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Author Topic: ASBO = AAAAAAGH  (Read 9563 times)

Vendetagainst

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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #50 on: 27 Jul 2008, 13:54 »


As a breach of human rights these relatively minor and isolated incidents are not quite on the same scale as say, The Patriot Act or Guantanamo Bay. Could I write a compelling story on these topics if I had the inclination to do so? What about the fact that one percent of the adult population of America is in jail? I think you could make a pretty good story out of that too.

Once again I am coming a little too late in the thread to keep up, but I'd like to say that nobody in America (save of course the far right wing, but these, of course, are not people) is about to go running and cheering for those things. The USAPATRIOT act (for it is indeed an acronym, and is less of an oxymoron when it is retained as one) is probably one of the most unpopular decisions in recent American history and everybody is appauled by Guantanamo (except for Cheney, who has been known to splooge on the prisoners in his ecstasy). Quite frankly comparing these things two ASBOs is like a Reductio Ad Hitlerum, it may have some relevance but nobody's about to say "but wait, I love raping tied up 'terrorist' supsects!"

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I definitely feel like some people here aren't giving due thought to the difficulty of policing a country of sixty million people in eighty one thousand square miles.

It's easy to criticise but what is much harder is finding solutions. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the professionals responsible for enforcing and creating legislation have given these concerns a certain amount of thought. I think the people who have first-hand experience of actually doing the job have some legitimate motives for taking this course of action. To assume that you know better than these people based on a handful of hits from a search engine is mind blowing.

Of course it's difficult, but it's also something that all large countries have to do. The UK accounts for less than 1% of the world population, and while of course it's easier to run a small country you can still look at a country like Germany which, despite being a third larger, still is supposed to be very well-run.

@supersheep
your suggestions are interesting but I'd just like to throw out that minor crime is some of the hardest to prevent because it leaves the least evidence and is inducive to the least response.
I've started to wonder if the best answer isn't to wage one of our sillly "wars" on crime, but to make the victims of crime more readily and effectively aided. For example, in Chicago (probably elsewhere too) there's a tax-funded service called graffiti busters (I think that's the name of it, anyway) that removes graffiti from anywhere in the city for free.
« Last Edit: 27 Jul 2008, 14:14 by Vendetagainst »
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tommydski

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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #51 on: 27 Jul 2008, 14:01 »

Read the rest of my posts for some context. I don't want to bore people with the same discussion on a new page.
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Vendetagainst

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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #52 on: 27 Jul 2008, 14:16 »

I did, sorry, I just have this habit where I just post one idea and then keep editing it as I read through things and research them more. I know it's kinda retarded, just a habit.
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ViolentDove

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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #53 on: 27 Jul 2008, 18:56 »

Various state governments of Australia are considering the introduction of these ASBOs.

SMH article

dateline transcript

I honestly don't think I know enough about these ASBOs to make an informed comment, but my gut feeling is that they're a bad thing. Previous personal experience with "anti-terror" and "anti-knife" related laws suggest that once the laws are passed, the laws will basically be used by police to curtail free speech by protesters and the media (to a lesser extent), and rarely for the original purpose outlined in the laws.

Anything with such vague wording that deals with criminal matters away from a jury seems  to me like an erosion of various legal safeguards that're in place for a reason.
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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #54 on: 27 Jul 2008, 20:05 »

"In October 2004, a profoundly deaf girl was served an order for spitting in public. Having broken it she is currently in prison on remand. (Source—Statewatch ASBOwatch)"

The fact she is deaf does not mean that spitting in public is not a positively ghastly thing to do.



Oops. Sorry, man. In my defense, I was ill.
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a pack of wolves

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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #55 on: 27 Jul 2008, 21:50 »

I think everyone has to remember that the British police are, by and large, reasonable people. It is pretty easy to claim that people in authority are all mindless, soulless drones but it is also something that a 15 year old would do. While I don't neccessarily agree with this idea of authority I do think it is unfair to see police officers as anything but another person wearing a uniform. The police are really not out to get you. (Sting might be)

Actually, yes they are out to get me. Some go into it with decent motivations and they're not just abstract figures in uniform as you say, but as an organisation the British police are terrifying. I've been on the wrong side of them abusing legislation before, and so have a lot of people I know. It's not a pleasant experience to say the least, and the thought of them getting even more power is horrifying. They will abuse it since they're willing to abuse pretty much everything else in their arsenal and I've seen them do it.

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It's easy to criticise but what is much harder is finding solutions. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the professionals responsible for enforcing and creating legislation have given these concerns a certain amount of thought. I think the people who have first-hand experience of actually doing the job have some legitimate motives for taking this course of action. To assume that you know better than these people based on a handful of hits from a search engine is mind blowing.

Sorry Tommy, but you're making massive assumptions here about people and you're usually better than that. You have no idea about the experience most of us have regarding this kind of legislation (or at least you have no idea about mine and I'm guessing that of others as well), so to assume we're all in bubbles getting all of our opinions from google is pretty ridiculous. I don't assume I know better than the police because I've looked something up on the internet, I think I know better than them because they're wrong. supersheep is quite right when they say that the way to tackle anti-social behaviour is to address the causes, something ASBOs and the police don't do. All they're capable of is hurting people. However the broken window policy isn't a great one, what's needed is to actually address the massive inequality in society. When kids are stood around shopping centres being abusive I don't want to know why the police aren't harassing them, I want to know why kids feel that fucked off with the world. When I look around, I can see little reason why they shouldn't be angry all the time. I know I am.

