Monday 15 August 2011

That'll Learn 'em

So, David Cameron thinks that he will be able to opt out of the Human Rights Act and that all sixteen-year-old will attend 'non-military national service'? Call me a cynic - you would be spot-on, by the way - but he is talking out of his Old Etonian backside, surely? Has he not been paying attention for the last forty years?

Ask some teachers, ask the doctors, speak to a few policemen, front-line social workers, firemen and paramedics. They will tell you, Dave, that all your high talk will be useless without a means of compulsion.

The nation needs nothing short of a bottom-up overhaul of values. Yes, you need to deploy effective sanctions against the wealthy and privileged who cheat, but don't go squandering the support you currently have from the majority of the ordinary citizens for some long-overdue, heavy-handed, downright old-fashioned beatings to be administered where needed.

Set up detention camps with subsistence catering and harsh physical regimes. Separate and segregate families and sexes. Hit them hard - literally, if they don't toe the line - and instill an absolute fear of the power of authority. Then set them all to work. They can repair the damage in chained gangs. They can pick up dog shit in their bare hands. They can wade into our polluted canals and rivers and remove the trash they parked there and they can be publicly humiliated should they dare to refuse.

Failure to comply with all the terms of their incarceration should attract punitive measures such as withdrawal of meals, blankets, all comforts and any kind of privilege such as being allowed to even take a dump in private. There should be NO access to television or any form of communication with the outside world, no access to drugs, including tobacco alcohol and drug substitutes and the only way they can get out is by complete submission to the system and completion of the entirety of their sentences.

This programme may have to extend to decades, if it is to work properly, but as already mentioned, the support is there from the ordinary, decent, working citizen, who fully understands but scarcely believes the insane cost of the current system of kid-gloves imprisonment.

A penal reform beyond anything the government would dare need not cost the earth and it would provide cost-effective employment. But more than anything else it needs to be feared by those who currently fear nothing.

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