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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tim Selwyn

Mr Tim Selwyn received 17 months in prison today for his part in publishing a seditious statement and conspiracy to damage a window. He was also found guilty of a multitude of charges mostly to do with fraud he committed 10 years ago.

I’ve known Tim since I was 16. He has always been one of the brightest people I know with a wit second to none. As a mate I’m saddened by this decision, I think the reason the Police went over Tim with a fine toothed comb and brought charges that were 10 years old against Tim because he challenged the authority of the state in a way the state can’t abide.

I don’t agree with the things Tim did as a radical right wing student, he saw it all as a slap in the face to Nanny state, unfortunately for Tim, Nanny state has a way of slapping back, many times harder.

I’m sure there will be those out there who will want to crow over Tims fall, but no matter how much I disagree with his right wing interpretation of the world at times, he is an amazing human being who deserves second chances.

He has asked me that for the duration of his time in Prison to keep Tumeke up and running as a fulcrum of ideas and debate the issues the mainstream miss and I have accepted that, and hope to hand him a site that is stronger when he returns.

Let me end by saying that everyone makes mistakes, even though some would label Tim a hypocrite for attacking the state from the right wing, yet steal off it at the same time, I must say in his defense that the radical man he has become is very different from the radical young man he was.


At 18/7/06 12:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems the old charges are making up the majority of the sentence, which is a bit of a dirty way to 'slap back'.

Good luck to him in jail though.

At 18/7/06 12:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the above. I think they wanted to ensure that he spent some time inside and the only way to do this was to make certain he had something else in his criminal history. Why else go over someones past with a fine tooth nit comb otherwise? Thats a lot of paperwork for the police. Tim will be fine inside, im sure he will come out a stronger person and hopefully he will write a book about his experiences.

At 18/7/06 12:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much as hate to quote a loser junkie...

cornered the boy kicked out at the world...the world kicked back
a lot fuckin' harder...

After seeing the howling at Christiaan Briggs' alleged assault in London I expect to be enjoying/enduring something similar over the next few hours. To all those people, it is possible to have abhorrance for the crime but sympathy for the person, so here, I say I am sorry to see Selwyn go inside

At 18/7/06 12:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... dishonesty charges, including obtaining passports, birth certificates, benefits and four Inland Revenue Department numbers under the names of dead people."

Yeah, that's really "slapping back at Nanny State" and nothing at all to do with criminal pecuniary gain.

At 18/7/06 12:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's more the cops could have pulled him up on ...I remember when Tim ran for city council under a false name... then broke into the Browns' Bay police office to try to steal the files they had on him.

His current actions, the 'sedition', don't bother me much. But obtaining benefits under the names of dead people? That is low. Justin has that right. Tim is interesting- sometimes on the money, sometimes off the planet entirely- but we need laws, and swindling cash out of our country is downright wrong.

At 18/7/06 1:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's be very clear here - as a lefty I'm saddened by Tims fraud and don't attempt to justify it at all - but I can tell you that the thrust of what Tim did at University 10 years ago was kindled from the idea to have a go at Nanny State - but this is really a discussion you would need to have with him - approx. 8 months away.

At 18/7/06 2:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummm, so, according to the herald he is to serve the time cumulatively. Without wishing to condone tim's action re the fraud, i would like to suggest it seems both odd and a shame that those who commit sex or violence crimes often seem to serve their time concurrently.....

At 18/7/06 3:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, they REALLY threw the book at him. I've watched other trials in my time, and I have to tell you all, there seemed to me a HUGE amount of cash spent on Tims case. The level of research the Police went to in order to get a conviction astounded me. Here's an example - at the very last possible second before the VERDICT was due, and after a pretty stirring Defence summing up that included Dr Martin Luther King and Ghandi, the Prosecution attempts to call a mistrial because one of the Jury members had just happened to have shared a lecture theatre with Tim TEN YEARS AGO! Now forgive me, but for the cops to have researched all the Jury members pasts to see if any of them criss cross Tims seems like the type of resources used on CSI: Miami! They REALLY REALLY wanted to nail him. And dredged up all that dodgy shit he did 10 years ago at University.

At 18/7/06 5:54 pm, Blogger Murray said...

And Helen calls Israel defending itself "inapropriate".

This is a massive over reaction and an utterly shameful abuse of power.

At 18/7/06 6:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I have no sympathy for a person who commits fraud, I must say this fellow would have to be our first genuine political prisoner for at least two months of his 'time.' The question is, will Amnesty International intervene? Will Russell Brown go into bat?
A dismal episode wrought by a dismal and vicious government, on the same day it spent half a million to exonerate a real fraudster and crook who happens to be one of its own MPs.