Since you're keen on the specialist perspective, if you look at it from the side of people who're trying to stop people ending up in a situation where they could get an ASBO every single homeless support worker I've talked to about ASBOs thinks they're abusive and utterly unhelpful. To spin round what you said, what makes you assume you know better than them?
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Vendetagainst

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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #56 on: 27 Jul 2008, 22:04 »

That raises an interesting question, how do ASBOs treat homeless people? They seem like people who could definitely be targeted by this system. Of course they have to urinate in public, they LIVE in public. And they often have to resort to other "frowned upon" means to get by as well.
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a pack of wolves

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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #57 on: 27 Jul 2008, 22:14 »

Mainly, they seem to be used as a means of displacement. They throw them out of city centres or in some instances can prevent them from asking for money at all in an attempt to prevent them begging as well as other more particular restrictions. That's rarer though, most people I've spoken to with an ASBO related to homelessness seem to have a geographical restriction and little else. It might mean shoppers don't have to endure the terrible hardship of saying 'sorry mate' when someone asks them for change, but it also makes it harder to locate people when doing street outreach, find a bed for the night (you're screwed if the shelter is in the area you're prevented from entering and in many cities large shelters are in or near the city centre, the most likely area for a homeless person to be banned from) and for organisations to get an accurate headcount of rough sleepers since they're more dispersed. And because of this, it allows for the distortion of statistics since some local authorities will only count rough sleepers in the city centre and not go looking for them in outlying areas.
« Last Edit: 27 Jul 2008, 22:16 by a pack of wolves »
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RedLion

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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #58 on: 27 Jul 2008, 23:09 »

I'd just like to say that the Labor party is fucked anyway, especially after the results of the elections in Scotland. Brown probably can't hold on that much longer, and when the next general elections roll around, the Conservatives will probably have a landslide on their hands.
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pwhodges

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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #59 on: 28 Jul 2008, 00:58 »

When kids are stood around shopping centres being abusive I don't want to know why the police aren't harassing them, I want to know why kids feel that fucked off with the world. When I look around, I can see little reason why they shouldn't be angry all the time.

QFT

The key to parenting and early schooling is setting limits.  Children naturally push against those limits, which need to be imposed so that they learn where they are.  This is not cruelty, but is a necessary part of growing up - it wires the brain ready for life in society.  Many parents have abandoned this aspect of parenting, through ignorance, laziness, or fear, and all too often because of inappropriate legal strictures against punishment (cruelty's another matter) exactly when it is most needed.  Schools have stopped teaching for life, because they are judged on their preparation for tests.

ASBOs can be seen as an attempt to remedy this lack of teaching of the self-control that socialises us; but fundamentally they won't work, simply because it's too late - the time for the brain to learn those lessons has passed.  However, they may mitigate the effects of the lack of socialisation on other people - which is, I admit, no more than a "least worst" justification for them.

Society, not for the first time, has created a partially lost generation.  We have to learn from the mistakes for the sake of the next (there's no sign of that process starting, though), but meanwhile we also have to find a way to live with what we've created.

Paul
« Last Edit: 28 Jul 2008, 01:03 by pwhodges »
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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #60 on: 28 Jul 2008, 01:27 »

Quote
However the broken window policy isn't a great one, what's needed is to actually address the massive inequality in society. When kids are stood around shopping centres being abusive I don't want to know why the police aren't harassing them, I want to know why kids feel that fucked off with the world. When I look around, I can see little reason why they shouldn't be angry all the time. I know I am.

I partially agree with the sentiment, but when you put that into context, it's a ridiculous claim. Kids in Britain--in America, too, in most of the rest of Europe, the "west" in general--have it remarkably well off. The world can be a shitty place, and life can be shitty, and I wouldn't ever attempt to diminish an individual's trials and sufferings, but sometimes I'd like to take some of these kids who are so angry at the world that they feel it necessary to break things and assault people and put them in sub-saharan Africa, or in Laos. Existential angst is a luxury that most of the world's population can't afford. Rather than making any attempt to better themselves and make at least some bit of positive change in the world, so many people just lash out. I believe in rehabilitation of people rather than focusing solely on punishment, but you can't just look at things solely from the kids' perspective. If these kids really angry, then this anger is real and shouldn't just be ignored. But don't treat it like it's some kind of justification for making their world, their country and their community an even worse place. Then they're just part of the problem. Then there are those who don't care about any of that, and just do things like smashing windows, stealing things because they think it's fun and/or they're bored. I'm certainly not going to cry over those people getting a bit of retribution.

On the other hand, I severely distrust the police. Granted, I've never had to rely on them for much of anything before, and I figure if I was being chased by a murderer or a gang, or my house was being broken into, I'd call the police immediately and be grateful for their presence. But in civil disputes and minor offenses, the police usually act with no regard for the actual situation that they're in. In a way, this is good, as it theoretically should promote unbiased action, but in some cases it's just ludicrous and can sometimes lead to the person who's really at fault getting off with less of a penalty than a person who's been victimized and began to fight back. Arbitrary authority in general frightens me as not much else does. The police are nominally bound by regulation and the law themselves, yet they're given wide latitude to deal with just about any situation they find themselves in as they see fit. Only rarely will an officer be held accountable for breaking the aforementioned regulations or laws, and usually such behavior won't even go public because of a desire among other members of the police force to suppress it out of some sense of solidarity, and the stigma that ratting out a fellow officer brings with it. The machinery of the "law" and the police force many times quashes those that it is supposed to protect.
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Re: ASBO = AAAAAAGH
« Reply #61 on: 28 Jul 2008, 09:33 »

There isn't a whole lot wrong with ASBOs other than the fact they don't do their main job which is to reform people who are given them. One of the main points of an ASBO is that is a civil punishment, it is only a criminal offence to break one. So if you get one, then behave (eg stop bricking next-doors car windows), then your ASBO is removed and it isn't on your record.
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