David Cameron said that the music and media industry had to take responsibility for their output and its effects on society. Parents had to know where their children were, and needed help to "do their job properly" - if not they should be "shamed" into doing so. He attacked magazines that glorified "getting wasted" and music firms which "grew fat on the profits of exploiting black youth". Video games were pushing the boundaries of acceptable violence, he argued. Social responsibility meant there needed to be a "national recognition" that individuals had to play their part in creating a better society. Strengthening families and communities and changing culture was the most important part of a three-dimensional approach to changing society, he
The Government had failed in creating a culture of respect and responsibility where poor behaviour was matched with rewards, schools were undermined and the tax and benefits system sent out signals that "undermined families, penalises commitment and reinforces family and social breakdown". Speaking to a military audience in Oxfordshire, Mr Cameron said there was
"nothing inevitable" about social decline in Britain. But until the nation thought about its responsibilities in a different way, "we will not serve the interests of those who suffer so much today." He called on people to ask themselves how many more parents would have to "bury their children before we decide to choose a different path for our society."
He said: "This is not about politics, it's not about elections, it's about the kind of society we want to be and the choice is entirely in our own hands. The brutal and callous murder of Rhys Jones has shocked us all." He paid tribute to the parents of Rhys: "Their bravery - and their sense of social responsibility - in doing their broadcast after everything they had been through was awe inspiring. "It must not be allowed to become just another testimony of despair that shocks a nation one night and is then forgotten."
Mr Cameron asked why such a "remorseless increase" in gang culture had taken place in Britain and why the availability of guns had become "seemingly endless". "What has become of our society when we have this spate of children killing children?" But politicians must not "resolve not to fall back just into the usual response," he argued. "A summit is held. A package of measures is announced. Some form of 'crack down' is rapidly briefed to the media. He went on: "But in putting forward what I've called the three dimensional approach - measures on criminal justice, measures on policing and measures to strengthen society - let us recognise once and for all that it is the last of these three - changing our society and, frankly, changing our culture - that matters the most and where change is so desperately needed.
"Yes, strengthening families, strengthening communities, changing culture is the hardest, the most long-term and sometimes the most intangible of the three, but it is so much the most important. So today I say that we should ask not just what we expect from our Government in response to these dreadful crimes - but what do we expect from ourselves and from society?
Just as the Military Covenant sets out what we - society - must do for our military, so today we should consider our obligations in tackling crime and building a stronger society. We need a Social Covenant."
The social covenant was "more powerful than words". It was a "national recognition that it is not just up to the Government to take responsibility for the state of our nation, it is up to all of us.
"To me this is what social responsibility is all about. Not just sitting back and saying that the
Government must act, but all of us saying: this is my country, my society, my responsibility - and I must play my part. It means parents taking responsibility for bringing up children properly. It means schools playing their part in instilling discipline and good values. It means all of us recognising our obligations not just as parents but as neighbours, as members of a community and understanding that those obligations are as important as simply paying our taxes and obeying the law. It means understanding and acting on that age-old maxim that it takes a village to raise a child. It means retailers stopping the sale of alcohol to young teenagers. It means music companies, media companies, games manufacturers, not just thinking 'what is my social responsibility as a company in terms of the projects I support and the charities I back, good and important as they are', but asking: 'what is the effect of the music I produce, the games
I market and the programmes I broadcast?' "That is true social responsibility."
Mr Cameron said questions had to be asked not about how Government was responding to the latest shooting but how it was responding in the long term. He went on: "All too often good behaviour is matched with punishment, poor behaviour with rewards. "Institutions - like schools - whose independence should be championed, and whose role in nurturing values of service and discipline is so essential - are too often undermined. A system of rights that seems to fly in
the face of common sense is introduced and repeatedly sanctioned. Most important of all a tax and benefit system is built up over time that sends signals, and helps to create a culture that undermines families, penalises commitment and reinforces family and social breakdown.
It is time for us to recognise that we cannot go on as we are. Just as there was nothing inevitable about economic decline at the end of the 1970s, so there is nothing inevitable about social
decline in our current decade. What is required is simply asking how many more parents have to bury their children before we decide to choose a different path for our society?"
The reason I have quoted this at length is not to parrot what the Tory Party is saying but because I think this is a very important speech which says some very important things. It's a wake up call, which if we don't heed it we will, as a society, regret it. On 18 Doughty Street last night I discussed this with Patrick Mercer. We both reckoned this was one of the most difficult issues facing national politicians, yet it is actually people at local level who have far more influence and power to put things right. Part of the reason we have the levels of gun and knife crime that we do among our youth is that local politicians and public service departments in inner cities have failed their communities. That's at least a large part of the reason why parts of Manchester, Liverpool, South London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol and Leeds are experiencing these terrible killings and assaults.
It hasn't just happened over the last ten years, it goes back decades. Local Labour politicians have been more interested in protecting their local inner city fiefdoms than tackling the terrible social deprivation that exists within them. When Iain Duncan Smith first went to the Gallowgate estate in Glasgow one of the residents said that they didn't vote Tory round there and just look at the state of the place. "Yes, and who's been running the council for the last 50 years," replied IDS. Obviously that is only one part of the problem. The glorification of violence and guns in video games, in newspapers and on TV surely has to have played its part too, as well as the rising trend of single parenthood.
All the evidence points to the lack of a male role model being a key part in a child's descent into dark places. That's not criticising single mothers, it is just a statement of fact. Chances are that a child with two parents will emerge into adulthood as a more rounded individual that if it doesn't have two parents. This is especially true in inner city areas. This cannot be turned around within a few years, but if we do not do something in our education system to explain the benefits of duo-parenthood then if the current trend continues I fear not only for the future of our inner cities but wider areas too.
As someone who in the past has aspired to hold political office, I don't mind admitting that issues like this leave me reeling. I admire those who are thinking about the answers because I suspect very few of us can point to individual measures which we could take immediately to make a difference. Should we be adopting zero tolerance policies in inner cities, or would that push the crimes out into the suburbs? Should we seek to understand less and punish more, or would that entrench criminality for life?
Whatever we do, we must learn from other countries. It's clear that parts of our major cities are experiencing the kind of violent crime which used to afflict many major US cities. We need to learn from from them how they have tackled it and reduced it. New York is not the only example to look at. But we need to do it quickly.
Apologies for the length of this post, but it's a subject we all need to think about perhaps more than we have in the past.
I have just blogged on this expressing the hope that the Conservative Party does not engage in the kind of exploitation the revolting Blair and his leering sidekick Brown did over Jamie Bulger . There is a careful line to be trodden here between holding the government to account and treating a personal catastrophe, that must catch the throat of any parent , as ammunition. This seems like a reasonable and measured response.
There are times when David Cameron is inspirational and if he has a little less ring craft thanm an old gnarled liar like Brown so what !! A vote for Cameron is a vote for hope and the future .
The problem in London are well known to be especially serious and Boris Johnson who has so much to offer the City might have foreseen your words Iain but little thanks has he recieved .......( I posted recently )
How much of our money is Ken Livingstone spending on smearing Boris ? The Standard this eve carries the shocking news that Boris has been talking to Sheriff Lee Baca.Sheriff Baca is the "elected " Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California.(He was re-elected to a third term in 2006).Naturally the man who fights crime in LA could not possibly have anything to tell us about the ethnically diverse City of London where knifings and shootings are escalating out of control…oh no ..According to the Livingstone droogs the only thing that matters is some Hallo Magazine thing about Paris Hilton which shows that Boris is obsessed with celebrity .Pitiful.
I `ll tell you the things that interest B Johnson about this man . His experience and that magic word “ Elected”. Lee Baca is directly accountable to the people he serves and has to produce results . Boz is rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck into the problems that Londoners really care about and if anyone thinks the Met would not benefit by that sort of accountability they have not been watching the show. Whats more Boris is using ...his own money.
Perhaps you would like to join me in supporting Boris Johnson Iain ....you clearly are of one mind in this matter...( and you``ve been a bit coy about it so far)
It would be easy to try and make cheap political points here, but it is too important.
But what I will say is that a substantial amount of violent crime is imported from places like Jamaica. People trafficking in the UK is almost soleley in the hands of former Soviet bloc nationals. Bombing of our cities is inspired by those wishing to impose nothing less than the world domination of Islam.
This is only one strand of the arguement, but since the Labour government has been in denial, preferring to call it "multiculturalism" for many years, the problems of the assault on our culture by immigrants was bound to impact upon street crime.
