The UK has the highest crime rate in Europe in most categories of crime, though we do come third, after Estonia and Ireland, in the area of pickpocketing and personal theft. Nearly one person in three (32%) living in London has been the victim of crime. In New York the figure is less than one in four - New York for Christ's sake! Meanwhile our prison population is the highest in Europe and our cons are serving the longest sentences in Europe. So locking 'em up works then?
This is post-Thatcher Britain; privatise, marginalise, criminalise. Cut back on the Customs Service, let the heavy drugs in, pay your cronies in advertising a fortune in public money to advise us to "Just say no". Then when the druggies start committing crimes to feed their habits, build more prisons. It's the American way, and everybody knows that the Americans have got it all sussed. That's the ideal polity to which first the Thatcherites, then the Blairites aspired. Totally discredited, but, as the mill owners of Manchester told Herr Engels "And yet there is money to be made. Good day, sir". That was justification enough for "...barbarous indifference, hard selfishness on one side, unspeakable misery on the other, everywhere social war, every man's house a fortress, everywhere marauders who plunder under the protection of the law." Autres temps, les mêmes moeurs.
Of course, in order to accept this deterioration in their living standards the majority of the population has to be lobotomised, desensitised and detached from reality. Blair's "education..."x3 is making a decent job of this. Soon we'll be down to the levels achieved by Skinnerites in the US, a nation that believes George W. Bush is fit to hold its highest office.
Here's an extract from an article about a new US TV series that Murdoch's minions wish they hadn't commissioned -
"Luke Wilson plays ordinary Joe Bowers, chosen to be frozen by the military in 2005, who accidentally wakes up in 2505 to find a broken-down, thuggish America where language has become a patois of football chants, hip-hop slang and grunts denoting rage, pleasure and priapic longing, where citizens are obese, violent, ever-horny and narcotised by consumerism, TV and fast food."
So far in the future? I've always believed that science fiction is about the here and now, not a very original thought I suppose. I suggest that it could also be a description of the UK in ten, maybe five, years time. Still, keep on consuming, nothing lasts forever and the human race has had a good run.
Meanwhile, in South London, young men and boys are being gunned down at a rate of one every other day - americanisation has really caught on there. After the murder of Damilola Taylor something was to be done. We learn now that £7,000,000 was set aside to make Peckham a safer place. The public is entitled to ask what it got for it's money. Where is it now? Is anyone accountable for it? If this happened in a Third World country our media would be pontificating about corruption. That's not a word they like to use about British individuals and institutions. So nothing will be done, but somebody, or some bodies, will be a lot richer.