Saturday, July 19, 2008

Deconstructing the Socialist's War On Law & Order In Britain (Updated)

In Britain, socialists, with their modern belief in multiculturalism, dominate government, academia and much of the news industry. Britain embraced socialism in the immediate aftermath of WWII as a means of righting a deeply troubled class based system. To their credit, the socialists solved that problem. But the socialists have gone far beyond, embracing multiculturalism and creating their own immense problems by undermining almost all of the pillars of British society. Britain is, in essence, a laboratory for the ills of modern socialism in an anglo democracy.

[Update: Within a few days of posting this, I was directed to a Labour Party proposal to allow for local elections of the police leadersip. This is a sea change and as about as unlikely an event as Nancy Pelosi embracing offshore drilling. It may well be a measure born of desperation, given the Sword of Damoclese under which the Labour Party electoral fortunes now sit. None the less, the plan looks viable. Interestingly, it is drawing fire from some conservatives. I have posted on it here. It obviously renders the first two points I raise below moot.]

I posted below, in Britain's Devil's Advocates, that perhaps the most dangerous way in which socialists were destroying British society was a failure to impose law and order. Soon after I had written that post, the Home Office released a report showing a 9% drop in violent crime in Britain. The report was trumpeted as proof of the success of the socialist Labour Party by arguably the most risible den of multicultural elitists in the whole of the chattering class – the BBC. It was all positively Orwellian.

This post is meant to analyze the why and how of what the socialists are doing to undermine law and order in Britain. The starting point is looking underneath the great statistics to see what is really going on:

Labour’s superlative crime statistics are an attempt to magically change chicken excreta into chicken salad. This from the blog Burning Your Money:

. . . Over the decade since that tough on crime supremo took over, police recorded crime is up 7% (1997-98 to 2007-08). And when you probe beneath the totals, crimes of violence turn out to be up much MUCH more.

As the chart above shows, the increase in really bad stuff is nearly 70%. What's that? Ah yes, of course - we're not allowed to make that comparison because during the last ten years, the Home Office changed its counting rules for recorded crime not once, but twice. Twice. Is it any wonder nobody trusts the stats? Well, you know what? We're making the comparison anyway. And we're saying to the Home Office and the BBC, the reason we don't believe you is that the official stats are about as reliable as a one-careful-owner Renault Megane from Arthur Daley. We'd rather believe the evidence of our own eyes - such as the letter I have in front of me right now from our local police warning us of a spate of violent break-ins, and advising us to phone 999 at the slightest sign of a sledgehammer coming through the frontdoor. . . .

What is happening in Britain is a case book study in why socialists / multiculturalists have no business being put in charge of running a lemonade stand, let alone a country. The problem is fourfold.

One, socialists are statists. They suffer under the dual fallacy that the common man is not to be trusted and that the world will function better only if they, the elite, are making the decisions. Democracy is merely a distraction for these people. They centralize and accrue power. And that includes centralized control over policing throughout the country. The local police are ultimately controlled and appointed by the central government. Thus it is no surprise whatsoever that the biggest complaint I hear from my friends in Britain is that the local police are not responsive to the community.

It would seem patently obvious that if you want to make the police responsive to local concerns, you would give the locals the hiring and firing authority over their local police leadership through elections. No more appointments from above and minimal regulation of standards.

Ah, but that would violate the very first tenet of the multicultural left - that they are superior and the decisions should be left to them. Therefore, when last year John Reid, Labour's then Home Secretary, pondered how to better increase the accountability of local police to the local populace, the mere mention of local elections did not even pass his lips. Instead, he suggested giving out phone numbers directly to the police station. It was stupefying.

But it gets worse. When you have centralized control, there is of course tremendous pressure to show that the central planners are doing their job well. Thus you get things such as proposed "policing standards" from the Home Office that curiously seem to have no connection whatsoever with police efficiency:

Guidelines ordering police to respond to emergency calls within three hours and to attend less urgent incidents such as burglaries within three days have been drawn up by the Home Office.

Three hours? That of course was not a standard drawn up to improve law and order. It was a standard drawn up in response to the public perception of failing law and order and a police force that is unseen and unresponsive. Clearly it was a gambit by the socialists in the central government so that they can claim in the future that police are responding to 99.99% of all calls within the prescribed time standard. Voila. A Labour statistical masterpiece to be reported prominently on the telly. Who are you going to believe about police responsiveness, Gordo and the Beeb news reader or your lying eyes?

Two, because socialists believe in their own superiority, what they do best – and most – is regulate. The answer to any problem is not to devolve power or deregulate, but rather to pass a new law or regulation on top of the existing ones. Thus you have an ever growing nightmare of bureaucracy and red tape that takes police off the streets and otherwise detracts from them doing their job.

Please do not mistake anything that I write here as a knock on the British police per se. I have no doubt that the average individual officers are as fine as you will find anywhere. The socialist system in control of the British police is another matter entirely. For example, this a few months ago from a British Police Inspector who blogs under the nom de guerre of Inspector Gadget:

We are very nearly finished in Ruralshire Constabulary. It is chaos and it can only be a matter of days. Someone has to turn off the life support machine. Politically Correct to the point of insanity (Home Office ‘Equalities’ Circular Number 10 of November 2002 is now being enforced in Ruralshire - this bans the use of the terms ‘homosexual or homosexuality’ and demands the use of the term ‘gay’ instead ) and immersed in the enormous chaos of another complete reorganisation of the Divisions various units, we are literally imploding.

We have just had to take another twenty or so officers off the streets to provide the staff for three new units. These units will be fighting a desperate rear-guard action for the next few months to increase our performance in the Customer Satisfaction area. These officers are not actually going to do anything to help our ‘customers’, they are simply going to concentrate on making hundreds of calls to victims to check their satisfaction levels.

And see his related posts on the effect of centralized control and massive overregulation of the police here, here, and here.

Onto the third component of imploding law and order in Britain. Socialists want to win elections, and thus those wonderful statistics you see that show crime ever dropping and more arrests being made involve a tremendous amount of gaming the system. This means targeted policing that distorts priorities and leaves everyone, the police included, jaded and cynical.

For example, there was this story not long ago:

Police spent months gathering statements from 542 people who donated money to a youngster who collected £700 for Comic Relief but then kept it.The case was then recorded as 542 crimes of obtaining money by deception, boosting detection rates even though the youngster only received a warning, the Police Federation conference in Blackpool heard yesterday. It also emerged that an unidentified child in North Wales received a "penalty notice for disorder" (PND) for chalking on the pavement.

The cases were highlighted as absurd examples of the "target culture" reviled by many rank and file officers in England and Wales, which is "criminalising middle England".

The critics say pressure to boost the apparent success rate against crime forces police to make ridiculous decisions and use arrests, cautions or fines for trivial incidents which would not previously have been treated as crimes.

Investigation of more serious offences is then neglected. . .

Read the rest of the story here. You can also troll through the archives of the Police Inspectors blog and find countless examples.

The fourth component of Labour’s destruction of law and order is by far the most insidious. It begins with the socialist / multiculturalist mindset - a philosopy right out of the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto - that Western society is at the root of today's problems. Indeed, it is so ensconced in the psyche of Britain's hard left socialists that there is largely a complete refusal to see reality on that score. For one crystal clear example, as I pointed out in the post Britain’s Devil’s Advocates, there is that dyed in the wool socialist, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury:

[The Archbishop] is doing to Christianity what Labour is doing to Britain. He is the man who prior to this day had praised Islam, damned America as an imperialist nation to a crowd of Muslims, blamed America for Muslim violence against Christians in the Middle East, refused to proselytize for Christianity among Muslims, and advocated implementing at least parts of Sharia law in Britain. The Archbishop's latest assault on the Christian faith has come in an apologia to Muslims for the violent history of Christianity and what seems an apology for one of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith - the Trinity.

I could give hundreds of examples, but one more will suffice - the BBC, with their recent drama showing a British Christian beheading a Muslim in an act of terrorism. Boy, that one has a real basis in reality. Counting Cats quotes Melanie Phillips on this issue: "It is really quite obscene that the BBC repeatedly portrays the victims of mass murder – Americans, Israelis – as its perpetrators and its actual perpetrators as victims."

Thus the logic is that Western society is bad and either should not be defended or the defense should be ameliorated by recognition that those attacking Western society are at least partially justified in doing so. Society itself is at the root of crime. With that mindset permeating the justice system, the system changes its emphasis. No longer is punishing the crime and bringing fair retribution to its victim the top priority. It is replaced as the top priority by rehabilitation of the offender. This is often accomplished using "alternative sentencing" rather then jail time. While rehabilitation is a laudable goal to be sure, the motivation to rehabilitate itself disappears when it is divorced from meaningful punishment. In other words, when socialists prioritize rehabilitation over punishment and no longer see punishment as a necessary element of rehabilitation, then law and order really begins to fall apart. And that is what we are seeing in Britain today.

Three examples highlight this last component. Inspector Gadget complains of this often. He has an example spot on in his blog today:

Interesting Radio 4 Interview at the "Foundation 4 Life" youth project this morning. They deliver ‘Behaviour Modification Workshops’ for young people who are offending or considered to be at risk of offending/ re-offending. . . .

Two of the youths involved were interviewed. Born and living in this country, they were, never the less, very hard to understand. One of them was asked about the new Government plan for 5 year sentences for knife crime:

"My Boys don’t care about no sentence. When they are doing what they are doing (carrying knives) they don’t care about no consequences"

He then went on to say that his most recent conviction was for street robbery. He had been found guilty and sentenced to 6 months; he had served 3 months and his comment was:

"Three months! That is good for robbery, man" He then explained that he had 32 previous convictions and had been to prison only twice. . . .

If this individual has 32 previous convictions, clearly he has been arrested and/or dealt with by police officers 32 times successfully i.e. a conviction was obtained.

In light of this, yet again, Inspector Gadget asks anyone who cares to comment:

"How exactly is this kind of repeat offending by violent, disturbed and feral youths (who have been dealt with time and time again by us) still the responsibility of the police?"

"What exactly are we NOT doing as police officers in this case?"

"What accountability is there for the Courts?"

We need some high profile ACPO officers to start telling the public about this. Apart form the horrendous public safety issues, we are getting sick of arresting the same people again and again with no tangible result and then being blamed for their behaviour.

Read the entire post. This unconscionably lax treatment of serious crime does not extend just to the feral youth culture. For example, On June 11, 2007, the Telegraph reported that "[t]housands of sex offenders including paedophiles and rapists have escaped with cautions rather than being jailed over the past five years." This is indicative of what is happening throughout the UK legal system.

Peter Hitchen's perfectly captures what is occuring in a recent column, noting the sorry state of any meaningful punishment and the latest mind-numbing recommendation that thieves, swindlers and burglars receive no jail time:

Here is the news, 20 years from now: ‘Government experts are urging that murderers should be given community service where possible, rather than jail terms. ‘The panel pointed out that there was little evidence that prison terms reduced reoffending, as most murderers committed fresh killings soon after release. And packed jails mean that only the most serious offenders can be kept inside. 'The Lab-Con-Lib coalition government’s crash programme to build new prison camps has increased places to 500,000, but overcrowding is still serious...’ Here the bulletin comes to an abrupt end because of a power cut resulting from a wind shortage.

Actually, 20 years may be too long. This week, a body called the Sentencing Advisory Panel (SAP for short) did actually say that convicted thieves, burglars and swindlers should not automatically go to jail. Their thinking, if it can be so described, is roughly as follows. The prisons are so full that offenders could only go to jail for a short time. During that time there is no chance of turning them into better people and it doesn’t keep them off the streets for very long. So why bother?

You will have noticed there was no storm of rage from the politicians. They, too, have accepted the half-witted, thought-free ideas that enslave the SAP. They loftily dismiss the suggestion that convicted criminals should be punished. They whimper that ‘deprivation of liberty is punishment enough’. They wince fastidiously at the idea that prisons should be seriously unpleasant places run by the authorities.

That is why burglary – which 40 years ago was a rarity and an outrage – has become so common. Why shouldn’t the same thing happen to murder? It already seems to be under way. Behind all this is the foolish idea that people who knowingly and deliberately do bad things should be ‘rehabilitated’ and ‘helped’.

Any fool knows it is wrong to break into someone else’s home and steal from it. He does it because he thinks he can get away with it, and because he is not afraid of what might happen even if he is caught. He is laughing at us.

Since these days you have to commit about 50 offences right in front of a CCTV camera before the police will act, those who arrive in our prisons are already experienced, habitual criminals. It is absurd to think they will be ‘rehabilitated’ by their time in these silly warehouses, run by the convicts and full of drugs.

Prison’s main purpose is to frighten potential criminals into staying within the law. The hundreds of thousands who now live criminal lives do so mainly because they are not afraid, as they once would have been. So we have to be afraid instead.

Read his entire post.

This is all a case study in why the philosophy of Karl Marx should have been interred with his bones. Instead, it is alive and thriving – much like a malignant cancer - in Britain today. Either Britain will dispense with socialism or Britain will eventually crumble. I am an optimist and an anglophile, and thus my bet is on the former. But I am also a bit of a realist. Given the stranglehold of socialists on all the reigns of power in Britain, and in particular in academia and the news, the latter is a real possibility also.

Update: Welcome to readers from Rightwing News and Likelihood of Success


inspectorgadget said...

That is a fantastic post; a concise summary of all the best comment. Thanks for quoting mine and thanks for taking the time to write such an excellent piece.

GW said...

I am honored by your words, sir. Thank you. And for the record, your blog post of the other day on the feral youths was the final impetus for this post.

Peter Horne said...

An excellent post.

For what it is worth, here is what I think will happen irrespective of which party is in power.

Obviously crime is caused by poverty, inequality capitalism etc. and therefore proper punishments are inappropriate. That leaves only persuasion. Criminals will be ordered to attend therapy sessions and meet victims of crime etc. in order to convince them to be nice. Of course this will not work and crime will continue to rise. This will put the political classes in a dilemma as force is 'Illiberal'.

It is possible, however that the medical profession will come to the rescue. See here for the appalling authoritarian tendencies of these people

Criminality will be classified first as irrational and then as a form of mental illness. Force will then be acceptable as it will be 'for their own good'.

Criminals might then be incarcerated in 're-education' centres and forcibly administered therapy and drugs to control their behaviour. Criminals might live to regret the passing of the old system of crime and punishment.

Clockwork Orange anyone?

Nick M said...

We need Sam Vimes.

GW said...

Peter, I think your comment is completely correct. The link you give is exceptional. It is just a further projection of the mindset of the left that is undoing the basic pillar of society, the family, under the guise that someone knows better how to run your life - or raise your children - then you do. That really is the left in a nutshell.

As to your prognostication on the treatment of crime in Britain, is there any surprise that it sounds uncomfortably close to how the Soviet Union treated many of its political prisoners. A Clockwork Orange indeed.