The right to protect your house from intruders


by Sunny
23rd December, 2009 at 2:41 pm    

When it comes to law and order I’d describe myself more centrist and right-wing than on the left in many cases. I’ve been to far too many countries like India where the rule of law is woefully missing, and as a result poor people lose out because they don’t have the connections (or money) to get adequate justice. The law there, in most cases, is an ass.

With rule of law also comes the right to self-defence: another issue I’m fairly big on. Of course law enforcement should take precedence, but if I’m being attacked then I want to be able to deal with the problem than have to wait for the police.

Which is why, I find myself with the Daily Mail in being outraged over the sentencing of Munir Hussain.

Salem spent two weeks in hospital recovering from his injuries after he terrorised Mr Hussain and his family in their home on September 3, 2008.

Mr Hussain, 53, was jailed for two and a half years for causing grievous bodily harm with intent and his brother Tokeer received 39 months for the same offence.

Now, I accept that the law should ensure that people are not allowed to mete out vigilante justice. I also accept that proportionality is important – in that if someone punches me, then mowing them down with an M-16 Assault Rifle is likely to land me in jail.

But Munir had Hussain not only had burglars in his house – they also tied up his family and tormented them. I cannot guarantee that if I came back to my house and saw that being done to my family, I wouldn’t pull out a gun and mow that mofo down straight-away. As my mate said: ‘If you don’t want your ass kicked then don’t break into my house‘.

To that extent, while I think the law fairly ok as it stands, I do sympathise with Conservative attempts to strengthen it in favour of householders who have their house broken into.

PS. Ireland is about to change its laws on self-defence, giving people the right to use force, including lethal force, against attack in their homes if they believe they will be the victim of murder, rape, kidnapping etc. I’m all in favour of that.


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  1. Matthew Scott

    RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: The right to protect your house from intruders http://bit.ly/8f4HsD


  2. pickles

    Blog post:: The right to protect your house from intruders http://bit.ly/8f4HsD


  3. Lovely Wuverly Fluffy Compassionate Conservatism « Left Outside

    [...] the time Sunny Hundal argued that he thought the law stood fine as it was but sympathised with Conservative attempts to [...]


  4. Liberal Conspiracy » Where is that compassionate Conservatism now?

    [...] the time Sunny argued that he thought the law stood fine as it was but sympathised with Conservative attempts to [...]




  1. cjcjc — on 23rd December, 2009 at 6:45 am  

    First comment: wow!

    Second comment: the real scandal is that the burglar was still on the streets (and in Mr Hussain's house) after 50 – yes FIFTY – previous convictions.

  2. Dungeekin — on 23rd December, 2009 at 6:46 am  

    I totally agree about defence IN the house. If an assailant were to come through my front door, I'd act to protect my wife and children and certainly wouldn't be considering the 'reasonability' of the force I used. It would simply be a matter of completely neutralising the threat.

    However, the thing is that Mr Hussain pursued the burglar some distance away from his property to administer the beating. I'm right alongside the scrote GETTING a kicking (and can't honestly say that I wouldn't have chased him down and done the very same), but it's hardly surprising he was convicted given that the miscreant had escaped his property.

  3. BenSix — on 23rd December, 2009 at 7:16 am  

    But Munir had Hussain not only had burglars in his house – they also tied up his family and tormented them. I cannot guarantee that if I came back to my house and saw that being done to my family, I wouldn’t pull out a gun and mow that mofo down straight-away.

    So would I! Heck, I've wanted to beat people with a two-by-four just for making too much noise below my window.

    However, though I understand the act, I'm not sure that it should be given tacit consent. Tricky one…

  4. Rob Fahey — on 23rd December, 2009 at 8:09 am  

    I think there has to be a recognition of the difference between defending yourself and your family in your home, and chasing someone down the street to beat them senseless. One is self-defence – the other is revenge, and if we're to change the law to allow the victims of crime to revenge themselves on the perpetrators, then we might as well throw out the concept of having a justice system at all.

    I can understand and sympathise with what Munir Hussain did, but cannot agree with the idea that it should be legal to do it.

  5. Don — on 23rd December, 2009 at 8:27 am  

    It was extreme provocation, to be sure, and if Mr Hussain had beaten – or even killed – the intruder while he was still in the house I doubt he would have faced prosecution. The law is reasonably clear, as long as you feel threatened you can pretty much do anything which you consider reasonable and not have to worry about justifying it later.

    But you can't deliver a punishment beating to someone who presents no threat. I sympathise, but once you sanction vigilante justice then law and order might as well shut up shop.

