Skip to main content

Easy to sound tough on crime

When it comes to crime in politics, it is easy enough to sound tough.  The honest answers usually seem 'soft'.  So, come general elections we expect to hear a tough talk on crime.

Tony Blair found a beautiful message in 1997: "Tough on crime; touch on the causes of crime."  It encapsulated the need to tackle crime at its roots, rather than simply deliver tough sentences.

It is perhaps inevitable that crime, once again,  hits centre stage with London Bridge Terrorist attack.  Here was a man, a convicted terrorist,  who had been released early.   The Tories seized the moment to lay blame on Labour and the Criminal Justice Act, 2003.  This, they said, set in train the early release process that led to the release of .....

It is a diversionary tactic from the scrutiny of a justice system and policing struggling through underfunding for nearly a decade of Tory rule.

Boris Johnson bottled out of the proposed interview with Andrew Neil on BBC television. Still, when he finally appeared this Sunday on the Andrew Marr, he blamed everyone else for almost everything the Tory government did during their decade in office.   It was all the fault of the previous Labour government.  He also appeared to disown his own party by saying he hadn't supported austerity.

Boris Johnson now says we need harsher sentencing.  This is odd because the 2003 Act provided for just that: harsher sentences.

As for the early release scheme, the Tories had a decade of reviews to change it.  What they did do was speed the process up.   Furthermore, the programme remains a central feature of the Justice Department's planning.

The plan published by the  Justice Department on their Website makes this clear. 

"5.2 Reduce the use of prison and increase the use of community and alternative sentences
How we will achieve this
Develop options for restricting the use of short custodial sentences
Implement a new Release on Temporary Licence policy framework
Consider ways to increase the use of non-custodial sanctions"
So, there it is.  While the last Labour government played a significant part in setting up the early release process, the Tories extended its use.  Now, of course, no doubt it will be abolished.   


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't

Noise pollution puts nature at risk

 "I just want a bit of peace and quiet!" Let's get away from all the hustle and bustle; the sound of endless traffic on the roads, of the trains on the railway, and the planes in the sky; the incessant drone; the noise. We live in a world of man-made noise; screeching, bellowing, on-and-on in an unmelodious cacophony.  This constant background noise has now become a significant health hazard.   With average background levels of 60 decibels, those who live in cities are often exposed to noise over 85 decibels, enough to cause significant hearing loss over time.  It causes stress, high blood pressure, headache and loss of sleep and poor health and well-being.   In nature, noise has content and significance.  From the roar of the lion, the laughing of a hyena,  communication is essential for life; as the warning of danger, for bonding as a group or a pair, finding a mate, or for establishing a position in a hierarchy - chattering works.  Staying in touch is vital to working

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba