I've decided to post about something other than writing today, and I've decided to be controversial.
None of us will remember Stocks. But we've all heard of them.
Stocks were (according to wikipedia) 'devices used internationally, in medieval, Renaissance and colonial American times as a form of physical punishment involving public humiliation. The stocks partially immobilised its victims and they were often exposed in a public place such as the site of a market to the scorn of those who passed by.'
Now (after the events of the last 24 hours, which has seen my niece being assaulted by a group of drunken louts and my nephew's mobile phone stolen) I'd love to see these back in action in towns and villages all across this great nation of ours. I think a day or two in the stocks would be an excellent alternative to the pointless bullshit that is community service or a suspended sentence.
Let's get back to punishing wrong-doers, rather than getting all wrapped up in deep philosophical discussions about the need to rehabilitate. Something quick and cost-effective...like the stocks.
We'll not bother with a roof if its wet or sun-cream if its sunny (which would no doubt be high on the list of the hand-wringing liberals!). Not even a cushion to sit on. Just a sign behind them saying 'This is a criminal. Their name is xxx. The crime they committed is yyy.' - and maybe a bottle of water (we wouldn't want them to become dehydrated, would we).
If they need a shit or a piss, well, that's just tough.
Should passers-by be allowed to throw rotten fruit at them? Should young boys be allowed to urinate on their heads?
Points for debate, methinks...hold on, what's that?
Did someone say that what I'm proposing here is barbaric?
O contraire, mon ami.
What's barbaric is a society which has over thirty 'charities' set up to fight for the rights of criminals, but only one which fights for the rights of victims.
What's barbaric is how an individual who has stolen the property of an ordinary hard-working, tax-paying citizen is usually only 'cautioned' by the police (if the police can actually be bothered to follow-up the crime in the first place). That's not really a deterrent,is it?
What's barbaric is how it costs society £40,000 a year to keep a criminal in prison, money that could be used to pay for cancer treatments.
What's barbaric is that someone who has broken the law and been locked up because of it is being given the opportunity to vote on how governs the very society they have transgressed against.
What's barbaric is that prisoners get proper meals, colour TVs and Sky in their cells, when hard-working folks often can't afford these.
I think it's time for society to ask itself a question. If one of the few things we ask an individual to do is abide by the law, why should we not punish, quickly and harshly, those who choose not to?