That's what's so unforgivable.

At 18/7/06 6:38 pm, Blogger JamesP said...

Now if Tim were a Labour MP using Thai slave labourers, er, immigrants without visas he would be fine.

At 18/7/06 6:43 pm, Blogger backin15 said...

I don't pretend to be familiar with the details of the case, I'm not, but I am concerned by this decision. I'm interested to see what analysis of the decision (and the decision to prosecute) comes out from the blogosphere in the next few weeks.

At 18/7/06 7:27 pm, Blogger Theprophet said...

Whilst I think Tim is a racist and a fool I am flabbergasted at the sentence he has receivied. 15 months with no home d for the benefit fraud is outrageous comparatively speaking to similar crimes.

Now - if only he was the color he really wants to be he would be kicking back on the rock and roll in a months time with no worries in the world except what movie to watch this arvo.

At his age you would think he would know - when you kick a rabid dog its not just going to bite back, its going to rip your throat out.

Do we really have to listen to your boring lefty drivel for the next 8 mths Martin?

Allah protect us.

At 18/7/06 7:29 pm, Blogger Oswald Bastable said...

I'm no great fan of Tim, but bloody buggery bollocks!

Talk about a friggin' Witch Hunt!

At 18/7/06 7:43 pm, Blogger james cairney said...

What a waste of time and money, I thought our prisons were overcrowded?
What a sad and shocking sentence.

At 18/7/06 8:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kia Kaha Tim - ive never met you but i know you stood buy your beliefs resisting a government that in itself is a vile criminal entity - I mean such crimes as remaining silent over the continuing american aggression in 3rd world countries over oil, criminalising drug users and criminalising people who defend themselves from home invasions and street attacks in a timeframe when police take on average 30-40 minutes to respond to a 111 call. these laws passed by the government where and remain a declaration of war by the vile scumbags in the beehive on the very people they supposed to be serving. I remain hopeful and confident that Tim will very soon be released on appeal and that the government will reep its shame for all the crimes they have committed against the very people of Aotearoa New Zealand.

At 18/7/06 9:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He commits the crime of benefit fraud i.e. stealing tax payer money. More tax payer money would be spent on prosecuting and locking him up. There is also the opportunity cost of what he would be adding to the economy if he could work. I think a more just punishment would be for him to pay back an amount equal to the cost of his crime plus a little bit more.

There is the cliche of a criminal paying their debt to society. How is that achieved when he is locked up and more tax payer money is used on him?

He isn't a dangerous person. It would be more economical and ethical to not imprison him.

Draconian punishments may provide deterrents but they don't provide justice.

At 18/7/06 9:31 pm, Blogger fishboy said...

While sedition is a rubbish law and horribly medieval, benefit fraud is just tawdry. He deserved a conviction but the sentence seems disproportionate in the extreme - hopefully it'll be reduced on appeal, there seem to be good grounds and precedent.

However, to those of you screaming about corrupt and shameful government - look over here to Australia and see how worse things could be.

At 18/7/06 9:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised by the fact that he was also convicted for benefit fraud that occurred 10 years ago from what has been reported.

Was this already in the process of being brought against him before the 'axe attack' or did the Crown decide to go through his whole life with a fine tooth comb?

I suppose he was lucky not to be convicted as the second gunman on the grassy knoll.

At 18/7/06 9:49 pm, Blogger Phil said...

Ka mapu, ka aroha!

My deepest commiserations, Tim! Here's hoping for a successful appeal!

At 18/7/06 9:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've met Tim before in the 90's. He was interesting and likeable, and different from the norm.

Having said that, most of you posting here have misplaced sympathy. He did the crime(ssss), so he must do the time. He'll be out in half anyway. Don't whine and rage on his behalf. Our justice system is far too soft as it is.

At 18/7/06 11:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" ... even though some would label Tim a hypocrite for attacking the state from the right wing, yet steal off it at the same time, I must say in his defense that the radical man he has become is very different from the radical young man he was."

If that is true, and Tim has changed, then I have some sympathy for Tim today. Ten years ago I found him to be an odd and assertive fellow with freakish ideas, but at least he was not a blind follower of political and social norms. He might also have been a hypocritical ass with his benefit fraud at the very time when students were fighting against increasing fees, but he was never boring.

I can't help but feel that Tim exposed the heart of the contradictions, and indeed injustice of Labour's Seabed and Foreshore legislation, ironically as someone from the far right who so believes in personal property as to be loopy in my book. I only hope he doesn't get demoralised in prison, and that his appeals gain him some traction, or if that doesn't work, that he comes through ok.

