"It's Thatcher's Fault"
"It's the legacy of Thatcher and the Tories, their crusade against the primary industry has produced children who have grown up with parents who have never had a job"
"Society was brutalised through industrialization and the aftermath and the denial of "society" by Thatcher, and the complete social-moral disintigration she caused"
"Most torturing of small children takes place within the family"
I think in the media-fuelled moral panic about 'stranger danger', people have ignored the fact that the greatest damage done to children tends to be within their own homes at the hands of their own families.
"You're worse than they are"
"I feel that people who seem to want to inflict punishment on small children are themselves in need of treatment."
"The lynch-mob attitude of some of the comments and the call for throw- away-the- key justice reflects just what a brutal society Britain is"
"Who knew that the true sociopaths dwell in this thread"
The all-purpose Guardian editorial seems to have been a pretty good predictor on this occasion. I see the Indie borrowed from it too :
The natural horror felt at (insert appalling crime here) should not blind us to the fact that (crime is actually falling/it is all Thatcher's fault/such crimes have always been with us).
If we surrender to (the tabloid agenda/the Daily Mail hysteria/knee-jerk populism/the politics of the soundbite) and take the easy option of (jailing more of our young people/bringing back the birch/bringing back hanging/walling off the cities then bombing them/demonising our young people) we run the very real risk of (actually achieving something/alienating a generation/an invasion of killer bees).
There is only one answer. An enormous increase in the funding of (Sure Start schemes/outreach workers/emotional intelligence mentors/youth projects/anti-racist 5-a-day smoking cessation co-ordinators).
"No cause for moral panic"
In the ongoing dialogue of the deaf which recurs whenever feral youths or children commit dreadful crimes, there are only a few liberal arguments, picked up in criminology class and amplified by the Guardian/Indie/BBC, and they come out every time.
a) 'it's always been like this' - aka 'moral panic'.
b) "one case doesn't tell us anything about British society" (except the Stephen Lawrence murder)
c) "it's Thatcher's fault"
d) "crime is actually going down" (having risen by 1,000% since 1950, it started to decline when we locked more people up)
e) "anyway, most torturing of small children takes place within the family" - not the married one it don't.
f) "you're worse than they are" - if you call for evil criminals to be punished, you're even more evil yourself !
One commenter links to this piece, about a classic Guardianista - a woman with empathy for everyone except her neighbours. Kind of reverse-Christianity.
"Who is my neighbour ?"
"The outcast, the rapist, the criminal, the thug"
"And what about your ...er.. neighbours ?"
"Those straights ?"
I had been a foster carer for just over a year when James came to us, and had worked for the council's mental health service for 10 years before that. But I wanted to help the teenagers who had been in the care system for a long time and had suffered serious trauma.
I did every training course on offer. Central Bedfordshire council was brilliant: I studied attachment theory, behaviour management, the problems caused by drug and alcohol abuse, and how to work with sexually abused children. I even did a BTec in advanced fostering.
No problem, then - all boxes ticked.
I was realistic enough to recognise that he was a danger to himself and to everyone he came into contact with, and so I was nervous about the young children who lived around us, but because I knew what a hurt, vulnerable side James possessed I wanted to believe that, deep down, he was a good lad.
We soldiered on. I refused to reject James like everyone else in his life had done, but 10 months after he had come to live with us my neighbour of more than 20 years sold her house and moved away. She told me she couldn't live near him a day longer.
Then, last July, James was accused of raping an 11-year-old local girl and forcing her to perform a sexual act on him.
So a woman is forced from her home of 20 years and an innocent child is raped - and all because "I wanted to believe".
That's religion we're seeing.