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The Socialist 4 April 2007 |
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Blair's crime review
No solutions to crime or crowded prisons
TONY BLAIR has had 53 'law and order' bills passed in ten years at number ten, but still thinks he isn't being tough enough on crime yet. New Labour's latest crime review includes extending 'early intervention' to monitoring all children to examine their 'risk' of criminality.
'Summary justice', ie 'on the spot' fines, would be extended as would fixed penalty notices and ASBOs, which lack even the limited accountability of the undemocratic judiciary. The review also wants to increase police DNA databases to all suspects they come into contact with.
So it is more of the same authoritarian policy we have come to expect. Blair also decided that "the pace of public service reform in criminal justice needed to match that in health and education" (the guardian, 28 March) and is proposing 'workforce reform' (read privatisation) of court, probation and prison staff and the introduction of league tables for courts (which already exist for prisons).
Such proposals show New Labour have no real solutions to the record prison population announced last week and the gun and knife crime in the headlines recently. Not that the other capitalist parties have solutions. The Tories decry the logical conclusions of some of the policies they first put into practice during their 18-year rule while the Lib-Dems claim that Blair has adopted some of their policies.
In the guardian on the same day as the crime review, an article on Britain's high levels of poverty, low pay, youth unemployment and McJobs showed that life is bleak for young people.
Although there is no simple relationship between crime and poverty, the two are intimately associated with each other and are rooted in the exploitative capitalist system. We can win higher pay, better working conditions and other reforms under capitalism, but we need a socialist world to make these problems a thing of the past.