You cannot deport people anymore, so unfortunately, Labour have screwed us for the long term.
my god their is a society afterall!
Ah yes the youth of today. A problem for any era.
“I would there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting"
Soceity is no worse than it ever was. The only difference is that these days more of the thugs in this country are carring guns or knives. Assaults are more likely therefore to be fatal. There is indeed a problem here but some of the reactions are very 'Daily Mail' in their 'we're all doomed' fatalism. Target the gangs, the weapons and ignore the multiculturalists but don't overdo the hyperbole.
If focuses more on this issue instead of the socialist NHS monolith and closing down grammer schools, he'll definatly win the next general election by a landslide.
Seize the moment Dave!
Soceity is no worse than it ever was.
So we should just accept it as it is?
No, we should strive to improve it. Accepting the status quo because "that's the way it's always been" is pretty fatalistic, and symptomatic of many of the problems this country faces.
We also need to kick out the likes of the police "chief" on the Today programme this morning (apols for not googling/researching who he was) who dismissed NY's zero tolerance with a sly chuckle and a "we don't need that sort of thing here". Needless to say the Beeboid interviewer closed before asking him what on earth he meant by what he said, and why he thought we don't need it when by all accounts it worked damn' well.
God made us, Sam Colt made us equal, then New Labour subjugated us to violent criminals.
Stop mucking around, anyone committing an armed crime should be shot on sight. Illegal possession of a handgun should carry a mandatory 20 year sentence. Oh yes, teach the police to shoot straight.
You and David Cameron are ABSOULUTELY RIGHT about the significance of all this. Labour was elected promising to be 'tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime'.
Did Tony Blair and Gordon Brown ever believe that meant anything? Surely it was cynical spin from the start. But I remember when that empty platitude was spun and a lot of people believed that Gordon and Tony actually meant it.
Let's keep reminding them that they only won their mandate by pretending to care and pretending they knew how to govern. Expose their lies and let's have 'em out!
Any covenant requires the trust of all parties in each other. Clearly individuals do not trust the State, and that is completely understandable.
The State has demonstrated repeatedly that it does not trust individuals. For many years the State has sought to control and direct. It has over the last ten years or so brought in somewhere in the region of 3,000 new pieces of legislation. None of them have been used to grant freedoms - and I include the FOI legislation. Now the State is preparing to enchain individuals further by signing us all up to a European 'Treaty'. Where's the trust in that?
Let the State - which has all of the power - make a start on a genuine and honest bargain with individuals. And then individuals, if convinced of the State's integrity, will willingly enter into such a covenant.
Just a salutary example. Take a look at history of the military covenant over the last ten years - then judge for yourself as to whether you're ready to treat with the State. Personally I'm not ready to sit down at the table yet, nor will I be until there's some seriously convincing evidence of the State's good intentions.
I live in Leeds and the gun culture here is terrible. You can't go out to a club without someone threatening to "bust a cap in your ass"
Just last week my mum was killed in a drive by.
Well we live in a social benefits culture.
Simple really: you break the law in any violent way and you (and wife) lose your entitlement to benefits: forever.
You can only claim benefits for 5 years in your life.
Any judge condoning crimethru weak sentencing is sentenced to the penalty he should have given...
Elected police chiefs...
However as we are fighting a war to protect the opium growers of Afghanistan:-(
Sometime in the 1970's it was decided to do away with all discipline. There is none in school, none on the streets, little in the home, no bus conductor, no park keeper, and, in this area, almost no police. (None visible during day time hours anyway.) This was a huge social experiment and it has failed.
Watched Cameron on news24 same Bliar crap ,we need our police back in the community ,PCSO's should be trained up as policemen, not somebody that's rings up the police if they can't deal with the problem, the judiciary need to be part of the community not some out of date geriatric's, we have the law's in place but most are hamstrung by the Human rights act,the CPS need a good dose of clearing out the hanger's on,until we get the police the CPS and the judiciary sorted and the Human rights act that is for the majority and not for the criminal individual then we have no chance /rant off.
In 1829 Sir Richard Maine laid down the principles of good policing.Those principles need revisiting!
The English police led the world. They came to us to see how we policed.
What has gone wrong? Why have the police lost the streets?
As a form lice officer I put the blame FIRMLY a door of the Home Office and the lefties that have controlled that department since the sixties.They did not want thinking Chief Constables...they wanted all Chiefs to sing to their tune and so we have a bunch of Social Workers in charge of policing.They must all be removed and promoted only when they prove they can polce the streets!
The Home Office did not believe it right that the police prosecutions, so they created (via a TORY government) the Criminal Protection Society (CPS). Before the CPS cases were taken to the courts for the to decide....Just think Blair might have been facing a charge!!! BUT such decisions as the cash for peeragesdisgrace would never have happened!
Cameron is on the right path. You must deal with the small things. graffitti, litter,dog mess,Believe me that does matter. Because if there is pride in the neighbourhood, by police and local government, the public take greater pride!
The police must get back and regain the streets. But they must get the backing of the courts.Courts should be harsh in their sentences. Judges have to send people to jail and jail must be a place nobody wants to return to. There has to be a hard approach and a No Tolerance to yobbery- in whatever guise it manifests itself!
Anyone in possession of a Knife or Gun should face 10 years imprisonment with NO parole. Murder uarry a whole life sentence.
Iain, you cannot pussyfoot around.It is a war and you must fight it with all guns blazing.
How about restore the right, from our Bill of Rights (that's the English one before the US wrote one) to bear arms?
Also, this shows that the Tories are just as statist and nannying as ever. 'social contract between the individual and the state'. Still talking about the state imposing solutions... no different from Labour.
Although a complex issue, I believe that a root and branch reform of the criminal justice system is required. Also, the way justice is administered, those administering it and sentencing guidelines need a severe injection of reality and common sense. The touchy-feely hand-wringing lefty liberals bear a heavy responsibility for this situation. They've wrecked the education system too, but who cares? Failure in public life is either ignored or rewarded these days.
The perverse (and hopefully unintended) consequences of the Human Rights Act MUST be addressed. There have been mutterings, but no action so far. Come on the young Cameron - you've got a potential vote winner here!
I'm glad you have raised the issue today. As someone who lives amongst the inner city urban Tyneside I have experience and knowledge of the fledgling "gang culture" (it is nowhere near as bad here as it is in larger cities of course) and as I point out in my post today we need a multi-stranded multi-agency approach to the problems.
The greatest threat to the social fabric of society lies not in family breakdown but in the sub-culture of gangland drug dealers, they have a market, a profitable market, and they guard it jealously, ruthlessly, and with murderous intent. Break these men and half the battle will be won.
Strapworld - some excellent points from someone with direct experience (by-the-by ... I presume that the battery is running low in your cordless keyboard, leading to 'character drop-out', and that you are actually an ex-police office rather than a "form lice officer" !!!)
strapworld what cobblers.
I carry a knife everyday , why should I go to prison for 10 years?
I have no intention of stabbing anybody unless they intend to do me serious harm.
The problem is with the thugs not their tools.
Murder somebody , mug them /rape them , you hang or even better they shoot you on the spot .
End of story.
The state cant , will not and doesnt want to protect you. Get that into your head.
I think i could write an essay in response this...but i will refrain.
People do and perform their best when they are invested in the society they want to improve. And better yet, they UNDERSTAND the problem intimately.
Your average Tory is not invested in the system, their children go to private schools, they live in gated communities (metaphorically and increasingly physically)and live a completely different life to us people in the inner cities.
Instead of sending Iain Duncan Smith to Glasgow, why not actually speak to people in Glasgow. Better yet, why not move to Glasgow, live with these people, in these neighborhoods and go to their schools.
I bet you they will find a solution fast!
Two issues are being conflated here. On the one hand, there has been a gradual breakdown in discipline in society for many years. Partly because we're living in the longest peacetime era in our history, and so without war or invasion there is no instinctive desire to 'pull together'. Partly because (as someone else said) children can do whatever they like without fear of being punished by adults.
On the other hand, there is the drug war. If society really wants to rid itself of this (and I'm not entirely sure that we do, since now even most politicians admit having used drugs) then we have to cut off demand.
We've been trying to cut off supply for years and we've failed. Ultimately, if there is demand then the gangs will find a way to get the drugs through.
