Friday 15 April 2011

Two disgraces that are, and one that isn't

Disgrace Number 1: Singer Tiki Taane was arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence after playing NWA's "Fuck the Police" while MCing at a bar in Tauranga and apparently leading the crowd in a singalong. There is no indication that the crowd was set to riot against any police who might have been there. I can imagine such charges coming if, for example, Taane had started playing it while a crowd was advancing on a police officer with baseball bats. But just for doing normal MC stuff with a song decrying very real police abuses of minority kids in the States? Taane's statement is here.

Disgrace Number 2: Tauranga MP Simon Bridges's response to the charges:
An outraged Tauranga MP Simon Bridges yesterday called Taane a "disgrace" and added: "I'd hope we never see Tiki Taane in Tauranga again."

"I've had a lot to do with the police over the years as a Crown prosecutor and still have some involvement with police as an MP. I have the utmost respect for the work they do," Mr Bridges said.

"People often tell me they're concerned about their safety on The Strand and on Harington St. There's a strong public interest in police being there in the early hours of the morning and to be critical of them doing their job is outrageous."
There is absolutely nothing inconsistent in having the utmost respect for the work police do when they're following Peelian Principles, but also decrying the abuses of those who don't. And didn't the actions of the cops who arrested Taane because they didn't like his song sound a lot more like the latter than the former? It's not like there are no bad cops in New Zealand either. It's a bit worrying that the Deputy-Chairperson of the Justice and Electoral Committee thinks talking smack about the police is worthy of arrest, charges, official censure and suggested banishment from Tauranga. I'll retract if there's evidence that the crowd was actually being incited to do violence on the officer that was checking the liquor permit. But I'd want something beyond the officer's word for it.

Not a disgrace: Tiki Taane, or anyone else, playing NWA at a club. Or Bodycount.

HT: Frog.


  1. Simon Bridges was at the Mont Pelerin Society meetings, I think. Seems he didn't learn much.

  2. Great Bodycount reference, it's been years since I thought of them last.

  3. Freedom of speech, y'all. Just watch what you say.

  4. Apparently he got arrested because the cop refused to believe that Tiki's name was Nathan... (i.e his real legal name, not his stage name) ..