My take on London's Riots

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Eagle
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Eagle » 22 Sep 2011 09:15

Bensonby
This sounds quite like the system in Saxon England and has many plus points.

If all people did pay of their debts to victims and society great , but not sure it would work .
Whilst you get judges who fine people for no road insurance less than the actual insurance you despair.

Labanised
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Labanised » 22 Sep 2011 09:27

Hi all,
I think the action of 'owning up' before you are caught is somewhat significant as, it would demonstrate (to me at least) that you have understood the crime you have committed and are being proactive in putting right the wrong you have done (which may, depending on the severity of the offence, still warrant a custodial sentence but, could be a factor in determining the length of sentence).

Waiting until the police find you removes that possibility and in itself demonstrates that you were (maybe) only sorry that you were caught.

This may be a poor example but, how many of us would rather a cheating spouse owned up rather than us finding out by coming home early from work and finding a trail of clothing leading upstairs?
That isn't to say that some folk would rather not know but, personally I would have far more respect (and likely to show compassion...sorry, I wrote respect twice :oops: ) for somebody that has the strength of character to say, 'I was caught up in an isolated moment of madness and I did wrong to my community and society as a whole by looting and I want to come forward and make amends for it' as opposed to hiding and hoping they're not caught; ie being cowardly.

sfhyouthforum
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by sfhyouthforum » 22 Sep 2011 11:33

I simply wrote 'Jailed for bottled water? Rice?' with nothing added on purpose. I remember reading as a small child about the poor in Victorian Britain, children my age jailed for stealing bread. I never thought the punishment fitted the crime.

A looter is a looter but why steal a massive bag of rice instead of trainers? Says something about degrees of poverty, no? Certainly about the income of and what's valued in the household.

As someone who works with young 'criminals' - prison doesn't work. It is a soft option Eagle, but not because of the television. It is a soft option because the prisoner only has to be inside a cell and this is the punishment.

What we don't talk about is the Justice. What is justice? Justice should be about feeling remorse and sorry for what you have done and try and fix it, then when it's fixed, you can move on and not repeat the same actions again and the victim can move on knowing this. Does this happen in our current system? Can we have punishment and justice? We certainly don't achieve justice with the current prison system because it is simply a holding pen for punishment (aka a university campus and networking agency for crime!). Prison perversely makes the criminal feel sorry for themselves and angry at being there, and even less sorry for repeating the crime when they're 'free'!

Labanised
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Labanised » 22 Sep 2011 14:17

Hi,
sfhyouthforum wrote:A looter is a looter but why steal a massive bag of rice instead of trainers? Says something about degrees of poverty, no? Certainly about the income of and what's valued in the household.
i have to disagree here as, your quote pre-supposes a degree of poverty akin to something Bob Geldof would get up in arms about.
It also pre-supposes that without the riots and resulting looting, this looter would've starved to death! I didn't see any naked looters on tv so, perhaps the level of poverty you mention isn't applicable in this case and if it is applicable, what on earth have they survived on since the last riots in London?

The looting that took place was done by choice not neccessity (such as after a natural disaster with no food or water available to stave off death) and every choice we make has a consequence and in the case of looting, that consequence is increasingly and deservedly (IMO) custodial.
do you think that it is only worth engaging with 'criminals' once that definition has been reached or could it be done before they've been convicted of any crime.
Please note my use of the word 'looting' not 'stealing' as the two acts have a vastly different impact on society as a whole.
Steal to stay alive and you may deserve compassion (depending on the offence committed); get caught looting and you definitely deserve society's established displeasure (judicial process).

Taking advantage of a lack of police presence to loot and then being caught by the very technology they used to organise and execute said looting is all very well but, police used the very same technology to catch the looters.

I don't have all the answers and am happy to learn and accept other points of view but, I do believe you should always take responsibility for your actions and whining about needing a bag of rice because you're broke only once you've been caught looting is a bit late to expect leniency from the society that you've just enjoyed looting from with your mates.
Funnily enough, I didn't see many looters looking sad and unhappy or about to collapse from malnutrition, they all seemed to be having a great time and the reported texts and BBM's seem to support this.
I could be wrong though.