But short of introducing regular mandatory drugs testing of all students, employees, and anyone claiming benefit of any kind, I don't know how else you can do it.
Cameron like labour is soft on crime. We need to clear the streets of these evil people and give them something to do. Do not blame the medea and make excuses for them as we have since the 60s.
If proper tough action is not taken it will only get worse.
Some of the poice chiefs we have are just wimps and are refusing to get stuck in to the problem.
Hitch your knife ,as I recall , is in fact a cuticle trimmer that came free with a complete My Little Pony Picnic set. Not quite whats required for shaving in the jungle .
I keep a cricket bat handy at home I wonder if thats allowed ?
STRAP WORLD- Interesting post !
Tristan couldn't agree more. The Bill of rights gave us rights and others have taken the away!! NewMania I find a billhook is a comforting bedside companion.Got mine off e-bay came in a jiffy bag!!!!
Here are some answers, Iain:
Vervet..spot on! technology not for people of my age!!
Although, I suppose, the villains I locked up thought I was 'lice'!
The Hitch..you have,hopefully, a lawful answer to carrying the knife! In my day we had the Prevention of Crimes Act 1953, which created the offence of Offensive Weapon. One of the only offences, again in my day, where you had to prove your innocence!
Otherwise, Dear The Hitch, it is not nonsense!
Slim Jim Cameron told the world, this morning, nalkSport that he would scrap the (in)Human Rights Act...although I do not know how he will do it without coming out of the EU.
Interesting point the EU.I was involved with discussions, years ago, when Europol had an office in a portooffice in Brussels...Little did I know that one day we shall all have the same Justice System as our continental friends..now that is a recipe for disaster!
Perhaps one should contemplate on what membership of the EU has brought us
Discipline and respect in the home.
Discipline and respect in schools.
Discipline and respect on the streets.
These are longer term issues, this has developed over years and will take years to turn around.
Halt mass immigration.
Deport foreign criminals.
Introduce either civil or military National Service to bring discipline and structure into young lives.
Enforce the law, we don't need any more, just the will to enforce the ones already on the books. This means proactive and visible policing. Scrap ABCs, ASBOs, make the consequences of yob behaviour memorable(!).
That'd be a start.
Like all politicians, Cameron has not grasped the fact that criminals with illegal guns are wholly outside the scope of any knee jerk legislation they may profer or enact.
Until the police services in this country are radically reformed from the current jobsworth mentality that seems to prevail many layers of this over stuffed bureaucracy and policemen are out on the streets in the criminals faces, and reaming them new assholes with their truncheons, without the fear of being prosecuted under some euro-bollocks legislation...nothing is going to happen.
Heard him on John Gaunt on Talksport, doing an interview with JG in response to a challenge from JG to comment on the issue.
Came across very well.
Must have scared the crap out of nuLab as Jack Straw phoned up to comment after they heard that DC had to balls to go on air (didn't hear him)
Gaunty also gave DC plaudits for not responding earlier, as DC was at Brice Norton with some of the families welcoming back the fallen hero's from Iraq/Afghanistan - something Bliar never did and Brown has yet to do.
A modest proposal, which might help:
(1) Increase the maximum sentence for possessing a firearm with intent(Firearms Act 1968, s.16A) from ten years to life.
(2) Encourage the police to stop and search any individual they suspect of carrying a firearm or offensive weapon, and give them any additional powers which may be required for that purpose.
(3) If we must have targets, let them be stop and search targets. In some inner city areas, the more young men who are stopped and searched, the better.
(4) Eliminate the paperwork. If a stop and search yields no result the police officer should only be required to hand over a business card stating his name, rank and warrant number.
(5) Ride out the political storm if a disproportionate number of those stopped and searched turn out to be from the ethnic minorities.
I'm sorry but this is bloody obvious.
No fear of conviction, no fear of any real punishment.
Result, ever increasing lawlessness.
As my father says:
Hang 'em, they won't do it again.
I wouldn't go that far given how incompetent the police are and how politicised the CPS are.
But as we have seen recently, the most heinous criminals are out in short order and we can't even deport the foreigners amongst them.
The sad reality is that there is no solution while the present shower are in Gvnt. Cameron doesn't offer much hope, he makes me embarrased to be a 'c'onservative.
He should read the letters section from the Telegrapgh today where Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of Biogeography in the University of London, Gravesend, Kent says:
"Thirdly, recent satellite figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration demonstrate no mean global warming since 1998. Indeed, the curve has flattened to below 1998 levels."
Then get on with something important like sorting out gun crime.
Here's the "social covenant" I want:
1. Jail time for violent crime; not endless "community orders". Whilst in the pokey, prisoners should be doing something constructive. Clean up the motorways whatever. No sitting on your ass getting high 23 hours of the day;
2. Parents legally responsible for their children's crimes- along with the children. They do it to a degree to parents who live in council homes. They are liable for all asb emanating from their homes. Extend it and make them criminally responsible for failing to keep a leed on their thug children;
3. Compulsory national service for all residents. It might just be the one and only time in their lives the little ASB angles do as their told;
Wait for it! Here comes the best one of all:-
4. Stop paying benefit! Yep, you heard! Stop the government hand outs and force people to get off their asses and get a job.
Call me crazy.
Ann Widdecombe for Leader of the Western world.
KRIS for Home Secretary.
Fnusnuank for Justice Sec
Trumpeter Lanfried for Attorney General
Yak40 Education Sec.
strapworld Commissioner of Police.
Theo Spark Socitor General
Straw declined to go on
Talk Sport! This lot are cowards.
Pleased that Cameron attended the arrival home fo our brave dead soldiers!
bet SKY and BBC dont mention that!Lefties all
Well yes, he's right about the need to change the culture, but any fool can see that it's too fucking late. Delete the swear word if you want, Iain. I'm just hoping to live out my time without too much misery, and the rest of society, minus my family, must shift for itself.
Cameron is pathetic. If David Davis had been the leader we might have some faith in a restoration of discipline under the Conservatives but I agree with the posters above regarding Cameron - he just reminds me of Blair with talk taking precedence over action.
It is not rocket science. We need:-
1. To stop the manufacturing jobs that provided work for young men and women from being exported abroad (Cameron makes no mention of this as he no doubt has swallowed the globalisation nonsense),
2.To support Youth Clubs and Sports Clubs for youths and teenagers
3. To bring back some forms of corporal punishment and discipline in schools
4. To be much more vigorous in attacking the gangsterism that the drugs trade is creating (but Cameron prefers not to talk about drugs)
5. To deport all foreigners who are invloved in criminal activity.
6. To ensure that families do not become addicted to welfare without dropping them in the shit,
Unfortunately the voters no longer trust the Conservatives to do any of the things that might help.
10 years into a Labour government that claims to stand for the poor and deprived within our society. Yet these are the very people who suffer the worst crimes.
One can only wonder the sort of noises that would be coming from a Labour opposition if their natural voters had to suffer this sort of mess under a Tory Government. Guff like "oh well society has always been like this" wouldn't be on the agenda.
Meanwhile middle England is taxed to breaking point and the rich get richer, and pay less and less tax.
So who in their right minds actually answer opinion pollsters in the affirmative when asked if they will vote Labour at the next election?
ps kris. I like your manifesto mate, it would be highly amusing to see the BBC going ballistic in their condemnation of such a sensible, and widely popular, set of actions.
Great posts from TRUMPETER LANFRIED and KRIS.
Kris suggested National Service, which is always riduculed by the chattering classes. If you managed to see the television series "Bad Lad's Army", you would appreciate how effective army discipline is in "straightening out" dissafected yobs.
For the moment, I'll just mention one idiotic aspect of policing:
If police ever venture on to the street, they ALWAYS patrol in pairs.
WHY? They stroll around, chatting, oblivious to anything happening around them. They are armed to the teeth and have radio contact with any possible backup. Why don't they split up and cover twice the area?
Of course we should adopt New York style zero tolerence and our politicians should be brave enough (as Guilliani was)to shrug off resistance from leftie commentators in the media.
I carry one as a means of defense in an extreme situation.
I know that it is illegal (after all we are an ation of serfs) but I intend to make damn sure that my mother or the rest of you will never see my smiling handsome face on the front page of your newspaper as a murder victim.
i agree with all of that
David, the quote is "God made men and women. Sam Colt made them equal."
First of all David Cameron says he's the heir to Blair, then he quotes raging lefty John F Kennedy. Does this man read anything? In all of Conservative history, he cannot find a single Conservative writer/polician to relate to?
