Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where Does All The Time Go ?

Blimey. No posts since Friday. Words literally fail me.

UK politics since the 1980s has moved like continental plates. Things happen day by day, building up pressure, until one day a seismic shift occurs. From the Salman Rushdie affair and the promotion of multiculturalism (exemplified by the persecution of Ray Honeyford) to the 7th July bombings was a long journey. Ideas have consequences. But after that day, without apology or explanation, our rulers turned their back on the past, becoming integrationists overnight. Admittedly they didn't quite know what this implied, and there was often, especially in the immediate post-7/7 period, a flavour of appeasement about them.

Some pressures continue, and the seismic shift has yet to occur. Heaven knows I could fill a blog every day with examples of dreadful crimes rewarded with risible sentences, or killers who just happen to have been on early release when they killed. This cannot last - yet it's lasted more than 30 years now. On this morning's BBC Today programme we had one tearful item on poor teenagers being held on remand (Prison Reform Trust) and another on the wonderful successes of a probation service that addressed the needs of its clients ('offenders') with acupuncture and aromatherapy sessions. What kind of earthquake will change that ?

The recent EU/Council elections were such a seismic shift. Now we're back to politics as normal, the drip-drip of stories, the quiet click of the ratchet. Occasionally reporting on this gets a tad depressing. Still, say not the struggle naught availeth.

The next seismic shift will probably be Eastern Europe. Like the poor Russians, they believed that capitalism would usher in a new era of easy living. Not quite as simple as that.



PS - one blogger who's still fighting the fight is the Lone Voice. I don't like his foul language one bit. But you have to admire his fighting spirit.

PPS - one other thing. After what they have done to Nightjack, like LV I am never buying the Times again.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

From the Beeb link:

A spokeswoman said: "The commentary in the blog is indeed the work of a serving Lancashire detective and clearly the views and opinions expressed are those of the author himself and not those of the wider Constabulary.

Of course their fear is that the views expressed are those of the wider Constabulary, not those of the political masters.

Mark said...

The Prison Reform Trust report is a model of bleeding heart hand wringing and twisted statistics.
The BBC's respectful summary of the report states 'that of those children placed in remand by magistrates' courts, three quarters will be found innocent or will not receive a prison sentence for their crime.'

Note the lumping together of those 'found innocent' (ie not guilty) and those found guilty but released after time served on remand- decisions which are hardly surprising given current sentancing guidelines and prison overcrowding. This is as clear a case of skewing the stats to make a case as you'll ever see.

I no longer listen to 'Today' as I fully expect outfits like the PRT to get an easy rise from the Beeboid 'inquisitors'.
As you say- 'What kind of earthquake will change that ?'

criminologyandstuff said...

Mark: 'three quarters will ... not receive a prison sentence for their crime' does not mean the same as 'released after time served on remand'.

It most probably means that when they were sentenced they were not considered high risk enough to be kept in custody and are therefore safe to serve their sentence in the community. This, then, begs the question- what were they were doing on remand in the first place- if they are low risk enough to be punished in the community why were they not low risk enough to wait for trial in the community (albeit with support and conditions if necessary). It's not about bleeding hearts (whatever that means)- it's about making sure that remand is kept for the most serious and high risk defendants and bail for the rest.

Robert said...

Not only not buy, I am thinking I will never cite the Times again either. There are lots other asinine "news" providers out there.

Mark said...

'It most probably means that when they were sentenced they were not considered high risk enough to be kept in custody and are therefore safe to serve their sentence in the community.'
Does it ?
Your use of the phrase 'most probably means' shows that, despite your occupational involvement in this area, you cannot comment on the report conclusively. And this is because the stats used to 'spin' the report are so selective- they give the impression that messrs Hangem & Floggem are still common in the magistracy, hence the 'punitive' use of custodial remand.

BTW what does 'in custody' mean in relation to under 18s ? Does it include secure LA childrens homes as well as young offenders institutions ? If so, the report isn't comparing like with like when it comes to the sentancing options available once the offender is past his/her 18th birthday.

Mr Grumpy said...

Never going to buy the Times again? With all due respect to Laban, prince among bloggers, are we not reminded ever so slightly of a punter declaring tearfully that he's never going to visit his favourite whore again because he's found out she doesn't really love him?

The Times is. after all, basically an exercise in vanity publishing funded by the Sun and the NOTW, is it not?

But, hey, maybe I'm just getting a little cynical in my old age.

Anonymous said...

Fuck not buying the Times. It's Jack Bauer on bittorrent full-speed ahead, 24/7 from now on.

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand what The Times thought is was doing in revealing Nightjack’s identity. The Times has done a disservice to everyone including fellow journalists. The only people who have benefited are the Management (I won’t use the word “leadership”) of Lancashire Constabulary.
Nightjack has received a written warning (I strongly suspect they would have loved to sack him and seize his pension contributions). The public has lost an intelligent and articulate commentator who provided an insight into the idiocy, illogic and government “newspeak” and Politically Correct spin that runs EVERY police force in England and Wales. Journalists are now going to be far less trusted by public service whistleblowers. The public doesn’t understand why it spend billions on tens of thousands of extra police officers but almost never sees any more “boots on the street”.
Nightjack used to provide an insight into the insanity in the police where catching criminals was way down the management’s list of priorities behind promoting homosexuality, ethnic recruitment (regardless of suitability). Police management operates in a parallel universe where response teams and divisional CID offices are raided to provide staff for “diversity units”, gay outreach officers and endless tiers of vetting to be sure that every possible chance of a “detection” was squeezed from the most trivial of offences. Nightjack was one of the few who lifted the lid on this. Lancashire is no different to other forces. A quick read of Inspector Gadget’s blog or WPC Blogg’s will make that apparent.
It is an indication of the Stalinesque management of the police that no police commenting on these blogs (or myself) reveal their identity or even the force they belong to.

Anonymous said...

The Times is, after all, basically an exercise in vanity publishing funded by the Sun and the NOTW, is it not?

Pretty much.

Murdoch runs those to make money, the Times for an 'in' to the chattering classes.

JuliaM said...

"The BBC's respectful summary of the report states 'that of those children placed in remand by magistrates' courts, three quarters will be found innocent or will not receive a prison sentence for their crime.'"

Surely, any normal person will draw the conclusion from that that the judges aren't passing enough custodial sentences, then...?

"The public doesn’t understand why it spend billions on tens of thousands of extra police officers but almost never sees any more “boots on the street”."

Because they are all indoors, gathering target stats or trawling the web ensuring none of their colleagues are telling the truth about the modern police 'service', of course...

criminologyandstuff said...

'It most probably means that when they were sentenced they were not considered high risk enough to be kept in custody and are therefore safe to serve their sentence in the community.'
Does it ?
Your use of the phrase 'most probably means' shows that, despite your occupational involvement in this area, you cannot comment on the report conclusively. And this is because the stats used to 'spin' the report are so selective- they give the impression that messrs Hangem & Floggem are still common in the magistracy, hence the 'punitive' use of custodial remand.

BTW what does 'in custody' mean in relation to under 18s ? Does it include secure LA childrens homes as well as young offenders institutions ? If so, the report isn't comparing like with like when it comes to the sentancing options available once the offender is past his/her 18th birthday.

My use of the phrase most 'probably does' exactly what you say but at least I am introducing some ambiguity into the post unlike your post which reads as if what you said was the only option. I haven't listened to the report and I am sure that it is skewed but if we're gonna have a discussion about it what is the point in putting forward yet more skewed points? Isn't objectivity a useful tool in getting to the bottom of divisive social issues?