This is what happens when you don't enforce laws and ban self-defence...


December 24, 2002, 10:41 AM
From the Wall Street Journal (

'Twasn't Ever Thus
Liberal snobbery helps make Britain the world's most crime-ridden country.

Sunday, December 22, 2002 12:01 a.m. EST

LONDON--Britain is now the world leader in very little, with the single possible exception of crime.

Recent figures published by the U.N. show that Britain is now among the most crime-ridden countries in the world. Its citizens are much more likely to be attacked or robbed on the street, or have their houses burgled, than their counterparts in, say, Russia or South Africa, let alone the U.S. Everyday experience in Britain is quite sufficient to establish that we now live in a deeply criminalized society.

For a middle-class person like me who grew up in the Britain of the 1950s, this is all very startling. It was then so safe a country that one was inclined to suppose that criminality was as foreign as food that tasted of anything. One rather pitied foreigners their dishonesty and thuggishness because it was something that, being foreigners, they couldn't really help. Even the few native criminals that we had were, at heart, gentlemen: when caught by our efficient and upstanding constabulary (and no words ever settled the hash of criminals more decisively than those to the effect that Scotland Yard had been called in), our criminals always said, ever so sportingly, "It's a fair cop, guv."
Less than half a century later, many people no more venture out after dark than Transylvanian peasants would go wandering while Dracula was at large, and once the sun has gone down, there is not an old person to be seen in public in Britain. Taxi drivers carry ground chilies to squirt in the eyes of their passengers in case they turn nasty, and martial-arts instructors offer their services to hospital staff to protect them from the aggression of patients and their relatives. In short, the British have gone from being civil to savage in less than a single lifetime.

Perhaps even more startling is the complete paralysis of British society in the face of this terrible breakdown. In the war against civility, the savages have it all their own way. No one would dare to correct even seven-year-old children in the street or on a bus, for fear that they carried knives. My prisoner patients often tell me that when they beat someone to a pulp, they were carrying out a "normal assault." The other day, a prisoner said to me, "I'm an innocent man. I just jumped the counter, took some money and ran away." And true enough, in much of Britain such behavior is comparatively innocent. Anything short of the rape of little girls is considered trivial. Once I asked a prisoner why he was in prison, and he replied, "I'm here on a poxy little murder charge." This, I need hardly point out, is a world away from "It's a fair cop, guv."

The response of the British liberal intelligentsia and the political class to the crime wave that has engulfed our society makes a jellyfish look solid. Witness the British middle class in full retreat. Every conceivable argument has been used to avoid acknowledging the painful reality of what we have so heedlessly wrought over so short a period. Some try to suggest that crime hasn't really increased, but that it is just more fully reported now than ever before. Others venture that there is more theft because people have more possessions (the first time wealth rather than poverty has been blamed for crime). And so on, ad infinitum.
As the politicians dither and bicker, I am reminded of the Romanian peasant proverb: The whole village is on fire, but grandmother wants to finish combing her hair.

At the root of the British inability to confront the problem is snobbery. There is a reluctance on the part of the upper echelons of society to believe that the lower echelons are fully human, and therefore responsible for their own acts and decisions. No discussion with a British liberal about the growing incivility, criminality and violence of British life is complete without reference to Hogarth's Gin Lane, the implication being that 'twas ever thus. This, of course, is nonsense. But it does establish that the British liberal intelligentsia believes the lower classes are genetically and irredeemably, utter scum.

Theodore Dalrymple is the pen name of Anthony Daniels, a physician and contributing editor of City Journal.

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December 24, 2002, 11:07 AM
It would appear that Agricola isn't here yet, so allow me to fill in.

This is an example of media exaggeration.
Most crimes are cell phone snatches.
There would be Happiness and Whirled Peas if cell phone companies would redesign cell phones.
The Opinion Journal is a radical Tory/Labour/Whig/Dixiecrat/whatever party paper and of course shows an extremist view of the way things are.
Just because the gun ban preceded an increase in crime, doesn't mean that the gun ban was the cause thereof.

