David Cameron’s response to the sentences being handed down by the courts in relation to the recent rioting shows that the Conservative “nasty” party is back in town. Vindictiveness is in the DNA of the Conservative party along with a natural selfishness, greed and lack of concern for the poor and currently, there is plenty of it on display.
The government previously made it clear that they wanted the courts to “send a tough message” that the (admittedly appalling) behaviour exhibited by looters and rioters would not be tolerated. All well and good one might say but, by the same measure, it is most definitely not up to the courts to make a political statement on behalf of the government of the day, even if judges and magistrates do feel angry.
On the contrary; it is up to the courts to emphasise their independence from the executive and to exercise impartiality at all times, something which at present they seem incapable of doing.
According to the Prime Minister, who is desperate to try and prove that he is every bit as much a dictator as Tony Blair was, it is “a good thing” that the courts are sending what he calls a ‘strong message’. The problem with this particular strong message is that it brings the courts themselves into disrepute as magistrates and judges up and down the country remand in custody six times the normal number of defendants, whilst at the same time handing out sentences that are simply asking to be appealed.
In addition to the excessive intervention of the courts we also have ministers threatening to take benefits away from not only the rioters themselves but also innocent members of their family. Ministers also issued a consultation document inviting the possible eviction of people convicted of antisocial behaviour from social housing.
Therefore, we now have the somewhat dismal prospect of thousands of very angry, bitter and broke young people running around the streets day and night because they are unable to find anywhere to live. In addition, the cost of supporting the rest of the family will be increased as they too are made homeless and the rest of us will end up paying for it.
Another problem that the government seem determined not to address is that now these people have a criminal record, they will probably never work again. Under the pretence of ‘public protection’, the government has made certain that anyone who fails a CRB check nowadays is very unlikely to get a job or ever work again.
It has been suggested by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith that the riots have had the same effect on David Cameron as 9/11 had on Tony Blair. Following the terrorist attacks, Blair proceeded to systematically ruin the country and in effect did the terrorists’ job for them by taking away from the rest of us everything connected with the concept of freedom. Law after law restricting or removing our freedom was passed by parliamentarians too afraid to stand up to the then Prime Minister.
It seems that David Cameron wishes to take over where Blair left off and indeed, there is now the prospect of even more similar legislation being pushed through the House of Commons by the Home Secretary on the instructions of the Prime Minister. TheOpinionSite.org suggests that such legislation will be introduced not for the benefit of us, the people but instead to try and give the impression that Cameron is strong when in reality he is pathetically weak.
Before the general election of last year, Cameron and his team, including the now Home Secretary, Theresa May went to great pains to try to rid the Conservatives of their reputation as the “nasty” party. It is probably true to say that all their efforts were in vain as most people have never really believed that the Tories are capable of ever changing their 19th century views and dogma.
Actually, the job should have been relatively easy given the unpopularity of Blair’s New Labour party and Tony Blair’s own reputation as the most hated prime minister since Thatcher. Instead, what we have seen over the last few days is absolute proof that the Tories have not changed at all and are still only interested in those with money and who are not prepared to challenge the traditional British model of society which essential tells us all to do as we are told and accept that the government is always right.
The eclectic mix of people involved in the recent disturbances, some of whom have wealthy parents, were well educated and came from so called ‘respectable’ families demonstrates that the divide in our society is not necessarily that of the rich versus the poor. Nor is it about race or colour, nationality or any of the things that may have been responsible for previous unrest in our communities.
TheOpinionSite.org believes that the country is actually seriously divided between those who are prepared to accept the ‘do as you’re told’ model of society and those who are not. That may come as a shock to some traditionalists but it is nevertheless very possibly true.
Most non-middle class children and young people nowadays disregard authority, attempts at discipline and previously accepted social standards as something that to them has no relevance at all. They think much the same about the Law, regarding it as both a limitation on what they see as acceptable behaviour and as something to be fought against at every opportunity.
Most, especially those from an often ‘traditional’ family, do not have the courage or stupidity – depending on your point of view – to run riot in the streets but that does not mean that they do not share the views of those who do.
It follows therefore that if Cameron retaliates by introducing even more legislation, invoking a ‘zero tolerance’ approach and by taking away from them what little money these people have, he is likely to get his face pushed in by circumstances over which he will have no control at all.
Whilst the present prime minister is generally disliked by some and regarded by many as being a bit of a sleazeball, he is not stupid. At present however, he does not appear to be that bright either.
Only a complete idiot would fail to address the real problems in society – increasing unemployment, poverty, homelessness, a miserable education system, over-priced public services, extortionate travel and energy costs and a lack of affordable food, etc – and instead don the mantle of a dictator determined to persecute the under-privileged for the sake of appealing to a few comfortable, middle class voters.
If David Cameron continues to get this wrong, which he probably will, he will provoke a sociological rebuke the like of which has not been seen before in this country.
Much of the reason for the recent riots is based in the fact that those who were involved have a fundamental hatred of the police and of an authoritarian regime that seeks to control every aspect of their lives. Coming at them with even more authority, greater police powers and excessive prison sentences is most definitely not the answer. On the other hand, a little sincere understanding and political soul searching would go a long way.
The once moderating effect of the Liberal Democrats in the supposed ‘coalition government’ is gone. What we have now is a genuinely nasty Conservative administration, hell bent on ignoring the evolution of society because it doesn’t like it or understand it and, worse than that, a government intent on dragging Britain back into the 19th century when the rich ruled over the poor and politicians were even more greedy and corrupt than they are now.
All in all, it is about what you would expect really from an extremely wealthy, spoon-fed, former Eton schoolboy who had a reputation as being a bit of a bully.
No change there then.