Thursday, May 12, 2005

Blair in war on yobs and 'hoodies'

"War on yobs" is not a problem - although the "war on" formulation is a little tired and unecessarily grandiose. Libertarians don't have problems with enforcing the laws necessary to preserve life, property and to keep people free from reasonable fear. But this is thinking worthy of Alf Garnett.

In the 1960's or 1970's reactionaries thought that "long-haired layabouts" were the problem. Long-haired layabouts such as Blair during his would-be pop star phase, perhaps? Our ageing population in Britain is increasingly afraid of its youth (most of whom are perfectly decent people) and far too inclined to repress superficial and irrelevant behaviours.

I know this runs contrary to his whole political experience, but Blair should acknowledge that actions, not appearances, are what matters. The law has no business in, and can never be effective at, regulating fashion. If we must proscribe something, it should be a well-defined action that a court can readily identify.

Theodore Dalrymple in his book "Life at the Bottom", debunked the "causes of crime" thinking of the liberal elite by pointing out that, using their logic, one could just as easily conclude that tattoos caused crime - since almost all the criminals he treated professionally were adorned with them. I laughed when I read that, but today I read that Blair thinks hoodies cause crime. Is that any more sensible?

As the fashion concerned originated with black youth, I think that Blair may even be playing the race card here. Are we thinking what he's thinking? I hope not.

the Mail online | Mail - news, sport, showbiz, health and more | Blair in war on yobs and 'hoodies'


Nick Browne said...

I quoted you in my notes on the Hoody Menace at

Tom Paine said...

Thanks. You said it better than I did.