Sweet, sweet law&order smackdown from Kim Workman

David Fraser, author of newly released book, ‘Badlands NZ: A Land Fit for Criminals’, who describes himself as an ‘international law and order expert’, is unknown within the criminal justice community, says Kim Workman, Director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment.


“In an interview with the NZ Herald (14 June 2008) , he acknowledges sending the manuscript for his first book to 60 publishers before it was finally accepted by Book Guild Publishing in Surrey. After reading it, I understood why. His lectures and debates disregarded the contemporary academic literature, and were bereft of logic.”

What’s that you say?  A Nonsensical Sentencing Trust diehard who’s basically just a thug obsessed with harsh punishment of criminals (where “criminals” is carefully defined so as to not include white businessmen who kill brown teenagers) but has no actual evidence to back this up as a practical, effective method of reducing crime?

I am shocked, Mr Workman.  Shocked.


  1. Megapope

    Aaaaagh. I long for the day when rehabilitation takes precedent over punishment and arseholes like Fraser are publicly mocked for being the outmoded dinosaurs that they are.

  2. Ian Wishart

    Figured the following will probably give Kim Workman’s comments some much needed context:

    [QoT: Sorry, Ian, my blog ain’t here to publish your press releases. Readers should know that apparently the “much needed context” includes praise from that liberal bastion of airy-fairy soft-on-crimers, The Daily Mail. And also Ian Wishart as the publisher thinks David Fraser is totes choice, which I can tell you I personally found very convincing.]

    • Ian Wishart

      Actually QoT…you missed the glowing review from the Times of London…

      I love how ‘librals’ don’t have the cojones to debate…merely snipe.

      Shame, really.

      • QoT

        It explains a lot about you, Ian, that you think me refusing to provide a forum for you to just copy-and-paste a press release verbatim is “not having the cojones to debate”.

    • Laurie Fleming

      Wishart gets his clichéd response from the RIght-wing arsehole’s phrase book:
      * I love how…
      * don’t have the cojones… [it’s “balls” in this country, if you must]
      * Shame really…

      Wake us up when you’ve got something to say. But you never do.

      • Ian Wishart

        Keep taking the blue pill Laurie…it’s working just fine for you.

        I gave you all some specific points to debate…you are all scattering like fieldmice.

        Debate them…or can’t you actually muster a coherent argument?

        • lauriefleming

          No-one’s scattering other than you. You haven’t come out with any facts or references. All you can put up is your own minuscule-minded propaganda, trying ineptly to frame the argument on someone else’s blog. I can’t be arsed.

        • Ian Wishart

          Laurie, you can’t be “arsed” cos it would get wiped. The Badlands book has 605 cited references and a further 64 notations to chapters.

        • QoT

          Ian, stuffing crap full of footnotes is a first year’s game. Adults should know that the footnotes have to actually be relevant, consistent, and related to the text being footnoted – but given what I’ve heard of your climate change denying spiel, that’s a concept that’s escaped you thus far.

  3. Ian Wishart

    Great…then let’s see some actual ‘engagement’ with the issue.

    You were content for a quick shoot the messenger attack based on Kim Workman’s mistaken news release…because it reinforced your prejudices.

    If you don’t claim to be prejudiced on this issue, then what’s your comment on the fact that New Zealand’s imprisonment rate is tiny in comparison with many countries?

    What’s your comment on the merits of keeping someone imprisoned for $100,000 a year, when keeping them in the community may be costing us around $355,000 a year?

    I’m interested to see you engage with these points…bring it on.

    • QoT

      You’re right, Ian, I am prejudiced: I think you’re a tool.

      You’re actually the person not engaging with the issue, since the entire post is about how David Fraser is not the expert he, and you, claim him to be.

      You’re welcome to provide evidence to challenge the claims made by Kim Workman that David Fraser has no fucking clue what he’s on about; but I entirely understand that you won’t, because you’ve already started trying to derail and shift the goalposts.

      • NickS

        Welp, that is standard Wishfart tactics. Why address someone points, when you can baffle them with teh Gish Gallop and a complete lack of evidenced based and logical arguments?