The way to deal with drugs and guns is the death penalty. If they DNA matches, they fry.
I agree, as ever, with Trumpeter Lanfried.
I would add shooting the little shits on the street should be an option. Saves time. Saves money on a court case, and saves mega, mega, mega money in "benefits" that don't have to be paid for the rest of its brutish life. Also, it won't have any progeny to anchor onto the welfare tit. So win-win, really.
A little responsibility for the actions of your children coupled with adequate punishment and visable police goes a long way.
Quadruple the number of police, and have them all armed with .45s. Quadruple sentences at a minimum, and build as many prisons as required.
Getting out of the EU and bringing back hanging would also be beneficial, as would bringing back deportation, but at least keep the criminals in prison indefinitely. RUC tactics everywhere and a preference for SAS/SBS vets on the police force would also be useful, as would floowing Giuliani's broken windows policing.
If focuses more on this issue instead of the socialist NHS monolith and closing down grammer schools, he'll definatly win the next general election by a landslide."
You've just demonstrated why we need grammar schools.
For my sins just been onto Labourhome to get their take on events in Liverpool and the breakdown in law and order in this country. Not a thing in sight anywhere.
Todays centre-piece is entitled "Westminster council wants to buy back Shirley Porter homes"
......and they say the Conservatives are out of touch.
"Kris suggested National Service, which is always riduculed by the chattering classes."
National Service did a lot of good but was abolished because it was prohibitively expensive. A civil equivalent involving manual labour in the service of the community would be worthwhile and would get my vote.
Thanks for the nomination, Anonymous [5.43 pm], but I will only serve as Attorney General in an administration led by Anne Widdicombe.
Unfortunately I can't agree that we bring back National Service. The Army needs good lads (and girls) who volunteer, not morose and intractable conscripts.
I remember talking to National Servicemen; more or less ostracised by professional soldiers they all knew to the nearest hour how long they had left to serve. Just like prisoners.
I actually find what Cameron is saying very heartening. There is very little that he says that the other major parties wouldn't agree with - and perhaps rather than trying to invent differences they can all concentrate on addressing the problems. An agreed program with some stabilty would probably help everyone (and yes Labour changing the laws every 10 minutes hasn't helped)
Nice to see that at long last the Tories have a leader who is interested in putting society back together rather than denying its existence. Just hope he can carry his party with him - but I have my doubts, especially reading some of the comments here.
As for the hangers, beaters and floggers who appear to be out in force here - perhaps they out to ponder how the increase in the prison population really hasn't had the effect they would have predicted. They might also want to think why people join gangs in the first place.
Mmmm. I must admire how long Wrinkled Weasel manages to live by paragraph one. Er, one paragraph about immigrants and then it's straight back to cheap political points. Very useful I'm sure.
At 1:31 PM Wrinkled Weasel said...
It would be easy to try and make cheap political points here, but it is too important.
... snip ... immigrants are responsible ... snip ...
This is only one strand of the argument, but since the Labour government has been in denial, preferring to call it "multiculturalism" for many years, the problems of the assault on our culture by immigrants was bound to impact upon street crime.
You cannot deport people anymore, so unfortunately, Labour have screwed us for the long term.
Please go to Channel 4 site. Select report. Watch FIVE people comment on this matter.
Presenter. Mother in Liverpool. Cameron. Jacqui Smith. Ken Jones from ACPO.
Least sense ... from Cameron. Sorry, it's not party. It's just nous. He doesn't understand this stuff. And that is utterly obvious. How could he?
His mum and dad did know where he was at night - at 15 he was "safe" at a comp near Slough ... taking illegal drugs ... at 19 he was "safe" smashing up some restaurant in Cambridgeshire following a cocktail of er, champagne and bollinger too. How could he possibly understand?
As Iain says this is desperately hard. But Ken Jones was very good I thought. And putting this singular case into some context is essential.
Here, soon I hope.
"Video games were pushing the boundaries of acceptable violence, he argued."
Trite nonsense. People are not killing people because they think it isn't real. They're killing them because they really want to kill them.
"The brutal and callous murder of Rhys Jones has shocked us all."
No it hasn't. By and large it's just accepted as part of 'normal' comtemporary behaviour, except in the delusional world inhabited by the lib/lab/cons.
"this is my country, my society, my responsibility"
Not been like that for a very long time.
"Most important of all a tax and benefit system is built up over time that sends signals, and helps to create a culture that undermines families"
Ah yes, blame the working class, unemployed or not, for the crime heaven created by the ruling classes. Let me guess. Ending benefits will lead to the British killing the Poles etc to take back British jobs. Is that how this works?
"Part of the reason we have the levels of gun and knife crime that we do among our youth is that local politicians and public service departments in inner cities have failed their communities."
'local'???? Don't forget to mention the police - ever quick to arrest the victims and frame or kill the innocent but sadly too understaffed to bother much about actual criminals.
And don't forget to mention the lib/lab/cons who have been so assiduous in ensuring the citizen is defenceless against thugs, robbers, police or any other type of crook.
"That's not criticising single mothers"
Why not? A modern form of plague.
"As someone who in the past has aspired to hold political office"
'past'? Anything you would like to share with us?
"Should we be adopting zero tolerance policies in inner cities"
Wasn't 'zero tolerance' that part of the New York strategy that specifically dealt with police drug-taking and police misbehaviour? Is that what you meant?
"How Can We Address Inner City Gun Crime?"
I'll give you a clue. Place each police force under the rule of an elected commissioner with power to hire and fire, and set strategy and goals. And empower the populace to shoot dead anyone attacking them, their property, or anyone else.
His mum and dad did know where he was at night - at 15 he was "safe" at a comp near Slough ... taking illegal drugs ... at 19 he was "safe" ...blah blah blha
Pathetic as usual. Blair was equally posh and Brown hardy underpriveleged ( and a man who has avoided life not to say sex completely ). How well I rememeber JohnMajor being congratulated on his comparitively difficult background.
Civitas produce a number of factsheets for use by students/teachers. Their factsheets on the family detail the positive role fathers play in a family.
Hug a Hoodie still a good idea then?
1. Put the responsibility for rearng children back where it belongs - in the hands of parents. The state should stop trying to parent people, and instead should let people parent!
2. Empower parents to be parents, and punish them for not being parents (especially absent fathers who are a cause of lots of the problems). Restoring tax breaks for families (including same-sex couples who care for kids) is essential. Incentivise and support families, and help them to stick together. Stop incentivising divorce and family break-ups!
3. Work with difficult children, but give them clear guidelines, and strong deterents from crossing the line. Do the same for their parents. Kids copy what they see at home - they absorb the values of their parents equally as they do their peers!
4. Listen to teachers more and social workers less
5. Recognise there is a thing called society - but it's not the same as the state. The need to 'empower' local communities is paramount. Even in the worst sink estate there are good people who want to work to imrpove things. But they cannot do it without support, money and the knowledge that the police will support them, not prosecute them.
6. Stop punishing and demonising those who carry and use legal guns, and instead punish those who are responsible for gun crime - who always commit gun crime with illegal weaponary. Guns don't kill - people do! Take away a gun from a killer, and he will use something else instead. Take the killer out of circulation, no-one gets hurt!
7. Touch love works! Kids need boundries, affection, support, space, peers and mentors. But most of all they need parents! Oh, and lads need dads most! Fathers for Justice have a lot to say that is worth listening too.
8. We need a police 'force' and not a police 'service'! A service is something you expect from your bank, or a barmaid. Force - the force of the law - is society's equaliser and regulator. The trouble is we have police who now simply arbitrate between the law-abiding majority, and the feral minority who have all the rights and none of the responsibility! The role of the police today seems to be regulate troubl makers, not stop them causing trouble. The prison system doesn't help
9. We need a prison service that is carrot and stick. Yes, punish, but reform as well. The path to crime is essentially an individual journey, and if we had more people working with offenders, we wouldn't need so many social workers! So, when they get banged up, train them, teach them, educate them, build up their self esteem, and let them out better more useful people.
10. Finally, 3 strikes and you are out! If this means build more prisons, so be it!
oh...11. Ban video games which fuel and glorify violence. Essentially, we have to start standing up and saying "listen boys and girls, that's just not acceptable to the majority of people, and if you don;t learn that early on in life, then you will have problems".
