Thinking of Changing Jobs

Via Ace comes a totally bewildering news story from Great Britain. The official government policy concerning burglary has just been changed. Burglars are not to be jailed unless they cause harm to persons or property.

No matter how much they steal, no matter if it is irreplaceable family heirlooms, the criminal walks. They get “community punishment”, which I suppose is the same as “community service” is here in the United States.

And we know that the felons will show up to fulfill their obligation to society because they are such stand up guys. Hardly like criminals at all. Right?

My favorite part…

“The recommendations to let burglars walk free come as, for the first time in several years, burglaries are increasing.”

So refusing to lock the burglars up where they can’t ply their vile trade will cause the number of break-ins to decline?

I keep rereading the news report, and I just can’t believe it. It slides off of my comprehension like claws on glass.

Is this some sort of April Fools joke done early?

In the spirit of full disclosure, there was a similar problem in the United States dating from the late 1980’s through the 1990’s. Space in our prisons was at a premium, the crowding so severe that courts were ordering a certain percentage to be released early to thin out the press.

Eventually the money was found and more prisons were built. And, please note, the felons got at least some jail time.

(Cross posted in a similar form over at Hell in a Handbasket.)

10 thoughts on “Thinking of Changing Jobs”

  1. The British authorities are unable to control crime and they can’t alter their strategies without a staggering lose of face or surrendering their position of privilege.

    As with many things, the long history of China provides us a predicative model for how this will turn out. China suffered through repeated cycles in which mandarins progressively altered the bureaucratic structure of a dynasty for their own benefit. They added on more and more layers, cloaked everything in more and more layers of obscure and often secret procedures until eventually the administration of the state ossified completely and the government ceased to function. It took it months or even years to respond to natural or military crises. Mandarins paid more attention to the sequence of stamps on a document than the fact that the document reported the Mongols were knocking down the city gates. A renewal only occurred following an invasion or a violent overthrow of the dynasty.

    Britain obviously has the same problem. They created a political-adminstrator complex which governs and manages for its own benefit. They’ve reached the point of disfunction where they can’t protect people’s property and they don’t care. They don’t even see this as a problem because they know longer have an intuitive understanding that their purpose is to protect people’s lives and property. Instead, they believe their function is to carry out symbolic actions which like Confucian ritual will automatically order and perfect society. They simply do not believe that they have to carry out the physical acts of catching and neutralizing criminals.

    This won’t end well.

  2. I wonder at what point the British citizens just say “f*ck this” and go on their own, crazy laws be damned. I may have reached that point a long time ago if I were a Brit.

  3. Unfortunately this sort of insanity is so now common place that it is just accepted, almost without question. We’ve been subjected to years of deliberate (but denied) social experiments, carefully done one step at a time. This has enabled the complete re-engineering of society, without any major unrest.

    Thanks to more than 4 million CCTV cameras, an army of council snoopers and wardens, to say nothing of a police force who’s main purpose is to get more DNA samples for the government database, we have a population who are terrified of questioning “authority”. The all pervasive “Human Rights” act always sides with the criminal, and any attempt by the public to protect their own property invariably leads to THEM being arrested, whilst the crooks walk off scot free. Here’s an example:

    There are very real fears that any major civil disobedience would lead to emergency powers being invoked, which would also mean cancellation of the forthcoming election.

    AND we have been sold out to the corrupt EU, without even getting the chance to vote on it…..

    Welcome to the former Great Britain!

  4. Government is based on violence. It’s entire function is to direct violence for the benefit of the elites (in autocracies) or collective (in a democracy.) Unfortunately, shorn of external enemies, they turn on their own people.

    This too is a pattern from China. While forced to fight civil wars or fend off external invasion, the state functions but long periods of peace cause the state to view its own citizens as the targets for violence. Those inside government create more and more justifications for attacking their own people even as the state grows more and more ineffective.

    In a modern liberal-democracy, the violence is sublimated but it is always there. As the story that Dave Ward linked demonstrated, the state grows willing to direct violence against the law abiding. (Had the store owner resisted his arrest, the police would have attacked him and killed him if necessary. The very act of arresting someone would be considered assault and kidnapping if done in any other context.)

    The idea that ordinary citizens not only have no responsibility to protect the public peace that attempting to due so is actually a presumptive crime springs from the desire of the government insiders to abrogate all the power of violence to themselves. They don’t want anyone else to be able to act without the consent of the government insiders.