  6. cjcjc — on 23rd December, 2009 at 9:02 am  

    then law and order might as well shut up shop

    The burglar had 50 prior convictions and was still free…law and order had shut up shop in his case!

  7. soru12 — on 23rd December, 2009 at 9:03 am  

    If the burglar illegally started a violent incident in which people predictably got hurt, shouldn't he have been charged with the all the crimes that resulted from that action? Going into someone's house and threatening their family with a knife is not going to result in their target shaking their hand and saying 'fair enough, take the stuff'.

    Admittedly, it might seem a bit strange to prosecute and charge him for injuries to himself, but it does seem the fairest course.

    If he had died form his injuries, then charge his corpse with manslaughter.

    Under the circumstances, Mr Hussain should have been charged too, but he certainly shouldn't have been seeing anything like 60% of the maximum tariff for that crime. It seems like one of the few cases where a few months in jail would be appropriate.

  8. MiriamBinder — on 23rd December, 2009 at 9:26 am  

    While I have no issue with people defending themselves, their loved ones and their property I do think that we should only have the right to neutralise the immediate threat! Anything beyond that smacks of vigilantism and that does not bode well for an ordered law abiding society.

    Now it could be claimed that the attacker got pursued in the heat of the moment but … isn't that what civilisation is all about, repressing those 'in the heat of the moment' urges where giving in to them cause others harm?

  9. Don — on 23rd December, 2009 at 9:30 am  

    Well, if we are to give up on the police and courts, at least we have a working alternative system to consider.

    http://www.thehrf.org/media/BolReportJan08.html

  10. bishophill — on 23rd December, 2009 at 9:40 am  

    Worth pointing out that Munir Hussain had a common law duty to apprehend the criminals. (I think this is still true). So he had to pursue them. My understanding of what happened was that having pursued the criminals he then beat them, even when they no longer represented a threat to him. I'm certainly willing to give someone a lot of leeway on self- and home-defence, but I'm not sure that this wasn't overstepping the mark (and I mean that in the exact terms I use – i.e. I don't know).

    The problem is that Munir Hussain was forced to engage in hand-to-hand combat, and “seeing red” is quite probably a natural reaction to being put in this position. I would much prefer giving people like this the option of having a firearm so that they could deal with home invaders at long range. Then the homeowner is more likely to be able to deal with the situation non-violently and if violence does ensue, it's more likely that the bad guy will come off worse.

  11. Pobeda — on 23rd December, 2009 at 9:56 am  

    I remember people being very upset and doubleplusgoodthinkfully indignant when Jeremy Clarkson, that awful man on 'Top Gear,' said that he approved of unarmed fleeing burglars being shot – lethally -in the back.

    I approve of such no-nonsence brisk action, too.

    It'll stop them doing it again, won't it?

    If Munir Hussein and his family had tortured the piece of sh*t to death over a period of days, he'd have sent a clear signal to the criminal fraternity – and those tempted to join their ranks – and would have deserved a medal and public congratulation.

  12. douglas clark — on 23rd December, 2009 at 10:12 am  

    I understand that in certain areas of the country an immediate Police response cannot be guaranteed. I'd have thought that capturing a criminal was still within your rights, but perhaps not.

    It is really quite a difficult point and I assume that the Irish vote is perhaps intended to deter the criminals?

    But giving someone like Podeba these rights is frankly a step too far.

  13. kendo — on 23rd December, 2009 at 10:17 am  

    Munir Hussain denied taking part in the beating when he appeared in court inspite of an eye wittness seeing him do it and gave evidence to that affect in court. This in all probabilty took away any sort of the self defence argument.

  14. damon — on 23rd December, 2009 at 10:18 am  

    I've been walking around Singapore for the last week wondering about how they do crime and punishment.
    There doesn't seem to be any street crime.
    Even though the majority of people live in high rise, high density housing estates.
    No stroppy youth whatsoever.

    Walking around the blocks and underneath them, they have open spaces with tables and chairs for residents of the blocks to come down and sit at night. Or for the children to do their homework after school of an afternoon. You wonder why these spaces in the UK are broken zones where crime happens and people are wary.

    Is it Asian values or something?
    Their draconian penal system? (Death for drug traffickers etc).

  15. marvin — on 23rd December, 2009 at 10:26 am  

    But Munir had Hussain not only had burglars in his house – they also tied up his family and tormented them. I cannot guarantee that if I came back to my house and saw that being done to my family, I wouldn’t pull out a gun and mow that mofo down straight-away

    Spot on.

