We are rapidly approaching a General Election, aren’t we? It is only six months away indeed. The main political parties are girding their loins for the fight, filling their coffers with the cash for the campaign, recruiting and g-ing up their activists, identifying their potential supporters, preparing their strategy, identifying their ‘winnable’ seats, and above all drafting their manifestos (which they expect you to believe no doubt?). [It is only later that they will be working out their excuses for failure, isn’t it?].
Oh, they will ALL have their major issues, the ones where they think they can steal a march on the others, ones where they suppose their adversaries have an ideological Achilles heel, for sure?
You can assume that Law & Order will be in the mix of course, as it always is. BUT what won’t be around for you to vote about, is our dreadful English system of justice, will it? Why not, you might wonder? It is because they have ALL let us down bad-time, decade after decade after decade after decade after decade.
We have now created a society of criminals. We have developed generation after generation of peoples who have no respect for the law. We have allowed the growth of groups who have no regard for their fellow citizens. We have begat a culture that lacks pride, self respect, standards, and is completely devoid of shame. We have given succour to all such people, who are destroying our social order, and let them grow like a cancer in our midst.
How has all this happened, you might ask? Well, it is down to our weak politicians who have failed to face up to things in a changing world, surely? When things start to go wrong, action, effective action, has to be taken otherwise it all escalates until it becomes uncontrollable. That is where we are now, don’t you think?
We have more people by population in prison than any other Western European country (some eight-six thousand men & women). Why is that then? Is it because we are a despicable criminal race? Perhaps (but how comes?). Is it because prison doesn’t work? Certainly (well NOT in this country). Our justice system is just garbage, isn’t it? [Thanks the Howard League for Penal Reform?].
It all starts in the home of course. Parents in our Country are now crap. They don’t impart the right and proper standards to their offspring; the rich used to teach their privileged children to be well behaved and never let down their class – now (like the Prime Minister) they are often indulged into such things as becoming members of the Oxford University Bullingdon Club of drunken upper-class louts; the poor used to red polish their front step and would be mortified if one of their kids got into trouble – now some even train them how to shoplift. Isn’t it about time that once again in this Country, parents are held responsible by the rest of us for the behaviour & actions of their broods?
Our Court system and punishment is a distressing joke. The criminals with the connivance of the legal profession simply drive a coach & horses through it, don’t they? When they actually get caught by our under resourced police, they are freed on bail for months on end to commit further crimes, and eventually end up in court pleading ‘not guilty’ through a smart-arsed lawyer; they get off or even if convicted can appeal endlessly (even in cut & dried cases) – all at our expense of course; Judges can’t always send them to prison because there is no room, so they get a meaningless sentence like ‘suspended’ jail and so called community service (which in reality is painless); the ones that do hit prison can enjoy a period of relaxation without work, good food, entertainment, pool, TV, multi-gym, the rest, and of course ‘open prison’ so that they are not inconvenienced too much. For the drug takers it is a godsend, as they don’t have to do street deals anymore – there are plenty of drugs around in prisons, aren’t there? God knows why that can be allowed to happen?
Prison has a number of purposes of course. The first one is to take the criminal out of circulation. How well does that work then? Well whatever the crime and whatever the sentence, the criminal is back on the street in no time at all (half time at most). It is punishment. Not any longer in our liberal do-gooder days, is it? It is a walk in the park in this Country – no hardship just a loss of a bit of liberty for a while. It is for rehabilitation as well. Do these criminals repent, go out and become the honest Joe intended – not on your life, they are simply straight back to their criminal ways (and why not if you can get away with it?).
You cannot open a newspaper these days but to read of the ‘early release’ criminals who re-enter society to carry on mugging, burglary, robbery, violent attacks, rape, and even murder, can you?
Is anything to be done? Yes, if the money is spent. In a decade it CAN be turned around. Instead of spending billions of pounds on other peoples’ wars why not spend it here on mending our Justice system?
Reintroduce cells in all our large towns’ police stations and ‘immediately’ lock up the criminals when they are first apprehended. Provide them with a basic State lawyer and have them in front of a court (sitting 24 7) straight away for all except the most serious cases. Stop bail and instead get cases to court quickly without the massive delays we currently experience (loved by the money spinning legal eagles, eh?). Stop the abuse of not guilty pleas and make it really hurt for the guilty. Halt the scandal of expensive fruitless appeals that clog up justice. Build a prison in every county, whatever objections from the local population. Make prison an experience that scares the life out of criminals, and not a break from the pressures of survival. Provide proper medical treatment for mentally ill inmates (as many of them are).
[In a decade or so, our prisons could be partly empty, and that will carry a cost, but so what – it will be worth it to have back a decent and safe society for our families to live in, don’t you think?].