Please send him my best regards, Bomber, as I am sure he will remember me too. John Hutton.

At 19/7/06 1:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate this government....who out of all of you voted for them?...

At 19/7/06 2:50 pm, Blogger Lucia Maria said...

I'm shocked. Not so much at the imprisonment for sedition*, but for the 10 year old fraud stuff. The fraud wasn't important enough to spend the court's time on, until Tim attacked Helen Clark's office.

* I think that what was written was seditious, and that we ought to have sedition in our laws. If there was no call for NZ'ers to do their own similiar action, I doubt much could have been done to prosecute Tim. Because then it would just be free speech.

At 19/7/06 3:17 pm, Blogger Russell Brown said...

Adolf: Will Russell Brown go into bat?
A dismal episode wrought by a dismal and vicious government, on the same day it spent half a million to exonerate a real fraudster and crook who happens to be one of its own MPs.

Adolf, I've made my feelings on the sedition charge clear many times. More often than you have, I'd wager. It's outrageous and the law needs to go before it is invoked again.

But Tim *is* a real fraudster. He conducted multiple, deliberate acts of theft and deception that are substantially different from just forgetting to tell the welfare your boyfriend moved in. He doubtless regrets that now, and it *may* be that the police looked harder at him than at the next guy, but I'm not all that suprised by the sentence, especially given that he already had form. Protest action is best conducted from the moral high ground and Tim didn't have that advantage.

I feel genuinely sorry for Tim. I find some of his opinions mad and even offensive, but he's an original thinker and sometimes a very good writer. I hope he can get things together after his sentence ends and continue to make a contribution.


At 19/7/06 3:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with your points Russell, but we are talking 10 years ago - he didn't aggrivate those charges, he plead guilty asap, and i really disagree with you that prison, with the state that system is in at the moment, is going to do Tim any 'good' - do you? Look I'm as disappointed as anyone that he pulled such a dumb stunt, but you can't convince me that prison, or the fact they came down as hard as they could on him is fair or just.

At 19/7/06 6:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall that 'radical' young man proposing that the there was no need for public funding of libraries. A relativly unsurprising position for a shirt and tie wearing libertarian to take in a mid 90s political studies tutorial. But to be stealing from the state at the same time kind of undermines credibility and integrity of said radical.

Pity we don't have that fantstic Stake Out programme still on air to uncover more thieving scumbags like Tim.

At 19/7/06 10:28 pm, Blogger andrew said...

I stood today and looked at the mountains, and I have to admit, I felt cold as I contemplated what this country has become and where we are going...

Be strong Tim, I am proud to call you my friend.

At 20/7/06 12:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand.

For what I can figure Tim's electoral deception happened 10 years ago as Martyn suggests. But he was convicted yesterday and jailed for 15 months on dishonesty et. al, and 2 months for 'seditious' activities.

In 1995 I seem to recall that he was imprisioned, so unless the sentance was suspended how can you be jailed twice for an offence?

This warrants further scrutiny.

Are there grounds for appeal?

Best wishes Tim, I don't agree with you very often these days, but you have always been very entertaining company, opinionated, good humoured and generous with your hospitality. I value you intellect too, albeit misguided sometimes.

Good luck mate.

At 20/7/06 7:50 am, Blogger Russell Brown said...

I don't disagree with your points Russell, but we are talking 10 years ago - he didn't aggrivate those charges, he plead guilty asap, and i really disagree with you that prison, with the state that system is in at the moment, is going to do Tim any 'good' - do you?

No, I wasn't seeking to justify sending him to jail. But my point was that I'm not too surprised the judge did, given the degree of offending and his previous form. Although I am quite amused to see the Sir Humphreys crowd urging mercy ...


At 21/7/06 3:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 31/7/06 8:10 am, Blogger tfcbrian said...

It would appear that his real crime is "to challenge authority" and people in power (no matter which political party) do not like their authority challenged.
So they being Police, maybe SIS and other Govt agencies.. (you select the initials) find a way to cripple him,break his spirit,destroy his reputation..

Devalue an individual and turn your enemy/problem individual into a crazy/psycho/freak of a sideshow while you can keep on being in a position of power.

This is a ploy often used be the state to disarm free thinkers and belittle their thoughts/activites.

Whether his thoughts/beliefs are right or wrong in my/your eyes does not matter at this point.

All that matters is that the people in power have stamped down hard on the person to crush him as an example to try and stop other people from developing what they consider troublesome viewpoints and resulting actions.

Continue the blog,continue writing from prison.Continue expressing your thoughts and opinions.

Remember the free speech right.. I guess we have that in this country..maybe we don't.. I simply don't know. I have always presumed that we do.


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