    Who hasn't watched one of these tense drama/thrillers where the protagonists family is being held hostage, and identified with the person about to mete out some righteous justice on the hostage takers who have their terrified family held with weapons?

    Who doesn't identify and feel the need to stand up for the terrified victim who lashes out at the attacker – as our very innate instincts direct us to?

    The law should always been on the side of the attacked. Otherwise we have a situation as we have now where you can be attacked, and fighting back can lead you to jail for years whilst your attackers walk free.

  16. marvin — on 23rd December, 2009 at 10:30 am  

    But giving someone like Podeba these rights is frankly a step too far.

    I think torturing the criminals over days would constitute Chris Grayling's 'grossly disproportionate' test in a court of law.

    My darker thoughts would have some sympathy with Podeba's thoughts I must admit. As long as it was a bit of humiliation and no chopping, blood or disfigurement. LOL. Would you be restrained, Douglas, to find your family tied up and at threatened at knife point?

  17. marvin — on 23rd December, 2009 at 10:40 am  

    It's almost certainly their draconian penal system, they have the highest number of capital punishments per capita in the world (well, officially recorded, at least).

    from Wikipedia

    Western democracies consider the form of government in Singapore to be closer to authoritarianism rather than true democracy and could be considered an illiberal democracy, totalitarian democracy or procedural democracy.

  18. douglas clark — on 23rd December, 2009 at 10:48 am  

    marvin,

    Obviously not. To the extent that I could, I would go for maximum force. And I would certainly tie them up and wait for the Police to arrive and thank my lucky stars that they hadn't done for me and mine. And I wouldn't really care if they lived or died.

    I think I'm right in saying this is a very uncommon form of burglary, if that is what it was. What about the case of the burglar who was shot in the back when running away from a house when he was disturbed by a gun wielding home owner? (There was a real case a bit like that not so long ago.) You redefine limits if you change the rules like that. That is all I am saying.

  19. MiriamBinder — on 23rd December, 2009 at 11:17 am  

    I have no problem with the concept of a more severe penal system – though I don't think we need go so far as capital punishment. I personally am of the opinion that anyone who steps outside of the rules of civilised society by committing a crime should automatically be considered as having voluntarily given up on any Human Rights; apart from the basic rights to food/shelter/medical treatment (with the latter being confined to life preserving rather then life enhancing treatment).

    However anyone who steps beyond the boundaries of neutralising the immediate threat should be judged as well. Let it be that a jury of peers decide whether the (over)reaction was justifiable, or not as the case may be, under the circumstances. I would not want the right to pursuit wrongdoers to be automatically granted. Not to mention the fact that until a person is convicted, regardless of how guilty s/he may be, that person is still 'innocent until proved guilty' according to the law and in a public trial following all due process.

  20. Don — on 23rd December, 2009 at 11:50 am  

    Douglas,
    I think I'm right in saying this is a very uncommon form of burglary

    Yes, given that Mr Hussein is described as a millionaire and he and his family were tied and threatened it sounds more like a home invasion for extortion, so not your average burglary. Nastier and far more scary.

    Had he gained the upper hand in the house and cleaved the intruders skull with a hatchet or brained him with a skillet I would be happy to applaud. There would not be an issue. And I get the 'red mist' exoneration, I really do. But our flawed criminal justice system is not going to be improved by basing justice on the emotions evoked by thrillers on telly, anymore than our security services should be using Jack Bauer in 24 as training materials.

    As it happens I encountered an intruder at my home about three weeks ago. I was alone in the house at around 11 at night and had not yet locked the back door. Us rural folk, y'know. The living room door opened and this guy was gawping at me, my momentary first reaction was puzzlement. My family wasn't at threat and once I'd taken in the situation I was fairly sure I wasn't either, so I told him he'd picked the wrong damn house and to sling his hook. Which he did. Police showed up less than ten minutes after I called them and were very good, although they didn't catch him.

    Had my family been present, or had the pasty loser seemed like a threat I would probably have used maximum force, and had several items to hand which would have been perfectly servicable. And I'd be within my rights.

    Defending yourself or others from a threat = fine and laudable. Exacting revenge when not under threat = criminal offence. Seems to me that the law has this about right. Otherwise, if I spot the schmuck on the streets next week what's to stop me just running him over?

