Saturday, August 13, 2011

Retribution against the rioters? You must be joking - I'm a taxpayer.

Just a brief thought for the day : it now looks quite possible that parliament will debate the draconian idea of withdrawing benefits from those convicted of looting, after the e-petition demanding that no taxpayers' money should be spent on the rioters passed the 'magic number' of 100,000 signatures (ie. less than 0.2% of the UK population). But it strikes me that an awful lot of those 100,000 people would probably also demand that those found guilty should spend a significant period of time in prison - which would, of course, entail 'putting them up' at taxpayers' expense.

Perhaps we should instead begin by working out what our objective in punishing criminals actually is, and then we can devise a more coherent way forward. Do we want retribution at any cost, or do we want to claw back every last penny of public money from the "unworthy"? We really can't do both.

And dare I mention the dirty word 'rehabilitation' at this point...?

4 comments:

  1. Rehabilitation sounds lovely. What do you propose?

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  2. I'm wondering what the effects of this will be on society in general. I mean, surely this sanction will not just be applied to those who have caused Cameron, Johnston and May to cut short their holiday.

    It will be necessary for benefits to be stopped for those who have committed other crimes.

    Even if it is only those which damage the local environment, that could include littering, allowing dogs to foul the pavement and parks, graffiti sprayers, double parkers, people who drop their cigarette butts, people who fight or make noise or breach the peace in some other way.

    Given that they will lose their housing benefits too, we are all going to be tripping over them on the pavements.

    Who do we sue if there are injuries from resultant falls?

    Can anyone point me in the direction of one single policy initiated by this fool that hasn't been riddled with holes and couldn't be torn apart by a 10 year old.

    That's the problem with a mediocre PR man with connections being promoted well beyond his capabilities and then put on the spot.

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  3. "Can anyone point me in the direction of one single policy initiated by this fool that hasn't been riddled with holes and couldn't be torn apart by a 10 year old."

    The Big Society?

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