Monday, January 16, 2006

The Orange Booker Slur, part 7

Chapter 8: Tough Liberalism: A liberal approach to cutting crime by Mark Oaten

While the slogan "Tough Liberalism" seems odd, the policy of actually doing something to make prisoners employable post-release is tough indeed. Oaten could also have mentioned the difficulty there is getting access to drug treatment for non-offenders, pushing people down the offending route.

With large numbers of prisoners illiterate, innumerate, on drugs or mentally ill, we should not be surprised by re-offending rates. That more isn't done is idiotic and a scandal. No doubt the Daily Mail will claim that a rehabilitating sentence is less punishing than one that isn't. But they are wrong as usual. Self-improvement is difficult, doubly so for people who are used to taking the easy way out.

My only real qualm with this chapter is the use of the slogan "Tough Liberalism". What does that mean? Can anybody tell me? If any reasonable policy is automatically "liberal", the word is somewhat robbed of meaning. Apple pie is liberal?

2 comments:

kim said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

According to the Times, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,17129-1936802,00.html Oaten's "chapter was written by his researcher and he had not even read it."