  21. Roger — on 23rd December, 2009 at 12:12 pm  

    What were Salem's previous convictions for? Had he served time for them? Regardless of that, the law does allow people to kill in self-defence. Several people who have killed burglars have been found to have committed justifiable homicide. It does not allow people to pursue someone- and several people chased Salem- and then hit them so hard that they are permanently disabled.

  22. douglas clark — on 23rd December, 2009 at 2:25 pm  

    Don,

    Sorry to read about your incident, and glad to see that you came out of it OK. I think you and I more or less agree on this.

  23. MiriamBinder — on 23rd December, 2009 at 2:47 pm  

    His previous convictions are immaterial for the purposes of this discussion.

    They were previous which leads one to suspect that the due punishment exacted by society had been completed in a manner conducive to society; by those appointed by society to evaluate such matters, to wit: the Judicial system.

  24. Pobeda — on 23rd December, 2009 at 9:45 pm  

    A TRUE STORY:
    An urban police department in the USA was distressed by the number of muggings and decided to send out armed officers disguished as desirable decoys, with backup squads handily nearby.

    In a number of the distressing altercations which ensued a number of the muggers died of gunshot wounds.

    In consequence, Black grievance-and-reparations organisations – you ALL know the sort of people who are active in these, on both sides of the Atlantic – howled that the decoy units were acting as death squads and on-the-spot executioners.

    The decoy units ceased and muggings resumed. Black organisations got tons of public money to fund their outreach programs for at-risk-youth. {A few yards of rope would have been far cheaper and far more effective.]

    AN IDEA:
    Has any Mr-Fixit do-it-yourselfer thought of making amusing and inventive burglar traps which would skewer a hand or slice off a few fingers? It wouldn't prove TOO difficult.

    Concerning Singapore, a few points can be made. Although Singapore is not a homogenous society, the Chinese are very much top dogs and accept authoritarian government as a price which people are willing to pay for living in safety.

    To be sure, Singapore's safety comes with silly censorship and all sorts of rather tiresome regulations, so it feels like a conformity-by-consent utopia [or dystopia, depending on one's point of view.]

    There are NO civil-rights-for-at-risk-youth criminal-abetting bodies standing up for the rights of muggers and car thieves. Civil rights lawyers are very few and quite unmercifully harrassed.

    TRY THIS SIMPLE TEST:
    You are obliged to walk two miles through a city at 1 a.m. with a small child and a large sum of money in your safekeeping. You can choose the city from the following list:

    Singapore Detroit London Dublin Osaka Pyongyang Havana Kingston, Jamaica

    What conclusions do you draw from your choice of city?

  25. Rumbold — on 24th December, 2009 at 3:35 am  

    The violence was excessive. He should have been prosecuted, but the judge should have only given him a suspended sentence, as it was clearly a situation that was unlikely to happen again.

  26. Pobeda — on 24th December, 2009 at 4:20 am  

    Some comments from the householder-red-in-tooth-and-claw gang among Spectator readers

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/rodliddle/5653973/hy

  27. David O'Keefe — on 24th December, 2009 at 7:14 am  

    He got a relatively light sentence as it is, or does causing brain damage not warrant a custodial sentence?

    Sunny, Can I ask you to declare an interest here-Have you been a victim of burgulary? I just find your argument here- as you are deploring mob vilence on one hand and justifying it inanother instance. You fail to acknowledge that Hussain upon escaping the house, rang up a friend in order to arrange for a mob to beat the burgulars to death.

    Careful what you wish for.

  28. damon — on 24th December, 2009 at 10:00 pm  

    Assaulting an intruder in your home is all well and good if you do it from a position of power in the neighbourhood. For example, most small time burglars (that we are plagued with in Britain) would think twice about doing what they do in Texas. Where the homeowner might just come out and shoot you, and the law would back them up.

    Whereas, in Britain if you attacked someone in your house and hurt them, you would probably become a target of all his friends and family locally, who would stand outside your house issuing threats and showing anti-social behavoir.
    Calling the police would be a waste of time, as it's now known locally which one your house is.
    Your car sits on the driveway. Your windows are just feet away from the public footpath.

    Of course, you could also be a part of a community that can make a few phone calls and have a couple of cars of cricket bat wielding friends and family turn up within five minutes.

    If you have that kind of ''cover'' then yes, give that burglar or robber a thrashing.

    Just on Singapore for a moment. I think it has to be more than just a fear of the penal system that makes this place seem crime free (from just walking around).

