Part of what has followed the rioting in London has been debates about the reprimands and consequences which there should exist for rioters and the parents of rioters.
There has been some interesting ideas floated, one of them is that benefits of those who are identified as rioting or the parents of those who are rioting be docked to pay for damages or suspended as part of a "new social contract" with expectations and contingencies replacing simple entitlement.
Do you think this is a good idea or simply an even more paternalistic approach in the same trend of paternalism which could have at least contributed to the problem?
A lot of this is being closely linked to the assurity of detection and arrest since these have been proven in the past to be greater factors in the decision making of criminals than this or that punishment.
So its a case of saying to people, look, you can create anarchy for days if you like but afterwards, since you can not sustain that state of lawlessness, we will follow this up, we will track you down and you will have consequences to deal with besides the natural ones which follow from destroying your community.
I'm personally undecided on this one. From the perspective of a taxpayer who has contributed to benefits who could then have to deal with their town having been destroyed by those in receipt of them I can understand the desire to see them docked.
On the other hand a lot of people are already too dependent and too confused about their relationship to the state and others, ie treating them or the state like their parents, and managing their benefits like it was an allowance will probably perpetuate that and stretch even further the kinds of prelonged childhood states which I think cause this crap.