Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Britain's slap-on-the-wrist justice system: 37,000 violent thugs a year escaping with just a caution
Magistrates yesterday revealed that 37,000 violent thugs got away with a caution rather than jail in a single year under Britain’s ‘incoherent’ justice system.
John Thornhill, chairman of the Magistrates’ Association, said the yobs could have been hauled before the courts to be properly punished but instead received just a slap on the wrist. In a withering attack on sentencing policy, he said victims were being cheated out of ‘opportunity to see justice being done’, as well as compensation.
The wrong cases were ending up before the courts, he told the association’s annual general meeting. Mr Thornhill contrasted the amount of court time spent addressing minor offences compared with violent crimes. He said: ‘We have an incoherent justice system – a system in which a court is asked to adjourn two separate charges of fare evasion of £1.30 – a matter that could have been dealt with outside of court.
‘A system in which minor drunk and disorderly offences cannot be heard in absence as the streamlined process does not allow the serving of the evidence against the offender – more adjournments and unnecessary expense.
‘Yet set against these examples, in one year 37,000 offenders received a simple caution for an offence that in court would have attracted at least a community order if not custody – assault occasioning actual bodily harm. 'A caution which denies the victim the opportunity to see justice being done and receive compensation for the hurt and injuries caused.’
Under Labour, the number of cautions rocketed, as police and prosecutors were put under pressure to settle cases outside court in order to meet Whitehall targets. The surge sparked fears that the criminal justice system had gone ‘soft’.
Now the Coalition plans to slash the prison population by 3,000 by 2014, meaning tens of thousands of convicts receiving community orders instead of jail terms.
Yesterday, in his own speech to the conference, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke insisted he was not about to tear up short sentences or open prison doors to release violent criminals. ‘If you are alarmed by the debate about that... it has not actually ever featured as part of our proposals,’ he said. ‘The same with letting out the burglars, the rapists, the murderers, people being allowed to stab people and get a community sentence – just forget that.
‘I’ve never met a sane person who agrees with any of those proposals and I regard myself as a comparatively sane man, so none of them are likely to come forward.’ But he added: ‘There will be extremely serious changes. 'The biggest thing we’re addressing in the current system, where we have an enormous prison population, is the rate of reoffending.’
The sentencing Green Paper was still ‘a few weeks’ away, Mr Clarke added. It has been hit by rows between departments over concerns about being seen as ‘soft’ on crime.
Last month, it was revealed that almost 2,700 offenders were handed a community sentence in 2008 despite being found guilty of a crime more than 50 times before. Incredibly, 315 convicts received a non-custodial sentence after 100 or more previous convictions for indictable offences.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘We need a more intelligent approach to sentencing that targets the root causes of crime and reoffending, so making our communities safer and better places to live.
‘There is no question that we must protect the public from the most dangerous criminals in our society. ‘However, we must also ensure the courts have the power to make the right response to stop people committing crime.’
Confessions of a young anti-feminist
By Josephine Asher, writing from Australia
Is the pursuit for gender equality sucking life out of relationships? Instead of harnessing the different qualities of men and women to energise us, we are striving to make men and women equal.
More women are joining the battle for the CEO’s chair and pursuing dominance in their homes and communities. But in the process they’re becoming more like men. And men are becoming… well, less like men.
Renowned Australian neurosurgeon Charlie Teo believes men and women have different roles “set not only by society but set by physiology”. “The current trend is for dads to be more hands on. But for all we know it may be proven in a hundred years time that that may be a negative thing for the upbringing of children,” he said recently on Seven’s Sunday Night program.
“They’re there to be protective. A man has to have a good job; he has to do well at school so he can get a good job and support his family. A woman has to be loving and caring,” he said.
As a 29-year-old single woman, many of my peers don’t appreciate my traditionalist views. I’d rather dodge a flying pair of high heels thrown at me in anger than pin a man under a pair of mine.
Feminism has achieved victories for women, but could it be at the expense of femininity, chivalry and attributes of the opposite sex that instinctively attract us to each other?
In his book The Way of the Superior Man, David Deida describes attraction between the masculine and the feminine as “sexual polarity”, referring to varying degrees of strength and vulnerability.
“This force of attraction is the dynamism that often disappears in modern relationships. If you want real passion, you need a ravisher and a ravishee. Otherwise you just have two buddies who decide to rub genitals in bed,” he writes.
Earlier this month, TopGear presenter James May branded the new generation of men as “useless morons” who struggle to master the basic skills once defined as masculine roles. “The decline of practical skills, some of them very day-to-day, among a generation of British men is very worrying. They can’t put up a shelf, wire a plug, countersink a screw…” he said.
For thousands of years men were providers and protectors and women nurturers. Evolution provided each with the physical and emotional assets to do these jobs well.
