Monday 21 May 2007

Snooping plan doubleplusungood

The ridiculous authoritarian ideas just keep coming, it seems. The latest Home Office proposals are to make it compulsory for council workers, charity workers and doctors to tell Police when they suspect someone could (I emphasise could) commit a violent crime. (BBC News Staff asked to 'snoop' for police)

What's wrong with that? Where do I start? First of all, it would put working class council workers in danger of reprisals, at a time when their working conditions are already being eroded. Along with charity workers, some of whom are volunteers; a lot less people would be so happy to volunteer their time if they knew they were seen as potential grasses and treated accordingly by people they are hoping to help. As for expecting doctors to report their patients to Police, surely that breaches the doctors' oath of patient confidentiality!

As for the criteria for determining if someone is likely to commit a violent crime: "Possible warning signs could include heavy drinking, mental health problems or a violent family background."

The law seems to provide yet another means of hammering people with mental illnesses (most of whom are not dangerous), who have already been hammered a few years ago by the Mental Health Act. But it is the latter criteria that is the most pernicious, as it seems based on the flawed assumption that "the abused abuse". Besides, how will they define "violent family background"? Considering the $#!t that used to pass for "reasonable chastisement", a substantial percentage of the population of Airstrip One, sorry, the UK, possibly fall into that category!

Recently, even the Police themselves - hardly a bastion of left-wing liberalism! - bemoaned the situation where they were arresting people for minor offences, just to meet stupid targets. Just how creating a situation, where Police are to be informed of every possible tendency towards criminality, is likely to reduce the Police's workload, I fail to see! Rather, it is likely to create yet more miscarriages of justice.

Don't get me wrong, I am against all forms of violence, and would be happy to help the Police bring the perpetrators of violence to justice. So I have a few suggestions as to who should be investigated ...

In 2003, Tony Blair, a resident of 10 Downing Street, instigated a vicious, murderous, illegal war on Iraq in which thousands of civilians, men, women and children, were killed and maimed. A number of government ministers including Tony's next door neighbour, soon to move into Tony's current address, supported this act of violence in which offensive weapons such as cluster bombs were used. Another ringleader of this gang was George Dubya Bush, currently resident in the White House in the USA. It's time all involved were brought to justice!

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