Wednesday 2 December 2009

Did I miss a memo or something?

I see that the Home Office is making noises like they finally understand that central control of the Police and how they work is not a good thing. On the face of it, this is wonderful. But really, does anyone believe that they will actually chop the rules and "guidance" (and especially targets!) they have? Or is it more likely that the existing rules will be "simplified" and "clarified" and absolutely fuck all will change?

But one thing stood out for me:

In a White Paper to be published later today, the Home Office will set out policies it says will improve police accountability, increase public confidence in officers and help tackle anti-social behaviour.

Why is there this continual banging on about anti-social behaviour? What happened to "fighting crime"? Is "anti-social behaviour" really that much more important than crime?

There are two things I see here, and I'd like to ask you to put your tin foil hats on for a moment.

Firstly: is crime (against individuals) being lowered in priority by the "justice" system, when compared to "crime" against the state? It certainly seems that way, when a pensioner not paying their council tax gets shoved in jail, but rapists (and not just one or two!) get a police caution.

Secondly: who gets to decide what is anti-social behaviour, then? Which group of wise men and women will decide for us what is anti-social and what is not? Could it be that the government will make this choice for us? Gosh, aren't we lucky that such an agreeable bunch are taking our best interests to heart?

And of course, they would never, ever denormalise things like smoking and drinking or eating too much or driving or leaving the lights on so that these can be classified as "anti-social behaviour", would they? Only a complete madman would imagine that the end-game might be a society where the state controls what you eat, what you drink, how you travel, how much energy you use and what you think.

Because, of course, things like smoking have not been denormalised, have they? There are no campaigns afoot to denormalise drinking or eating or driving, are there? Big business is in no way complicit with the government in encouraging our concerns for their rent-seeking profits and curtailing our lifestyleGaia to make us change our behaviour in a way that it deems appropriate, based on incredibly weak data.

Now, I don't believe there is a cabal somewhere that is sitting in a smoky room somewhere, planning all this. Primarily because they've banned smoking indoors in public buildings and they would never be so hypocritical as to exempt themselves from such inanities, would they?

Seriously though, I don't think it's a deliberate cabal, but it's the mindset of a growing section of our society that they know better than we do how we should live our lives, not so much a Militant Tendency as a Managerialist Tendency. There is far too much willingness to defer to "experts" without a hint of either common sense or what people actually want from their lives.

So I can't see this changing anything for the better, but I am increasingly worried about where this country is going.

You can take your hats off now, you cunts.


JuliaM said...

"Firstly: is crime (against individuals) being lowered in priority by the "justice" system, when compared to "crime" against the state?"

To a certain extent, hasn't it always been that way?

"Secondly: who gets to decide what is anti-social behaviour, then?"

It's just the new name for the sort of behaviour that would once have been kept in check by social disapproval and morals.

"Only a complete madman would imagine that..."

Book my place in bedlam, then...

Dippyness. said...

Anti-social behaviour = Anyone who dares complain or protest against the Labour Gov., Or the plods.
Kids smashing up cars, yobs & chavs breeding dogs as weapons don't count!

Perhaps if they spent less on media advertising or more on training plods..I'd believe 'em!
Plods obey their masters...The Labour Gov & themselves.

Anonymous said...

Lol, feeling a bit anti-social myself today Obo.

Don't you dare give my IP address to the plod or the following may pan out....(Sweeney style)

"You'll never take me alive filthy copper"

"Shut it you slaaag"


"Right then George, let's get down the rub-a-dub for a couple of sharpeners"

"OK Guv, I know a great place where we can go afterwards for some action"

"Oh Yeah?"

"Yeah, there's a G20 summit on...."

etc etc.

Otto said...

There are two aspects to this.

Firstly, it is a longterm policy of the Enemy Class / progressives generally to lower the status of crimes against the person generally compared with crimes against the state and crimes against favoured minorities.

For example, the low status of "non-violent property crime" is because our rulers see private property as something some how dirty over which no private person really has any rights. When we first heard this expression, we thought they were really only referring to shoplifting, but now we know better that it includes burglary and even large fraud.

Secondly, the Enemy Class will talk the talk on almost any subject under the sun if they think they'll get a few votes out of it, or good press, or take the pressure off themselves. What is important is not what they say, but, of course, what they do. We know they are going to do nothing about anti-social behaviour except encourage the growth of an underclass.

microdave said...

"our rulers see private property as something somehow dirty over which no private person really has any rights."

You got that in one - you can now be fined for PARKING ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY!!!!

Leg-iron said...

A crackdown on anti-socialist behaviour was always on the cards.

Roue le Jour said...

microdave, that parking story is outrageous. We're ticketing you on your own land, because we can.

Beyond parody.

von Spreuth. said...

Dippyness. said...

Kids smashing up cars, yobs & chavs breeding dogs as weapons don't count!

Of COURSE not. Because THEY are your past, present and future "labour voters".

formertory said...

rapists (and not just one or two!) get a police caution.

Now, now, none of yer pish, noo. Alleged rapists. If there's no chance of a prosecution succeeding, then to get a tick in a box the Police will go for a caution. It doesn't automatically mean a rapist got off with a caution. It means someone who was accused of rape in circumstances which mean there's no chance of a prosecution succeeding, accepted a caution to avoid any further action. Even though the further action would probably be nothing if the case couldn't be proved. Remember "beyond all reasonable doubt"?

If everyone accused of rape was automatically assumed to be guilty, there'd be a lot of innocent men locked up. The Daily Mail just shows how stupid it and its readers are when it gets on this bandwagon.

And no, I am NOT minimising the vicious nature of a terrible crime. Just pointing out that we're supposed to have a rule of law, not mob rule.

bayard said...

"To a certain extent, hasn't it always been that way?"

Well, since the replacement of restorative justice by fines paid to the state that took place at the Norman conquest, yes. In those days, property owners were the state and since then crimes against property and the state have always been punished more heavily than crimes against the person.

Rob said...

The police described the crimes against Fiona Pilkington as "anti-social behaviour". They included abduction and unlawful detention of her son, threats with a deadly weapon, criminal damage to property, attempted arson.

All described as "anti-social behaviour", so not crimes and so not necessary for the police to actually do anything about them.

The Political Class switches off when the phrase "anti-social behaviour" is mentioned. For them, it is someone playing their iPod too loudly on the Tube, or the modern equivalent of kids scrumping for apples. They assume it is as trivial for everyone else as well.

For the rest of the country, for pensioners, people on housing estates, normal people, "anti-social behaviour" is threats, criminal damage, people pissing against their property, people dumping rubbish in their gardens, damage to cars, verbal and physical abuse in the streets.