May 15, 2006


Blair's new bid to 'rescue' public services: Shadow of leadership battle hangs over launch of party consultation (Will Woodward, May 15, 2006, The Guardian)

Under the banner of Let's Talk, Mr Blair will lead the Labour party into a series of conferences on public service reform. His frustration at the administration of justice predates the fiasco over foreign prisoners, and controversy over the human rights of convicted criminals, but has been given further fuel by them. "I believe people want a society without prejudice but with rules; rules that are fair; that we all play by; and rules that, when broken, carry a penalty," Mr Blair will say.

"The truth is most people don't think we have such a society. The problem of crime can be subject to lurid reporting or undue focus on terrible but exceptional cases. But even allowing for this, the fundamental point is valid.

"Despite our attempts to toughen the law and reform the criminal justice system - reform that has often uncovered problems long untouched - the criminal justice system is still the public service most distant from what reasonable people want."

In a formal minute released in full today, the prime minister tells the home secretary, John Reid, to ensure "that the criminal justice system is shaped around targeting the offender and not just the offence, in order to enhance public protection and ensure that the law-abiding majority can live without fear".

He calls on Mr Reid to "build on, and seek to accelerate" a reduction in crime, and to ensure that the police "radically improve their performance on customer and victim satisfaction".

Folks don't like to think of it in these terms, but the remoralization of American culture, which has put 2 million fellow citizens behind bars, has dramatically improved the quality of the rest of our lives.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 15, 2006 9:23 AM

Locking up scads of G.S.C.'s (grungy street critters)is not "remoralization."

On the contrary, it is an admission of abject moral decay. Reinstitution of prayer and Bible-reading in school would be remoralizarion.

Of course this is not going to happen, and we are going to have to be satisfied with incapacitory incarceration and a whiff of white terror in order to maintain a modicum of civil peace.

All reasonable persons would it were otherwise, but public safety remains the only purpose of the state. If a society will not have Big Father, it must have Big Brother, there is no "third way" here.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 15, 2006 11:21 AM

Of course crime is going to drop, the bobbies can't go after the small stuff.

IIRC, steal under 500 pounds and all you have to do is pay it back.

Cell phone theft is rising uncontrollably there.

Posted by: Sandy P at May 15, 2006 11:33 AM


Of course it it.

Posted by: oj at May 15, 2006 12:37 PM

Mr. Gots, there are two ways to remoralize society. You can train people to be moral or you can remove the immoral from the public square. The Left will not allow us to train people, so we have settled for removing them.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 15, 2006 3:08 PM