Ladies and gentlemen, you may want to take a seat for this. It may shock and surprise you but I can assure you, it’s in the Guardian this morning, so it must be true.
A groundbreaking report due to be published this Monday has confirmed that “tougher prison sentences reduce crime” and “levels of police activity and staffing – have a direct impact on criminal activity”. Can you hear the countrywide vast intake of breath as an entire nation utters the same three words: “no fucking shit.”
So this latest report in the series of pointless social research provides more evidence to confirm something else we already bloody knew. Of course greater punishment will discourage further offending and ‘DUH’ if there are more police on the beat they are going to prevent crime or at least bring more criminals to justice – its basic maths. A small child could have written this report in crayon on the living room wall.
In fact, a small child probably has the answer to all Mr Cameron’s problems at the minute.
When children reach that enviable stage of knowledge when they know the difference between right and wrong, understand that wrong-doing is punished, right rewarded and repeatedly throwing your plastic spoon from your highchair is in fact not funny – at that point, children are the centre of all universal knowledge. They have learned the basic underlying foundations of society, mostly from Ceebeebies and the Disney Channel, but they care not a jot how the whole thing is implemented outside of their own playschool.
This small child could explain it to old Dave – it’s simple, someone gets sick, they go to hospital, doctor and nurse make them better. They understand that if many people get sick and need to go to hospital, you might need more hospitals, more doctors, more nurses.
The tot could also inform Cameron how the ‘time out step’ is meant to work – you bite your little brother, you get five minutes on the naughty step and you sit there for five minutes and think about what you’ve done – not two and half minutes playing Grand Theft Auto on a Playstation 3 – the full five minutes, focusing on the crime. Chances are you probably won’t go biting your little brother again – you might throw something at him instead.
They also understand basic policing – a parent may be able to keep three or four children in check and in one piece, but at a birthday party when there might be up to ten or fifteen kids running riot – the parents bring in reinforcements.
And kids at that age – they know exactly what they are going to be when they grow up. They want to be princess, so when they’re old enough, they’ll start wearing a tiara and go to the castle, or they want to be a fireman, so when they grow up they’ll get a big truck and go work at the fire station – it’s simple. See Dave, simple!
Unfortunately, like all ideas of innocence, they are complicated by the question of money.
Although having watched well educated, experienced bankers fuck it up over the past few years, it probably couldn’t hurt to put a small child in charge for a while.
But Cameron will undoubtedly ignore the small child’s very useful advice, at least until he needs to be re-elected, then they’ll do well for a photo opportunity. He will continue to release criminals after half serving half their sentence because it saves him a jolly amount. He will cut police numbers and later wonder where the bloody hell the Bobbies were when his car got nicked! And he will continue to bustle about in number ten with his plans to make my generation not only jobless, but homeless to boot.
Thatcher stole our milk – but Dave’s determined to steal any future we might have had.