Friday, April 22, 2005

the need for imagination

It's me again. I was watching last night's Question Time and one member of the audience, during a discussion on crime, said he wanted to see more imagination used in tackling crime and punishment, and gave the specific example of restorative justice. It would be great to see one political party take this idea seriously and run with it. I really do believe we are unimaginative about tackling crime. We need to build community and a responsibility towards community. This was what Blair used to talked about in the mid-1990s before he became PM. It is unfortunate he throw it out and became so punitive-focused. Our society says you commit a crime you go to prison - we have know no ability to look at the topic in a different way - see abortion debate, the immigration debate, the education debate and health service debate. We need to help the public see imaginative ways of approaching and considering these issues.

On education, let's listen to Philip Pullman and the Archbishop of Canterbury, two people who are saying sensible things. On crime and punishment, let's take account of what's going on in New Zealand and also South Africa, in terms of restorative justice. On immigration, let's stop talking about immigrants or asylum seekers as statistics, but take into account that these are real people.

1 comment:

ash said...

good post there... I remember the Lib Dems mentioning some restorative justice approaches for minor crimes, and being heavily berrated for it, which is a shame.

I think we have a quite revenge-focused society, which is possibly the upshot of the "rights-o-centric" West. I could probably go on about this for ages, whith little more of any substance to add ;o)