Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Lessons will be learnt...

Yes, it's the standard phrase, waiting in the wings, just itching to be used as soon as the fires die down and the yobs stop throwing stuff.  But will there be any truth in it?  Or will things just carry on as before?

What has happened is, without argument, completely out of proportion to any possible cause that may be cited.  Even if the man who was shot turns out to have been totally innocent of all charges and mercilessly executed by the Police (which I doubt, but...)  then how does looting a JJB Sports shop help that?  Did JJB provide SO19 with free trainers so that they could run into their firing positions more quickly?  No, I didn't think so.  These riots are pure opportunistic criminality, and nothing more.  The rioters are looting and burning because they have realised they can, they have realised that nothing will happen to them, they have realised that the rule of law has retreated.

So the lessons that need to be learnt are quite simple.  Reverse the soft-left bleeding-heart policies of decades.  Take a few decisive steps to re-assert the rule of law:

  • Tell the Courts to rip up the sentencing guidelines and keep the "community sentences" for crimes that caused no injury, loss or fear to other members of the community.  Stuff like TV licence evasion, not stuff like mugging or burglary.
  • Tell the Courts that if a previous sentence didn't stop the offending behaviour, that means it didn't work.  Therefore, the next one needs to be harsher.  A lot harsher.  
  • Locate a supply of rigid steel backbones, lubricate them well, and insert one into each serving Police officer above the rank of Chief Inspector.  Explain to them that their job is to police their areas, that the Officers beneath them need their support, and that if The Guardian phones up asking why force was used, they should (a) tell them the real truth, (b) do so immediately, and (c) offer to take the journalist along next time there is a mob, at the front of the police pack (naturally).  
  • Close the CPS and replace it with some kind of organisation which might actually prosecute people once in a while.  Explain to them that their job is to make life difficult and unpleasant for the criminal classes.  Make sure that the lawyers it hires include at least some of the sort who look for reasons why they can proceed, not reasons why they can't.  Speaking from experience, I can say that both sorts of lawyers exist, both are (in fact) equally useful, but that the latter need to be kept very firmly in check.
  • Add a new subsection to the Human Rights Act, to the effect that a Court shall have a sense of perspective in all its judgements, and shall take into account any behaviour by the Claimant that contributed to the alleged infringement of his or her human rights.
  • Pass a law establishing that teachers are indeed in loco parentis and that a punishment inflicted by a teacher is acceptable regardless of the opinion of the parent or guardian, provided that it is not grossly disproportionate.  
  • When a prisoner complains that his treatment is unfairly harsh, measure the harshness of his or her treatment against the harshness of his or her offence.  If the prisoner is whinging about something that pales into insignificance against the impact of their own crime, tell them to shut up and take it.  
Any other suggestions?


  1. Just one suggestion:

    Ensure that all the diversity training co-ordinators are given a riot shield and truncheon and are sent to the front of the police line.

  2. Thank you Patently

  3. How about telling the BBC that they need to choose between
    a) suggesting that the violence and theft is due to government policies, because BBC presenters don't like the current government's policies, or
    b) receiving state funding.
    Time for the BBC to choose between being a public service broadcaster and being political lobbyists.

  4. Two good suggestions... ;-)

    SD - you're welcome.

  5. Reintroduce National Service.

  6. Nooooo we have to *understand* and *empathise*.

  7. Oh, that is superficially tempting M, but it grates against my libertarian instincts. So it's a "no".

    BE - Ha ha. Is that before or after we send them down?

  8. Any punishment should be the worst of that which they would get in their country of origin or this country.

  9. Interesting ideas - and the government's stated intention to make gangsters' lives 'hell' is a promising sign.

    BTW, I've borrowed one of your proposals - hope that's OK.

  10. You're most welcome, Macheath, and thank you for the link.

    EP - Interesting... but what if they came here from a genuinely cruel country of origin?

  11. So once again the Trojan horse full of pledges and promises is soon to be dragged out and placed before the walls of Troy. Will the electorate never ''learn the lessons'' of the past by at last disbelieving all that our polititicans promise us? A plague on both their houses I say. Is there no one anywhere in this once great land of hope and glory a Moses to lead us to a more pleasant and promising land?

  12. Just me, I guess. Everyone else talks in cliches these days, Anon...