Tough on crime, tough on logic

Tony Blair worshipped the American Way and both Gordon Brown and David Cameron are advocates of the right wing mantras of small states that are tough on crime (and therefore can’t be too small, for obvious reasons). They are both essentially aping US politics and will continue to do so.

In 2008 more than 1 in a 100 Americans were incarcerated.

This is the kind of number that should send a ten thousand volt electric current through anyone thinking of copying American politics. This should set off alarm bells.

This figure signals not just one political failure, but a whole series of massive political failures that have not even been properly recognized in the US and are nowhere near to being solved. The Land of the Free imprisons a higher percentage of their population than anyone else in the world. By a long way.

It’s the kind of thing I think should be sorted out before anyone thinks about importing American political rhetoric, and before anyone talks about getting ‘tough on crime’. Because another notable thing about that high prison figure is that it doesn’t help.  It doesn’t win the war on drugs, it doesn’t stop murders, it doesn’t end gang culture, and it certainly doesn’t stop people re-offending.

Call this Sheikh a cynical, untrusting old assassin if you will, but surely if the politicians are going to copy someone else’s political model in this country they should copy a model that, y’know, works.


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