Rioting in the UK

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:07 am

As is typical of the current press comment is easy to find factual transcripts from court proceedings less so. Found this on the BBC news pages however:

'However, different courts seem to have taken different approaches to the extent to which they depart. Compare the following two cases.

David Atto, 18, pleaded guilty to the theft of two Burberry T-shirts, worth perhaps £60. He told the police he had found them on the pavement. He pleaded guilty, had no relevant previous convictions, and was sentenced to a day in custody.
Then there was Nicolas Robinson, 23, of Borough, south-east London, who was jailed for six months for burglary. He took a £3.50 case of water from Lidl supermarket. He also pleaded guilty and had no relevant previous convictions.'


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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Kafria on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:12 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:As is typical of the current press comment is easy to find factual transcripts from court proceedings less so. Found this on the BBC news pages however:

'However, different courts seem to have taken different approaches to the extent to which they depart. Compare the following two cases.

David Atto, 18, pleaded guilty to the theft of two Burberry T-shirts, worth perhaps £60. He told the police he had found them on the pavement. He pleaded guilty, had no relevant previous convictions, and was sentenced to a day in custody.
Then there was Nicolas Robinson, 23, of Borough, south-east London, who was jailed for six months for burglary. He took a £3.50 case of water from Lidl supermarket. He also pleaded guilty and had no relevant previous convictions.'


Just came online to post the same extract from the same article. I have a problem with the idea that the harsher sentences are there for deterent, because all they are doing is producing anger with the system. Sounds like a number are going to appeal anyway, and judging by most peoples reactions you would suggest that the court of appeal may well reduce a lot of sentences.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:16 am

The sentences are also squeezing the whole system.

"The prison population has increased by more than 100 a day over the past week as courts process cases of rioting and looting, prison governors have said.
They said total jail numbers were 86,608 in England and Wales, a rise of 677 in the six days up to Thursday.
The Prison Governors Association warned jails would run out of space if they continued to fill up at such a rate."- BBC news

And before all this Ken Clarke was talking of ways to reduce the prison population and going about making speeches about how prison is a failure as a detterant. He has been conspicous by his absence recently.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:18 am

Kafria wrote:
Pettytyrant101 wrote:As is typical of the current press comment is easy to find factual transcripts from court proceedings less so. Found this on the BBC news pages however:

'However, different courts seem to have taken different approaches to the extent to which they depart. Compare the following two cases.

David Atto, 18, pleaded guilty to the theft of two Burberry T-shirts, worth perhaps £60. He told the police he had found them on the pavement. He pleaded guilty, had no relevant previous convictions, and was sentenced to a day in custody.
Then there was Nicolas Robinson, 23, of Borough, south-east London, who was jailed for six months for burglary. He took a £3.50 case of water from Lidl supermarket. He also pleaded guilty and had no relevant previous convictions.'


Just came online to post the same extract from the same article. I have a problem with the idea that the harsher sentences are there for deterent, because all they are doing is producing anger with the system. Sounds like a number are going to appeal anyway, and judging by most peoples reactions you would suggest that the court of appeal may well reduce a lot of sentences.

As my general response as always is, let the punishment fit the crime. I trust the "silly" punishments meted among the above will be sorted out in time - though those court documents might still throw more light on why these wildly different punishments were handed down for what were, at least on the surface, similar crimes.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:19 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:The sentences are also squeezing the whole system.

"The prison population has increased by more than 100 a day over the past week as courts process cases of rioting and looting, prison governors have said.
They said total jail numbers were 86,608 in England and Wales, a rise of 677 in the six days up to Thursday.
The Prison Governors Association warned jails would run out of space if they continued to fill up at such a rate."- BBC news

And before all this Ken Clarke was talking of ways to reduce the prison population and going about making speeches about how prison is a failure as a detterant. He has been conspicous by his absence recently.

Old ships could be used to store some of the new convicts. (I'm not an advocate of deterents or punishment, I just think some people should be locked away because they're a menace to others)

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:49 am

Send them to OZ. We all know Australians spend all their time loafing about on the beach barbecuing shrimps and wearing thongs, which explains why in all the time they have had the country they have only ever done up round the edges. The middle is as bad as ever. Send them there.

I also dont think prison is very effective, I agree some people who are a danger have to be locked up but to pretend it is effective as either a detterent or a punishment is to ignore all the facts in numerous studies on prisons that have been conducted.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:28 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Send them to OZ. We all know Australians spend all their time loafing about on the beach barbecuing shrimps and wearing thongs, which explains why in all the time they have had the country they have only ever done up round the edges. The middle is as bad as ever. Send them there.

