Don’t crush state assets!

From go …

… to woe.

19-year-old Daniel Briant’s car, a Nissan Laurel, was crushed yesterday. It became the first car to be crushed under National’s “boy racer” legislation—the Vehicle Confiscation and Seizure Bill, 2008.

Why crush? According to Judith “Crusher” Collins (via NZPA)

Cars could be confiscated under current law and courts could order them to be sold, she said, but they were bought by other boy racers and the problem was recycled.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website, says the law is a waste of time.

“Yesterday, the owner of the first crushed car was just another boy racer with an attitude problem. Today he will be a hero to his fellow boy racers.”

“The idea that this car seizure will stop other youths offending is basically wishful thinking.

I love how he flat-out contradicts himself in the next two paragraphs (although what he’s trying to say is basically right, I think).

“Young females are attracted to young males who take risks. That’s one reason young males are so reckless. A young male would rather lose his car and be attractive to young females than obey the law and sleep alone.”

“The part of the male brain that links cause and effect doesn’t fully develop until the early 20s. That’s why young males often do silly things without thinking of the consequences.” has a photo of the boy-racer hero Briant, informs us that

A Facebook memorial site has been created for the souped-up car.

and helpfully links to Briant’s Facebook page, where we learn that Daniel’s interests include

Doing your mate’s ex to see what the problem was
Not dumping your girlfriend cause she’s a fucking hectic root
Being a cheeky cunt to everyone you know. Because, wtf else is there to do?
I wish I was on E as often as my gas tank
Never underestimate a guy’s ability to not give a shit
Going out for a Quiet One and Coming Home with a Court Date

While Daniel mourns the loss of his Nissan Laurel, we can mourn the misspent youth of today. Or mourn the misspent youth of yesteryear. (I don’t ever recall having that much fun! Well, not at that age, anyway. Oops, I think I’ve said enough. Time for a closing parenthesis.)

This is not a pretty picture. (It’s Minister of Police Anne Tolley, standing atop the crushed Laurel.)

The NZ Herald tells us

A grinning Police Minister Anne Tolley pressed the button to crush the Nissan Laurel at a Lower Hutt scrap metal yard.

Ms Tolley said it sent a “graphic” deterrent to illegal street racers.

But reports

Tolley said less than three hours after receiving his third strike from the court Briant was back behind the wheel performing a burnout.

He lost control and crashed into a fence. It is understood he and a passenger fled the vehicle on foot.

There’s every sign that Briant is undeterred. (And, you know, I could have done with a souped up Nissan Laurel to replace my ground down Nissan Maxima.)

I’m against the whole idea of the government using cases like this to make “an example” and destroy property as “a deterrent to others”. It’s an unjust, utilitarian way of going about things. As philosopher Immanuel Kant rightly remarked

Juridical punishment can never be administered merely as a means for promoting another good either with regard to the criminal himself or to civil society, but must in all cases be imposed only because the individual on whom it is inflicted has committed a crime. For one man ought never to be dealt with merely as a means subservient to the purpose of another…

4 thoughts on “Don’t crush state assets!”

  1. You beat me to blog this one Richard!
    I am disgusted with the Gloating smirks!
    Evil Bitches!
    Where are the Lawyers who care about Justice and understand that this constitutes a New and vicious attack on property rights?
    They ought to be taking the Government to court about this for the sake for getting rid of Bad legislation.
    That none bother shows how poorly taught and sheepish are the Lawyers in this country.
    Why has the state invented a new form of Cruel and unusual punishment?
    From what I have read I believe his offending was very minor… certainly not deserving having his valuable car crushed.
    If the State believes his ‘crimes’ were of a serious nature, Why was he not simply given a hefty fine?… or Periodic detention?…. or both?… or even a short lag in jail?
    (How it is possible to regard doing wheel spins constitutes a serious offence?)
    It’s a Nazi tactic of oppression …To ‘Ping’ a few…and the rest will fall into line.
    This is a clear case of Age/sex discrimination!
    Will they crush a little old ladies car when she clocks up 3 offences?
    This action will generate a general disrespect for the Law among the youth.
    If the state willfully damages propertyā€¦ this will encourage vandalism in general.
    These are some of the unforeseen consequences of ill conceived and unjust Laws like this.

  2. When I saw the headline Don’t Crush State Assets it occured to me that the only asset a State has is its taxpayers and their willingness to pay taxes and of course the State has no problem with crushing its assets.

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