Well into the last century the husband provided his family with a home and food and this sole responsibility gave him a sense of power and purpose. And women didn’t feel pressure to justify their existence with a career. They were proud home makers and mothers.
Until feminism. Now, two thirds of Australian families with dependent children have two incomes. Women are more independent, and consequently they are less dependent on men.
However, mothers now feel more pressure to stay in the workforce either to financially keep up with the surge in double income families or to avoid the negative stigma of being a housewife.
Is it becoming unacceptable in our society for women to rely on men and take pride in abilities defined as gender roles?
Women are also suppressing traditional feminine characteristics like elegance and fragility to take on high power careers and step into male dominated roles.
The Annual Child Care and Workforce Participation Survey found 33 per cent of women who returned to work did so for independence, and 27 per cent for career progression. However, a British survey of 2000 men revealed one-third of men would prefer to be the sole breadwinning traditional father while another quarter would like to be the main breadwinner with their spouse working only part-time.
Instead, men are sporting aprons, doing their own ironing and pushing trolleys down supermarket aisles – roles that don’t exactly exude manliness.
The survey also found more than half of respondents thought 21st century society was turning men into “waxed and coiffed metrosexuals”, who had to live according to women’s rules.
How does that impact a man’s morale? My friend Dave told me his wife speaks to him in the same tone as she speaks to their children – and the dog. “Kids, turn off the TV, Buster outside, Dave, the dishes aren’t going to clean themselves.” Dave feels like he’s surrendered his balls.
When a man is stripped of his sense of purpose, it’s more difficult to satisfy that instinctive hunger for power and purpose. Could this be part of the reason why one in eight Australian men experiences severe depression in their lifetime?
Deida describes it as a “weakened impotent existence”. “Without a conscious life purpose, a man is totally lost, drifting, adapting to events rather than creating events,” he said. “The mission is the priority of the masculine, whereas the search for love is the priority of the feminine.”
It seems marriage is becoming less about being dependent on each other and more about living independent lives. But is it making couples happier? Now, 40 percent of Australian marriages are predicted to end in divorce.
The Relationships Australia Relationships Indicators Survey 2008 revealed stress, work pressures and lack of time to spend with their partner were the top three factors that negatively impacted upon partner relationships.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007), 67 per cent of mothers felt pressed for time in families where both parents were working, compared with just 12 per cent in families where one parent was employed.
I don’t think that women should surrender their careers all together. But if we allow men to reclaim some power, we women could do more to embrace our femininity. Would we be happier if more of us accept that men and women are not equal?
The still lethal obsession
No matter how many prizes Prof. Robert Wistrich’s massive tome A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad garners, the book still deserves more attention than it has received. Indeed no amount of attention would be sufficient.
Its packed 938 pages of text reflect neither authorial grandiosity nor editorial lassitude. The copious detail amassed is required so that Wistrich’s central arguments not be dismissed as cherry-picked quotes used to exaggerate the seriousness of the phenomena under discussion. Random House, a commercial publisher, did not request him to cut a single sentence.
A Lethal Obsession stands as a refutation of three widespread misconceptions fostered in the West, partly out of ignorance and partly out of fear. The first is that radical Islam is a relatively minor phenomenon in the Muslim world. On his recent visit to India, US President Barack Obama provided a good example of Western ignorance or dissembling. Asked about jihad, he began his reply by insisting that jihad has several meanings in Islamic thought. Wrong. In contemporary Muslim discourse, jihad invariably refers to conquest to establish the domain of Islam.
The president went on to state, “Islam is one of the world’s great religions, which has been distorted in the hands of a few extremists.” As Wistrich makes clear, however, Islamo-fascism, with its death cult and cosmology of civilizational struggle between the forces of righteousness and demonic evil (with the Jews or Israel always at the center), holds millions, from alienated Muslim youth in Europe, across the 57 Muslim states, in thrall.
Nazi race ideology found fertile soil in the Middle East. Hitler was a hero to the founder of Syrian and Iraqi Ba’athism, Michel Aflaq. Haj Amin al-Husseini, the founding father of Palestinian nationalism, recruited Bosnian Muslims for Hitler’s extermination of Balkan Jewry. In wartime broadcasts from Berlin, he extolled Hitler for having fully grasped the nature of the “Jewish peril” and for “having resolved to find a final solution to liberate the world from this danger.” He synthesized Nazism with the teachings of “the prophet” on the perfidy of the Jews in all times and all places – “bloodsuckers of the nations and corrupters of morality, incapable of loyalty or genuine assimilation.”
Sayyid Qutb, theorist of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas and al-Qaida are but two offshoots, wrote in his Our Struggle with the Jews (an echo of Mein Kampf) of “the liberating struggle of jihad” that can never cease, and threatened any Muslim regime that should contemplate any form of accommodation with Israel. (He was executed by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.) For him, as for so many Muslim thinkers after him, the very existence of the State of Israel represented the measure of the Muslim world’s degradation and moral bankruptcy.