"The Dead Centre"? Excellent idea. You'll have to displace (or exterminate) the remaining Indigenous folk, but you Europeans already have experience in that area, we'll leave that to you.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I also dont think prison is very effective, I agree some people who are a danger have to be locked up but to pretend it is effective as either a detterent or a punishment is to ignore all the facts in numerous studies on prisons that have been conducted.

So long as they can't get out, all that deterence and punishment (or rehabilitation) talk is neither here nor there. I mean it compassionately.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:31 am

"You'll have to displace (or exterminate) the remaining Indigenous folk, but you Europeans already have experience in that area, we'll leave that to you. "- Orwell

Ooooh, and there I was thinking you lot would know what to do- you know take the children away and raise them with proper OZ hobbits that sort of thing....

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Kafria on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:36 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"You'll have to displace (or exterminate) the remaining Indigenous folk, but you Europeans already have experience in that area, we'll leave that to you. "- Orwell

Ooooh, and there I was thinking you lot would know what to do- you know take the children away and raise them with proper OZ hobbits that sort of thing....

Boys.....this is the BBSforum, remember, real debate!! respectful!!!! Not slinging thinly veiled or downright open insults! Very Happy

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:36 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"You'll have to displace (or exterminate) the remaining Indigenous folk, but you Europeans already have experience in that area, we'll leave that to you. "- Orwell

Ooooh, and there I was thinking you lot would know what to do- you know take the children away and raise them with proper OZ hobbits that sort of thing....

No, that was the past generation. Modern Ozhobbits have wasked their hands of that. No one has the will to go a'persecuting anymore. The UK riots show that you Old World Europeans still have what it takes to crush minorities (whether it's your gangs or your police doing the crushing).

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:39 am

Kafria wrote:
Pettytyrant101 wrote:"You'll have to displace (or exterminate) the remaining Indigenous folk, but you Europeans already have experience in that area, we'll leave that to you. "- Orwell

Ooooh, and there I was thinking you lot would know what to do- you know take the children away and raise them with proper OZ hobbits that sort of thing....

Boys.....this is the BBSforum, remember, real debate!! respectful!!!! Not slinging thinly veiled or downright open insults! Very Happy

Petty was insulting me? Shocked I thought we were just discussing the best way to help during these troubled times. As a Neo Conservative, I favor Old Fashioned Methods, but am careful to take into account current Cultural Contingencies. (I'm also a Neo Communist. It depends on who I'm discussing things with Very Happy )

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:43 am

I wonder which of us was thinly veiled? Shocked I would never insult you Orwell, just tweak your nose.

To get back to rioting and prisons I don't have a problem with long sentences for those who have shown themselves to be a danger and a consistent danger. And some proportion of a sentence must be given with consideration to providing some sense of satisfaction to the victims. But what you can sent to prison for and to what end needs a big review. Our prisons are fuller than ever before there has to be a reason for that. And one of those reasons might just be that there are too many laws.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:48 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote: Our prisons are fuller than ever before there has to be a reason for that. And one of those reasons might just be that there are too many laws.

Or too many selfish people - possibly taught at Kafria's school and places like that? Shocked

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:54 am

Another thinlly-veiled insult Orwell? Very Happy

Laws have a habit of multiplying- it takes a long time for society to remove old laws and all the time the government is creating new ones. It comes to the point where almost everyone is guilty of breaking some law or other whether its parking in the wrong place, not paying a tax, smoking the wrong sort of non society sanctioned plant, or whatever it is. Everyone breaking some law or other is however quite a good position to have people in if you are the ruling body. That way everyone is guilty of something and if they ever become a problem there is always something you can bring up to use against them.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:09 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Another thinlly-veiled insult Orwell? Very Happy

Thinnish... Very Happy

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Laws have a habit of multiplying- it takes a long time for society to remove old laws and all the time the government is creating new ones. It comes to the point where almost everyone is guilty of breaking some law or other whether its parking in the wrong place, not paying a tax, smoking the wrong sort of non society sanctioned plant, or whatever it is. Everyone breaking some law or other is however quite a good position to have people in if you are the ruling body. That way everyone is guilty of something and if they ever become a problem there is always something you can bring up to use against them.

However many, people still have to break them. How many Laws, may I ask, 'should' people, for the greater good, break?