    The low level criminality just doesn't seem to be there. In London in the afternoon, newsagents and sweetshops sometimes have signs on their doors wich say ''only two school children allowed in the shop at one time'' and the owners of those shops watch the young people very closely. That culture doesn't seem to exsist here in Singapore.
    Children don't nick from shops like they do in Britain. Or just drop to the ground their KFC and chip wrappers at the bus stop when there is a bin about 6 feet away.

    Here in Singapore it's a Daily Mail right wing ranters dream.
    But just walking through a very local market in the Jalan Pasar neighbourhood an hour ago (it sits underneath a big housing complex and it's the people from the flats above that are its business owners and customers), and it's lively, but completely calm and serene as well.
    It's a place for old people to feel content and connected (and safe).
    I can imagine the call for harsh punishments if local residents were ever targeted by street criminals and burglars.
    I think that they would want the problem to go away, and if that meant draconian sentences for criminals, I think that would (locally) be seen as a price worth paying.
    They have senior citizen excersise equipment at the base of these high rise blocks of flats.
    http://i.justrealized.com/media/2008/05/bukit-b
    In Britain this stuff would be vandalised and the old people would be scared of sitting out in the evenings in the communal spaces at the ground level like they do here.

  29. douglas clark — on 24th December, 2009 at 10:17 pm  

    Hmm…

    damon. Y wanna live in that sort of utopia?

    Well, fine.

    Just recall what you gave up.

    Like your freedom to dissent.

    What would they make of you or I?

    A couple of folk that don't really agree with the status quo.

    I have my own answers to that…

  30. Pobeda — on 24th December, 2009 at 11:35 pm  

    Singaporeans under thirty are often full of smouldering resentment and occasionally they rebel spectacularly; Grace Quok [a.k.a. Annabel Chong - a name lifted from a James Bond novel] starred in 'The World's Biggest Gangbang' and young Singaporeans on vacation in Malaysia and Indonesia are thrilled at being able to fling their litter in all directions at long last. [They certainly do their best to make Tioman a mess!]

    However, the over-thirties are willing to pay the necessary price that living in an almost-crime-free nanny-knows-best society and those of you with access to uncensored internet need only check out alt.com to find plenty of saucy swinging [but discreet] Singaporeans.

  31. damon — on 25th December, 2009 at 1:27 am  

    No Douglas Clark. I don't want to live in that kind of 'utopia' (for very long).
    But for a week or two it's fine and very interesting.
    Architecturally, much of the housing stock isn't so different to Drumchapel or Springburn (in Glasgow).
    http://media.photobucket.com/image/drumchapel/a
    But the environment in and around these blocks is so different.
    No warring gangs of young lads attacking each other down the decades like in Easterhouse.

    I said I thought it was more than the penal system that kept people in check.
    They also have Indian labourers brought over to do all the construction and dirty work.
    These guys are ''guest workers'' on specifc visas. Mostly without families and children. It's different to how Britain did it by taking in overseas workers to fill labour shortages and then in a generation or two those communities having families and becoming majorities in some inner city neighbourhoods.

    Add racism (and more lately, islamophobia) and perhaps this was a cocktail which might sit gently brewing for many years.

    I am certainly not a ''hang 'em and flog 'em'' kind of person.
    but western liberals just love to caricature and mock and look down on the reactionary right in Britain. (You know, the Richard Littlejohn's and Jon Gaunt's and their rabid Daily Mail agenda).
    But then you walk through a neighbourhood market at one of the suburban housing developments in Singapore, where 'mom and pop' outdoor resturants are going full blaze till midnight often, and you do wonder (for a few moments) which system is better.

    I was threatened by some little SOB in Streatham south London recently on a quiet sunday as I was walking along minding my own business.
    This little street rapper thug was having a row with his girlfriend as I walked past.
    He was being really leery and aggressive and it was quite alarming to see.
    I walked on past meekly. I saw he was holding a glass bottle of lucozade or something.
    As I walked past, about ten seconds later I heard him shout, and the sound of a bottle smashing on the ground.
    I casually looked back over ny shoulder, at which he immediately challenged me and threatened me.
    The little shitbag. I walked on but was fuming. What could I do? I felt like going back and confronting him. But then what? He would have definitely got violent (I thought from his demeanor).
    The elderly Chinese residents of the Singapore Housing Development Board estates (HDB) would have that little scrote in the stocks for three days.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_and_Develo
    And I wouldn't feel too sorry for him If I saw him with his head and hands stuck through the boards as I walked past.
    http://www.my-ecoach.com/online/resources/6767/

    It seems so draconian and right wing in Britain. but much of the world is not like us and takes a different view to people who upset the civil society and order of the street. What would be so bad about putting the local anti-social pain in the ass's into public stocks for an afternoon?
    The guy who stole my bike in Norbury several years ago definately would deserve that treatment.
    He just jumped on it and rode off when I was in a newsagents. I saw him do it and was outside in half a second shouting after him, but he was off like a rocket.

