A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Jack Straw's fish out of water feeling!

Jack Straw is the kind of politician who is rendered speechless in front of unadulterated truth. With him, it causes something similar to that of a fish that has been rudely hurled onto the beach by a freak wave. No freak waves this week, but on Tuesday morning I heard Straw on the Today Programme in conversation with "a prisoner". Evan Davis asked the inmate what was generally the problem. The prisoner, a lucid and straightforward guy, said he thought his crime, drug smuggling, was caused by two factors. His greed and the ever-increasing poppy harvest in Afghanistan, giving him the ability to make money. Davis asked Straw what he thought. Time for the fish impression!

The prisoner was right. He admits to being greedy, and sort of suggests that he should be helped. We have anger management courses, sessions for smokers and drinkers, and of course drug addicts. Why not for greedy people too? Possibly if these were offered to a variety of people, we might cut crime.

My anger at the greedy finance guys who used the so-called sub-prime market to enrich themselves could be assuaged by such courses. Greed management - sounds good! These sub-prime cowboys were greedy, preying on ignorant people who were taken in by the blandishments. There is a fine dividing line between the two kinds of greed!

With regard to Afghanistan, we are fighting the wrong enemy. Tribal warlords who may or may not know where Osama Bin Laden's cave is are no great enemy to the West. Their vast poppy harvest is, and all the business emanating from it. Jack Straw has no clue how to deal with this. My cynical side suggests that tackling the problem may cause a whole raft of agencies to collapse, ending with the demise of the sniffer dogs. Who wants to be put out of well-paid employment? Keep the poppies growing, keep the soldiers dying, keep "the War on Terror" going.
Isn't there a better way? If the prisoner is so clear on this, I'd give him a period to try it out. After all, he could be better than the fish impersonator!


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