Virulent anti-Semitism, Wistrich quotes the dean of Middle East scholars Bernard Lewis, “is an essential part of Arab intellectual life.” The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has been reprinted in countless editions in almost every Muslim country. It climbed to No. 2 on the Turkish best-seller lists in 2005, at a time when Turkey was still a strategic ally of Israel. Egypt, a nation nominally at peace with Israel, recently broadcast a 24-part TV dramatization of The Protocols.
Conspiracy theories about Jews are readily believed throughout the Arab and Muslim world. Jews are the all-purpose explanation for the Islamic world’s weakness and failure vis-à-vis the West, and a metaphor for all the disorienting aspects of modernity and globalization. Iranian-sponsored Holocaust denial is but the most repugnant of those conspiracy theories. In Pakistan, like Iran a Muslim nation with no border or national dispute with Israel, two-thirds of the population did not discredit out of hand the claim that Jews were behind 9/11 and were told in advance not to show up for work that day.
The Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 – a revolution without borders, according to its leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini – raised the pride and hopes of downtrodden Muslims around the globe. And with the Soviet expulsion from Afghanistan, the fall of the godless Soviet Union and most recently the emergence of a nuclear Iran, a narrative of Islam ascendant and ready to confront the corrupt, Jew-controlled West has inflamed millions of Muslims around the globe. Determination to extirpate the cancer of Israel is the key element allowing Shi’ite Iran to gather the Sunni Muslim street to its banner. Not surprisingly, a 1999 poll by the American University of Beirut of the Arab world found: 87 percent supported Islamic terror attacks on Israel, 70% opposed peace with Israel and 54% advocated a war of annihilation of Israel.
Attack on age-old Jewish customs in New Zealand defeated
New Zealand? Jews are fair game everyewhere, it seems. When will the world ever learn?
A farming company part-owned by a Cabinet minister was able to give him a briefing about how the Government could protect its lucrative trade with Muslim countries by banning Jewish slaughtering. Agriculture Minister David Carter supported the recommended law change but had to back down days before he was to be taken to court to justify it.
It is the second time this year Crown lawyers have had to leap to the defence of one of Parliament's wealthiest MPs - and this time in a case in which he was forced to admit getting basic facts wrong.
Carter was being sued by the Auckland Hebrew Congregation for changing the law in May to make traditional Jewish slaughter of animals illegal. The case was set to begin in the High Court at Wellington tomorrow - until an embarrassing backdown by Carter who on Friday overturned the ban he asked Cabinet to support.
The practice of shechita on poultry was declared no longer illegal while the Government also agreed to negotiate the ban on sheep. New Zealand Jews will still have to import beef from Australia, where shechita is allowed.
Documents obtained by the Herald on Sunday appear to show Carter broke the rules governing his portfolio by considering trade implications when making the original decision.
An allegation of conflict of interest has been made because of that - he holds shares in a company which exports meat and met with senior managers who wanted a ban on shechita to protect their interests.
Carter was pulled back into line after lawyers told him he was allowed to consider only animal welfare issues. He had been advised trade with Muslim countries might suffer if it emerged kosher meat was allowed to be produced here while restrictions were placed on halal slaughter.
New Zealand requires halal meat be stunned before slaughter while kosher meat - which is killed only for a small domestic market - does not have the same restriction....
Crown Law Office spokeswoman Jan Fulstow was unable to provide details of the cost of defending Carter over the shechita ban before press time.
It emerged in April that taxpayers paid $115,000 towards Carter's legal bills after a defamation scrap with former NZ First leader Winston Peters.
Fulstow contacted the Herald on Sunday on Friday to warn against printing material relating to the court case. Fulstow said she was calling to warn about a confidentiality order at the urging of Carter's lawyer.
The call came within minutes of questions from the Herald on Sunday to Carter's ministerial office over Jewish community claims of a conflict of interest.
But much of the information used by the Herald on Sunday came through the Official Information Act, sought by Auckland's Jonathan Shenken, who became concerned his religious right to kosher meat would be threatened.
Shenken began and continued a decade-long research initiative which turned up concerns by MAF over the possible trade impacts of shechita - and eventually Carter's meeting with Silver Fern Farms Ltd. Other information included a High Court judgment released on Friday.
In the judgment, from Justice Alan Mackenzie, it was revealed that Carter had banned shechita slaughter of poultry, sheep and cows with the belief all could be imported from Australia.
But Carter's lack of knowledge was exposed in the judgment. Judge Mackenzie reported that Carter had no idea it was not possible to import kosher chicken meat and that "his understanding was wrong".
His evidence also revealed he had no idea how much it could cost to import kosher meat - in the case of lamb, more than $120 a kilogram.
It was the judgment that also revealed Carter's office had repeatedly referred to shechita and trade after he had been told by lawyers he was not to do so.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.