‘Monday's Leicestershire jury verdict on the Pilkington deaths was typical of British public opinion. It blamed the police and local officials for "contributing" to their tragic end. This was converted by the press into "letting it happen".
There is a democratic vacuum in this country, but it did not contribute to the Pilkingtons’ deaths any more than the police did. The government’s super-weapon for tackling anti-social behaviour is the Asbo, a medal of honour for pubescent thugs that augments the problem. Yesterday, Gordon Brown reverted to mimicking Stalin and announced further strong-armed measures. The 50,000 worst families are to be ostracised and given “compulsory treatment” - the 50,001st worst escape the cut for no particular reason.
Abolish this alarming conditioning exercise and Asbos, and put more bobbies on the beat and invest in local regeneration; the carrot and the stick are equally vital in fixing our society where it is broken, marginalised and disenfranchised. Having an elected mayor or the equivalent of the Stasi pacing the streets of Leicestershire would not have averted the Pilkingtons’ deaths; the perpetrators of their harassment are solely responsible.