We need a new dialogue with our children that actually uses the 'no' word!
No, you cannot have £90 trainers just cos your mates have them
No, you cannot go out after 9pm
No, you cannot go out at all until your homework is done, and I am satisfied it is done properly
No, you cannot have a tenner for yet more credit on your phone (or how about this - no, you cannot have a mobile phone)
No, actually, I dont care about your human rights! But I do care about my responsibilities!
No, you cannot stay home from school today
No, you will get out and get a job/apprecticeship/university degree, and not stay at home scrounging off me
No, I will not come and bail you out because you got drunk and chucked a bin through the window!
David says: "I paraphrase". Why? The original phrase - 10 words - was too onerous to remember? Paraphrasing of famous succinct phrases always weakens them.
Anonymous 10:49 - May I suggest you adopt a pseudonym? 'Windy' would suit you well and alert the reader that he needne't bother wading through the ebb tide of trite.
tory boys never grown up - Still at it, I see. "I actually find what Cameron is saying very heartening. There is very little that he says that the other major parties wouldn't agree with"
And this is good news?
"...rather than trying to invent differences they can all concentrate on addressing the problems. An agreed program with some stabilty would probably help everyone .... We call this Communism, or islam.
Political parties in democracies have differences that come from the soul and the belly.
"Nice to see that at long last the Tories have a leader who is interested in putting society back together rather than denying its existence." Margaret Thatcher said that there's no such thing as "society" because "society" is made up of individuals who cohese. Odd that this statement is constantly misquoted by lefties and islamics, the ultimate enforcers of a bloody "society" whether you like it or not, as your cult leader commanded.
Please don't apologise for the length of your post, Mr Dale - I offer no apology for the length of mine. I'm totally demoralised.
Not good, I'm afraid :-(
No one I know is 'shocked' by this killing. In fact the only shocking thing is how innured we all are to such news - surely an indication of the spiral of decline in our country. More importantly I suspect that neither the police, nor the politicians are 'shocked' either, I posit that the word is being over-used in a dishonest way to placate the angry masses. If I am wrong about this then our police and politicians must surely be possessed of child-like innocence - lucky them.
If you lift one thing from my ideas here let it be this. The public want the fear of God put into these thugs for the sake or our sanity and our society. Thus far this is not what is on offer. On the table (among some admittedly good ideas) we have the ridiculous Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and Mr Cameron's deferred driving bans - pathetic. Both were met with much derision in the Traincrew messroom I can tell you. Does no one have cahoonas in this country ? I had better avoid a career in politics as gelding appears to be a primary qualification for the post and I am most definitely in my prime at the moment.
Politicians may satisfy themselves that productive people are leaving the country in droves for better weather but this is another lie. This is a typically old fashioned English way of protest, a quiet and dignified revolt "I refuse to pay you anymore money to squander against my interests, I refuse to accept the equivalence you place on my rights and the rights of louts and cheats, I refuse to accept your low standards - I'm voting with my feet and am off to Oz and I'm taking my wealth and my skills with me. Up yours !"
Finally (as an ex police officer) I need to address the subject of the police. They are a major part of the problem and not the solution and I'll explain why in a moment, but first I feel compelled to state that I hold police officers of all ranks in utter contempt - they are now oppressors of the striving classes rather than protectors of law and order. In many ways restoration of civility would take place far quicker in their absence - please read on:
A large part of old fashioned policing was actually done collectively by the ordinary menfolk in society - the ones that stood up to louts when plod was not around; they clipped ears and bollocked and had the full support of the police force and parents alike. Now this is all reversed. I'm still young and fit and don't much fear teenagers but by God do I fear the copper standing (figuratively) behind him - the one who will nick me and take away my livelihood and my home on the basis that I've over done it with some yobbo.
Please spare us (Ian Dale) the schmoolie that it's our fault because it most certainly isn't. The public have been crying out for years for beat policing and have been ignored. We've been objecting to soft sentencing for decades and have been ignored. Many of us have been calling for a debate on the restoration of capital and corporal punishment and have been ignored. To implicate US in all of this is yet another falsehood. In fact it is we who are hounded for minor transgressions and woe betide us if we ever 'take the law into our own hands.'
We told you years ago how all this was going to turn out and we've been proven right and indisputably so.
Society is not to blame. Police, lawyers, judges ... POLITICIANS most certainly are.
I urge anyone with the wherewithal to quit the UK - on performance of both parties over the last few days things are not going to get better. Mr Brown is a con merchant - Mr Cameron is a soft touch and the photo of the lout gesticulating behind him has made a greater impression on me than a thousand of his words.
One can almost set a date on the time when the police became hamstrung overnight and detection rates sunk alarmingly. It was the introduction o0f the PACE rules which more, or less, handed crime to the criminals and allowed defence lawyers to laugh all the way to the bank. In fact, it wasn’t really the “detection rate” that fell, but the level of “convictions”.
The worst thing about PACE is that it requires interviews recorded and no longer relies on the police packet-book records of notes made at the time. From what my Detective son tells me, the first thing a criminal says to him when apprehended is usually the truth. Anything said half an hour later is a pack of lies. Many of the tough criminals that exist on our streets are well versed with PACE and deliberately try to solicit aggression during taped interviews as a defence, or make outrageous allegations which always incur the Police Complaints boys in hundreds of hours of fruitless investigation.
The new breed of Bramshill educated political “managers” spend most of their time defending their own elevated positions and have no real interest in the people at the sharp end of things. Budgets and targets are the only things that have their attention and disciplining lower ranks who have not completed forms correctly. Their main concern is visibility and the most visible thing is a brightly painted police car which must patrol through as many streets as possible waving the flag. The most neglected part of our police forces is the CID, which when you think about it, is the most essential. It’s a thankless job, soul destroying and a strain on the families of the dedicated officers. My son has had quite enough of it during the last 10 years of Labour interference and as a Detective Inspector in London will pension his way out of it by the end of this year and emigrate.
My contract with the State is thus:
"To enable me to go safely about my lawful business without let or hindrance".
The State fails.
Note "enable", not "allow". I do not have to seek or be granted permission, but the State is there to facilitate me in my peaceful and lawful life.
I have the freedom and it comes with responsibilities, primarily the responsibility not to impinge on others' equal or superior freedoms. In such a "contract" the State is subordinate and servant to the lawful citizen, as it should be.
As for crime, we need enforcement, not legislation.
Carrying a knife is not the issue, using one is. Use of a knife should be attempted murder unless special circumstances warrant.
Kicking someone when they are down should be attempted murder unless special circumstances warrant.
We need to re-introduce the concept of Felony Murder (if one in your gang kills during a crime, you are all in the salad).
Parents of yobs receiving housing benefit and/or in State housing should have their benefits withdrawn and no "duty of care" bull. Forget ASBOs, just make sure that they know the consequences.
Gun crime is mosty drug-fuelled. Decriminalise drugs and dispense them free of charge to remove the revenue stream and attendant crime.
Crime costs the nation £60bln p.a.. 50% of all crime is caused by 100,000 repeat offenders. It costs £30,000 to keep a criminal in jail. £3bln to house the lot is a very cheap deal.
Alas, Cameron talks around the issue and appears to be digging in the State and binding us to it. WE DO NOT NEED A SOCIAL COVENANT! People need to understnnad that there is CONSEQUENCES to their actions, good or bad.
So why does every report on cameron have him parroting on about video games and music as the problem behind gun crime ?
It's the same old retreat in to reactionary DailyMail/Express/Scum land
3 things to do:
1. Treat gangs as terrorist organisations, using theis country's draconian anti-terror laws. This would give police a free hand to lock up the hard core element who participate in and glorify gang culture.
2. Raise the off-sales age to 21, double or triple the price of cheap ciders, fortified wines and spirits, and prosecute those who supply alcohol to minors as drug dealers,
3. Treat violent offenders in the same way as sexual offenders. They should be listed and monitored by police, and subject to treatment orders. They could even be on the same list, as violent and sexual offenders are likely to share similar personality traits.
Cameron was quoting famous champagne socialist John Kennedy. Odd that he never finds a Conservative or Republican to quote. He quotes those he admires, and they are socialists.
The human rights act has shifted societal behaviour - in order to temper the buse of the new social rights new social laws must come into place.
The irony of human rights is that it leads to either subjective social abuse or a socially authoritarian society.
Anon: I was in a rush, and yes we do need grammar schools. Can't you read properly?
