Various kinds of revolting crooks, bullies and worse are rolled out into mostly poor parts of society to do harm. I’ve long suspected we do nothing about this not through good, liberal intentions but because it’s cheap, the likely victims have little power or representation and those making the decisions are damned sure they won’t have to live near them.
Sarah’s Law seems to have prevented 60 abuses by paedophiles in its limited roll out. If it’s this easy,why has this been so long in coming? Our local cops reckon they know who is committing crime across the board. Why do any of us have to have any of these people living near us? Why is the widespread problem of recidivist crime not being excluded from our communities? Who has interests in keeping the problem alive? Who thinks, for whatever selfish reasons (and they are selfish as the thinking is done knowing they will not be victims), that any recidivist criminals and especially violent ones should be dumped to commit more crime? John Rawls once talked of a veil of objectivity in decision making – essentially putting yourself into the other’s position and then asking what you would want. The crooks and paedos may want to be where they are, the worthies may well want them there (away from them) – but there’s clearly another group involved we never seem to hear from.
Of course, beyond this, we do need some sensible argument and practice. We don’t even let all the parties get their say before we start ‘decision-making’. I know this is difficult because of spam,flamers, trolls and snerts, but there is a deeper problem with our rush to defend positions, to enter ad hominem that actually is a personal attack rather than banter between friends or simple expression of being pissed off with ‘great reputation’. I believe we now have a fatal nexus of idiot media and bent politicians who dare not tell the truth, jobsworth and obscenely overpaid bureaucrats and ‘captains of industry’ and a culture in which we dare not tell the truth. Books on this are legion -I can barely credit how many I have read and see no point in more. We need new systems of public argument that get into practice like Sarah’s Law. Evaluated practice is essential because we are so damned bad at argument,