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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Benefits and rioting?

    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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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  3. #3
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I think there needs to be accountability. If you choose to riot, you pay the consequences. There is a consequence for your action. Once your Ego is inflicted on everyone else and harms others, then you must own the consequence of that.

    I recognize there's a lot of complexity inherent in these sorts of things and what initially prompts them, but the bottom line is that I think a lot of our societal problems are tied to people not being accountable - or made accountable - for their own choices/actions. So what starts out as a smaller group of rioters expands into a huge group who is in it not because they have a vested interest in what started it to begin with, but because they for some reason think it's 'fun' and do it because they think they can get away with it.

    Sure, you can wreak mayhem. But there will be a negative impact on you for doing that. Simply docking benefits/pay? Eh. Send them to jail too. Will that make them more bitter? Probably, but not doing anything just makes the lack-of-accountability/repercussions concept become even more engrained societally, which sends a message that future rioting would receive the same lack of true repercussion and 'encourage' it, almost.
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  4. #4
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Demonstrating is one thing.. and even violence between people at the demonstration is something I don't much care about to be honest.

    But damaging the properties around the riots? I can't help but think that the looting, and damages, didn't do a whole lot to push the point. I don't think "Oh shit, they burned a car down, we should give them x now. :c" It feels like some overly glorified Smith and Hassler commercial. (For those who don't know the commercial: "Bah! Let them think they can sue.." 'They've called the.. law.. offices. of smith and hassler?!' DUMDUM!! "What?!... No one said we couldn't settle this one." As he looks all defeated and angry that there's a lawyer out there that does their job.)

    But I think that the government should work on it more on their end. Training volunteer units to help do some of the more benign tasks during times of rioting and such where the police need to be occupied means more cops on the street trying to end the riot. They could have a sort of civilian reserves that occasionally train on the lesser tasks, be look outs on roof tops and help guide police, etc. I'm sure they wouldn't find a lack of support from any of the shop owners and people that have been affected by this recent event.

    I know in Texas we don't get many rioters like that because we can just about get away with murder via trespassing laws.. But docking people's pay and benefits that are arrested and charged by the police? I'd probably just come up with a sufficient fine and charge them with that in addition to whatever else they're charged with. If the fines need to be harsher, than they need to be harsher. I'd have a zero tolerance policy for demonstrating turning to stealing and violence and try to enforce it.

    I DO think that stealing during times of riots and natural disasters and such should be punished WAY more than general stealing. Just my very personal opinion on that.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    So you guys are thinking more along the lines of crime and punishment or criminal justice responses than any sort of social policy change or reform of the "social contract" which the benefits system is supposed to be a part of?

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    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    So you guys are thinking more along the lines of crime and punishment or criminal justice responses than any sort of social policy change or reform of the "social contract" which the benefits system is supposed to be a part of?
    Every once in a while there are debates here in Germany about if and when to cut welfare in order to get people to do or not do certain things like applying for a certain number of jobs per month or making sure their kids go to school every day and do their homework.
    The main problem as I see it is that minimum subsistence means (or is supposed to mean) minimum subsistence. Therefor, cutting down on that would leave people with less than what they need to subsist/survive on a level that is compatible with what we usually consider a life in dignity. (And Article 1 of the German constitution states that the dignity of man is unalienable and it is the task of the state to protect it!). Besides, when you take money from the parents, you usually end up punishing their innocent children.

    So if you want to punish somebody on welfare without sending them to prison, the only option I can think of right now is community service, i.e. having them literally clean up the mess they've made, etc.

    I know too little about the riots and the rioters in Britain to say how much of it was opportunistic looting by bored adolescents and how much of it was a violent form of political protest against harsh conditions and growing inequality in what many in the German media have called the socially most unjust society in Western Europe.
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    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post

    So if you want to punish somebody on welfare without sending them to prison, the only option I can think of right now is community service, i.e. having them literally clean up the mess they've made, etc.
    This sounds reasonable to me, as a good first thing to try.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    I signed the HM Governments e-petition today on this very subject. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions

    I know this country has serious issues. I understand people are disillusioned and the job prospects are shite and even that doing what they did, people may now address the shitty circumstances which let to this but still .. Criminal damage is wrong and if you took part then there is a consequence. However, it's now bitter sweet and the twats we have running this country are saying the police were too hard, the police don't want the cuts to funding and were doing the best they could in the situation and now people are up in arms about the length of sentences these looters are getting. Lets the mud slinging continue.

    This country is too soft and it's a joke. ohh, i think there is an e-petition to bring back capital punishment. Lol.

    *Little Rant Over*

    Edit - You could fine people but if they don't pay then it just goes to court again. Great, continue wasting the tax payers money
    Get people to do voluntary work .. Hahaha. Who would enforce it?
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  9. #9
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    It was demonstration of what they think is right but there's violence.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Every once in a while there are debates here in Germany about if and when to cut welfare in order to get people to do or not do certain things like applying for a certain number of jobs per month or making sure their kids go to school every day and do their homework.
    The main problem as I see it is that minimum subsistence means (or is supposed to mean) minimum subsistence. Therefor, cutting down on that would leave people with less than what they need to subsist/survive on a level that is compatible with what we usually consider a life in dignity. (And Article 1 of the German constitution states that the dignity of man is unalienable and it is the task of the state to protect it!). Besides, when you take money from the parents, you usually end up punishing their innocent children.

    So if you want to punish somebody on welfare without sending them to prison, the only option I can think of right now is community service, i.e. having them literally clean up the mess they've made, etc.

    I know too little about the riots and the rioters in Britain to say how much of it was opportunistic looting by bored adolescents and how much of it was a violent form of political protest against harsh conditions and growing inequality in what many in the German media have called the socially most unjust society in Western Europe.
    Very interesting post, I did not know that about the German constitution, benefits in Germany or what has been reported in the German media about Britain being socially unjust, it is but its not an issue for most people in Britain, which is to say that that by itself would not make headlines.

    I dont think it was anything to do with the social injustice though, there's no social conscience or grievance involved from what I can tell, just a lot of hooligans having a good time.

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