The State has insisted that it has all the answers, Governments Left and Right have sequestered more and more power to a small cabal in Whitehall. Put the pwer back in the hands of locally elected politicians not time servers in Westminster who have never known a job of work. Put the Police back onto estates instead of fortresses surrounded by barbed wire.Above all chief constables should be elected and be hired and fired on their effectiveness. A social covenant is just more hot air, and is meaningless. Action is what is required and effective action at that. A written Constitution is the first step, a Bill of rights the second step,the third step a local democracy would put a Police officer in charge, that responded to the concerns of his/her electorate, not PC hate 'crimes'.
My father always said we needed a written constitution, and how prescient was his concern!
Elected police chiefs - absolutely. It works.
Also, the fascists in power will never do it and even if Cameron got in he is too lily-livered and socialist-leaning to do it, but we need the right to bear arms. As in Texas (and probably some of the other 35-or-so states where the citizenry has the right to bear arms) you can kill someone who has entered your homestead without permission. You have the right to assume that person means you harm and you can kill him. Of course, perps know this, and burglarly is fairly rare in Texas.
In Texas, they now have the right to carry concealed. When I lived there, you could carry, but not concealed. In other words, you had to have your gun lying on the dashboard or on the seat next to you. Now you can have it in the glove compartment or your handbag.
Perps know this, too. They know that anyone they approach may be carrying. (I believe around 40% do, but that is a big, big risk for a perp to take.)
PACE isn't the problem- is the judges bending over backwards to keep the little angels out of the pokey.
And that, my friends, is down to Parliament. Parliament sets out the 12 years for murder tarriff etc.
The judges' hands are tied. If a murderer caught red handed pleas guilty, he gets an automatic 1/3 rd off his sentence. What a joke.
Further, Verity has a point. In Texas, you just know know if little missy has a handgun, so yobs (such as there are in Texas) tend not to mess with the unknown who can quite possibly kill them with impunity. Indeed, little missy would be lauded as a hero.
In this country, defend yourself against a poor little child with previous as long as your arm?! YOU are the one under scrutiny.
And to top it off, we pay these kids' benefit and give them the incentive to spend their days as wannabe gangsters rather than at work.
So no, Iain, David Camerian's "social covenant" doesn't do it for me.
"Political parties in democracies have differences that come from the soul and the belly."
Absolutely - and I don't think wild horses would ever get me to vote Tory. But that doesn't mean that you have to disagree on everything for the sake of it. Just like it being possible to oppose Al Quaeda and other Islamists without declaring war on all Moslems.
And so what is your solution - the right to carry arms as in Texas. Well that really worked there didn't it - so how does the homicide rate in Texas compare with the UK?
You may not like it - but sometimes consensus does actually work (and no i'd never vote Lib Dem either).
guthrum: Put the pwer back in the hands of locally elected politicians
No No No. All that does is make the problem closer and even more amateur, ripe for some local baron to corrupt.
The power and responsibility needs to come back to the individual. The State needs to just get the heck out of so many things.
Kris - While I appreciate your support - especially as it is so unusual in wimpy, socialist Britain, I still have to make some corrections. I do so in the service of making Texas (and the law of around 32 or 33 other states) comprehensible to British people.
First, I never encountered any yobs in Texas. Never. Don't forget: an armed society is a polite society. You just don't get the threatening element you get in England.
Your "Little Missy" whatever that is supposed to be, would not have a gun. You can't get a gun permit until you are of legal age (can't remember whether it's 18 or 21.) And you can't shoot someone for being an asshole. You have to be defending your life or property or someone else's life.
If someone - let us say, a grandmother - shoots someone who is prying open her door, she is not, as you seem to think, feted as a hero. The incident will be mentioned on the news, especially if the perp died. Someone watching the news may say, "I see that asshole died." And the other person is likely to say, "Oh yeah? If you're goin' by the supermarket, we're out of hotdogs." In other words, it is not noteworthy. To imagine such a person would be a hero is spine-tinglingly naive.
One other point: the police in Texas are on your side. Very much so. When I had a late night intruder in my yard who crept up to my windows, the police were at my house in around five or six minutes. The first question they asked was, "Where do you keep your gun?"
I showed them the drawer in the bedside table, and they said, "Maybe take it out and leave it on top of the table for tonight."
They left, and 20 minutes later, the prowler was back. By now I was really frightened and called the cops again. This time they turned up in TWO squad cars, and in the second, they were carrying rifles. They checked the yard, but again, the guy had fled.
Before they left, they warned me, "If you shoot him, be sure and drag him over the threshhold before you call us."
Well, perhaps the guy was an excitement freak, because in fact, half an hour later, he was back. Again, I called the cops. Again, they came out with two squad cars and, this time, a helicopter with a very bright spotlight which hovered over the yard. I think now it was a neighbour who was watching all this and enjoying the thrill. But who knows? I was scared to death. The cops asked whether any neighbour had seemed unusually friendly and I said no. Again, they said, "If he comes back and you shoot him, make sure he's in the house before you call us."
By this time I was a nervous wreck and was carrying my gun from room to room with me. Finally, I called a friend to come and get me. And he came over with HIS gun and I went and stayed at their house for the rest of the night.
I looked round the yard, obviously, the next day, looking for anything. A dropped cigarette, a match, footprints in the grass, anything. But nothing that could actually be used as evidence. And he never came back.
Would I have shot him? Yes. And I'd have kept shooting until I got his heart or his head. Would I have been a nervous wreck afterwards? Yes. But I would have been alive and he would have been dead.
My respect for the various police forces in Texas knows no bounds. (The police chiefs are elected, it goes without saying. They serve the voters, not liberal judges.)
The saying, "If you take away the right own to guns, only criminals will have guns" has proved true in Britain, hasn't it?
Roger- How much more amatuerish do you want Law enforcement to get, local communities know who the thugs are,not some numpty in Whitehall shoving out intiatives ! (like social covenant)
A few questions:
Why aren't offenders serving Community Service in high visibility clothing cleaning grafitti and litter ? This would improve the environment, humiliate offenders, make the law-abiders feel that justice had been done - it would also enhance confidence in the community.
Why didn't Mr Cameron mention 'zero tolerance' ? Or did I miss it ? Does he fully understand the publics' need for fear to be displaced on to the thugs ?
Why are magistrates still issuing driving bans to unlicensed drivers ??? I this a deliberate ploy to deceive the public that stern action is being taken against offenders ? They ain't foolin' no one.
Why are clever-dicks (who form the major part of our political and legal elite) so easily outwitted by chavs ? Do they not realise how diminished they are in the eyes of ordinary people ? Do they care ?
And the big one:
Why do the Conservatives (of all people) perpetuate the outright lie that we are ALL to blame ? They know full well the feelings and insecurities of the silent majority and have chosen to distance themselves from their natural supporters to fight a 'center ground' which is, in fact, way over to the left. We are left alone, abandoned ... and bloody frightened. Over the years our desires with regard to law and order have been ignored. Cameron's slight against the vulnerable and decent needs to be corrected in the interests of honesty and fairness.
If Mr Brown has any sense he will call a snap election - I feel that this could precipitate the end of the Conservative party if it misses this latest open goal against New Labour. Perhaps that would be no bad thing.
Just saw jack Straw on Sunday News 24 - he looked and sounded like the Bhopal chief of operations engineer who had realised that his actions had caused so much destruction and misery.
"Britain outlawed the possession of handguns in 1997 in response to the massacre of 16 children, and the country has one of the lowest gun homicide rates in the world — 0.04 slayings per 100,000 people, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey for 2004. The rate is roughly 100 times higher in the U.S.: 3.42 gun murders per 100,000 people."
Taken from the Houston Chronicle at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/5082624.html
Yet Verity argues for Texan gun laws to be introduced here! Completely bonkers! What next putting out fires using petrol?
Tory Boys NGU, Thanks for the link. Most of us had never heard of Dunblane or Slimy Blair's excuse for disarming the British and making them dependent on a soviet police force and a Soviet "Home Secretary" for "protection".
It's terribly irritating to have to debate such unworldly people.
I will say this in simple terms. Think of me as your imam speaking to your lame-brained co-religionists:
Dunblane was the act of a madman. Most people are not bonkers. He was.
He was so bonkers that he should not have been allowed a firearm. He was on a register of bonkers people.
