Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to unveil plans to shock young people who carry knives into a greater awareness of the impact of stabbing on victims.
Her proposals include visits to hospitals where people are being treated for knife wounds.
…Because, if you'd just been stabbed there is nothing more you would like to see than a gangster (possibly from the same gang who stabbed you) standing over your bed.
The thought that it will 'shock' young people into not running around stabbing each other is incredibly misguided. The reason people run around stabbing each other is because they are in gangs.
People are in gangs because of some well understood reasons, poverty and jealousy are the main things. We've always have poverty and we've always had gangs, it's just a lot more reported on these days.
A desire to call something 'theirs' is another reason why people get into gangs, to carve out a bit of the world that is theirs.
Look at the explosive popularity of Facebook and you see people separating into tribes.
With no external threats to safety these gangs turn on each other – Nothing unites Britain at the moment and so internal strife rises.
Gang members see the rich on TV all the time, the footballers, the actors, the politicians and they want what they have – but now the problem is that they don't want to work for it, TV like Big Brother has led to children, when asked what they want to be to answer “famous”.
It might seem simplistic, but working around gangs and the things that they do, going into the sink estates on a daily basis, you get a feel for what the causes are. Everyone wants to be special, everyone wants to 'belong, and because they aren't special, or because they feel alienated, some people turn to tribalism and crime.
I was talking to a police officer about a particularly nasty piece of work the other day, he couldn't understand why some people in poverty turn to crime while the majority of people don't. And if he doesn't know, I'm damn sure the politicians don't either.
Young people today are invulnerable, they have never been disciplined effectively so they think that nothing can touch them. When I see the police arresting someone, all I can hear is the suspect shouting, “You can't arrest me!”. The response to a teacher disciplining a pupil is almost always, “I know my rights”. No-one has ever told these children “No”. Parents don't chastise their children when they misbehave in the supermarket, so why would they discipline them for other things at home.
We are reaping what we have sowed in becoming a more permissive society in the 70's, 80's and 90's. You have to ask yourself if the cost to society for our permissiveness is too much.
That's what you have to treat, not the symptom, the knives, but the causes. You don't treat meningitis by trying to get rid of the rash, you treat it by getting rid of the infection.
But of course, that isn't an easy and quick fix, and it goes a lot deeper than the politicians would like to admit.
Look at the perpetrators and victims of knife killings, most of them are black youngsters – is this a coincidence? By saying that people can be 'shocked' out of carrying a knife they must be saying that black people don't normally think of their victims and this is how to 'uplift' them into changing. This, of course, is utter drivel.
Human beings have been killing each other for years, why should we suddenly stop? Have our brains evolved overnight to find killing abhorrent? I would suggest not, we are no different than we were 1000 years ago, or even 70 years ago.
But of course, politics is all about 'quick fixes', and I foresee new and 'improved' laws to deal with this surge in knife crimes. It won't fix anything and the crimes will eventually fall out of the media's gaze and turn to something else. The killings will go on, but less people will be interested and it will fade, once more, into the background.
Until then I'm guessing that we will have to endure more rapid and ill thought out legislation, and no increase in the infrastructure to enforce it.
Normal service will be resumed.
Please excuse this post, it's a stream of consciousness thing and I really should have tidied it up, and had some sort of point, before posting it. Oh, and has anyone ever noticed how short the paragraphs are on the BBC News website?