Author Topic: "Law-abiding majority" a myth  (Read 4320 times)

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Offline Editor

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"Law-abiding majority" a myth
« on: June 25, 2007, 06:22:19 am »

Petty crime  rife among the middle classes

From BBC News Online....

Quote
More than six out of 10 people regularly commit crimes against the government, their employers or businesses ... researchers said it showed petty crime was rife among the middle classes and exposed the "law-abiding majority" to be a myth.

Offences include paying "cash in hand" to avoid VAT and stealing items from work. The study's author said: "Contempt for the law is as widespread in the centre of society as it is assumed to be rampant at the margins and among specific marginal groups."
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Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: "Law-abiding majority" a myth
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 11:56:25 am »
No wonder there is contempt for government etc when you become almost afraid to open a newspaper and learn the latest example of contempt that government etc has for ordinary people.   We are all being made to become criminals if we step just a little bit out of line.  Now it is the smokers that are the target (I have only had about 5 cigs and a cigar in my life so they won't catch me with this new law).  Who next?  People who swear in a public place or even in their own home?  (Oh b....r)

At one time newspapers used to run spoof articles in their 1st April editions as April Fool jokes.  Now every day the news contains items which, on 1st April, one would suspect as being a joke.   

Latest examples - the EU treaty which isn't a rehashed constitution (oh yes?), two Prime (prime????) Ministers for 6 weeks until Wednesday, the banning of re-running 'an egg a day' adverts from 50 years ago because they do not portray a balanced diet (no fear of a rerun of 'A Mars a day helps you work, rest, and play'), a pervert having his sentence reduced because of the way the 10 year old victim dressed, a rapidly increasing population not being matched by an increasing number of prison places so prisoners are being set free to release places for newly convicted criminals and judges told not to send criminals to prison,  etc, etc.   :mblah05:  :mblah05:  :mblah05:
« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 12:02:21 pm by Bob Horrocks »
 

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Re: "Law-abiding majority" a myth
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 12:38:51 pm »
Surely you mean the contempt ordinary people have for the laws of the land, such as paying tax and not stealing stuff. Seems the survey is talking about the myth that the 'respectable middle classes' are law abiding. According to the research, they are as much crooks as those they usually blame.

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Offline sasquartch

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Re: "Law-abiding majority" a myth
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 12:58:32 pm »
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According to the research, they are as much crooks as those they usually blame

I don't think that you can possibly compare stealing paperclips or using the photocopier at work with 'real' crime like rape.

Bob makes a good point - lets sort out basic things like having sufficient prison places for convicted criminals before we try and criminalise just about every member of the population
 

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Re: "Law-abiding majority" a myth
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2007, 01:14:16 pm »

I don't think that you can possibly compare stealing paperclips or using the photocopier at work with 'real' crime like rape.


What about fiddling tax?  Paying cash in hand to avoid VAT?  That sort of thing?

David
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Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: "Law-abiding majority" a myth
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2007, 09:41:02 pm »
Its an interesting survey isnt it? What is a "real" crime? How many people have really never done anything which others might now consider criminal in the strictest sense? Ever bought anything cheap and not asked any questions?, ever been paid or pay someone else in cash etc?

There are lots of arguments about where each crime fits morally- I mean is inflating an insurance claim really worse than operating a "law-abiding" bank or insurance company for example?

Trouble is the survey is talkign about things which are crimes which does include using the photocopier at work, pretending to be sick to get a day off, over egging expenses and time sheets, drink driving etc etc. I think it would be a brave person who came on and said he/she had never in their lives done anythign wrong?!
 

John_fraser

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Re: "Law-abiding majority" a myth
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2007, 09:56:26 pm »
There are lots of arguments about where each crime fits morally- I mean is inflating an insurance claim really worse than operating a "law-abiding" bank or insurance company for example?

Yes. We all like to say that banks and insurance companies are thieves, but (mostly) they aren't. Even if they were, not being worse than a thief does not place someone on the moral high ground.
 

Offline Grumpy Old Roy

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Re: "Law-abiding majority" a myth
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 08:55:03 pm »
I am very suspicious of surveys or reports that deflect public attention from very serious matters, ie, escalating violent crime. Who cares about a paper clip when kids are getting stabbed to death. The trick is to establish who commissioned the report, that normally tells everything.

People commit crimes because they can, especially the violence currently being undertaken. I was born just minutes away from the that awful stabbing in Holloway. Whilst it was a very poor and tough area, people could go about there daily business, I suppose, because every body knew everybody. Plus, prison was tough, and reflected the severity of the crime.

 Society has to decide what kind of society it wishes to live in, if it wants a reduction in crime, then the sentence must fit the crime. One can correlate the ever increasing crime rate with every lessening of sentencing. In the fifties during national service the re offending rate for those that went into the glasshouse (army prison) was 3%, that says it all, you just didn't go back, honest.

So, if we want to keep our hands morally clean, fine, don't say anything, but if we wish to stop this terrible rise in violence, then lets say what has to be said.

Remember, Holloway today, Brookmans Park tomorrow. 

Grumpy Old Roy

 

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: "Law-abiding majority" a myth
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 10:17:23 pm »
Well I suppose there is an argument that breaking any law is immoral since we should all stick to the rules we all notionally have a say in making.

Insurance companies are not thieves since they act lawfully. However, they often have a captive market who must by law insure, employers liability, public liability, professional indemnity, car etc etc and they avoid paying where they can. They are basically bookmakers and the only way to get some money is for something bad to happen to you. You only win when you lose.

They provide a service of course and facilitate many aspects of business but are they better morally than someone who unlawfully inflates an insurance claim?

My bank takes my money from my account the minute I send internet instructions to do so. It arrives where i send it three or four days later. They use my money to make more money for themselves, charge me for moving it, charge me for not having enough in my account and charge my recipient the same. All lawful but how moral is it? If a kid took some of your money without asking for a few days wouldnt you call it theft?
 

John_fraser

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Re: "Law-abiding majority" a myth
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2007, 08:01:44 am »
Breaking the law or obeying it is not in itself moral or immoral. This has been frequently proved under totalitarian governments. Inflating an insurance claim to counteract a deliberate underestimate by the insurance company isnít immoral, but inflating an insurance claim to gain more than was lost is equivalent to theft.
The way bank accounts are run is fundamentally dishonest and opaque, but not dishonest. They are expensive for the bank compared to savings accounts and part of the cost is covered by the interest lost during clearing. This is a stealth charge, which should be replaced by the actual charge, but it is not immoral.
 

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