By kind permission of the sweary clown, we bring you this guest post, copied more or less intact from his blog.
I see that the Home Office is making noises like they finally understand that central control of the Police and how they work is not a good thing. On the face of it, this is wonderful. But really, does anyone believe that they will actually chop the rules and “guidance” (and especially targets!) they have? Or is it more likely that the existing rules will be “simplified” and “clarified” and absolutely nothing will change?
But one thing stood out for me:
In a White Paper to be published later today, the Home Office will set out policies it says will improve police accountability, increase public confidence in officers and help tackle anti-social behaviour.
Why is there this continual banging on about anti-social behaviour? What happened to “fighting crime”? Is “anti-social behaviour” really that much more important than crime?
There are two things I see here, and I’d like to ask you to put your tin foil hats on for a moment.
Firstly: is crime (against individuals) being lowered in priority by the “justice” system, when compared to “crime” against the state? It certainly seems that way, when a pensioner not paying their council tax gets shoved in jail, but rapists (and not just one or two!) get a police caution.
Secondly: who gets to decide what is anti-social behaviour, then? Which group of wise men and women will decide for us what is anti-social and what is not? Could it be that the government will make this choice for us? Gosh, aren’t we lucky that such an agreeable bunch are taking our best interests to heart?
And of course, they would never, ever denormalise things like smoking and drinking or eating too much or driving or leaving the lights on so that these can be classified as “anti-social behaviour”, would they? Only a complete madman would imagine that the end-game might be a society where the state controls what you eat, what you drink, how you travel, how much energy you use and what you think.
Because, of course, things like smoking have not been denormalised, have they? There are no campaigns afoot to denormalise drinking or eating or driving, are there? Big business is in no way complicit with the government in encouraging our concerns for
their rent-seeking profits and curtailing our lifestyleGaia to make us change our behaviour in a way that it deems appropriate, based on incrediblyweakdata.
Now, I don’t believe there is a cabal somewhere that is sitting in a smoky room somewhere, planning all this. Primarily because they’ve banned smoking indoors in public buildings and they would never be so hypocritical as to exempt themselves from such inanities, would they?
Seriously though, I don’t think it’s a deliberate cabal, but it’s the mindset of a growing section of our society that they know better than we do how we should live our lives, not so much a Militant Tendency as a Managerialist Tendency. There is far too much willingness to defer to “experts” without a hint of either common sense or what people actually want from their lives.
So I can’t see this changing anything for the better, but I am increasingly worried about where this country is going.
You can take your hats off now.