Dorian
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Dorian » 22 Sep 2011 14:30

Was about to say the same as above.

The recent riots were complete acts of opportunist theft due to a complete dissrespect for other people and nothing to do with deprivation. They organised it through Blackberrys and boasted about it from their I.T. Not exactly hard up are they ?

sfhyouthforum
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by sfhyouthforum » 23 Sep 2011 11:43

I'm not saying it is not wrong behaviour, and I am certainly not supposing that they just get let off. I'm talking about justice. Do we want punishment or justice? Prison doesn't stop criminals or crime. We've had it long enough and instead of being empty with people fearing going to prison, they are over subscribed.

Read John Braithwaite 1989. 'Crime, Shame and Reintegration' New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

He basically says that societies should integrate shame at a local/cultural level into the justice system. Shame isn't asked of British criminals. They don't have to face and explain their actions to people within their communities, only to a judge they can't identify with in any way. They are put in a cell with someone else, a cold block that has no way of telling them the mess they have created and left behind. They don't have to listen to how not just the victim feels, but the victim's parents, loved ones, friends, and how their loved ones feel about their actions.

I would say a bag of rice doesn't make a criminal. It makes a wrong-doer and you have to pay your wrong back to the place where you did wrong. You have to really engage with your actions and know how your actions impacted the lives of others. Then you are made to do the right thing: paint buildings, clean graffiti, and know that instead of a life long criminal record which perversely normalises your identity with criminality, you said sorry to your community and we as a community say thanks, you have been rehabilitated.

If we as a society only ask for hard line punishment then we must accept that in doing so we duplicate the amount of prisoners now and in the future. The young people I work with have fathers in prison but to them he is simply 'dad'. Most people love their dad, faults and all, and this teaches them being a criminal or going to prison isn't so bad. They'll be out in half the prison sentence. Thye get television and hot meals. Free rent.

So I ask again, justice or punishment?

Eagle
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Eagle » 23 Sep 2011 11:59

The inportant matter was not that the person just looted a bag of rice , but for the looting itself and the fear it caused.

I agree for crimes other ways could be used , which used to be used here but we have gone soft.

Caning/ Birching for shoplifting etc.
Stocks also a good idea
Death penalty for premedicated murder.

maestro
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by maestro » 23 Sep 2011 12:16

Eagle wrote: Death penalty for premedicated murder.
Would have been particularly appropriate in the Dr Harold Shipman case.

sfhyouthforum
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by sfhyouthforum » 23 Sep 2011 12:23

Eagle, may I ask, since all crime is subjective, (which is why some women put up with their husbands' raping them, fathers let their kids off for shoplifting), if you were put in prison, say for inciting racial hatred (which you dance the line with some of your posts on immigrants), would it change your view of immigrants and their role in Britain? If someone put you in the stocks maybe, or hit you with a cane, would you change your mindset on what's wrong with the UK? Probably not, because you probably don't feel like your views are racist, or inciting anything. You may even think your posts engender a warm fuzzy feeling when we all read them of togetherness and making the community a better place.

You see, it is not about the punishment, it is about the mindset of the wrong-doer. Your contribution to the community could be as damaging as stealing rice. Especially since any sort of punishment wouldn't change a single brain cell. Or would it? You tell me?

Labanised
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Labanised » 23 Sep 2011 13:06

Hi,
How does seeing your father in a place like that instead of being with you teach you that it is not so bad?

