Monday, 3 December 2018

Incompetence Excused

A Real Puzzler

Ah, the pain of it all.  We have been following the Iain Lees-Galloway case.  You know the one.  The New Zealand Minister of Immigration who decided that a Czech career criminal currently serving time in New Zealand for serious criminal offences being granted migrant status.  Why?  Well, Minister Lees-Galloway thought it was a good idea at the time. 

We have been speculating as to why the Minister would make such an incompetent decision.  We have appealed to Occam's Razor--the theory that suggests that more often than not the simplest explanation is the correct one.  We have argued that the simplest explanation in this case is that the Minister is a simpleton. 

The Minister has now reviewed his own case and reversed his decision.  How to explain this volte-face?  Well, the Minister has discovered "new facts" which justify his cancellation of Karel Sroubek's permission to stay in New Zealand and replace it with "see ya later, alligator" and a swift bundling back to Czechoslovakia where he is also wanted by the authorities.

Now we must be fair.  Minister Lees-Galloway claims he has gone back to the Sroubek file and discovered things he did not know before--and which, if he had known, would have meant that he never would have permitted him to stay in New Zealand legally. 

What were those things, we hear you ask?
Iain Lees-Galloway announced today that he is reinstating Sroubek's deportation liability, because Sroubek's previous convictions in the Czech Republic made him an excluded person under the Immigration Act.  He said information about Sroubek's Czech convictions led to his new decision, which would see Sroubek deported after his drug-smuggling sentence and unable to return to New Zealand.  [NZ Herald.  Emphasis, ours]
So, let's get this straight.
  The law required deportation because of his criminal convictions.  Sroubek was an "excluded person" under the law.  The Minister is claiming new information has come to light.  Balderdash.  That new information was in the file that was given to him.  His officials advised him of it.  He chose to ignore it. 
Lees-Galloway now faces renewed scrutiny to explain why it wasn't already known that Sroubek was an excluded person, because his Czech convictions were contained in the 12-page summary of the original case file - released under the Official Information Act.
"Sroubek is wanted by Czech authorities for service of 54 months' imprisonment," the case file says, for attacking two police officers and a taxi driver, and for 2002 convictions for "disorderly conduct, damaging of another's property and attacking a law enforcement officer".
So, Occam's Razor proves helpful once again.  It is clear now that the Minister was incompetent.  That's it.  The simplest explanation is the truth.  To suggest the Minister has reversed his decision because of new information coming to light is deceptive and misleading.  The information may be "new" to the Minister, but it was already in the report given to him upon which he made his original decision, granting Sroubek migrant status. 

Of course the Prime Minister is standing by her man.  Why? Well, what would Occam's Razor suggest?  The simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation.  And in this case that would be . . .

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