January 22, 2013 by Doug Coutts
There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee. Ever since it was first invented, by Samuel Pepys in 1732 in the back room of his bakery in London’s Fleet St, it’s been the beverage of choice for caffeine lovers everywhere.
And for good reason – coffee clears the head, excites the vapours and gets you peeing like nothing else, except perhaps 12 pints of beer. A clear head, and bladder, is essential if you want to get a good day’s work done or even save the world.
They’re clearly not drinking enough coffee at the Sensible Sentencing Trust head office. Even a soy latte would have been enough to force a rethink of their name. As it stands the current one doesn’t really give an indication of their core business.
To be fair, both Rabid Vigilante Rednecks and Vengeful Reactionaries Inc have already been taken. One is used by an outfit of hardcore Presbyterians somewhere in Appalachia and the other has been reserved by a small political group here in New Zealand, for when the copyright on ACT runs out.
But there are still plenty of other options. And let’s face it, they need a new title. For a start, Sensible is a nothing word, like nice and zero. It works well when used before the word shoes, but that’s about all. As for Sentencing… well, we’ve seen in the past few days that putting words in a sequence that makes sense is beyond at least one of their number.
Poor Mr McVicar, he’s been a reluctant spokesman on pretty much everything from overdue parking fines to war crimes in Lapland in the last few years. The media thinks he’s good for a soundbite and he’s too polite to tell them he isn’t. No wonder he gets confused at times.
And Trust… well, you can’t. Or you can, but only in a “trust them to come up with such a crackpot idea” kind of way.
So they need to do some work. Perhaps they could get a consultant in, run a few focus groups and do some market research. Or any kind of research –gut reaction is good for headlines but you need substance – and expertise – to pad out the body copy.
The best plan for the SST at the moment is to change the sign to “Closed”, then wake up and smell the coffee. Leave the dispensing of justice to those better qualified – Michael Laws and Sean Plunket.