Saturday, 12 July 2008

To Veitch or not to Veitch, this, NZ, is the question.

(JOHN SELKIRK/Dominion Post)

Well since everyone else seems to be espousing their views on the Tony Veitch Assault case, I thought I may as well throw my hat into the ring.

There seem to be two camps on this one. The first is the That is Not On camp, who want full consequences to be felt by Tony for his actions. The second is the Give a Bloke a Chance, He Said Sorry, Didn't He? camp who think that, fair call, he copped to it and he seems very sorry and he's a good bloke really who just had a moment of lapse.

A moment of lapse? He broke her spine in four places and fractured her skull! She was in a wheelchair! She had a breakdown! It wasn't like he lashed out and slapped her once, which in and of itself is totally unjustifiable and despicable. No, what he did was beat the living daylights out of her. Think about it. To have gotten to the point that he could be kicking her repeatedly so her spine fractured, she would have had to be laid out on the ground already. This wasn't a moment of anger, this was a prolonged and vicious beating. The kind of beating that get people rather substantial jail terms. I don't care how many hours you work in a day, or how tired you get, if you're sprightly enough to be able to sustain that kind of violent attack on someone, you're with it enough to walk away.

I will admit that it is good that he has gotten help for it and that he has (finally) publicly admitted to it and accepted that it was inexcusable. But the fact remains that he did it, and that he paid her to keep quiet. Under what kind of circumstances Ms Dunne-Powell accepted these terms, we won't know unless she tells us, but it would be fair to speculate that she was heavily leaned upon.

However, the fact remains that he is a public figure. His conduct, on and off screen, is fair play for consideration in terms of his job position. And no amount of mea culpa will be enough to have him back on our screens, in front of the nation. No matter how many times he says "Sorry, I know it was wrong" people will still associate his face with the violent act he committed. A stand needs to be taken, especially in a country which struggles with domestic violence as an ongoing issue.

So, sorry Tony. My vote is very much with the That is Not On camp. Ms Dunne-Powell has had to rebuild her life, and now so will you. Actions have consequences, even if you're a celebrity.

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitly located in the "it's not on camp". I agree with the comments that you have made in regards to the weak excuses that he made and the context of it being a beating rather than a 'lapse'.
    What I am worried about, it the further victimisation of his former partner by some dark corners of the media. My biggest concern is the Tui billboard "give her 100K and she'll keep quiet... yeah right". The fact that she has been given a payment muddies the waters and makes people lose sight of the real issue. She was beaten, noone deserves to be beaten, and being paid afterwards does not remove the fact that it was an assult. It was a good step towards reparation, as was counselling. However, he should be prosecuted, because it was a crime. She deserved money because she lost her income. I would have taken the money. Really, what use is sitting on your high horse of "I'm not taking your filthy money" if you have lost income, dignity, and trust. She hit him where it hurts! (other than his vanity).
    I was never a fan of Tony, he always struck me as being too full of himself and up there with property developers and marketing people.
    My second point is, his apology was along the lines of "there are no excuses... BUT...".
    Good job he is out of work. I won't shed a tear, there will be other full of themselves presenters lining up for the job. Perhaps it is a good message to NZ men, better than the "it's not ok" campaign by miles!