I would want my dad with me as I grow up and anything that takes him away from me is not a road I'd want him or me to go down.
I don't think anyone has stated that a child's father in prison isn't anything other than 'dad' however, I would see that my dad has done wrong and is in that place as a consequence of his actions (that doesn't mean I don't accept his faults either)
Yes, I'd still love him but, he has done wrong and as such, I would hope that when dad is released he tells me that it's not a place just to enjoy the free rent or read up on 'crime monthly' but, a place you can end up if you do wrong (like he did) and the worse the act, the longer I can end up in that place and that will render me a less and less valuable member to the society in which I live (getting a job because of the criminal record, having people trust you, being valued as an inspiration to others etc). So in simplistic terms; for every effect (jail), there is a cause (commiting the crime) and that is what him being in jail would teach me.

You cited as a response 'Jailed for bottled water? Rice?' I responded to it and then you've ignored the response and moved on which renders further discussion somewhat difficult and I for one am/ was genuinely interested in the points you raised as; my first impression was that you sought to mitigate the looting on the grounds that the level of poverty was so severe that without the riots and subsequent looting, this person would've died from malnutrition which I thought was just silly.
Could said looter not have logged onto Mazuma.com, sold their Blackberry and bought water, rice, chicken, topped up their Oyster and still had change?
Being so poor that you need to steal a bag of rice doesn't make you a criminal, being convicted of looting does and there are other ways to obtain food other than looting.

There are far cleverer people out there than me but, my limited understanding of the notion of justice is that it is for the victims of a wrongful act to receive it and my understanding of punishment is that it is administered to a wrong-doer (be it a child who has been naughty....no tv or playing that night, be it a driver who has been caught speeding....points/ fine/ ban/ or a convicted looter....judicial process/ custodial sentence).

Why did the looters run/ cover their faces/ utilise what they thought were untraceable BBM's?
Perhaps they already know the consequences of being caught involved the liklihood of jail but, weren't expecting to be caught...hence the boasting once they'd got their goods and sold them on?

As an example, why do older criminals get younger youths to run drugs? Because they already know the consequences of being caught, perhaps? No record for the younger children thus...free to continue?
They are not stupid and indeed, I challenge anyone to produce a drug dealer that is poor at maths.

I've not once stated that society should only ask for a hard line punishment as I believe in compassion and understanding in certain instances and there are some crimes that take place that are not redeemable by simply going out there and painting a wall or cutting a hedge!

For me, looting is one of those crimes, hence my original statement on the subject and why I found your response a tad apologetic for the people that have been convicted for a crime that in some countries would have seen them shot on sight.

My mum used to say, 'if you can't hear, you must feel' and some criminals need to feel.

Labanised
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Labanised » 23 Sep 2011 13:48

Jeeeeeeeeeeez, I went on a bit there, didn't I?
Sorry about that.
You wouldn't believe it is a lovely sunny Friday.

Eagle
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Eagle » 23 Sep 2011 14:04

SFHFORUM

My comments against mass immigration have never been racist. The native population , to which I often refer have origins from all over the world. My objection to mass immigration is that we have mass unemployment and an economy which is at best stagnant , so we should block any immigration at all until at least both of these are solved.

You are obviously one of the leftie band who believes that any attack on immigration must be racist. This is rubbish . Both main parties seemed to share your view but have now both moved away from it.

We are a small island , can only feed half of our population , not enough rainfall where it is required.

Dorian
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Dorian » 23 Sep 2011 14:30

The accusation of " racism" is so easlily thrown out by people who just dont like what is being said it actually dilutes the reality of true abhorrent racism. I dont see any thing that Eagle has said being racist at all , rather hard fact and logical reality.

Making apologist statements about the degree of crime by looters/rioters and the consequential punishemnts is the reason that society and moral values are in such a mess. I think that the work that SFHYOUTHFORUM does is invaluable and hope that some of these kids get a better direction from it than they do at home from their failed parents. Highly commendable; but teaching them that it was " only rice" or " only " water" is disturbing and sends a terrible message.

Reality is just to hard for some idealist's to comprehend. The penal system is too soft and being understanding of these sub-culture dwellers, of whatever origin, is a road to ruin.

sfhyouthforum
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by sfhyouthforum » 23 Sep 2011 14:41

Eagle, answer the hypothetical question: would prison change your mindset? Would being in the stocks change your views. That's my point. We are all stubborn in our views. So how can we expect a prison sentence to stop someone thinking it is ok to rob?

