation to embrace - however the fact that those Acts, along with boasts on the hate-sites else where have made stored information of the SST available despite the 'belief' that the 'open' organisations were operating in secrecy. Ironic of course that while the SST have no hesitation in releasing information that is not authenticated to an acceptable level, or even subject to a legal and reasoned policy, that the SST itself shrouds it's activities and membership in 'secrecy' it accuses others of holding.
Of course the tirade of McVicar produced above will fly under the radar. But for the informed, and those that will continue to be informed as the activities of the SST and hate-sites are continued to be investigated - will already be seeing a quite startling pattern, threats, support of blackmail, false accusations etc as giving pause for thought as to why Anne Tolley could possibly not be on the right track.