Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Study: British Public Cleverer, Nicer Than Their Leaders

Further to our ongoing inquiries into British youth-hatred, was cautiously pleased to see this morning that a study by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research found that most people don't actually think youth should be ASBOed up the yingyang. (Amerifriends: ASBO = Anti-social Behavior Order, Britain's orwellian let-the-punishment-fit-the-crime carte blanche to judges to levy creative extrajudiciary [or as they say 'civil'] penalties on offenders who haven't committed actual crimes. Think 'electric cattle prod for youth control'.)

According to the study, which was based on Home Office and Official for National Statistics data, 'more than 66% of people thought prevention was the best way to tackle rowdiness and vandalism,' while '[j]ust 20% thought it would be better to get tougher with offenders.'

In a wildly unexpected turn of events, the Home Office responded with the statement that 'a recent inquiry had found its approach to anti-social behaviour to be "about right".' How much of right is 'about', do you think? Is that like 78% right? Where did the data behind that conclusion come from, I wonder?

And if that's really the case, shouldn't that approach be working already, and there not actually be the 'yob problem' the government is so noisily campaigning against?

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