Left Out Liberal

A left-wing/liberal look at the UK's General Election of 2005.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Flight comes in to land

Howard Flight is still hitting the headlines for the Conservative party. I'm beginning to suspect that there is a bit of revenge wanting to be exacted by Mr Flight here. If he was a committed Conservative, then he would surely realise that his actions are very politically damaging to their election strategy. They are simply reminding people of those Major days when the Tory party was split right down the middle. And those were pretty dark days for them.

But instead, we're still being inflicted with this media circus. What I find so amusing here is that the media like to claim that it is not them who choose what news to display. All through yesterday, while Howard tried to talk about his proposals for childcare, the media were coming out with the classic, "He's trying to divert attention from Howard Flight and we won't let him!" as if somehow that Howard's actions would stop other news from happening. They like to make us believe that they merely report the news, but in fact they are only drawing the parallel between the two stories because they want to. It's important to remember how pivotal the role of the news editor is...

Meanwhile, Charles Kennedy this morning is to unveil his plan to tackle crime. Of course, it will all be ignored and dismissed by the big guns as "weak" and "lacking discipline". This forces the Lib Dems to overplay their hand by concentrating on exactly what all the other parties offer: more police. Of course the police have a role to play, but once again, tackling crime requires a grand vision, consistently applied, to defeat the root causes of it. This may or may not involve police officers at all.

So instead of talking up the genuine and very different policies they have, they are forced on the defensive by sounding exactly like every other party. "More bobbies on the beat!" is the usual rallying cry.

This is why there is no hope for the Liberal Democrats.

6 Comments:

At 7:15 pm, March 29, 2005, Anonymous Arizent said...

Indeed. Never underestimate the power the media has, and unknowingly, or knowingly executes on the public. The old phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword” comes to mind. While it doesn’t apply in its traditional sense, I think you understand how I metaphorically mean.

News is inevitably biased, more so in the papers than in the TV, but both nonetheless. Carefully choosing and “sprucing-up” events that will attract the most sales or controversy.

The newspapers are in particular known for their terrible obsession with “scandals” no matter whom or what it is.

As for the root of crime, well there will always be exceptions of course, but Yes absolutely, as cliché as it will sound, 98% of the time it really is down to childhood and teenage upbringing and positive / negative influence.

Sure more police on the beat and harsher sentences will prevent actual occurrences of crime, but won’t stop the desire to commit crime, which is the root problem. It’s like trying to put makeup on a dog to make it look like an attractive supermodel.

The fact is, (theoretically of course) we shouldn’t need deterrents at all… Ideally it would be much better if every individual feels inspired and feels a burning desire to do good, be honest, and loving, rather than have to be “sacred” into not committing crimes with the threat of being “locked up” or whatever.

But that will remain a theoretical utopia for many centuries I expect.

Regards
- Arizent

 
At 6:11 pm, March 30, 2005, Blogger Eddie said...

Great post. Thanks for your contribution!

On the media - yes. It's a simple message, but it has never been more true. Be as sceptical of the media's motives as you normally are of politicians.

Crime - I accept your point that you cannot account for all crime by saying it's all down to background... there is always the occasional person who is an exception to the rule.

I think the problem is that these kind of policies to tackle the root causes don't take effect for many years; they are the long-term solution, and they often cost much more than just slapping an ASBO on someone. The theoretical utopia you mention will probably never happen, but it can't hurt to keep striving for it.

I think we probably do need more police on the beat. My point was just that we shouldn't accept this over-simplification as the reason why people see a perceived rise in crime, even if crime hasn't actually changed much. It needs much more than police. And ID cards certainly won't help...

 
At 11:20 pm, March 31, 2005, Anonymous arizent said...

Oh yep, don’t get me wrong, you’re totally right. Don’t mind me, I was just being a bit frivolous and going of on a tangent there that’s all. :D

I'll get round to that email soon BTW, apologies for the long wait!

Regards
- Arizent

 
At 9:16 am, April 02, 2005, Blogger Eddie said...

I knew I recognised that nickname. Didn't realise who you were at first!

No worries about the e-mail. It was phenomenally long. Glad to see you around here though and I hope you'll keep coming back!

 
At 9:52 pm, April 03, 2005, Anonymous robin said...

Yes crime can be licked-the Rudolph Gulianio way

 
At 10:36 pm, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm naturally good, and i think it's to do with the way NOT i was raised but the way in which i have grown through public schooling, life lessons i've HAD to learn otherwise have consequences thrown upon me, and also the fact that i actually listen to other people and don't just pretend to "listen" and many people have realised this aspect of my being.
Therefore to say that it may be our upbringing that causes this desire to steal or commit a crime may be part of it but NOT a whole.
But i agree with most of what has been said especially the piece about the "It’s like trying to put makeup on a dog to make it look like an attractive supermodel." nice touch!

Anon

 

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