This all-too-rare slither of sense caught my attention, a week or two back:
A Conservative election pledge that anyone caught carrying a knife could expect a jail term will not be implemented…
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said he would put sentencing policy in the hands of judges, not newspaper pundits.
Apart from feeling a certain schadenfreude toward those who voted Conservo on the strength of that pledge (including victim-related celebrity Brooke Kinsella)—as well as the inevitable Mums Against Minding Their Own Business groups—I’m ever the more pleased that the UK avoided an application of the rather obnoxious “zero tolerance” policy, so beloved by authoritarian vote-chasers.
According to Wikipedia,
Zero tolerance imposes automatic punishment for infractions of a stated rule, with the intention of eliminating undesirable conduct. Zero-tolerance policies forbid persons in positions of authority from exercising discretion or changing punishments to subjectively fit the circumstances; they are required to impose a pre-determined punishment regardless of individual culpability, extenuating circumstances, or past history.
Had Ken Clarke followed through on his party’s ridiculous pledge, I expect I’d be reading about domestic goddesses, handymen, budding Junior Masterchefs and martial arts aficionados being sent down alongside whablowing hoody gangbangers.
Whaddya know? A lack of integrity in others can be a desirable trait! Nice one, Ken Clarke!
Still, I say, why not take things all the way in the opposite direction: let every fucker and his wife carry a knife? Scared that they’ll do themselves an injury? Why not host knife fighting classes at the local gym? Hell, you could even put it out there as a fucking A-level or NVQ course; and, better yet, make it an Olympic event. Given the locale of the 2012 Olympics (my home borough, the London Shithole of Newham) and the exciting events that have taken place in the area over the last few years, I could see it being something of a crowd-pleaser. Shit, even I might consider paying the wretched Olympics an atom of attention!
One thing’s for certain: a more equitable knife culture would make Mr Gangbanger think twice before trying to “merk” some random passer-by; a tooled-up, trained-up populace might even instill a certain respectability back into the crime business, good (de)fences making for good neighbours, and all.
Alas, the rulership of Slave Britannia don’t want an armed populace for the same reason the American Leviathan doesn’t want its military secrets (wiki)leaked across the web—it threatens its monopoly on violence. If the populace could be counted on to manage their own affairs in crime prevention, what perceived use would there be for the state’s bodyguards-in-blue (who, as a rule, only come into play after the sangre ‘n’ semen spills)? Why, such liberality might well drive up the cost of its own predations…and that simply cannot be allowed!
Thus, the status quo remains in play with the Mr State pinning back the arms of Mr Citizen whilst Mr Gangbanger takes some well aimed stabs at his stomach…
…yet Mr Citizen hurrahs for this crazy measure, even in the throes of agony.