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Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Two things to turn you illiberal:

1) “Man gets life for raping 12-week old baby”

2) “Thugs used broken bottles to cut off a man’s eyelids and ears while robbing him of just �1.50… The boys are believed to be 13 or 14.” (From this morning’s Daily Mail sister paper, The Metro, not repeated in any other news source that I can find)

I mean, Christ… Thank goodness for Tony Blair and his “respect agenda“, eh? (Please note that the latter story appeared alongside a large feature on said new initiative. Convenient…)


  1. I tell you what this is doing…

    Many people will think is a good thing, but the days of when teenage kids used to exert their frustrations by buying bottles of cider and sitting in parks seem to be dying.

    When I used to do it (around 99-2000), the police presence was minimal. If they turned up, you hid your drink or just flushed it down the drain.

    Now, police are everywhere at night, and if you get caught you get taken home. To your mother or father, who, to be fair, probably did exactly the same at your age.

    I think its a shame…

  2. It's all fine and dandy taking keep shots at the Respect initiative. But does anyone have any sensible cheap alternatives? Unfortunately they have to be cheap because we live in tax-averse times.

    And please not 'something for young people to do'……

  3. So, any sensible alternatives – apart from the one obvious thing that has always been needed?

    How about lowering the age for full criminal responsibility to 12, thereby making the little buggers slightly more worried about getting caught than they are at the moment. After that, there's no cheap or viable possibility – you'd need to set up more young offenders' institutions where the little buggers could be sent until they've earned some qualifications and/or trades – like state boarding schools. But they'd be bloody expensive and run the risk of abject failure through the inevitable problems that having a bunch of thug brats all in one place would bring – much like the old Borstal system.

    The thing is, of course, that if the government were taking the problem seriously, they'd find the money from somewhere. This is feel-good nonsense done on the cheap, and so will have a negligible impact. I hope I'm proved wrong, but this lot have hardly got a very good track record on this sort of thing, have they?

  4. "this lot have hardly got a very good track record on this sort of thing, have they?"

    That's not what many of the people I canvassed last spring told me(unlike lucky me, they live in areas where ASB is a daily issue). But perhaps they were only being polite.

  5. But does anyone have any sensible cheap alternatives?

    Hanging. For really minor offences. That'll learn 'em.

  6. Reasons why I don't like the Respect thing (G-bomb, not a proper link): it sounds like Eszter Ranzten's Hearts of Gold crossed with John Major's cones hotline.

    Rhodri Morgan (who I'll admit to liking), seems to think *fewer* ASBOs is a good thing (or possibly, more ASBOs are a bad thing), and the Welsh Police Chiefs attitude here makes more sense to me.

    Tax-averse times? Not averse to the tax-drain that the War in Iraq has turned out to be. Or spending a million squids on the *English* icons site. Or the Millenium Dome.

    I rather agree with Nosemonkey, apart from the full criminal responsibility bit (which seems wrong to me). I think every kid (or child or young person or potential adult or whatever we're supposed to call the buggers) has the right to one mistake. But the serial offenders need something more like Borstals. (Though I'll have to look into why we stopped that system.) These things may be expensive, though there is a "long run" argument (if we can prevent repeat offending and recidivism; the prison population should decline), which ought to appeal to both Brown and Blair.

  7. Borstals, like young offender centres tended to become 'universities of crime'.

    Jolly complex all this ain't it.

  8. "Though I'll have to look into why we stopped that system."

    Something to do with kids getting buggered in greenhouses and fighting with socks full of snooker balls, wasn't it?

  9. I love that film… Reminds me of school…