Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cui Bono ?

The newspaper world and his wife publicised the Centre For Crime and Justice Studies' report on Middle-Class Crime, whose thesis was presented as follows :

Daily Mirror : THE MORAL MAJORITY IS A MYTH - 6 in 10 middle class are cheats

Guardian : Meet criminals who cost UK £14bn: the middle class

Independent : Criminal nation: Two-thirds break law regularly

BBC : Law-abiding majority 'is a myth'

Now the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies is a pro-offender, anti-prison political lobby group. You'd expect the above to be bigging it up. After all, the point of the "survey" is twofold :

i) to blame an increasingly dishonest society on 'the encroachment of market values into areas traditionally viewed as held in trust for the community – such as health services or education' - in other words, blame school league tables and NHS reforms

ii) to emphasise that "the middle classes are the real criminals" - an argument which will be deployed to help keep thieves and violent offenders out of jail. It can't be long before the argument turns up on CiF.

I know it's a good headline, but, like the Times and Telegraph, the Mail has been suckered.

Are YOU part of the great middle class crime wave ?

UPDATE : Expat Yank - The real crime is against trees


Anonymous said...

Well as the BBC, Guardian, and Independent are staffed by 'middle-class' types perhaps a good headline might be: Left wing media run by criminals.

Delighted Tax-payer said...

Generic statement of a UK working person

Yes I am a middle-class criminal. But I carefully choose from WHOM I "steal". No I do not take stamps or even paperclips from where I work.

Yes, I do pay good workmen cash in hand for renovations, and I doinflate my own separate business's expenses as I can.

I "steal" from the overarching authority that sees itself as the owner of everything and everyone in the country, who demand tribute to 43 % of all earnings in this country, and whose greed and hostility to "hard-working families" knows no bounds. Without these rip-offs none of us would have to be quite so hard-working now, would we ?

Observer said...

There is only tabloid journalism in Britain because the newspapers are driven purely by a need to get advertising revenue as their market share dwindles.

Giving newspapers away on planes and in motels is part of the sad tactics of convincing advertisers that copy sells.....the need to titillate and torment comes second in the strategy

oliver said...

Much of this supposed criminality seemed to be based around the practise of paying household cleaners and odd-jobbers cash.

To which I say to this ridiculous NGO-thingummy: You try to get your cleaner to register with the Inland Revenue, then come back to me.

Anonymous said...

I think the survey was fair comment. The middle-classes are not acting as good role models. The "oh well, everyone does it" attitude feeds upwards and downwards. However, it really isn't THAT important. The middle-classes are not organising themselves into gangs and stabbing young boys in the street.

TDK said...

The solution to this is not to claim justice for dishonesty as I see many in the Mail comments do.

The problem arises because traditional values of honesty, self reliance and self respect achieved by being upright citizen have been eroded for all classes. These values are not exclusively middle class because they were clearly the cornerstone of Methodism, workers education associations and the self teaching achieved by people such as Bevan. Nevertheless the left now sneers at those values ascribing them solely to the middle classes

The point of all this is that there is a distinction between middle class income and "middle class values". It is surely no surprise that members of the former sometimes lack the latter. The writers of this survey deliberately conflate the two things.

alex zeka said...

The crimes in question are mostly of the extremely petty variety, e.g. inflating expenses, paying workers in cash to avoid tax (btw, wouldn't the latter be a crime on the part of the worker who refuses to pay tax?). It's cheating the Treasury of piffling sums, and while it does all add up, the fact still remains that seeing as the middle classes pay most of the taxes the poor, deluded dears are more or less stealing from themselves.

As to the guff about 'market values', that claim suffers somewhat from there being no discernable link between the two. Why would the existence of private health providers lead people to cheat on their tax returns?

Anonymous said...

Paying workers in cash is NOT a crime. If the recipient does not declare that income to the Inland Revenue, that is the crime. This 'survey' is absurd left-wing political propaganda.

Anonymous said...

"As to the guff about 'market values'"

It certainly is guff too, we had far less crime back in the days when there was ONLY a market and no such thing as a welfare state.

Mind you there were also fewer crimes available to break, and the government didn't invent laws that were difficult to enforce or likely to be widely ignored.