Personally, I'd say that the virtual ban on firearms is more a symptom of the illness, rather than the cause of the disease.

December 24, 2002, 02:30 PM
What,Cordex said..

Boy,that was easy.;)

December 24, 2002, 03:45 PM
Britain is now the world leader in very little, with the single possible exception of crime. Wonder if agricola has heard of this yet.

Anybody want to start a pool as to when he's going to show up here?

Phil Ca
December 24, 2002, 03:50 PM
I always said that the best thing my English and Scotch-Irish ancestors ever did was to leave Great Britain and hie themselves to the New World. Some started as early as the 1600s and the German and Dutch branch left in the late 1800s.

:D :cool:

Capital Punishment
December 24, 2002, 03:55 PM
The whole village is on fire, but grandmother wants to finish combing her hair.

Dont know what that has to do with the article, but i like that proverb! :D

Greg L
December 24, 2002, 04:48 PM

Are we related? Mine took off for lands unknown in the same time frame.

Sad to see what has become of England. Too bad that the WW2 vets who fought for her have to see what she has become.


December 24, 2002, 07:07 PM
I was going to post this as a separate topic, but since we're on the subject check this from the BBC:

The farmer jailed for the manslaughter of a 16-year-old burglar is being sued for up to £15,000 by one of the people who broke in to his home.
Brendan Fearon, 32, was wounded in the shooting at Tony Martin's Norfolk farmhouse which ended in the death of teenager Fred Barras.

While Tony contemplates another Christmas in prison this man is getting on with trying to feather his own nest

Malcolm Starr

Earlier this year Fearon, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, began his bid for compensation against Martin and the farmer launched a counter-claim for damages.

But more details of the compensation claim have emerged as Fearon sues Martin for being unable to work since being shot in the legs during the raid.

A supporter of Martin, Malcolm Starr, who confirmed the writ had been issued, said the timing so near Christmas was "disgusting".

The farmer's mother, Hilary Martin condemned a legal system that allowed Fearon to sue.

Conviction reduced

Martin, 57, is currently serving a prison sentence for shooting dead Fearon's accomplice, 16-year-old Fred Barras, in August 1999 at his farm in Emneth Hungate.

Brendan Fearon was shot in the legs
In October last year, his conviction was reduced to manslaughter by the Court of Appeal and his sentence reduced to five years for the killing and three years for injuring Fearon.

But his release has been delayed because of administrative problems with the Parole Board.

Mr Starr said: "He (Martin) has had so much support from people with Christmas cards and he thought that it was really bad timing for anyone to be issued with such an awful thing just before Christmas," he said.

The writ states Fearon is claiming damages for leg injuries stopping him finding work, says he is concerned about his "long-term sexual functioning" and he is "very tearful" when watching a film where someone dies, according to the Daily Mail.

He is also said to claim he is afraid of fireworks, no longer enjoys ju-jitsu and kick-boxing and is depressed about television shows containing gunfire, said the paper.

Mother's anger

Mrs Martin said: "We are living in a country which is crazy, with crazy laws and no idea about what is right and wrong.

"It is quite unbelievable that this person is doing this. Absolutely absurd.

"We are talking about someone who is a criminal and I don't know how he has got the nerve to do this."

Mrs Martin said her son's life had been destroyed by what had happened.

"When Tony does come out of prison his life is ruined.

"He's got no future with the farming industry the way it is and I don't know what will happen.

"He's got to start all over again.

"He'll be 58 when he comes out and he's not a well man."

It is believed Fearon is taking the civil action as he would not be entitled to criminal injuries compensation as he was carrying out a crime when he was shot.

Crazy country all right.

El Tejon
December 24, 2002, 07:47 PM
Parliment could join in the fight on crime by abolishing the criminal code. Then Ingerland would have no crime!:D

December 25, 2002, 12:24 AM
Blackstone is fuming in his grave.


December 25, 2002, 12:44 AM
The sad part is that Fearon will probably win. :mad:

December 27, 2002, 10:09 AM
Most crimes are cell phone snatches

Hmmmm Maybe they should make 'smart cel-fones' that can only be used by the owner.... :p

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