Thursday, 20 December 2007

Classic Sociofascism: Punish all for the crimes of the few

Two cases: Prostitution and Mobile Phone use in cars.

Yes, there are women trafficked. Awful. Modern slavery. Yes, some men abuse women. Awful acts by cowards. Does this mean each transaction means a trafficked woman being abused? No, it most certainly does not. The Government has criminalised brothels but not prostitution or purchasing sex then wonders why women ply their trade on the streets. Surely the issue is to outlaw crime, not outlaw behaviour that is not in itself criminal.

BTW Dennis McShane was so patronising on Newsnight to Sian Williams. I am no fan of her, but she did put forward the Libertarian line well, considering the priggishness she was confronted with.

Mobile phones are a distraction at the best of times, let alone when driving. Some say that the distraction from holding the phone is higher than an hands free, though by how much is not so clear. It does appear on the surface to be a fairly sensible step in that ONLY if the driving is dangerous will further punishment be sought. As far as I can tell the law need not be changed as existing driving law should cover phone use in any form, even if the recent phone laws were repealed. I fyou are not driving with due care, then you need to be nicked. However, unlike the changes to prostitution it does seem that potentially only when an actual crime is being committed will the law come in. I say potentially, as I have no faith that common sense will prevail. I suspect that first we have the fine captured by some jobsworth PCSO, Parking Attendant or such, then the other punishments bootstrapped in later.

Coming back to hand vs hands free, research suggested that it has the same effect as drink driving. I suspect having kids in the car could on occasions have at least the same effect as talking on a mobile phone, if not far worse if they kick off. This might explain the chaos during school runs, which, if you follow the logic, could well be worse than the worst chucking out times where everyone drives home drunk. However, this is far too sensitive so other drivers will be persecuted. Even daring to explore the logic on road safety grounds of banning single adults in a car with multiple children will not be contemplated, yet the same effects on other actions will be targeted. An excuse for one behaviour and not another is not good for Rule of Law.