Ink by the barrel

There’s an interesting range of responses to the Tony Veitch guilty plea of reckless disregard causing injury to Kristin Dunne-Powell, his conviction and sentence to a fine and community service.

Some are baying for blood. The KBR aren’t quite unanimous that he should go to jail, but they’re close (though there is a foul stench of `men have rights [to kick the shit out of people who don’t behave]’ as well). Haiku Dave is particularly grim:

should have got jail, then
he’d know what it’s like to be
attacked from behind

Idiot/Savant is arguing it’s Bruce Emery all over again (and he’s not wrong). Commenter Alison at The Hand Mirror shows some sense, figuring that if prison isn’t a good thing for a random violent offender, it’s not going to be a good thing for Veitch either. Heather Henare, of Women’s Refuge, is similarly cool-headed. The Herald’s Your Views is divided, as are the talkback hordes. A particularly inspired friend and colleague of mine suggested he be made to front the ACC back injury ad campaign, needing to stand on a rickety chair or somesuch in order to reach something up high. Humiliation comes in many forms.

Judge Doogue told told Veitch he was the architect of his own misfortune, and I think that if he does genuinely intend to take legal action against the media for their treatment of the case this past year, then Tony Veitch will also become the architect of his own humiliation. The facts of the case are fairly simple: there is no possible justification he can give for his attack on Dunne-Powell, no argument he can make which will put him on the side of right, and any moral high ground he tries to occupy will come under sustained fire from more sources than he and his team of lawyers can possibly afford to shut down because public sympathy toward celebrities evaporates pretty rapidly when they are seen to be taking advantage of their celebrity status. At this point anything Tony Veitch says or does will play against him. If he tries to smack down the media establishment, any publisher who chooses to fight gets the chance to put the whole stinking mess on the public record. Tim Pankhurst, if he were still editor of the Dominion Post, would pick it up in a moment out of sheer bloody-mindedness. Veitch might be planning to go back to work for The Radio Network, and that might mean APN goes easy, but that’s a great risk to them – while NewsTalk ZB and Radio Sport might not need to demonstrate their lack of fear or favour, the NZ Herald surely does.

My advice to Tony Veitch: keep your head down and take your lumps like you made Kristin Dunne-Powell take hers [though you deserve yours, and she didn’t]. If you want to show us you’re better than we think you are, there is no short-cut, no easy atonement which you can buy or create from words or gestures. You can’t fix this by becoming a legal bully as you are (or were) a physical bully. If you genuinely want to be known and recognised as a good and righteous person, then the time to undertake good and righteous action is now. For your own sake if for nobody else’s.


10 thoughts on “Ink by the barrel

  1. my impression is that Veitch stills believes he was provoked which counts strongly against him but the sentence was part of a plea bargin that the victim agreed to and there has been restorative justice. to complain that this is evidence of a double standard misses the point.

    And the media did publish things that were not true – there is no good reason for Veitch to ignore that. Especially when it has come from the likes of Willie – My Best Mate Is John Tamahiri And I Bait Gays – Jackson.

  2. that haiku is pretty much saying that prison rape is an acceptable punishment for crime. WTF?? by putting that up in this post with only the comment “pretty grim”, you appear to be endorsing the sentiment. and i’m pretty sure you don’t…

  3. stargazer,

    that haiku is pretty much saying that prison rape is an acceptable punishment for crime. WTF?? by putting that up in this post with only the comment “pretty grim”, you appear to be endorsing the sentiment. and i’m pretty sure you don’t…

    Of course I don’t. For my views on that matter, refer to my email exchange with David Garrett. Canvassing responses is not endorsing them.


  4. Veitch thinks he’s the victim and the celeb endorsements/testamonials of support are a disgrace.

    Yes people can change, make amends, get on with life – but first they have to accept and take responsibility for their actions. Veitch blames the victim, “The judge said I made one mistake, one. She would not leave my house, it was my house.”
    He blames the media with I’m gonna get ya, statements. His celeb mates say, “hey tony is a good guy etc.”

    Guess what Veitch – you are guilty, you said you were guilty, the judge said you are guilty. The day he actually fronts up is the day we should begin to cut him some slack.

    His celebrity mates have let Veitch and us down. The road to acceptance of his guilt is likely to now be longer and harder for him.

    Until then, I agree Lew, he should just stay out of our faces and ears.

  5. The worst part of this case is not Veitch’s behaviour; rather the penalty, and the fact that justice is for sale.
    As Joanne Bloggs no doubt muses: what if he had been poor and/or brown? They locked up a 12yr-old for years for what seemed less.
    But don’t take my or Jo’s word for it. Looks like that likeable “Veitchy” tried suckering a fellow celeb:
    Dame Susan Devoy: “And I know that because I have written a letter recently for someone who is actually serving 10 years and six months for something probably a lot less than what Tony has done.”

  6. I can also see parallels with the Louise Nichollas and Clint Rickards case. When that was in the news there was a quiet little crowd who were muttering under their breath “she deserved it… shes just a slut… only doing it for the money…”, they’re probably the same “I dont ‘condone’ what hes done, but give the man a break” crowd.

  7. Consider the Veitch strategy

    1. I will defend this in court (as if he was innocent on all the charges laid)

    2 I will take on the media over what they reported (as if on all the charges that were withdrawn he was innocent).

    It is to suggest his innocence until proven guilty, it is to suggest media reports about the multiple assaults over a lengthy period were untrue.

    That done he will now reinvent the issue as the one incident affair – what the judge called as as singular incident not sufficient for a prison sentence. What he calls “one mistake” in getting her out of his house.
    His threats to the media are simply a device to warn them off interfering with this strategy.

    Which is why he will take “Lew’s” advice – it’s probably the real strategy.

    I am not sure I agree with the judge about the one offence not being a jail sentence one – many people who kick someone they have taken to the ground in the back causing that injury would do time. That said, given his celebrity status, he has not enjoyed the freedom that being out on bail awaiting trial affords most of the public – thus he has served the sort of home detention that many out on bail should be required to serve.

  8. My advice to Tony Veitch: keep your head down and take your lumps like you made Kristin Dunne-Powell take hers.

    I’m a bit confused and fairly concerned by what you mean here, Lew, and there’s a distinct implication that could be drawn about Ms Dunne-Powell to some extent deserving/provoking the attack (and possibly plural attacks) on her.

  9. Qot, that’s a fair reading which I’d not considered. I’ve edited in a clarification. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *