A lot has been written and talked about concerning what people call "Broken Britain" but in the main people seem to think that someone else snuck in while we weren't looking and knocked it over when in reality we are all to blame either by creating it or even worse by not standing up and being counted when it was being broken.
So what do we do about it? Who broke it? How do we fix it? Here are some embryonic ideas that might help:
Who Broke Britain?
Well, the short answer is; "We all did", either by direct actions or complacency, apathy or being too concerned with our own lives. We got taken up with Maggie's "Me first" ideologies and missed the fact that at the same time that she was breaking the unions and bringing in the Gordon Gekko "greed is good" philosophies that have tainted us, the insidious left were undermining our basic institutions.
So, in short, in my opinion, extreme left wing and right wing ideologies since the last War actually created Broken Britain and now we need to fix it.
Apart from the Banking system which I have pilloried in earlier blogs and where I have suggested a mild solution of hanging one in ten Bankers from lamp posts in the city "pour encourager les autres" I feel the following areas need to be examined and to adopt solutions as shown. Clearly this is not meant to be a scholarly document but a vox pop piece reflecting how the man on the Clapham Omnibus feels and how we can put it right. Instead of posturing and posing in Parliament, maybe these wastes of space which were the MPs who came back from holiday and ensured their local paper had a good soundbite last Thursday could actually get together and pass the relevant legislation?? After all, is that not what we elected them to do?
Lets start with the Parents as they are supposed to be the biggest influence on a child.
The majority of children appearing before the Riot Courts in the past few days have not had their parents with them. Parents of these children have failed completely in bringing them up and are now trying to ignore the behaviour and it's consequences of their offspring. This is going to become a little harder to do because when "Wayne" gets sent down for looting then Mum and Dad can find themselves evicted, and good thing too.
These parents do not seem to give a damn OR are terrorised by their kids. But why?
Well, let's face it, in the old days, if a kid came home and told his parents he was in trouble at school or with the police, the first thing would be his parents punishing him or her in advance of any other action.
Then the left wing brought in laws which said "Thou shalt not smack your child" - when there was absolutely zero evidence in favour of no smacking and mountains of evidence that it worked. Lets be real here, we are not talking about a "Baby P" scenario where a child can be battered to death by inhuman brutes while the zillions of support services play "The Three Wise Monkies" but on simple discipline of a child to make them realise that there are boundaries and limits to what society will accept. One has to wonder if Jamie Bulger's parents would have wished his killer's parents to have brought their two killer sons up with more discipline?
Discipline in itself is not the answer as a child has to be lovingly disciplined if it is to work but taking away discipline from a loving parent makes their job 20x harder, we need to reverse this.
Teachers do have a disciplinary role but if they have no means of enforcement and no support from feral parents then it is unsurprising that they abnegate that role.
We need to empower teachers to employ corporal punishment as an ultimate deterrent, under strict rules, and to ensure parents who attack teachers are immediately gaoled until their case is heard.
On the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the riots, this was predominantly the case as too few Police Officers were on the streets and thos who were were powerless to stop the hundreds of looters. However their reluctance to become involved was also pretty redolent of two main themes; Reaction to the G20 riots prosecution of a Police Officer and a general expectation by senior Police Officers that some crimes are not worth pursuing. The former is a case where on mature reflection, I think it was wrong to prosecute the officer. Yes he was heavy handed, yes what he did was wrong, BUT we do not want our riot police to be thinking about the cameras watching them whilst they are attempting to quell a riot, we want them to quell it. A case in point is people moaning about Police Brutality where Manchester Police were shown giving Rioters on bikes and wearing hoodies a short sharp shock with batons. The You Tube video went viral with the vast majority of people watching it praising the Police for what they did. If they do trace the officers (Which I hope they don't), it should be to give them a People's Medal.
It also explains why soft targets like motorists speeding or having slightly misaligned number plates get prosecuted whilst burglary prosecutions decline rapidly.
The Police also seem to be able to choose what laws they will enforce and what they will not. As an example, when was the last time you saw any copper at all bothered by someone driving an HGV whilst on the phone with it to their ear?? Despite the fact that it is highly dangerous behaviour and redolent of a "couldn't give a fuck!" attitude?
So, what are the solutions to this sort of behaviour and how do we re-enable parents, teachers and Police to be able to reshape society to they way the majority want it? Here are a few suggestions:
In the old days or maybe the "good" old days, when we ruled most of the world it was relatively easy, just transport the felons you did not need to Australia and let them survive or not as colonists in the New World.
However we have none of these options available and Australia has caught on and has sent people like Peter Tatchell over here to plague us rather than keeping him at home.
Repeal some laws
We need to get parliament to repeal some laws and also some white papers on corporal punishment in schools, smacking etc. In short all the laws that make parenting more difficult and teaching more onerous.
A good sort out of laws that are manifestly NOT being enforced by the Police would be good too with the ones remaining being rigorously enforced by the Police.
All Crimes to be Investigated
If a crime is really a crime then it needs to be investigated. Dropping litter on the streets is an offence and needs to be on the spot fined but Burglary is a Crime and should always be investigated properly. It is NOT a waste of time to investigate as most burglars get better as they go on so are more likely to get caught on earlier crimes.
Enact New Laws
Some laws need to be enacted; Making Parents equally responsible for their children's actions might be draconian but losing your council house should be the minimum if you child riots and loots.
Proceeds of crime legislation needs to be extended to households where their income vastly exceeds their benefits and an onus of proof on source of funds needs to be upon the holder not on the Police.
|Old days hoodies, still evil|
Wearing Hoodies or balaclavas in public when the weather is not snowing or wintery needs to be an offence and so does wearing hoodies when 5 or more are gathered together. Citizens need to have a fear free environment.
Threatening behaviour needs to be a more stiff penalty offence as well.
Enforce Existing Laws
The original Riot Act gave a "riotous assembly" a short period of time to disperse peaceably before the authorities could use all force to disperse the rioters. Powers were also given to indemnify any citizens helping the Police or Authorities against prosecution in the case that that enforcement resulted in the death of a rioter.
There should be two types of National Service introduced, Military and Civilian. These should both be for a period of two years and volunteers should have the choice of either branch.
Civilian should be broken down in to uniformed volunteers and for offenders. The Offenders should be made to wear dayglo orange jump suits with "OFFENDER" written in black on them prominently. Army style discipline should be the norm for both Military and Civilian branches but with citizenship and personal behaviours training also given.
OK, this is not the perfect solution by any means but it is something that I have been mulling over for a while and have decided to put out there for consideration and comment. Yes it has a lot of flaws but it is the idea that is behind it that counts and I welcome anyone's constructive comments on it.