Labanised: Sorry if you felt I ignored your comments. Prison/punishment only deals with the consequences not the action or intent. I am not saying they are soo poor they need rice. I'm saying that what people see as valuable (i.e. what they stole) is interesting to me. And in the spectrum of totally out-of-order and complete angel, rice is higher up the scale than trainers or a computer game. And prison may not be the best place for them to payback looting a bag of rice or picking up a pack of bottle water.

Re the father, you would see it that way because you have been taught morality. It has come from somewhere. If criminal behaviour was part of your family then it is even harder to refrain. Just as in my family my mum was a teacher, so was her sister, so is my sister and informally I am, running workshops with teenagers. We often follow our family footsteps. This is why locking up less people is key, and focussing on rehabilitation and forgiveness. Where would any of us be if we didn't have at least someone in life giving us a second chance.

As for being a leftie, Eagle. I challenge you to sitting in a room with anyone that gets your goat, then listen to them and have to respond to what they tell you. A conversation, a real one, not this safe type-behind-computer screen talk, (or sitting in a prison cell accountable emotionally to noone), but real interaction with the people that offend you (or you have offended). That is what I am on about. As I said before, you would make a great mentor. These young people need strong opinionated people to guide them when others are not around to do so.

sfhyouthforum
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by sfhyouthforum » 23 Sep 2011 15:04

Dorian, I am not apologising. And if you read my post clearly, I was not calling Eagle a racist - I said if crime is subjective, what would happen if he went to prison for inciting racial hatred. Would this punishment stop his views knowing that it really is just a matter of opinion as to whether such comments are deemed 'racist' or not. See?

Have you heard of Restorative Justice - which is basically what I am banging on about? This is the idea that you can only get justice if the relationship between the wrong-doer and victim is acknowledged and restored. That the wrong-doer feels sorry and remorse and the victim feels less scared and empowered. This is a really interesting form of justice that is embedded at a cultural/social/community level.

Why don't I commit crimes? Because my mum taught me it is wrong to steal. Because my friends and family do not support this. If I live in a Leftie-loopy-world, then opposite lives someone in the furthest corner of right, that they're in a total blind spot. Is prison working? Yes or no? Does prison mostly stop offending once released? Yes or no? Any criminologist can tell you the main reasons why men in particular stop offending is: they grow up and mature, they get girlfriends that are serious and have children. It is not prison that deters them; it's what prison keeps from them: their loved ones. The human connection. So if we work on that at a young age, instead of criminalising young people, we will see less criminals. Once somene has a record, it hurts. It makes you feel like crap. It lowers self-esteem. It prohibits life chances. It perversely acts as an ID badge to commit more crime. And if that crime was something that could have been dealt with within the community, this would produce intergration and draw the wrongdoer closer, feeling they had a stake in their area and shouldn't abuse that. Would treating young offenders differently cause more crime or less?

I certainly do not apologise for wrong doing. And I am just as strict with the young people I work with as I am with the adults on this forum. We all have a responsibility to one another. What's interesting was a comment in the paper about 'time poverty' as the 'new poverty'. What does a crack head's son and a millionnaire's daughter got in common? Both hardly see their parents. Are left to sort themselves out. Have to perform criminal actions to get noticed.

sfhyouthforum
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by sfhyouthforum » 23 Sep 2011 15:26

Btw Eagle, feel free to give £2 a month so that the youth forum can build up a public fund that can help our members - who range from working with homeless youth to those at risk of offending - keep youth off the streets and doing something positive.

If 5,000 across Sydenham, Forest Hill and Perry Vale gave £2 a month, the provision in the area would change dramatically. Or if you don't want to pay, volunteer instead. Go and sit in a primary school once a week and teach kids to read and write. This is what helps prevent crime. Drug dealers may be good with numbers but they often can't read the job description and write a application form.