    These are very primitive, emotional dynamics of status lust and jealousy. They are ultimately based on our genetic impulses. They will reoccur time and time again in every human culture. We have to fight against them constantly.

    Right now we’re loosing. Our descendants may look back on brief few centuries when an unusual pattern of freedom and decentralized power dominated costal Europe and the Anglosphere before those areas reverted to the usual pattern of despotism.

  5. I cannot refute what Shannon Love says, and have no desire to. I would add one point. While government is directed violence to benefit the owners of the State, in one form or another; the ultimate justification for the monopoly on violence granted by the citizens/subjects is the assumption by the citizens/subjects that such a grant is worth it because it protects from random violence by “the others”. Those others can be either foreign, or domestic outside of what passes for civil society; but it is the belief that the empowered State is a reasonable defense from random violence the grants the State legitimacy or a “Mandate of Heaven”.

    When that belief is proved false often enough that legitimacy or Mandate is withdrawn. The results are interesting, in a Chinese sense.

    Dave Ward says:
    There are very real fears that any major civil disobedience would lead to emergency powers being invoked, which would also mean cancellation of the forthcoming election.

    True, but it goes beyond that. Both the BNP and the UKIP have been targets of government interference to keep them from taking part in the electoral policy. What assurance does anyone in Britain have that their votes will be accurately counted, or that if either BNP or the UKIP actually wins seats in Parliament, that they will be allowed to be seated?

    Orwell was right in pretty much everything except the timing.

    Subotai Bahadur

  6. Gilbert & Sullivan wrote this little ditty 130 years ago*:

    When a felon’s not engaged in his employment
    Or maturing his felonious little plans
    His capacity for innocent enjoyment
    Is just as great as any honest man’s

    Our feelings we with difficulty smother
    When constabulary duty’s to be done
    Ah, take one consideration with another
    A policeman’s lot is not a happy one.
    When constabulary duty’s to be done, to be done,
    A policeman’s lot is not a happy one, happy one.

    When the enterprising burglar’s not aburgling
    When the cutthroat isn’t occupied in crime
    He loves to hear the little brook agurgling
    And listen to the merry village chime

    When the coster’s finished jumping on his mother
    He loves to lie abasking in the sun
    Ah, take one consideration with another
    A policeman’s lot is not a happy one.
    When constabulary duty’s to be done, to be done,
    A policeman’s lot is not a happy one, happy one.

    The Pirates of Penzance

  7. As with the previous commentators, I cannot but agree with the queries and the themes within the main posting.

    The withdrawal from political reality within the once-Great Britain commenced with the mass immigration policies of the late ‘forties and early ‘fifties, giving access to ‘Commonwealth’ citizenry. What the planners forgot to ensure is that the make-up of the majority of the ‘Commonwealth’ migrants should mirror the indigenous population. So we see vast swathes of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and Carribean residents heading straight for the ‘benefit paradise’ which is Britain.

    The one voice raised in protest against the flood of foreigners swamping the towns and cities belonged to a truly fine Englishman named Enoch Powell, and history tells us how he was treated by his own Party, , and how everything he forecast came true.

    The liberalising of the Judiciary, accomplished under the guidance of both main Political parties, which of course gave rise to the ‘guidelines’ as discussed within the post, is but a natural progression from the thesis which states that all criminals are not evil, not vile, not just lazy, but are ‘deprived’ and ‘misunderstood’. Once a nation grasps the nettle, and accepts that jail time is ‘punishment’, and we mustn’t punish those who are ‘misunderstood’, it is but a short step to ‘community service’ which as Boy George might agree, is not exactly ‘hard labour’

  8. What infuriates me is that a certain percentage of the criminals will escalate their actions, becoming not just thieves, but violent thieves at that. In short: some innocent people are going to get hurt. And a good percentage that will be hurt will be among the most vulnerable in our society. Like I said: infuriating.

    – Madhu

  9. “No matter how much they steal, no matter if it is irreplaceable family heirlooms, the criminal walks.”

    This doesn’t appear to be the case. Take a look at the actual report. There are varying levels of harm defined at paragraph 66 forward. The sentencing guidelines are for first-time offenders who plead guilty. Walking is for the least degree of harm and culpability. See p 32 for summary of recommendations. I think they are more reasonable and nuanced than you suggest.

  10. “I think they are more reasonable and nuanced than you suggest.”

    Nuanced, perhaps. But reasonable?

    To American sensibilities, particularly this American, there is hardly anything reasonable about this. Or even rational.

Comments are closed.