    • NickS

      Also [CITATION NEEDED] on that.

      You know, from say government or peer reviewed academic sources, rather than the usual fantasy-based crap you draw from on climate change and evolution etc.

      • Ian Wishart

        On the imprisonment rate?

        Eurostat figures and NZ Statistics Department figures, full cited on pages 162 and 163 of Badlands.

        Costs of crime? Note 3, Chapter 7 of Badlands

        • NickS

          Except of course that the book isn’t sitting right in front of me, and besides that, with all the references it has, surely you couldn’t just refer to the references. Which is generally what you do when others lack a reference text.

          Or thanks to the miracles of science you could just cut n paste the relevant sections as is allowed by the Copyright Act.

    • GoodGravey

      Now, Ian, you see I know the old tricks too.

      Give me your evidence for your figures, and then you might get engagement. How do you factor the cost? The overall social cost including assessment of the cost of re-offending? Or the human cost of tossing people aside like garbage?

      Apologies to QoT for continuing the derail.

      • QoT

        No worries, Gravey me old mate, if you’ve the spoons to deal with his derail I can happily continue pointing out that he’s avoiding the actual issue in question and also that his personal opinion about a book he has a vested financial interest in ain’t the same as real evidence.

    • Draco T Bastard

      “…New Zealand’s imprisonment rate is tiny in comparison with many countries?”

      WTF are you smoking? We’re seventh from the top in the OECD and number 60 internationally.

      1 United States 743
      30 Antilles 319
      60 New Zealand 203
      92 United Kingdom 150

      Seems pretty high to me. And having a high incarceration rate isn’t a good sign as it’s indicative of a failed society trying to clean up after the problems have become dire rather than addressing the causes of those problems.

      I’d rather spend $355k per year keeping people out of jail and supporting them so that they become an asset to the community rather than $100k per making them an even bigger threat.

    • QoT

      This is truly a fantastic insight into how your reality works, Ian. Your “evidence” for David Fraser’s expertise was … a press release by you, containing newspaper book reviewer quotes about the book. Because newspaper book reviewers are of course equivalent to all the actual criminal justice experts Kim Workman knows who’ve never heard of your golden boy, and your opinion is definitely a good stand-in for actual experience with New Zealand criminal justice issues.

      • Ian Wishart

        QoT…your reply is an insight into the three wise monkeys syndrome at work.

        Kim’s allegation is that Fraser is unknown and irrelevant based on that. Clearly, major newspapers including the Times of London disagree, and by definition Fraser is not “unknown”. His previous book was reviewed in Britain’s “Probation” journal – an academic publication – ergo Workman was demonstrably wrong on that count as well.

        • QoT

          Oh right, the Times of London, that well-respected law-and-order academic journal, whose book reviewers are all well-known crime-and-punishment experts. Oops, no, see the entire problem I have with your “argument”, Ian, to wit: book reviewer’s opinions are not in fact the same thing as the respect and acknowledgement of experts in the field one claims to be an expert in! But points for effort.

        • Ian Wishart

          I gather philosophy and logic was not your strong point, given the question-begging going on. What, pray tell, constitutes an “expert”, wise one?

        • QoT

          Nice one, Ian! I was worried that maybe you’d have to address the substance of Kim Workman’s critique, finally. But no, you clever minx, you found another derail! White is black! Up is down! Nothing is defined so you can never be called on your truly admirable amount of bullshit!

        • Ian Wishart

          What constitutes an ‘expert’ who is qualified to speak about crime? You are the one claiming Fraser is not an expert, based on a news release I have now established was factually wrong. Again, how is Fraser not an expert?

          Simple question, really, stop dodging it.

        • QoT

          Oh fuck dude you are a master of misdirection and I salute you. Oops, except I’m not making any claims, Kim Workman is, and given the marvellous effort you’ve put into not challenging his statements … brava, sir. Brava.

        • Luxated

          “His previous book was reviewed in Britain’s “Probation” journal – an academic publication”

          Ian, the problem with this sort of argument is that some of us can actually read that review.

