Cleon was a ‘radical democrat’ in Athens. Such people tended to be businessmen. He was less dignified than Pericles, the eloquent tosser who kept his people at war for year on year. Cleon labelled anyone against his radical plans as knee-jerk liberals. His plans were such as to slaughter all the men in Mytilene and sell the women and children into slavery. Administrative crime was rife in the ancient world. Ethnic cleansing of 50,000 or so to increase grain yields and so on. Closer in my lineage are the Scottish enclosures.
These days we tend to construe administrative responses to crime rather than look to how our administrations perpetrate them. We have a bunk history and no real idea about how to bring the real one into focus in the present, thus living in a kind of false past.
Our laws seem to fail to stop crime, from so-called antisocial behaviour to the stuff we call organised crime. So we attempt to deal with these matters without sticking ourselves with the almost impossible evidence standards of criminal courts, which rely on very difficult to define terms like ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, yet allow judges and juries to make decisions on ‘credibility’ which all research shows us pretty dire at. We rely on legal fictions such as ‘police honesty’, none of which would do in science. Frankly, we have to, but imagine yourself being tried when cops (and where) are not honest.
Let’s face it, we can’t even get bullying thugs and evil poor intimidators to stop their pond life actions and protect decent people though the criminal justice system, so why should we expect to be able to deal with organised crime through it?
We turn to administrative measures like ASBOs and licences to stop crime money making our public services and stuff like hotels and catering, waste management and construction in to rackets and our streets no-go areas.
The wad of judges and lawyers we pay vast benefits to notice their cosy world is under threat from such administrative measures, as in principle, decisions could be taken without them. They, of course, seek to put and end to this infamy as a breach of “our” human rights – “our” meaning their bastard clients and their cosy benefit-excess life-styles? Hobbes, of course, had us giving up to a sovereign authority, for protection from war-lords and bandits. The judges eventually insist we cannot evade the criminal standard to rid ourselves of rotten louts who kill old ladies and organised crime.
The judges, lawyers and a whole range of such over-paid benefits-worthies (for they are as surely paid for from the public-purse or what is stolen, viced or racketed as any dole-blodger “Gadget” comes up with) do not want to see decisions made without them, or their industry collapse.
It seems we are not to be able to bring about administrative ‘cures’ for louts or organised crime. Yet most of us ‘suffer’ from very summary justice from speeding cameras, or in not being sensibly to get representation if we lapse or are picked on on the grounds it’s cheaper to pay up than pay lawyers (95% of us will not get Legal Aid even though we pay for it).
ASBOs, I suspect, could not ever have worked because the rest of the system is so useless in defending peace already and any organised crime legislation or policing because the rackets, like the evil poor, have lawyers to work for them.
Legislation often seems aimed at preventing those of us already reasonably honest and decent from doing what we would not do anyway through fear of shame, not those for whom an ASBO becomes a badge of honour or the vice trades and rackets which can only work because of the illegality of such commodities as drugs, prostitution and the rest.
There is a lot more to know about both administrative crime and administrative solutions to crime. Not least for ‘world peace’ and the formation of a social order in which grannies can live without fear. It’s been beyond of politicians and lawyers since the Greeks.
Decriminalisation can turn vice to rackets, and its aim is usually to regulate more effectively. The Dutch have not found it simple. We need practical thinking in these areas, and cannot trust to our court systems not to simply screw up advances because of their own interests, pretending they are ours. This said, it is not even this simple, as administration itself is subject to corruption and we do need protection from it. A couple of Dutch academics had this to say:
Typically, these guys don’t ask people living amongst evil trash or trying to compete with drug-funded business etc. or how our public services so easily turn well-meaning legislation to rat shit or how barking politicians must be if they think legislation will work without proper implementation changes – no plans do.
We “cannot trust to our court systems not to simply screw up advances because of their own interests, pretending they are ours.”
Yet this has become the truism for all public services. Police and courts are simply the more obvious culprits as a result of outrageous neglect of duty, greed and corruption.
(Meanwhile, back at Inspector Cleon’s blog, another pitched conflict has arisen between the rabble and indignant citizens.)
The amazing thing for me is that they can deny the truth of this so easily Melvin. Heller’s ‘Picture This’ contains reminders the Greeks were subject to the ‘we have to stop it in Iraq-Afghanistan or have to fight them on our own streets’ stuff. We lack the means to remember in our ‘arguments’ how old and dud our rhetoric is.
My local Council have issued a set of videos on ASB that show people turning off small music players in a teenagers bedroom, yet could not stop drug-dealing, violent cretins and still cannot. I wonder how we might change our arguments and the fears that constrain them. This ‘wondering’ itself is very old and written up by people like Gramsci and even Francis Bacon (the ‘Idols’). We are frankly ‘advised’ not to teach this.
I don’t visit Cleon now. I’ve learn what I wanted and any further would be time wasted. I don’t know whether he is a County Inspector or wrist-band salesman, and it doesn’t matter. I’d be more interested to know how many of the 3.2 million hits translate into book, sweater and wrist-band sales.
I have much sympathy with officers across our services in the complaint about admin, diversity taught from the speech-crime PC perspective and so on. The real point is that we know all this, but everyone runs away in practice, behind the ‘I’m protecting my mortgage’ shield. In reality they are leaving the victims of poor service to their fate. None of it is new and most of it was discussed by Max Weber.
From my point of view, it is quite tedious reading rehashed material from Cleon, especially the predictable rabble profanities but I continue to monitor the site. If it is true he is a policeman, some of the close shaves he survived to avoid exposure were certainly close enough to spot his collar red.
Certain revelations provide a creeping credibility to the possibility of him being a civilian. Unexplained gaps in his police knowledge and experience slowly add support to the alternate hypothesis.
I will feel pretty disappointed should it prove I have been chasing a lingerie salesman in the mistaken belief he was a senior officer bringing police into disrepute. Yet I could never feel as dishonest as he or his publisher – or as silly as his devotees in uniform who bought the books and paraphernalia of a conman.
There are some police voices I recognise on the site, but they rarely come from Cleon himself, other than under the general wail on paperwork. WPC Bloggs got herself promoted sergeant recently, a matter that would make identification easy if anyone was interested. It was all a bit like a marriage on Eastenders, at least I assume this as I don’t watch.
The blogs are irrelevant in the main. We could do with Rough Justice back and a proper scheme for public sector workers to reveal what they believe is going on.
To be fair to responsible police bloggers and those who earned sufficient trust for their blogs to remain unchanged, I hope their blogs continue.
Impending controls are nothing more than gossip and whisperings but I echo your concerns to preserve a means for officials to blow the whistle when necessary.
Initially, police blogs appeared to be a great idea and their main problems were largely unforeseen. As is the case with theatre, potentially great plays have resulted in bombs when some ego overestimated his talent for script writing, production and direction whilst taking the leading role.
It’s always been hard to tell the truth. I’v met some really sensible cops in my recent work who manage not to fall into the insularity trap. What I’m on about here is the way we don’t seem to have much openness and control over administrative measures, and maybe this is what dooms so many like ASBOs to failure.