Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the category “crime”

Grayling Takes Another Swipe at Justice

Let me start by telling you a little story. Some years ago I was involved in an accident, no one was hurt but I was charged with ‘Driving without due care and attention’.

I went to the Magistrates Court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, maintaining that it was an error of judgement on my part not as charged and was indeed an accident in the true meaning of the word. Having made my opening statement the magistrates paused proceedings and the Chair pointed out to me that if I maintained my not guilty plea then there would have to be another hearing and a witness would have to come from Southampton and should I be found guilty then I would be responsible for his travel expenses, loss of earnings and in all probability an overnight stay.

The hearing was adjourned for a tea break to give me time to think. I changed my plea to guilty as I couldn’t afford to take the risk. Just for interest sake the magistrates said they would fine me the minimum allowed in law with the minimum points on my licence.

Now Grayling, that unqualified disaster of a Justice Minister, has brought in new fees, which come into force on 13 April, are not means-tested and will start at £150 and can rise to £1200 for anyone convicted of any crime. As my example above shows many people will plead guilty to something they have not in fact done rather than risk the extra penalties that may be imposed.

The only advantages will be money for the government and a sharp rise in police conviction rates.

However! JUSTICE WILL BE DENIED & JUSTICE WILL BE PERVERTED.

Advertisements

Knife Crime in UK

Knife Crime! Government and not just this one, are frequently banging on about knife crime, the latest being anyone caught for a second time carrying a knife will be imprisoned for six months, where of course they can learn to use them more effectively.

I have been to a France a few times and there they have shops that specialise in selling knives. The following is from global knife statistics: “France has seen no equivalent of the wave of fatal stabbings in Britain, and newspaper reports on the so-called “culture du poignard” (knife culture) reigning in London and other big cities are read with universal horror.”

It follows then that knives are not the problem so there must be some other underlying cause; would it not therefore be better to research this rather than banging up more people in crime academies?

Political Stupidity

Just how stupid can politicians get or do they not think things through? Probably both!

The latest idiocy is to suggest cutting the benefits of people unable to work because of their addiction  to drugs or alcohol unless they agree to take part in a rehabilitation programme.

All they had to do was to ask a therapist (& I happen to be one) for an opinion and they would have been told that unless the addict really wants to change, any therapy will be a complete waste of time and money.  In addition, surely it must be obvious that cutting benefits will result in more crime in order to feed the habit or buy the booze.

If anyone needs rehabilitation into real life it must be politicians, most of ’em anyway.

Police Brutality Rules OK

A police officer at the G20 summit who, without any provocation at all, violently pushes over a newspaper seller, Ian Tomlinson, who was simply walking home and who then died just minutes later is not to face any charges at all. See report.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said “After a thorough and careful review of the evidence, the CPS has decided that there is no realistic prospects of a conviction against the police officer in question for any offence arising from the matter investigated and that no charges should be brought against him.”

Although there is still some medical dispute over what actually was the cause of death of Mr Tomlinson would any reasonable person believe that it was just chance that he died a few minutes after being shoved to the ground. Even if we assume that he would have died at that moment anyway, there is still grounds surely for a charge of assault. This decision gives the green light to police that they can do what the hell they like and get away with it.

Manifesto You Wont See (Mine)

DEFENCE: We believe that threatening the annihilation of millions of fellow humans is wrong so we are getting rid of all nuclear weapons. This will make us less of a threat and so reduce our risk of attack. We will also save billions of Pounds.

We will have a review of the past few hundred years to see just why we have rampaged around the globe engaging in acts of aggression and stop doing it. Our military services will have only defensive weapons and therefore we will finally pose no threat to any other nation thereby further reducing our risks to near zero.

HOUSING: No further second homes will be allowed and existing ones will pay treble Council Tax until there are no more homeless or sub standard housing. All private property will become State owned on the demise of the current owners. (This will reduce house prices enormously and make them affordable places to live in and not investments for profit)

ENERGY: Rail, Electricity supply, Gas and Water will be re-nationalised.

WAGES & BENEFITS: All State benefits (except unemployment) will be cancelled and in their place the national minimum wage will be raised to a level fit to live on, along with pensions. There will be no unemployment benefit on leaving education until at least two years of employment have been completed. Benefit will be earnt by community service to prevent drifting into benefit dependency. No one will be allowed to earn more than ten times the minimum wage and bonuses will be outlawed. A fair days pay for a fair days work will be the norm.

TRANSPORT: Cities and urban areas with good public transport will be subject to an extra vehicle tax similar to the London congestion charge. Money raised will offset fuel reductions to those in rural areas where personal transport is essential.

DEMOCRACY: A good idea which will be adopted starting with an elected Head of State rather than an unelected monarchy. The second chamber shall also only have elected members. A fair voting system will be adopted where no vote is a wasted vote.

All connections between religion and the State shall be severed and all tax advantages currently applied to churches, mosques etc will end.

CRIME: All drugs will be de-criminalised and available on prescription thereby cutting up to 70% of crime. This will have the added benefit of slashing the prison population which doesn’t work anyway and saving huge sums of money.

The creation of a more fair and equal society would of itself reduce the incidence of crime. The current method of sentencing is ineffective, there being no point in a fixed time inside, therefore custodial terms will be opened ended. That is to say when it is considered the offender is ready to take his/her proper productive place back in society then they are released with adequate support and not before.

EDUCATION: Management costs will be no more than 1% of the budget and teachers will revert to running the schools and colleges. Choice of school will be abolished and all schools will be of an approved standard in all areas. University fees will be abolished but a small lifetime increase in income tax will enable graduates the satisfaction of repaying society for the privilege.

Private education establishments will be abolished by ever increasing taxation.

HEALTH: Management costs as for education. Medical staff taking more responsibility for running hospitals and clinics etc. A State pharmaceutical research facility will be set up and tight controls put on those in the private sector. Drugs which are highly expensive and merely prolong life by months will not be available.

Private health care will be abolished by progressively rising taxes.

LAND: All land will be nationalised without compensation and a rent paid for all private property upon it.

Frances Inglis

Sadness and anger have brought me back after my few months resting from the horrors, greed and cruelty of the World.

Sadness and anger at the disgraceful life sentence with a minimum of nine years handed down to Frances Inglis a loving mother who killed her severely brain injured son to save him further pain and distress. It is often said in such circumstances that the sentence should act as a deterrent to others but I hope that it doesn’t and it can’t. Love will always trump the Law.

This poor woman should have been comforted with a hug and provided with counselling not to ‘get over’ but to live with the pain of what she felt she had to do.

Japan! The Evil Lives On

What do you think of about Japan? Amazing electronic gadgets, Toyota cars, Geisha girls, the Bullet Train, incredible gardens? Perhaps if you read history or are old enough to recall WW2 you will shudder at the thought of the immense cruelty of the Imperial Japanese army to those that it captured or conquered.

This cruel mindset, it seems, lives on in it’s criminal justice system. Executions by hanging still take place and it is literally minutes or at best only hours before it is carried out, are the condemned informed. Before this they are kept in a cell little bigger than a toilet for many years where they are forced to sit and not allowed to even exercise in this cell. Two times a week, three in summer, they are taken outside to exercise. Prevented from communicating with other prisoners it is little wonder that many of them become insane before execution. Even those who were insane at the time of the crime are executed.

Japan’s conviction rate exceeds 99% so it is obvious that many innocent people are found guilty and killed by the State. Confessions are known to be extracted from suspects by the police using what could be classed as torture.

Japan may have been defeated in the war but it was rebuilt by the United States, another nation that still in many States kills people to show that killing people is wrong.

Ref:   Amnesty International BBC

Prison & Punishment

The Government is scrapping the idea of building 3 new ‘Titan’ prisons with an inmate population of 2500 each and instead building five new prisons of 1500 each with cost running into billions. So far since 1997 prisoner numbers have increased by 24,000 and are expected to reach a total of 96,000 by 2014.

Apart from the USA no other country imprisons a higher percentage of it’s population than the UK.  What a shameful record and what a disgraceful waste of money given that 80% of ex prisoners re-offend. Quite obviously prison does not work, so why spend even more on a failed system? Why not spend the money on crime prevention and rehabilitation of offenders? It’s easy to say we’re going to lock up more people than the opposition party but it takes courage and leadership to say that our aim is to reduce imprisonment.

A start could be made by moving the mentally ill into a caring and supportive environment and drug addicts could be moved to treatment centres and given appropriate support within the community. Better still de-criminalise drugs and just watch the crime rate plummet. Many people are in prison for non payment of court fines or could not obey an order to pay for their TV licence for example, surely a better way would be a community service order and help on how to survive on meagre state benefits. Even better would be an increase in those benefits and perhaps a ‘benefit standing order to pay for the licence weekly.

Prison only serves as a university in crime and upon release it can be of no surprise that the ‘graduates’ put their new found skills to practicle use.

Police Violence – nothing new

We are all, I’m sure, shocked by the police violence at the G20 demonstrations. We saw Ian Tomlinson walking home from work with his hands in his pockets and being struck from behind with a baton and then violently pushed to the ground by a balaclava wearing police officer. He subsequently died, believed at first to be from a heart attack and now from internal bleeding. The actual cause of his death is yet to be determined with accuracy but there can only be a little doubt that the police action at least contributed to his demise.

Of course there is outrage but this is nothing new; what is new is the almost universal possession of camera/phone/video recorders. In his younger days freethinkeruk witnessed many acts of police violence whilst he was engaged in non violent peace demonstrations. A close friend, one of the original Greenham Common Women, was part of a ‘sit-in’ in Parliament over the introduction of Cruise Missiles. Refusing to leave (of course) each of her legs was gripped by a policeman and she was dragged down a long flight of stone steps on her back and dropped outside. She was over 70 years of age, almost her entire body was bruised and she could barely walk for over two weeks.

Nothing new, nothing done about it but with modern technology by way of small video cameras gathering evidence, perhaps something will be done. I won’t hold my breath though and I would advise you not to hold yours.

More Thatcher than Thatcher

The latest unworkable idea to emerge from this government is announced by  James Purnell on behalf of the Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions. Simply put it is that if an alcoholic does not accept ‘treatment’ then his or her benefits will be withheld.

Let’s take this a step or two further. Drug addicts who refuse treatment also to have their benefits slashed, well that’s already underway. Overweight people could also have benefit problems if it affects their ability to accept certain employment prospects. Smokers could be refused treatment as could people with sports injuries because let’s face it they don’t have to participate.

Alcoholics, drug addicts and smokers etc can only be helped if they want to be helped and no amount of benefit threats will bring about this desire and in fact will mitigate against that state of mind. If the targets of this ridiculous idea do indeed end up without a means of financial support what will they do? The answer is obvious, either they will starve to death on the streets or they will turn to crime in order to survive.

Politicians generally have a knack of answering the wrong questions. The real question is of course WHY so many of our citizens turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place and then solve that, which of course is a lot less easy than bashing the victims.

Post Navigation