Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This is a very interesting post on Quaequam Blog (and one of the best I've seen on a Lib Dem blog in a long time). I particularly liked the paragraph:

"One thing we, as a society, might try is to reverse the trend towards viewing anti-social behaviour as criminality. 12 years ago, we had more crime, but no-one knew what anti-social behaviour was. One of New Labour’s most pernicious legacies has been to convince people that naughtiness, rowdiness and petty vandalism is something the police should handle when in the past it was something the community itself sorted out. The more we concentrate on anti-social behaviour, the worse it seems. We can never win the war on anti-social behaviour because it is so mutable: unless all young people transform into angels en masse, there will always be someone doing something that upsets someone."

It's probably just me being a hoary old leftie, but I'd also argue that the last 30 years have seen a consistent attack from all parties on the structures we, as communities, had created, and this has left us looking to the state to help us solve problems we would rightly have seen as our own. From trades unions to churches to civic amenities, we have been encouraged to seek fewer solutions in voluntary collective movements, or through local democracy.

You can only tell people for so long that 'there's no such thing as society' before they begin to believe you, and behave accordingly. Or maybe that's overly pessimistic...