Neeson was the architect of the Degrees of Murder members bill in 1996/97 which, if memory serves, differentiated several categories of culpable homocide, murder, from manslaughter so that an offender could be sentenced not just to prison for their natural life but to thoroughly punative and heavily secured incarceration.
The problem then as now is that the policy is idiotic, expensive and unlikely to reduce violent offending.
Key's tapping into public emnity with the Parole Board which, in releasing the likes of Antonie Dixon, has been in the media too often. There's a boring predictability about this tactic. Opposition's talk up crime every election - here's Brash launching National's 2005 policy:
I'm inclined to agree with the Standard's analysis, that National's retreading of law and order policies is designed to fill a gap while they re-work their tax policy. Moreover, Steve Pierson confirms that crime has progressively declined since 1993.
Parole is a failed experiment. The next National Government will abolish parole as we know it.
I also can't help but think that negative campaigning is the wrong way to go for National. Particularly for Key. What happened to the Labour-plus approach English spoke of? Surely that group of voters are more amenable to a positive strategy - that's my impression of how Rudd won.
Perhaps it's time for a stunt like English's fight for life?