Thursday, 26 April 2007

Having Stuff is Stupid

Radio 5 have been making the point for the last few hours that robbery and mugging statistics are up because people will insist on carrying ipods and mobiles around with them. Clearly then, the possession of goods is wrong, and a temptation that others simply cannot resist. The solution is to pretend you have no goods, and then you won't be robbed. In a liberal democracy, as it supposedly approaches a peak of civilisation, with rights extended further to its citizens than ever before, the possession of goods constitutes an unavoidable temptation to other citizens. This argument, you will find if you listen to Radio 5 live often enough, only applies to robbery, which isn't very important, clearly, as the possession of property is no big deal in an open society; it does not apply to crimes against the person unless they happen to be in the "wrong area".

I am going to the pub after all.

10 comments:

Lord Nazh said...

Isn't that the same argument that the shiehk in Australia uses on rape?

Basically it's the woman's fault for not being totally covered.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I do worry about you sometimes.

pommygranate said...

Tin Drummer

Over here the same argument was used by a guy called Sheikh Hilali (Oz's most senior Muslim cleric). He argued that girls had a duty to cover themselves up otherwise they are too tempting for guys to resist. (rape that is - not annoying chat up lines).

It is an utterly redundant argument.

james higham said...

Don't get mugged on the way back.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It's the same here. In big cities or around tourist sites, you are supposed to look terrible and as if you have nothing. Glad you are off to the pub - only thing to do!

The Tin Drummer said...

Thanks for the comments, and welcome Pommygranate! I did go to the pub and I had a few jars, which always brightens the day up a bit.

Ian Appleby said...

I increasingly find that listening to Radio Five - with the singular exception of Mr Kermode - makes me heartily wish that someone would come along and relieve me of my audio equipment.

Not Saussure said...

No one's suggesting the temptation is unavoidable, TD, It's rather, I think, that if someone's already succumbed to the temptation to support himself (and, very frequently, his drug habit) through crime, people carrying small, valuable and easily resalable consumer goods are an obviously attractive target.

If someone takes the risk of mugging someone, it's only prudent of him to go for someone who he knows has something worth stealing; he doesn't know how much cash I might have in my wallet, but he does know how much he can get for someone's mobile or ipod.

I suspect, too, at least from what I see in court, that a fair number of these street robberies are committed on young teenagers by other, somewhat older, teenagers and used to happen a few years ago, too, but didn't then get reported. If a gang of bullies takes someone's school dinner money off him, it's far less likely lead to a complaint to the police (or even his parents)and to end up in court than is the theft, with violence or the threat of violence, of a hundred pounds' worth of phone and personal stereo.

The Tin Drummer said...

NS, I don't disagree with that: my point was simply that the lame and lazy acceptance of the possession of goods as a provocation to crime is shocking, or should be shocking, from the commentariat of an advanced liberal democracy.

I think you're right about the dinner money thing: but presumably if teenagers still carry it, they get mugged for that as well.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

A semi ironic posting, perhaps?

I felt so guilty this morning in mass listening to th girl from Cafod.
Whether I'll get round to doing anything is another matter.