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:35 pm

Part of the problem is laws are decided by the few for the good of the many. There is such a tangled mess of law that it become almost impossible not to trip over one or two of them somewhere along the line. I know I have and I know of no one who hasn't. The fact we have never been caught out is neither here or there laws have still been broken. Yet I would not consider myself or others I know to be criminally minded or a danger to society (we all contribute to society locally and nationally through taxes in fact).
At which point is a law unworkable? If you take a commonly broken law such as cannabis use the arrest and imprisonment of everyone breaking that law would instantly collapse the prison system. In effect the law is unenforcable, the full punishment for the law is rarely used in practice, for to do so would overwhelm prisons.
What is or is not illegal should depend not upon potential harm to the self but on potential enfringmeent of others which would cut through the tangled mess a good deal.
At a lot of law making are just attempts by the state to nanny the population rather than educating the population to a point where it is capable of making such descisions for themselves.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:43 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Part of the problem is laws are decided by the few for the good of the many. There is such a tangled mess of law that it become almost impossible not to trip over one or two of them somewhere along the line. I know I have and I know of no one who hasn't. The fact we have never been caught out is neither here or there laws have still been broken. Yet I would not consider myself or others I know to be criminally minded or a danger to society (we all contribute to society locally and nationally through taxes in fact).
At which point is a law unworkable? If you take a commonly broken law such as cannabis use the arrest and imprisonment of everyone breaking that law would instantly collapse the prison system. In effect the law is unenforcable, the full punishment for the law is rarely used in practice, for to do so would overwhelm prisons.
What is or is not illegal should depend not upon potential harm to the self but on potential enfringmeent of others which would cut through the tangled mess a good deal.
At a lot of law making are just attempts by the state to nanny the population rather than educating the population to a point where it is capable of making such descisions for themselves.

Being a natural born Anarchist, I can agree with you pretty much. Laws are for people who don't have any respect for others or have any self control. Personally, I think you should just be able to kill people that upset you in any way. That would sort things out.

You know, Petty, you reallly should tell me which laws need repealing. Then I can agree or disagree. It's not the number of the Laws but whether individual Laws need to get the boot. As Tweedledum (or Tweedledee?) would say: "That's logic."

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Kafria on Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:00 pm

A judge has released a woman who was jailed for accepting looted shorts in what is thought to be the first appeal against a sentence over the unrest.

Ursula Nevin, 24, was jailed for five months in Manchester, but has now been ordered to do voluntary work.

And so it starts, this is likely to be the first of many appeals!

Or too many selfish people - possibly taught at Kafria's school and places like that?

Yes I have to work very hard to knock the compassion out of some kids! Shocked

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:26 pm

"You know, Petty, you reallly should tell me which laws need repealing"- Orwell

My point was more about the basis on which laws are created. A good guide line for starting point would be harm or enfringement of anothe rperson- thus all the obvious stuff like mugging, thieving, assualt, murder, rape would remain but a lot of the more interferring political laws would struggle to remain on the statute books.
I would also employ the basic rule suggested in Frank Herberts Dune series- that laws should very difficult to make but very easy to get rid of rather than the opposite which is true now.

Kafria I am not suprised this has happened. But what a waste of taxpayers money this is going to be if all these cases are being sent up to the Crown Courts only later for it to be relealled on appeal. Only people this is benefiting is, as usual, lawyers and judges- I wonder what the total bill for them will be by the end of this?

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:34 pm

[quote="Kafria"]
Or too many selfish people - possibly taught at Kafria's school and places like that?

Yes I have to work very hard to knock the compassion out of some kids! Shocked

It's often a worthwhile process, how else do we create future captains of industry? And if we create a few self-interested rioters too, well, that's just too bad, iddinnit?

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:39 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"You know, Petty, you reallly should tell me which laws need repealing"- Orwell

My point was more about the basis on which laws are created. A good guide line for starting point would be harm or enfringement of anothe rperson- thus all the obvious stuff like mugging, thieving, assualt, murder, rape would remain but a lot of the more interferring political laws would struggle to remain on the statute books.
I would also employ the basic rule suggested in Frank Herberts Dune series- that laws should very difficult to make but very easy to get rid of rather than the opposite which is true now.

Ummm... if we get rid of laws against speeding, would be that the kind of thing you're talking about?

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"Kafria I am not suprised this has happened. But what a waste of taxpayers money this is going to be if all these cases are being sent up to the Crown Courts only later for it to be relealled on appeal. Only people this is benefiting is, as usual, lawyers and judges- I wonder what the total bill for them will be by the end of this?

You're right, but aren't you glad the legal system is still functioning well enough to change silly decisions? Maybe we should make a law that no one can ever make any sort of error of judgment, especially pressured judges.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:00 pm

Speeding would clearly fall into the category of requiring law as the consequneces of it can infringe the rights of others including killing them- same goes for drink driving etc. At some point there has to be established a basis for why a law is needed.

