No, no, for the criminals, not the victims. That would be madness!
Leading the pack is Professor of Criminology David Wilson in the ‘Times’:
In my work I have yet to encounter a child who was “evil” — born bad. Rather, children behave badly because of what has been put into them and how they have been brought up. Violence is frequently the result of other violent acts.Well, there you go. Prof Wilson has never seen it, ergo it doesn’t exist. That’s science, that is….
And before the police investigations are even properly started, much less concluded, he’s ready to tell us all that this is no big deal, we are mistaken if we think this is unique or even more common today:
So how should we respond to the boys who committed this crime? Clearly there will be some who will want to see this as another example of how today’s children are “out of control” and that things have got worse since they were growing up. Ignore them. Our children are not out of control and youth crime is neither new, nor rising uniformly in the country. I grew up in Glasgow in the 1960s and 1970s, for example, when the good citizens of that city were campaigning to bring back the birch as a way of responding to the youths who formed “razor gangs”.And luckily, they didn’t succeed.
Hence we have the earthly paradise we have now, where children (and in some cases, adults) don’t live in fear of baby yobs with no consciences. If they’d succeeded in bringing back the birch, who knows what our society would…
Ooh, I think something’s wrong with your ‘reasoning’ there, Prof. After all, it seems the establishment has been listening to your sort for decades, and it’s not worked. Prescribing more of the same isn’t likely to either, is it?
But Prof Wilson is in full-on ‘appeasement’ mode and can’t be stopped:
The best way for us to react is to try to prevent crimes such as this happening in the first place, and here is the thing — we know what we should do to achieve that.Mmm, yes, in the most child-centred period in history (for the middle classes, at least), these crimes are because we just aren’t deferring to them as much as we should.
Keep young people in school, give them something to aim for, take seriously their fears and anxieties and work with them to overcome them. While I can’t promise that we will not see what happened in Edlington repeated, the chances of it becoming more common will all but disappear.
It’s almost as if other factors are at play here, isn’t it? But we can’t expect a Professor of Criminology to understand that, I suppose…