29 May 2007

The effects of a collectivist society

Adler said, what a person is motivated to do is shown best by the effects he actually brings about in his life, not by what he says he is aiming at. This may not apply too well to an individual with little control over his own circumstances, but applies a lot better to collectivist societies with massive resources derived from large numbers of individuals by taxation.

Two items in yesterday’s news show the onward march of the hidden agenda of modern society, to penalise and reduce the numbers of the formerly respectable and law-abiding population by favouring and enlarging the criminal population with, on average, lower IQs.

Extract 1

Up to 3,000 foreign criminals will be released from prison on to Britain's streets without any attempt to deport them, Government papers have revealed. A note sent to probation staff says as few as 250 convicts from European countries will face even preliminary deportation proceedings every year. It pins the blame on an EU directive which rules that committing a serious crime is no longer sufficient grounds for removal. … As a result, the vast bulk of the estimated 3,300 European criminals released from British jails each year - including burglars, thieves and muggers - will simply walk free.

The note to probation staff revealed that just "approximately 250-300" offenders will face even an attempt at removal - which could of course be unsuccessful. ... It emerged that Ministers are floundering on a second promise relating to foreign convicts - to send home foreign nationals imprisoned in Britain. Jails are at bursting point - with a record 80,812 inmates on Friday - so Labour is desperately trying to secure agreements to send 11,000 convicts back home to serve their sentences. But it is expected to take years for any significant number to be removed. (Daily Mail 28 May 2007)

Extract 2

Wrongly jailed after a woman cried rape, Warren Blackwell applied for compensation for his three wasted years in prison. Torn from his family and sent to languish in jail as a convicted sex attacker, the innocent father-of-two imagined he was due a hefty sum for the miscarriage of justice. Instead, he was flabbergasted to learn the Home Office now intends to charge him nearly £7,000 for "board and lodging". The money is for the cost of food and accommodation while he was behind bars, and will be deducted from whatever compensation he receives for wrong imprisonment.

Mr Blackwell, 37, said: “They accept they put me in prison wrongly and accept I’m due compensation. Then they say, ‘Thank you for your stay with us, hope you didn't miss your family too much during three years in the clanger, now off you go - oh, and here's your bill.’”

"I was jailed not just for a crime I didn't do, but for one that never even happened in the first place. She made the whole thing up, as was accepted by the High Court." Mr Blackwell's ordeal began when his accuser, now 39, claimed she had been seized with a knife outside a village club early on New Year's Day 1999, taken to an alley and indecently assaulted. She picked him out of an identity parade and a jury found him guilty, even though there was no forensic evidence and he had no previous convictions. ...

Eventually, the case was investigated by the Criminal Cases Review Commission which found his accuser had fabricated at least seven other allegations of sexual and physical assault. She frequently changed her name and police forces did not realise they were dealing with the same woman. (Daily Mail 28 May 2007)

In this case, as in many others, it is now possible to label the victim as innocent because a review board had declared him to be so, since some new evidence has come to light which affects the probabilistic weighting which they give to something being true. But suppose the woman in question had not had previous convictions for dishonesty, or this had not come to light, but she had nevertheless made her accusations against Mr Blackwell? This shows how easy it is for people to be convicted on probabilistic judgements based on purely circumstantial or unsupported evidence.

It is doubtful whether judges or juries take seriously the old-fashioned principle that a person is to be regarded as innocent until he is proved guilty. There appears to be more of an idea these days that a person is to be considered guilty unless and until a socially acceptable alternative explanation can be proposed.