    In the UK we call that petty crime, but I was really outraged at the time.

  32. Pobeda — on 25th December, 2009 at 1:59 am  

    While on the subject or Laura Norda and all her works:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/de

    A bad choice of a day to read such stuff, now I think of it, but you could leave it until tomorrow.

    I approve of draconian punishments for premeditated crimes of violence. For throwing acid to disfigure, death by slow exposure / starvation / thirst would be appropriate, I'd say.

  33. douglas clark — on 25th December, 2009 at 2:33 am  

    damon,

    You should subscribe to an issue of the Digger or summat. I do not really recognise the city you describe. I have been physically attacked twice, both of which I ought to have avoided. And, if I had any sense, I would have avoided both situations. But I am not that clever.

    Once I sort of won, more recently I lost big time.

    Anyway, whilst the gangs do probably exist in Glasgow, we do not 'big' them up, in the way that political groupiscules seems to have taken over the media.

    I am sorry that a couple of idiots have buggered up your common sense.

    You live in a usually very safe city, probably a tad safer than my own. Look at the statistics….

  34. douglas clark — on 25th December, 2009 at 2:37 am  

    Pobeda,

    We have methods of dealing with people like that. It is called lengthy sentencing.

    You really do have a nasty streak in you, don't you?

  35. Fojee_Punjabi — on 25th December, 2009 at 4:46 am  

    Sorry to burst your bubble, folks, but ask the Pakistani community in Reading about Hussain and his family and I think you'll find they're just as scared of them as they are of the other Pakistani gangsters in the area so no I don't agree that thugs like him or those who tried to rob his house should be walking our streets at all.

    There's a reason the judge was so harsh, Genius.

  36. camilla — on 25th December, 2009 at 9:19 am  

    |||When it comes to law and order I’d describe myself more centrist and right-wing than on the left in many cases|||

    be honest – not only when it comes to law and order for everyone – but when it comes to yourself, your family and your safety…

    actually It's high time ti acknoledge that tolerancy to everyone except whites and christians, muslim hate-marches in the centre of London, imams, hate-preaching freely, calling for attacks on infidels and such cases – these are things ща the same nature, things of one and the same origin – it's political correctness. nothing more

  37. camilla — on 25th December, 2009 at 9:42 am  

    actually it's the lefties to blame that you can be “right” even when it comes to crimes and punishment – it's them who fight for the minorities right to terrorise the majority. the majority here is law-abiding citizens and the minority – criminals

  38. n17magic — on 25th December, 2009 at 6:03 pm  

    Mr hussein should have killed the bastard burglar, he would have done his community a service but as we all know the law is totally cocked up in favour of the criminal's human rights.

  39. Pobeda — on 26th December, 2009 at 1:25 am  

    Yes Douglas -

    Drastic eye-for-an-eye – or two eyes for an eye – punishments work just fine if they are imposed with total impartiality [i.e. NO blood-money getouts for the well-off or those with rich chums] PLUS a high rate of successful detection and watertight conviction – which is where totally discreet payment for information-leading-to-apprehension comes in!

  40. MiriamBinder — on 26th December, 2009 at 2:07 am  

    “Drastic eye-for-an-eye – or two eyes for an eye – punishments …”

    Sounds more like an Avenge-and-Revenge system then the punitive system of a civilised society …

  41. damon — on 26th December, 2009 at 4:58 am  

    Douglas. I'm not sure what you mean by ''the city you describe''.
    I wasn't painting a bad picture of Glasgow so much. Just pointing out that when you go to a place like Drumchapel of an evening when the local shops at the bottom of the high rise flats have closed and are shuttered for the night, it does feel a bit grim.
    Not the kind of place you'd want to sit out on a plastic chair by the lifts of an evening like the old people do in Singapore, which has the same architecture but a different culture (and climate).

    How would folk on the Glasgow Underground take to watching a video like this every time they went on it?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZuwyiaksAk

    And The Digger. I don't think it existed when I lived there, but looking at this youtube brings back some memories. The accents.The mars bar (scar) on that guy at 35 seconds in is something you don't see that much outside Scotland.
    Not typical of the country of course, but living there you saw those people often.

  42. damon — on 26th December, 2009 at 7:11 am  

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