Sydenham and Forest Hill Youth Fourm, Barclays s/c 20-49-81, acc. 50934224. You can also download a standing order form from our website http://sfhyouthforum.org.uk/donate/.

Eagle
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Eagle » 24 Sep 2011 12:16

SFH Forum

You do not seem to want to comment about the last government causing the jobs crisis by allowing mass immigration.

But I accept we are where we are despite not even an apology from Balls and Co.

It does very much concern me that youngsters cannot get jobs. But also concerns me when they seem to turn down offers and stay on the dole.
There are 1000's of unskilled jobs in the area that have been filled by immigrants. Coffee shops etc.
Also Lewisham Hospital where all the cleaners seem to be from Francophone Africa . Not sure how they are allowed to work here.

For youngsters with qualifications they will in most cases have to work outside the borough as Lewisham has virtually no private industry except retail.

As I have already written ,although like closing the stable door etc , the current government must cease ALL immigration until and if ever , the employment situation improves for the native population.

I cannot understand why they refuse to do this. Surely a government prime aim is the welfare of its native population.( must emphasise again native means those born here of whatever racial origin).

mosy
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by mosy » 24 Sep 2011 17:04

Eagle wrote:SFH Forum
[clip] Surely a government prime aim is the welfare of its native population.( must emphasise again native means those born here of whatever racial origin).
Isn't that why people are so cross?

I.e. about how "our" government spends our money? Ranging from EU regs and costs associated, contributions to foreign aid (and costs associated) and money spent on wars - a while back it was said that a war would revive the economy but not sure that works when other countries are cheaper than the UK at producing arms and even our brain expertise is being overtaken. As someone earlier said, it's industry that provides jobs, but when much industry (such as there is) is in foreign hands where profits are not necessarily invested here, what's left except government-created jobs paid from the public purse? I suppose it makes the money go round in a closed economy sense but such jobs don't add wealth. We need more longer term strategy than "sitting pretty" politicians if our youngsters are ever to get jobs.

I mentioned this above so apols if sounding like a broken record as to where "new jobs" will come from for youngsters if banks aren't lending to would-be new businesses. I've worked on venture capital portfolios and one thing I do know is that one needs to make an awful lot of gross profit before someone is prepared to invest. Supermarkets will have such gross profit - not sure how a small business could sell at that level.

Mrs Thatcher was apparently a grocer's daughter - I doubt she ever started a business. Her barrister fees/salary could happily sit in my bank account as all "Do as I say, you plebs" would. Jealous? Not at all (cross maybe). Just don't think that politicians' observations of the real world in the UK is the real world. Eagle's observation that there are thousands of jobs filled doesn't mean that there are thousands of jobs still out there - there aren't.

Too much of a ramble so I'll quit while I'm ahead :D

mosy
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by mosy » 24 Sep 2011 17:13

Forgot to add that I spluttered my coffee when seeing the Lib Dems' slogan "On your side" at their conference on TV. Shouldn't that be "Working for you"? Different echelon and we should all be doffing our caps?

Eagle
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Re: My take on London's Riots

Post by Eagle » 24 Sep 2011 17:33

Mosy
I agree.
I was not implying thousands of jobs still there as most have been taken by immigrants.

Interesting article in The Times today saying all The Western countries will have to get use to a 25% drop in living standards overall. We have lost competitive edge ( years ago ) and now even our innovations are taken overseas to manufacture.
The world economy will soon be able to get on very well whatever the state of the west. The Asian Tigers providing most of the manufactured products and the so called third world providing food and raw materials.
The giants of Australia , USA and Canada will do better than the small western countries as they have excess food and raw materials . What will happen to poor old Europe , bogged down in red tape and welfare for those who in most cases should be working.
Europe thinks the rest of the world owes them a living. We are all in for a mighty shock.

We cannot afford more state spending than The Tigers. Defence and Welfare will have to be reduced.

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