In the aftermath of the horrendous wave of crime that spread across many cities in Britain last week, we are starting to see something even more despicable: the ever-present threat of “morality legislation”.
I know lots of people have written about the government’s response to the riots and I’m a little nervous about joining the crowd, but I feel I need to add my voice to the clamour.
In a speech on 10th August, our nation’s leader said this:
The problem with that is a complete lack of responsibility.
A lack of proper parenting, a lack of proper upbringing, a lack of proper ethics, a lack of proper morals.
That is what we need to change.
Mr Cameron, I say this: How dare you?
How dare you dictate to me or the other people in my country what is proper about parenting, upbringing, ethics or morals?
We live in a free society, and our freedom to bring our children up in the way we choose and our freedom to choose our own ethical and spiritual path is guaranteed by law. [Articles 8 and 9 of the ECHR]
Those societies where morality and ethics are legislated are generally the ones that have the biggest unrest amongst their local populations. Just look at what’s happening in the Arab world at the moment.
I agree that the crimes committed last week were dreadful, so let’s look at what we can do to prevent them from happening again. Maybe you want to start by looking at why people think that they have nothing to lose by turning to crime… is it because they have nothing to lose, as a result of the failure of the last two governments to look after the whole of our population?
(Full disclosure: Although I am extremely unhappy with many of the attitudes of the current coalition government, I am still – and proudly – a card-carrying Liberal Democrat. More on this in a later blog post.)