31 December, 2006
Let the ASBOs begin…! It is Fine Gael that has me worried, though. Not the individuals themselves who are for the most part charming and pleasant, but the policies. Boot camps and drink tanks are my concern, and of course playing the fear card in politics. It has been done before of course, but let’s not forget about the causes of crime.
I can’t believe that Lucinda has fallen for the idea of military service for young offenders. Captain Billy Timmins TD (a former army man) first mooted the idea, but Lucinda? Please. Of course, Fianna Fáil is at it as well, with Senator Cyprian Brady’s suggestion that we call in the troops.
I did like her quote from Fr Peter McVerry describing St Patrick’s Institution as a place where time is spent “mindlessly walking up and down a dreary, depressing yard with nothing to do except to scheme how to get drugs into the place to kill the boredom.” That’s not 1000 miles away from a description of Leinster House for some of the inmates serving their five years, with the Member’s bar substituting licit for illicit substances.
Gangland crime is a messy business though, as is anti-social behaviour, but I’d like us all to think about how to make prisons rehabilitate, how to reform the Garda Síochána, and how to address the needs of disadvantaged communities in 2007.
My new year’s resolution is to try and keep fear out of the equation, apart of course from the occasional rant about climate change.
I’m ruling out Lucinda’s suggestion for Military service for young offenders in 2007, and I’d like to see the 2001 Children’s’ Act implemented instead... I’d also agree with Michael (for once) on the issue of café bars, better them, than super-pubs with all the atmosphere of an airport Departure Lounge, and I’d say it would reduce the need for drink tanks as well.
May you all have a lively and enjoyable 2007, free from fear!