Sometimes I find politics a bit depressing. Today was such a day. The response to the Prime Minister's speech about how to respond to the riots of last week was as unconstuctive as it was dispiriting. David Cameron had no option but to discuss various steps that the Government could take. Just imagine what the reaction would be if all he said was that we are going to do is hold an 'inquiry' that will report in 3 years time. Don't suppose every proposal mentioned will go forward, certainly without amendment, but I believe bringing a moral dimension into the debate is essential. Criminal behavior is not neutral. It is wrong, and criminals should not be allowed to get away with it. As I've listened to the media over the last few days, I've realised that there is a bigger gap between the media and the people than between politicians and the people. The one thing our Prime Minister should not do is listen to the media, who use bloodhound-like skills to track down people who will rubbish every word he speaks. Its the sterile game that they play.
"Lets consider some conditions on benefits, in that those who riot should suffer some loss". Can't possibly do that because with less money, those on benefit will have more incentive to rob. "Lets consider a 'war on gangs'". Oh dear, can't possibly use a word like 'war'. "Lets make both parents take responsibility for their children". Can't possibly do that because it may stigmatise single parents, even though it does no such thing. Almost every comment on the Prime Minister's speech demanded the spending of more public money which we do not have. "Lets reform the police force so that its more responsive to the public and more than 12% of police are out on the street at any one time". How dare politicians do or say anything that has not been approved of by every Chief Constable in the land. And on and on it goes. What David Cameron has to do is follow his instincts, and not be diverted from taking on those who will always find reasons for doing nothing.