Archive for March 4th, 2008

March 4th, 2008

Shooting the wrong targets

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I see the government have decided that the root cause of evil amongst the teenage chav culture is cheap booze. Apparently teenagers only hang about on street corners, shout & swear at everyone, rip people’s fencing down, stab each other and kill people who get in their way because the poor little dears are drinking alcohol.

The solution is obviously to make it very expensive, that way they won’t be able to afford it and will realise that rather than getting steamed down the local skate park, life is far more enjoyable if you join the Army Cadets & take up creative writing courses at evening classes.

It’s so typical for the government (and lots of chief constables – Fahy & Craik to name but two) to go towards a solution which not only never works but also penalises the millions of responsible people who have to pay for the goverment’s inability to put funds towards workable solutions.

If I want to have a quiet glass of imported German beer after a particularly stressful late shift, it’s going to cost me more. Fantastic.

Of course the reason they set so much store on these ‘solutions’ is because it doesn’t actually cost anything. You force the alcohol industry to pay for the advertising to ‘drink sensibly’, force them to put up the price (which, by the way, increases the cash going from your pocket into the chancellor’s) and it’s cost the country precisely bugger-all. It sounds good, looks like you’re doing something and costs nothing, a win-win-win solution, back Whitehall for tea & medals all round.

You don’t have to pay for extra police officers to be able to be out in the community ‘discouraging’ youths from anti-social behaviour, you don’t have to pay for all the extra resources required by the judicial system to deal with all the people who sell alcohol illegally, & you don’t have to pay to deal with the little shits when they get pissed & blight everyone’s peace around them. And that’s not even thinking about all the anti-social behaviour which is not based on youngsters being too pissed to think sensibly.

The truth is that to actually tackle some of our current problems, you need to fund specific actions. Hot air & spin will do bugger all except make MPs & chief police officers look good on their promotion CVs.