          For those of you who can’t read the review, a few key points.

          Firstly Probation Journal is a journal for British probation officers. There isn’t anything wrong with this but it isn’t a publication that would be necessarily frequented by criminologists.

          Secondly the stated reason for the review is that the author read an editorial in the Sunday Telegraph which mentioned it.

          I feel two comments really summarise what the review had to say:

          “I tried to approach Fraser’s book with an open mind, ready to face some uncomfortable home truths based on intelligent, thoughtful examination of the criminal justice system, and the probation service in particular. The end result was a great disappointment.”

          “Nevertheless, despite
          some of the more absurd formulations on the future shape of the probation service, whose demise I fear may well come from an altogether different direction, it deserves its place on reading lists of those concerned with contemporary debates in crime and disorder.”

          Which to my mind reads together* as ‘David Fraser is an intellectual lightweight, but one who well represents the other populist lightweights writing today.’

          Now to be fair there are some positive comments in the review. However if I was to mention them individually and their counterpoints while maintaining context I would end up posting the review verbatim.

          Basically what it boils down to is that receiving an unfavourable book review in a not very notable journal (ANZSOC give it a grade of C1 which AFAICT translates to ‘OK’) doesn’t mean you’re an expert.

          *Both quotes are from the same section of the review so it is hardly out of context.

          P.S. QoT. Have you considered messing about with the appearance comment nesting? Later replies are awkwardly narrow.

        • QoT

          A good point, Luxated, it’s a feature of the theme I’m using. Definitely needs a look at …

      • Ian Wishart

        I’m a ‘master of misdirection’? Hardly…I’ve actually stayed tightly focused on the core issue. Your response is the last refuge of those who don’t actually have anything to back up their claims, and instead resort to bluster and name-calling as a distraction technique.

        And yes, by publishing the Workman release and endorsing the claims, you are taking a position, so stop trying to wriggle and take these comments off moderation so others can see for themselves that your debating cupboard is bare.

        • QoT

          I’ve actually stayed tightly focused on the core issue.

          No, you haven’t, Ian dearest. And your comments were in moderation because I have this thing called a “day job” where sadly I am not able to access my blog. And I think you’re done now. You’ve said your piece, you’ve dodged the issue, you’ve made whingey little attacks when called on it and tried to rewrite history when the proof is all there in black-and-white … really there’s nothing left but the tragic reunion tour and the inevitable failed kids’ merchandising efforts and no one wants to see that. It’s been fun!

          I look forward to your cries about free speech being stifled, but unless you come up with something really amusing they probably won’t see the light of day.

    • QoT

      Like all good Christians, he understands Jesus only wanted to be quoted selectively, when it suits his argument, and much preferred to have the more rabid parts of the Pentateuch and the Laws of Moses take centre stage.

  4. Robot Pie

    This just proves my theory that Ian Wishart has nothing better to do than google himself. And cry about the evil liberal agenda on blogs.

  5. Ian Wishart

    What did Kim – whom I have a great deal of admiration for incidentally and whom I know personally – actually say about Fraser?

    First, that Fraser called himself an ‘international expert’ on law and order. Small point, but Kim was reacting to a Sunday Star Times story where that was how the newspaper describes Fraser.

    Semantic, but relevant if you want to get into pointscoring.

    Secondly, Kim has not actually read Badlands – no one gets their copies until tomorrow at the earliest, so his criticisms are based on an earlier book that critics in Britain loved.

    Thirdly, Kim said Fraser was not known in his industry and therefore, by definition, not an ‘expert’.

    I tried to ask you what an expert was, but you slid past it. Nonetheless, it remains the core issue. Is someone who has spent in excess of three decades working in criminal justice and as an analyst for the UK National Criminal Intelligence Service somehow “not qualified” to comment on justice issues?

    Fraser has studied Social Policy and Administration at LSE, and has a Master of Philosophy degree from Bristol. He has spent nearly three years researching the NZ situation.

    So again I ask, where is the actual substance in your snipey little post? How have you actually established that Fraser is not an expert, and that his criticisms of NZ criminal justice are not valid?

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