"aren't you glad the legal system is still functioning well enough to change silly decisions?"Orwell

Well its the English legal system so not that glad either way, however it is a worry that a legal system which is supposed to try cases on individual merit and dispassionately, free of public hysteria has made so many questionable decisions it must have known would end up in the Appeal courts. If I was being really cynical I might think they were just creating a boom of work for themselves at a cycle in the year when traditionally prison intakes and court cases are lower.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:15 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Speeding would clearly fall into the category of requiring law as the consequneces of it can infringe the rights of others including killing them- same goes for drink driving etc. At some point there has to be established a basis for why a law is needed.

Just so. I thought there always is a basis, governments responding to need. Bad, ill-thought-out laws need to be dropped or modified if it's decided they're out of date, or just plain ridiculous, or hated by the majority.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"aren't you glad the legal system is still functioning well enough to change silly decisions?"Orwell

Well its the English legal system so not that glad either way, however it is a worry that a legal system which is supposed to try cases on individual merit and dispassionately, free of public hysteria has made so many questionable decisions it must have known would end up in the Appeal courts. If I was being really cynical I might think they were just creating a boom of work for themselves at a cycle in the year when traditionally prison intakes and court cases are lower.

These are the complaints of ages. No system will stop it, the system can only place checks and balances. Mmm... a legal system which is supposed to try cases on individual merit and dispassionately, free of public hysteria. Isn't this exactly the legal philosophy? Do you want to alter this philosophy - no, I don't think so. You'd just like to think judges would do it better (more fairly, more sensibly, more consistently). Human beings (individuals) are the problem in this discussion, not the system as such.

As to judges NOT being pressured. Why not? They haven't got their moral compasses to deal with it? I think that they should be pressured into giving more realistic sentences to rapists, murderers, assault merchants, high level financial system fraudsters - the people who do the Greatest harm. Usually, they're the ones who get a slap, while people who do less harm sometimes, as shown in the present situation, get exhorbitant silly sentences. Is this all caused by 'interference"? Judges just need the balls and brains to do the right thing by the community.

Err... If I was being really cynical I might think they were just creating a boom of work for themselves at a cycle in the year when traditionally prison intakes and court cases are lower. You may be right, but you sound suspiciously like a Conspiracy Theorist here? Very Happy

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:25 pm

"Is this caused by ïnterference" as well?"- Orwell

That sir is a damn good question. I have no idea as to the answer. Why did not more MPs who were found guilty by the Commons Committe of defrauding the tax payer not end up in court? And why did the few who did get pathetic sentences of a few months?
There is a sense still in the UK that the Upper classes see law as something to control the poor and therefore doesn't affect them. There was a chap on BBC Newnight last night representing the banking sector. When asked "Is it fair the rich seem able to circumnavigate the law?" he replied "the rich have always done that." When pressed with the follow up question "Yes but it is it morally right to do it now?" He simply restated the rich have always done it as if that was all the explanation required.

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Re: Rioting in the UK

Post by Orwell on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:45 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:"Is this caused by ïnterference" as well?"- Orwell

There is a sense still in the UK that the Upper classes see law as something to control the poor and therefore doesn't affect them. There was a chap on BBC Newnight last night representing the banking sector. When asked "Is it fair the rich seem able to circumnavigate the law?" he replied "the rich have always done that." When pressed with the follow up question "Yes but it is it morally right to do it now?" He simply restated the rich have always done it as if that was all the explanation required.

I have, in a way, a similar view. Not exactly, but sort of. I don't think I have to obey the law. But would I break them? Probably not. I agree with most. I also think, say, stealing something (and I don't mean a pen from work - borrowed?), even if I can get away with it, does me personally any good - I wouldn't like someone doing the same to me and I extend the same curtesy to others. So, I don't need laws, just my own judgment. It's other people who need laws. I know this is not addressing what you said, Petty, but what you said above did get me thinking.

As to the "rich" (so to speak) placing themselves "above" others, I'm reminded of a conversation I once had with a friend. He had a business expense account from his employer which he used for "private" lunches with family and friends, so it was really an extra bit of "untaxed" salary. Tax Avoidance, hmm? I thought so. My own brother had an expense account with his employer and he had told me he would never use a business expense account for anything but "directly" helping the business, which often includes wining and dining clients so deals (hopefully honest ones) can be thrashed out in a relaxed get-to-know-each-other way. I have no problem with that (so long as it's not insider trading or something). My brother sees using a business expense account as a "further benefit above your salary" and in so doing actually "avoid tax", as, at least, a moral wrong, and ilegal under Tax Laws. (My brother and I focus more on the moral failure rather than the actual breaking of the law). My friend got very upset with me that I thought what he was doing was pretty much the same as stealing a T.V. in the bigger scheme of things. After all, we pay tax as our social obligation, don't we? If we fudge our figures, aren't we ripping off that same society?


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