There are 60m people in Britain. One madman perpetrated an outrage 30 years ago. It follows that that 60m should be at the mercy of scum who have come by illegal guns into the foreseeable future. I don't see the sense in this, and neither, to be fair,does the left, but it's all about controlling the population and having them subservient.
The figures you quote showing we have a low gun death rate are fixed. Are you saying Switzerland, Norway, Sweden,Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, France, Spain,Finland, Portugal, Denmark, Holland, New Zealand,Germany all have higher gun deaths than we do? Why did I have to put down my cup of tea from laughing?
Who runs this Geneva Small Arms Survey outfit? Scared to tell us? Don't know? But you quote it anyway?
"The rate is roughly 100 times higher in the U.S." Where in the US? Do you understand that the US is a very big country with 50 states, all of them with many different laws? Do you understand that the UK would fit into Texas 3 1/2 times? Just to elucidate, that means that Texas alone is 3 1/2 times as big as Britain. There are 49 other states.
You've never been to N America, but I feel far safer in Texas than I do anywhere in Britain. That's because the police forces aren't run by stale old Trots reeking of marijuana fumes. They're run by elected officials answerable at the ballot box.
The degradation of Britain has been deliberate, from disarming a citizenry that had never been noticably dramatic around guns, to importing hordes of individuals from primitive cultures. It has all been part of making people dependent on the state and destroying the social fabric of the country.
How does the Texas murder rate compare with the UK? I don't know and I'm not going to Google it for you. But when you Google it yourself, feverishly seeking new evidence, be aware that "homicide" includes killing in self-defence or defence of one's property. So a lot of dead were oxygen thieves anyway.
The thing that irritates me about socialists is, you are all so predictable. If you would like to have the day to yourself sometime, let us know and we will write your posts for you.
Electro-Kevin - In Texas - yes, Texas again, because it works - people doing community service wear fluourescent orange overalls with the legend TEXAS PRISON SERVICE in large letters stencilled on the back. They clean the litter along the highways and freeways and they are extremely visible.
I agree with Eletro-Kevin. The Conservative Party should wither and die (it is anyway) as they are pointless and without direction. So far Cameron has claimed he's the heir to the hated Blair (wow! Talk about misapprehending the electorate!),he has quoted John F Kennedy that famous rich liberal president and Hillary Clinton, the probably Democratic nominee for president next year. He regurgitates their old leftie thoughts. Isn't anyone in the Conservative Party thinking of any new solutions to clean up the socialist destruction all round them? They have to hark back to a socialist American president and a social American would-be president? And the disgraced Tony Blair, for God's sake! They're a spent force.
David Davis has provided some imaginative and welcome suggestions today. So let's see how Jacqui Smith responds - she needs to sort this business out.
I'm late to the discussion here, but, to chime in with a few points:
1) It seems to me targeting the sociological "causes of crime" approach is overly ambitious. Provide people with a good economy and solid education system by all means, but there's not a whole lot that government can do besides that. All this talk of lack of role models and the bad influence of gangsta culture leaves me underwhelmed. While no doubt these things do add to an atmosphere that encourages violent crime, what exactly can government do about them?
2) Last time I looked Britain's murder rate was still only 1/8th or so of America's, so you must be doing something right. As a Yank, I'd frankly be tickled pink if the USA had to deal with Britain's (much smaller) violence "problem". I mean no disrespect to the victims or families impacted by the recent violence, of course. But by world standards the United Kingdom is still a remarkably peaceful place.
3) What government can do, of course, is provide swift, efficient justice and effective policing targeting those who commit violent crimes, and those who would seek to profit from violent crime through the sale of firearms.
4) A big part of "3" (above) means putting violent offenders in prison, where they no longer represent a threat to the general public. Imprisoning large numbers of people should make everyone a bit squeamish. And America's record in this respect is frankly a national scandal (America imprisons a shockingly high percentage of its population). What I don't think is right is to put non-violent offenders in jail. But I don't see an alternative to putting away violent criminals. And without a doubt, such a strategy has played an important role in helping the US reduce the incidence of violent crime. It's not pretty. And it sure isn't cheap. But building prisons and confining violent criminals inside them has to play a role in any civilization's quest to protect itself from its most violent elements.
5) Finally, though there's not much that can be done about knives (we all have to cut out meat and vegetables, after all), I suspect Britain could redouble its efforts to remain a relatively firearms-free country. Again, this isn't cheap, and will likely mean hiring more police specifically charged with the task of going after the illegal guns trade. But making it once again difficult to obtain an illegal gun in Britain will surely go a long way toward reducing the level of murder and mayhem on British streets. As I argue incessantly (and regrettably to little effect) to pro-gun Americans, being forced to rely on knives and fists turns many a would-be murder into a survivable assault.
Intelligence on Gangs, special police squads and resources in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Nottingham Tough Action on Gangs and Guns. Aspire youngsters to simething better. Disrupt gangs by targeting drugs, key members and leaders.
Jasper - Your post was so ignorant and naive that it's hard to know where to begin.
Gun crime - Britain one-eighth of America, blah blah blah ... By which set of figures, Jasper? British population around 60m - according to the government. American population around 320m. In which states do your figure apply? Is this in states where only criminals have guns, rather than law-abiding citizens (I suspect that is what you are quoting)? You lefties do like to confuse legitimate shooting to save life and propertyh with "gun deaths".
You will have to do me a per capita gun crime rate before I have any interest in your fanciful post. And even then, it would have to be "gun crime", not citizens defending their homes and businesses and killing perps as part of that.
You write, Jason, the controlling lefty statement that, "
I suspect Britain could redouble its efforts to remain a relatively firearms-free country."
Oh, really? Is that what you "suspect"? Did we vote for this? I must have missed this vote.
One: Do we want to? Not the hell as far as I am concerned, Jason. Are you from Massachusetts? You have the right level of self-righteousness and preachiness. Like Ted Kennedy. BTW, anyone died in his car lately?
Two: could you let us know, Jason, how Britain could "redouble its efforts" - of which I firmly disapprove - to remain a relatively country relatively free of firearms of which you personally, a non-British citizen, would approve?
What kind of mad ambition is that?
Jason notes: "Again, this isn't cheap, and will likely mean hiring more police specifically charged with the task of going after the illegal guns trade."
Even if I were on your side of the fence, sweetheart, which will not happen in this lifetime, this statement is beyond stupid. You know nothing of British policing and British funding of police departments.
"3) What government can do, of course, is provide swift, efficient justice and effective policing targeting those who commit violent crimes, and those who would seek to profit from violent crime through the sale of firearms."
Oh, God, Jason, the Marx Brothers have been so sorely missed! Thanks for some Sunday evening entertainment!
But, wait for it! It gets better! "4) A big part of "3" (above) means putting violent offenders in prison, where they no longer represent a threat to the general public." Hey! Why didn't we think of that?
"Imprisoning large numbers of people should make everyone a bit squeamish." Well, not me, but if it makes lefties like you squeamish, that's a plus.
(As a matter of record, I think you're criminally insane and should be locked up. But that's a matter for our American cousins.)
You are parochially ignorant of the laws and mores outside your own country. You are desperately ignorant of the issues. Lesson: British history (we go back 2,000 or more years, you know, so we have a stake in our territory) and we've had a Bill of Rights for over 800 years that Tony Blair tore up.
So, Jason, I have a suggestion for you, and I mean it kindly: You are nowhere near informed enough or worldly enough to be commenting on the legal issues of countries other than your own. You are also not eloquent enough and you seem to be bereft of original thought. You might want to consider that.
1. Build more prisons - urgently:
2. Provide free heroin on prescription (also other highly addictive drugs, crack cocaine etc);
3. Remove administrative burden on police forces; more police presence on streets; re-introduce the 'sus' law;
4. Review sentencing policy, introduce 'deterrent' and 'tariff' sentences;
5. Abolish Human Rights Act;
6. Abolish 24 hour licensing;
7. Introduce costs orders on heads of households for court costs incurred by their progeny;
And that's for starters.
If Dave promised this he wouldn't lose any votes, I reckon.
Gun crime - Britain one-eighth of America, blah blah blah ... By which set of figures, Jasper? British population around 60m - according to the government. American population around 320m. In which states do your figure apply?
Verily: Oh, you mean the US has a larger population than the UK? Geez, thanks -- a free lesson in demographics! (and here's a free one for you: America's population is estimated to now be at about 303 million, but thanks for the extra 17 million Yanks.).
