Darroch Ball
Co-Leader
Sensible Sentencing Trust.


It seems pretty strange that government Ministers have only just found some outrage and offence with the Mongrel Mob using the term ‘Sieg Heil’.  And even more strange that some media outlets are reporting on it like it’s a new revelation and something they are considering all of a sudden being offended about. 

If they did some basic googling they would know that the Mongrel Mob have been using this term for the last fifty years.  It’s no secret.  Not only do they use ‘Sieg Heil’, but they have the Nazi swastika on most of their patches and some even have it tattooed all over their faces.  If you add to this their blatant frequent use of the Nazi infantry helmets and the ‘SS’ insignia, it beggars belief that it is only been reported on now as being ‘offensive’.

Newsflash: Mongrel Mob have used ‘Sieg Heil’, Swastikas, and Nazi helmets for fifty years. Image credit The BFD.

Government Minister Michael Wood was pretty strong in his condemnation of Mongrel Mob life-member Harry Tam’s use of the term ‘Sieg Heil’.  After watching the video clip of Tam, Wood was asked his thoughts on it and said “… that’s appalling if he said that. Anyone who makes that kind of comment should be condemned.”

Condemned – but still funded to the tune of $2.75 million.

I wonder if Wood also condemns the wearing of the swastika. Or the “SS” sign on the Nazi helmets they often wear.

Wood said he was still in favour of funding the Mongrel Mob running the meth programme because apparently “…to get to those people and to help them, you might need to work with some people who aren’t exactly the upstanding paragons of virtue that you ideally would.”

That’s fair enough.  But I wonder if he would still back funding if it was a white supremacist gang like the skinheads using ‘Sieg Heil’, wearing the swastika, and SS badges on their Nazi helmets?

Would it be okay to attend one of their rallies at their gang HQ and give a ‘koha’ donation?

It’s hard to tell if Labour has just conveniently ignored all of this or if they literally didn’t realise that the Mongrel Mob used Nazi symbols to literally offend people.  Even the Mongrel Mob admit that’s why they started the Nazi theme in the 1960s.  And the New Zealand Jewish Council have come out and said they are offended – and rightly so.

The issue Labour needs to explain is the fact that this seems to be quite a blatant double standard of the application of their principles.  The only other alternative is that this could be a case of there being certain exceptions to their outrage and condemnations. 

Perhaps it is a case of if a tax-payer funded programme gets results then principles no longer matter that much?

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‘Sieg Heil’, Swastikas and Nazi Helmets
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