Hey - it's an odd numbered month, must be time for a crackdown on crime. Yep - here it is, and as well thought out as ever. Blair's come out against the Sixties consensus. Next week Bin Laden will come out against anti-Semitism. Who exactly passed the Human Rights Act anyway ? Oops. Whatever the pols say, it's business as usual for the scum-coddling classes.
Ben Franklin famously claimed that 'they who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security'. Blair's policies are the living embodiment of this rule, albeit without even the compensation of temporary security.
Still, even without the contribution of our loony PM, there is a giant elephant on the table that no one will address as far as crime is concerned. The question simply is this: what is the objective of law enforcement ?
Doubtless some of my fellow Conservatives will at this point be shaking their heads, thinking I've gone over to the academic never-never land where a cigar is never a cigar. Isn't it obvious ? Actually, no - one of the consequences of the Right's awful performance in the Culture Wars is that we have allowed much that was for generations thought to be self-evident to be redefined by Liberals in their own image.
Indeed, this desire to remake society is the dominant feature of modern Liberalism. Whether conscious of it or not, all modern Liberals are followers of Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci's theories have been expertly dissected by Sean Gabb here and here, but for now let's just say that Tony the G believed that institutions in society exert a kind of sociological gravitational pull, with public opinion being moulded by those who dominate the media, the law, education and the like whichever way they so choose. You will immediately recognise two main consequences of this world view are an obsession with victimhood ('cause we're all just pawns in the game, man) and a moral Get-Out-Of-Jail Free Card, since - hey ? - it's all about power, so if - to choose an example completely at random - a doctor chooses to smear a badly-injured 94 year old woman as a racist, well, who cares ? Morality is just conspiracy anyway.
Traditionally, we've always regarded the law as the codification of common morality. Cynics say that the role of the Police is to pick up the pieces - meaning that the realties of police manning and deployment mean they'll only arrive after the incident is over. But there's also another way in which that is true - in a healthy society the law is a backstop. Social pressures act to discourage law-breaking far more than the Police do.
The Gramscian worldview turns that on its head: the law is there to enforce whatever paradigm those in power seek to impose on the public. The law dictates morality not reflects it. Equally, the public can have no role in the legal process since they are the passive recipients of the law.
It is in this light that we should consider the familiar whine following at least half of the more outrageous Police screw-ups: namely, that they can't have a police officer on every street corner. Until very recently that's exactly what they did have. Every citizen had a common interest in upholding the law and the main distinguishing point between police and other citizens was the fact the former was paid. It is the Police who forced the public out of law enforcement and, having proclaimed that they, and they alone, will uphold the law it is hardly unreasonable to expect that they should do so.
But, worse than the simple fact that the Police can't impose law and order unilaterally, the Gramscian approach strikes at the very idea of civil order. If the law reflects not the common morality but the interests of the elite how can it command the respect or loyalty of the public ? Equally, the Yang to that Yin is that the Gramscians, being temporally at least, stuck with the old laws on the books, seek to debase the very concept of criminality. What was once understood to be someone who'd struck at society, thereby renouncing the privileges of membership, is now being rebranded as a form of alternative lifestyle. The self-same people who have insist on six public inquires before allowing a phone mast to be built nevertheless claim a 'right to privacy' for paedophiles and thugs. The idea that being a convicted pervert should impact negatively on someone's lifestyle has gone the way of the dodo.
The Left often tries to claim that its support for therapy and pool tables reflects a genuine belief that cable TV in each cell makes reoffending less likely. So where are the Beardy-Weirdies demanding we seek out the root cause of City fraud, tax evasion or people scrawling 'Pakis Owt' on the window of the Madras Star ? Nope - when Liberals propose giving free holidays to thugs it's simply because it does not serve their agenda to jail them.
For the perfect example of these trends, check out Nu Labs approach to rape. Labour continually tries to define down rape to the point where being in possession of a Y chromosome is grounds for arrest, yet look what happens when a no-argument, balaclava and combat knife rapist gets convicted: he'd be unlucky to miss more than one World Cup, while his time in jail will mainly be spent with other perverts in group therapy listing to some pencil-necked dweeb tell them they don't love themselves enough. Contradictory ? Hardly - as ever, the demands of political strategy drive the administration of justice. the cultural Marxists have always sought to spin rape into some kind of justification for their ranting denunciations of those white males, who are clearly guilty of everything in the entire world. On the other hand, it is an article of faith amongst the Left that failure to immediately act on any impulse at all, especially a sexual one, leads to the psychological equivalent of gangrene. Against this background, rapists are just taking the concept to its logical conclusions even while Liberals proclaim rape to be a secular version of original sin, forever casting a shadow over the male of the species.
This kind of politicised drivel runs through the whole Gramscian approach to crime. That's why we have the old standby of homeowners being attacked by gangs of thugs, then finding themselves charged. That's because homeowners are members of that rotten, old bourgeoisie. Any excuse to hammer them. Similarly, there's the obsession with either stretching existing laws to absurd lengths (see speeding for further details) or conjuring up whole new ones. Either way, the idea is to use the law as a stick to beat non-Kool Aid drinkers.
To remake a society it is first necessary to destroy the existing order. Metaphorically speaking, Gramscians are using criminals to wage a proxy war against our civilisation. Being an upstanding member of the community means being an oppressor, while slashing up an OAP makes you a Robin Hood for the twenty-first century. What's more, they create this chaos and then claim that we have to sign over a whole new tranche of civil rights to the government so it can cure problems it caused in the first place. Either way up, Joe Public gets the slam.
The Conservative Party is still stuck in its death spiral, ever concerned that someone might call it the nasty party. It says something about how awful the right has been in the Culture Wars that suggesting we deal harshly with sexual predators, muggers and killers get you classed as 'nasty'. I mean, I think we can live with that, but no - Conservative frontbenchers go pale at the prospect of being called names by the Guardian. Well, we can laugh all we want at Blair's lunacy, but until someone in the Conservative Party finds a pair we're stuck with it.