Muggers need to be offered more fun activities

Another load of tosh this morning from some well-meaning pillock on the BBC. Apparently, when questioned, over 50% of those convicted of mugging said that they did it not for money or mobile phones, but for the fun of it.

The ‘expert’ conclusion – we need to find a way to keep these offenders amused in other ways.

I really despair of such stupid, mindless, and pathetic ‘experts’. Were they never young? Were they never bad? People who break things or break rules often do it for the sheer hell of it. It IS fun to break things. It IS fun to break rules. We all know this as children.

Offering muggers a place to go and play pool or skateboard is never going to stop them mugging people. This kind of nonsense argument should be laughed out of the debate. We all obey rules out of fear of the consequences for doing otherwise. We also obey rules once we appreciate that doing so improves the living conditions of all members of society. If there are no consequences, we have nothing to fear and no sense of solidarity, empathy, or belonging.

As I see it, the liberal ‘experts’ have had their way too long. You only have to see the results obtained by the excellent series ‘Bad Lads’ Army’ to see what a spell of something along the lines of national service could do for a lot of people. Yes, I can hear the derisive cries, stuffy and mocking Colonel Blimp impressions, and accusations of not understanding the poor little souls’ problems, but frankly, giving troublemakers a sense of purpose, an esprit de corps, and a feeling of pride in what they can achieve under a strict regime has demonstrably proven more effective than attempts in recent years to curtail increasing problems of anti-social behaviour.

Liberals – open your eyes!

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Albert Pierrepoint

Watched a very good DVD last night – Pierrepoint – about Albert Pierrepoint (1905-1992), a fellow Bradfordian, who was reputedly the best hangman in the UK during the 20th century. Pierrepoint hanged William Joyce (Lord Hawhaw), Ruth Ellis, and 200 convicted Nazi war criminals during his tenure.

Never one to enjoy his job, Pierrepoint took great pride in making executions as humane and as quick as possible. His belief was that once a convicted person had been hanged, they had atoned for all their wrongs and he insisted that all those he executed should be treated with the utmost dignity – even the worst of the Nazis, who had done despicable things to men, women, and children.

Timothy Spall plays Pierrepoint very well and much use is made of the expression on the actors’ faces throughout the film. His struggle on the one hand to cope with what he was doing and his pride on the other in his reputation as the best hangman are conveyed very well, as is his utter distaste for contemporary media interest in his job.

The film ends with a quote Pierrepoint made later on in life, where he said that he was convinced that the death sentence only served one purpose – that of revenge.

Based on what I’ve read and if Timothy Spall’s portrayal is in any way accurate, I am sure that if I had ever been one to stand on the scaffold, I would have wanted Pierrepoint to do the job.

You can view the trailer at http://www.pierrepointmovie.com/.

First Direct to start charging for current accounts

My bank, First Direct, have announced today that they are going to start charging certain customers for their current accounts.

To paraphrase First Direct… ‘Provided you credit your Bank Account or Cheque Account with at least £1,500 each month (internal transfers from first direct accounts excluded), keep an average monthly balance in excess of £1,500 or have an additional product (a loan, mortgage, credit card, savings account, insurance) with first direct you will not incur our banking fee.’

That’s big of them! Guess what – HSBC have got our money, are investing it in God knows what and are not exactly paupers. Any pathetic public relations attempt to dress this up as beneficial to its customers will be worth reading and will certainly make good comedy.

Whilst I won’t be affected by the fee (because I have a savings account with them), this speaks volumes about the bank itself. I feel sorry for those who will be affected or are being coerced by stealth into taking up one of First Direct’s other services, and as such, to coin an old phrase, will be looking at taking my services elsewhere – ideally a bank with a social conscience.