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Day: August 15, 2011

Cameron & Miliband want to be seen to be tough on crime. I just want to see and hear from Nick Clegg

If you didn’t notice last week we saw a bit of unrest in pockets around the country. The police decided to sit back and do some ‘softly softly’ policing aka known as ‘CCTV policing’ and some youths (and older people) thought that they could have a bit of fun and let out all their adrenaline in a five finger discount looting kind of way. Things got pretty hairy as 100s of people essentially took over neighbourhoods and did whatever they liked with seemingly no-one willing or able to stop them.

However as we all know the police started to get themselves into gear and stopped it and starting cleaning up the mess with lots of arrests and some rather harsh sentences. The clean-up operation will cost tens of millions in cash and the psychological clean-up of those who have lost their homes and businesses will take longer. It is not right that anyone should have to live with fear but that is what these selfish individuals have done to society.

So the common man whether they are working class, middle class or upper class is wanting swift and retaliatory action. They don’t want these people to be given normal sentences they want to see heavy-handed sentences to crush the rebellion (well it wasn’t a rebellion in all honesty) well then to crush the spirit of these lawbreakers who have no sense of social responsibility. These made grave errors of judgement and the average Joe wants them to kind – in kind.

These leads to a position where the two main party leaders are going toe to toe on who can be tougher on crime. It took a few days of wanton criminality for them to turn their attention from the deficit and the economy to who has the biggest and hardest set of balls on them. It seems like only a fortnight or so ago (oh wait…it was) that the death penalty somehow made another attempt at making it into the news-cycle. That news story has gone away for now as even Dave and Ed couldn’t advocate hanging for these people – well unless they thought it was a vote winner that is.

You see this is what pisses me off about politicians and it happens day in, day out, week in, week out, year in, year out (ok Neil we get the picture) that these people change their view on things to get closer to the public sentiment. Why not just have an opinion and stick to it? Yes there might be slow changes in your views in time but politicians can change their view wildly within days depending on what the public are. This isn’t a game of ‘who is most popular?’ it is meant to be about governing the country.

We expect to see the electorate to change their opinion on a whim as we can’t do anything about it. It is just how it is. However MPs should not be cow-towing to the latest whim of the people. If they did that then the country would be in an awful state. I expect the party leaders to be statesmanlike and do their job and not use every situation as a political point-scoring opportunity. I may be naive (you are) but I want my elected representatives to stand for something. If in a year or so this happens again and rioters are shot dead by the police then the public perception will change because it has actually happened. Many will say today that the police should be more heavy handed but if it happens again and they are and it leads to deaths and even more unrest then watch the two men scramble for the more middle ground.

It just sickens me. Yes be tough on crime. We all advocate that but there is being tough and then there is being unjust and unfair. These people made mistakes and deserve to pay for them. What they don’t deserve though are punishments that are not in keeping with what has happened before.

As for ensuring it doesn’t happen again – well that is a much bigger issue and maybe one for another day but it would mean the police being something that strikes fear into people. These criminals had no fear as the police weren’t going to stop them. If the police though were ready and willing to stop them then would this have happened? The short answer is no – no they wouldn’t. A small handful will have tried and failed and the majority of people who only joined in because they thought they would get away with it would never have joined in. The police need to be a force that has the power to stop people just by being there.

Lastly I’ve not mentioned Nick Clegg yet. I’m trying to look at you Nick but I can’t find you. I’m here waiting for you to speak and I am ready to listen to what you have to say. I know you are in government but you are entitled to have your say and there are millions of us who want to hear what you think. Whilst you are Deputy PM you are also the leader of the third biggest political party in the country and you are not providing leadership to your followers and that is an issue I have with you. I believe in what you are doing in government but I also want to still hear you and the media are happy to let you talk so why won’t you?

The Tories are ready to follow Tony Blair’s lead and try to strip away at civil liberties under the guise of making the country fairer. Are you ready to let them and if you aren’t then why don’t you tell us all about it? If you are then my faith in you will be rocked so it will.

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Monday Morning Football Opinion

I’m sitting at my PC late on Sunday night (by the time I post this it should be Monday – hence the title) with little to do as I wait for the clock to tick round to midnight for work purposes so I thought I’d post a few random football thoughts after the weekends games.

Kanu? Up top on his own? Are you freaking kidding me Steve Cotterill?

I actually watched the JPT draw with intent hoping Southend would get a home draw so I’d get an extra game to commentate on a fortnight on Tuesday. They did. Southend United v Crawley Town will be played on Tuesday 30 August with a 19:45 k/o (in all likelihood – not confirmed yet) so that should be my next game behind a microphone. Result!

Premier League wise I was really disappointed by Arsenal at Newcastle. I thought they showed nothing against Newcastle. They just seemed a bit toothless like they still haven’t got over the Carling Cup hangover and it has been half a year. Deeply concerned for them unless they really go out and spend the money on a top drawer creative midfielder.

Liverpool too were disappointing only drawing with the Mackems at home but I wasn’t too shocked by Chelsea only getting a draw at Stoke. Stoke will be a decent team this year again and if they can keep Jonathan Woodgate fit (big if I know) them that might be the best bit of business in this transfer window.

Speaking of keeping fit all of us at The Rambles of Neil Monnery wish Kieron Dyer another speedy recovery. This man makes Darren Anderton looks like a fitness freak.

Manchester United looked good and I love the Ashley Young signing for them but at times they were being overrun in the midfield by West Brom. A team like Arsenal (at their pomp) would roll straight through the heart of that midfield.

QPR. Yeah it was nice of you guys to come up.

Lastly Real Madrid are going to give Barcelona everything they can handle this season. I know the first leg of the Kings Cup ended 2-2 but Real were terrific and looked like they are ready to really challenge Pep’s side this year. That race might be genuinely thrilling.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.