Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, July 19, 2004

Tony turns on Liberals
According to the Guardian, Tony Blair will today announce "the end of the 1960s liberal consensus on law and order", in a move designed to attract voters to the party.

While insisting that the sixties removed ugly prejudices and expanded individual freedoms, Mr Blair is expected to concede that the new lifestyles did not sufficiently foster responsibility to others, family discipline or role models - and focused the law and order system too much on offenders' rights.

"People do not want a return to old prejudices and ugly discrimination. But they want rules, order and proper behaviour. They know there is such a thing as society. They want the society of respect and responsibility, they want a community where the decent law-abiding majority are in charge, where those who play by the rules do well and those who do not get punished," he is expected to say.

Blair thus will introduce increased State intervention in a five year anti-crime plan that includes broad-ranging community-based policing, an expansion of the national DNA database and new satellite tracking technology to keep tabs on Britain's 5,000 most prolific offenders. New measures are also expected to improve the treatment of victims and witnesses by the criminal justice system, including the appointment of a dedicated witness officer in every court to ensure they are kept fully informed.