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March 27, 2007

Law and order or another bit of spin?

Listening to the Home Secretary this morning one could be excused for feeling a touch of de ja vu, after all, his Illustrious Leader has been parroting the mantra of "Tough on Crime; Tough on the Causes of Crime" ever since they came to power. We could, I suppose, also be excused for finding it a little thin at this point since the fact is that violent crime is up, the jails are full to bursting point - and they haven't even made a dent in the problem - apart from further eroding our right of self defence and disarming the law-abiding populace and targetting them with ever more draconian laws against motorists, taxpayers and anyone they think might have some money left over to pay the fine, pay the extra tax or whatever to get their hands on more of our incomes.

The Home Secretary proudly says they have built an extra 20,000 prison places. Yes? And shortened jail sentences to the point where they are a joke for the criminal fraternity. And they have written handbooks for the judges and magistrates that mean a mugger can be let off with a slap on the wrist but a pensioner who refuses to pay an unjustified increase in domestic taxes is jailed. A murderer can walk free, but a white collar criminal must be jailed. The list goes on and on. The extra places are all in "Open Prisons" where the inmates get time out to go shopping, visit home and even have "holidays" out of joail while serving their sentences. Tough on Crime? Not in this bailiwick - and certainly not when the PM's wife is a senior judge and partner in a law firm that specialises in "Human Rights" law. A gold mine for her if ever I saw one!

As for tough on the causes of crime, well, that's a joke too. It seems that our political masters think that one of the causes of crime is that some people have worked hard and earned enough to have a few pennies set aside so they can afford nice homes and some luxuries - while their constituents have grown up on benefits and are therefore in some way "deprived" of their right to help themselves to what everyone else has to earn the hard way. Crime, in study after study, has several roots, one is certainly deprivation, another, and perhaps more important, is a lack of clear distinction in what is now considered "unfashionable" - morality based on a faith of one sort or another. Let's face it, if you believe that this life is all there is ever likely to be, why not break all the rules and murder, rape and pillage your way to a comfortable lifestyle. Go ahead, Mister Blair and Co would seem to think that rewarding those who do, particularly the young yobs who make some city centres no go zones, is a way to make them consider becoming model citizens.

No society in the world has ever succeeded in creating a just and moral society without some belief system to underpin it. That is where our secularisation of society is failing us. The more the political elite try to brush religion aside and a life code, the more effort is put into promoting the flawed concept that "humanity is good - it is society that makes them go bad" is promoted by the humanists, the more of a social breakdown we will see. Blind respect for someone is never good, but we now live with a generation that has no respect for experience (even of the kind that helps us make a different mistake the next time!), no respect for authority and no respect whatsoever for the law - primarily because we are now so over regulated that we all break a half dozen or more laws every day without even being aware of it!

The Home Secretary and his cohorts in the Home Office still believe that they can fix the problem by setting the police and the courts more "targets", unrealistic and meaningless statistical measurements which divert the police from actually doing their job - preventing crime and putting criminals behind bars for realistically tough sentences. Listening to his patter on the Breakfast Show I'm afraid I was somewhat underwhelmed by the spin. I honestly believe that this is now so far out of their limits of understanding that neither the civil servants nor the politicians have got a clue what to do. Of one thing we may be sure, that whatever they do will see tax rise, less real policing and a lot more crime. Oh, and more law-abiding citizens charged with defending themselves.

Posted by The Gray Monk at March 27, 2007 11:05 AM

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