Actually, I was referring, obviously, to the per capita homicide rate (I didn't say "gun crime rate, so please don't misquote). Admittedly, the rate I was quoting was from memory, but I think I'm on pretty firm ground in stating that Americans are significantly more murderous than their British cousins. Is this really controversial? And yes, I am from Massachusetts -- how'd you guess? (don't blame me, blame your bloody ancestors for setting us up in business!). And yes, apparently your compatriots' attitude with respect to firearms has traditionally been closer to this Yank's, given the UK's traditionally strict (and sensible, I might add) regulations. You sound to me like a disgruntled Brit pro-gun libertarian. Am I right? We've got plenty of room for you in Alabama if your lust for a Kalashnikov ever finally drives you from dear old Blighty! (-:
this statement is beyond stupid. You know nothing of British policing and British funding of police departments.
Why is it "beyond stupid" to suggest that Britain employ police specializing in the gun black market if said market is indeed a driver of violent crime? You may be right that the concept is not very likely to materialize in the UK given historical and political realities, of course, but merely asserting the idea is "stupid" hardly proves your case. (and any way, I'd frankly be surprised to learn that there are no British police concentrating on the guns black market; is this really so?) In his post Iain specifically states "We need to learn from from them how they have tackled it and reduced it." Well, as an American, I'm here to tell you we have this thing called the ATF Bureau which is a holdover from prohibition days whose main focus is now illegal firearms. Given the fact that in the US so much of the firearms trade isn't illegal, the ATF's scope may not be that large, nor its role that critical. But in a country such as the United Kingdom that rightly recognizes the link between widespread gun distribution and murder, police forces devoted specifically to the firearms black market could play an important role. Or at least I think they could. Of course, to disagree with me one probably would have to seriously believe that it's not easier to obtain an illegal gun in the UK than it was, say, 30 or 40 years ago, or that this greater availability has no bearing on Britain's murder rate. Right. Whatever. Thanks for giving me my morning chuckle. Tee hee. No need to turn on "BBC America" for a dose of Benny Hill.
Jasper - Well, I scored a direct hit there. Frankly, it didn't take much talent to guess you were a product of Massachusetts, a state for which I have zero respect. No guns and Teddy Kennedy. Jeez. How grim can it get?
I'm not going to reply to you point by point because your assumptions are so ignorant and naive that there is no starting point. You have absolutely no idea how crime figures are compiled in Britain. You just don't know. You naively relate everything back to the United States, whose laws are absolutely irrelevant to Britain because THEY DO NOT APPLY. You do not know who the major players are and how they got there. Geddit? Your silly little assumptions are based on your American experience - indeed, your MA experience, which is even worse.
Study British law for a few years, monitor this government and read the 10 years of its appalling history of mismanaging crime and the economy (they're related), and then come back to us with some suggestions not already made many times by genuine Britons who know the score.
You have nothing new to add. You have nothing to bring to the table. You are a dead weight.
Don't worry zero respect from Verity is pretty much a badge of honour.
I always find it illuminating to go back to the first posting by Verity in any thread and see how it relates to the original posting.
In this case Verity offers a written consititution and Texas style gun law as the answer to gang violence and the c50 teenage child murders that we get each year in the UK - but has yet to offer any cogent mechanism as to how such measures would have any positive effect. In addition, we are governed by a Fascist government and the David Cameron is a socialist. Clearly the ramblings of a political genius.
Or perhaps Verity is a satirical genius?
Frankly, it didn't take much talent to guess you were a product of Massachusetts.
Well, given your lack thereof, I guess that's a good thing.
You have absolutely no idea how crime figures are compiled in Britain.
Don't be absurd. You're not seriously suggesting that it is impossible to compile statistics comparing different nations, are you? I don't need to know how crime figures are compiled in Britain, the USA, or any other state for that matter. Experts with far more knowledge about the subject than either of us have done the sums, and they're available for the googling.
You naively relate everything back to the United States, whose laws are absolutely irrelevant to Britain because THEY DO NOT APPLY.
I'm not basing my arguments on US law -- please read more carefully. I'm basing my argument on the utterly non-controversial observation (at least according to the criminologists) that a well-armed criminal population is a deadly criminal population - no matter what the law says. Firearms simply make killing easier. That is, after all, what the infernal things were invented for.
You have nothing new to add. You have nothing to bring to the table. You are a dead weight.
I'm crushed by the withering wit of your stinging, highly original insults. You've read a lot of Oscar Wilde, haven't you?
Britain has much worse crime rates than the USA. According to the UN Britain in 2002 had 9,766 crimes per 100,000 population. The equivalent figure for the USA was 8,517 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/12/01/ncrime01.xml).
According to http://www.csdp.org/research/hosb1203.pdf, the USA's homicide rate is about 5.6 per 100,000 compared to 2.6 in the UK and about 22 in Russia. So it's only about twice as high.
As Verity has pointed out, "homicide" in the US includes citizens righteously offing scrotes who try to murder them. The homicide rate is thus likely to be higher simply because it is possible for citizens to defend themselves.
If Tom ap Rhys Price (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/01/14/nstab14.xml) had had a gun, there would have been two dead scrotes instead of one dead lawyer. In the USA that is what you'd get and it shows in the statistics. So quite honestly it seems to me that the USA's homicide rate is
a/ something to be proud of and b/ something to be thankful for
because it is the reason why US crime generally is a lot lower.
The correct response to crime is to recognise that most of it is done by a tiny minority who have already come to police attention. So give them 3 strikes and they're out: on their third offence, they go to jail for ever.
This would entail building probably 50 prisons, but they would be excellent value. the costs of all forms of insurance would fall because nothing would be stolen any more; the costs of maintaining public infrastructure would fall because there'd be no more vandalism; and the cost and development times of new drugs would fall, because you could test them on the lifers in exchange for one extra cigarette a week, or soft toilet paper, or fewer beatings, or something else that the scrotes would appreciate in the pokey.
Once we have the criminals behind bars, we can start on the remainder of the problem, i.e. the police and the judiciary.
I had an idea for crime control that I've been touting around for at least a couple of years, and it addresses the elephant in the living room: almost all serious crime (GBH) is executed by young men.
It could work in tandem with John Redman's suggestions, above.
Prison would be an awful, and at the same time boring, experience. No TV, computers, gym, etc. Having to work eight hours a day, inside the prison, to earn their keep.
I proposed that the first time one of these little shits was tried and found guilty, there should a mandatory prison sentence that would be long enough to give him an intense disaste for prison, but not long enough to corrupt him and/or enable him to find his way round and operate the system.
Second offence, a mandatory much longer sentence. Perhaps a mandatory five years with no parole. This would serve to concentrate their "minds" and at the same time, keep them out of the way of society at large.
Once out, if he commits a third offence, banged up until his 40th birthday. Mandatory. This is in recognition of thefact that crime is a young man's game. They run out of steam as they get older.
Also, at that age, some of their old mates will have come off the game and got employment. Some will have married and settled. Some will have moved away. In other words, there would be no old gang for our prisoner to slip back into. And 40 is too old to start looking for a new gang of mates with whom to commit offences.
Too bad and all that, but they would get their chance with their first sentence, which would not be so harsh as to harden them, but would show them what deterrents society has up its sleeve.
Anyone who is stupid enough to get banged up for the third time is not going to be a danger to anyone by age 40. Younger men won't want to know, and his old mates will be long dispersed.
I forgot to add that these sentences would be mandatory under the law. I think we need to taking sentencing out of the hands of judges until they get the message that society - any society - is basically conservative. Judges should preside over the case but not be involved in any way in sentencing.
Per John Redman
You could at least quote the source correctly - the figure you give for the UK should be about 1.6 per 100,000. So the US figures are three times as high. The figure you give is for London -although we could compare that with major US cities and find that the gap is even wider.
As Verity has pointed out, "homicide" in the US includes citizens righteously offing scrotes who try to murder them. The homicide rate is thus likely to be higher simply because it is possible for citizens to defend themselves.
This is again garbage - you are right that the US figures include justifiable homicides, but these amount to only 500-600 per year about 5% of total homicides. If you don't believe me look at the US Dept of Justice figures here
There may be other arguments for the rights to carry arms - but to argue that it would lead to a reduction in the UK murder rate as you and Verity argue based on what happens in the US/Texas is just not sustainable.
An armed society is a polite society. The presence of guns has the desirable side effect of eliminating yobbishness.
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