Sunday 1 March 2009

Anti-Social Behaviour?

Last week, the Tories returned to the theme of anti-social behaviour, this time with a scheme to 'ground' children aged from 10 to 17 for up to a month. Their argument is that they want to stop the young people concerned from growing up into a life of crime.

I don't dispute for one moment that there is such a thing as anti-social behaviour. I won't even dispute that there are a minority of young people who can cause problems from time to time, although that which is these days referred to as anti-social behaviour sometimes looks more like tabloid-driven over-reaction.

But anti-social behaviour comes in other forms as well. I think I'd argue that the sort of behaviour which helped to drive banks out of business and wreck the economy is pretty anti-social as well. I'm not sure that I'd go as far as the former Soviet bloc and try those responsible for 'economic crimes'; but I wouldn't allow them to carry on regardless either.

Surely, the fact that the Tories (and to a lesser extent Labour) have benefited financially from the latter sort of anti-social behaviour couldn't be the reason for the difference in approach?

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