This letter to the editor is concerning Willie Jackson's recent article in the North Shore Times "Preying on Tamaki" which I thought was pretty idiotic, as you will probably gather.
If you are so ashamed by the New Zealand media (of which you are a part) why is it you are not investigating these "real crooks" yourself? Rather than becoming an apologist for Brian Tamaki under the assertion "he's not as bad as those other ..... guys"
Let's take the following statement:
"Clegg & Co finance director Brian Clegg was recently sentenced to a year’s home detention for providing false information to prospective investors .......... A year’s home detention for ripping off poor and vulnerable Kiwis to the tune of $15 million is a disgrace."
I can only imagine one logical conclusion is intended by this and that is that Clegg has been treated unfairly! Because there is another white collar criminal out there who "provides false information" to his "investors" every day and has ripped off the most "vulnerable Kiwis" in New Zealand "to the tune of" about ... "$15 million" (or at least with a personal income of 1 million a year is getting to that amount very quickly) and he hasn't been held to account at all, his name is Brian Tamaki.
But, though this would be the logical conclusion to draw from your statement and the facts, I don't think this is what you intended to say.
And I'm guessing also when you stated that:
"he’s turned around thousands – gang members, criminals and the worst of the worst in our society?"
... that you weren't meaning to support the notion that "Tamaki is a modern-day Adolf Hitler" who, of course, also turned around many street kids and gave them direction with the Hitler Youth and recruited gang members, criminals and other violent thugs to his service as well.
No, of course you were assuming that an ideologue recruiting thugs is a good, charitable and christian thing. Well, sorry Willie, history disagrees with you.
And this is the main reason Tamaki is newsworthy, because not only does he extort money from the poor and vulnerable but he does so with an ideology of divisiveness and separatism, in that he encourages Destiny's members to ignore and reject dissent or argument, intolerance, shown most evidently in it's homophobic, "enough is enough" campaign, and imperialism, in that he makes various claims of taking over New Zealand politics. His ideology also leads him to act in a ridiculous and often disturbing fashion which also makes for good news stories. So, he's not just a crook Willie, give him more credit than that, he's a white collar, bigoted, imperialist, messianic crook. That's what leads people to compare him to Hitler, that's what makes him a threat to society, that's what makes him interesting, not just the fact that he extorts money from the poor by lying to them.
But even if he was just a run of the mill white collar criminal, this is still no reason for you to make excuses for him.