Riots – don’t take away benefits, take away privileges

Police in ManchesterThis post is a little bit different to what I usually put on here, but I wanted to talk about the fact that everyone is pushing for taking away benefits of those involved with the riots.

On the face of it, this seems like a good idea, but it’s not. People still have to eat, and they still need cash. It’s not like there are tonnes of jobs out there for people who rely on benefits to find alternative means of income. They will just have to commit crime to survive if you take them away.

Instead, take away privileges. Phone lines. Sky TV or cable. Mobile phone accounts. Internet connections. See where I’m going? The people causing the trouble will learn a hell of a lot quicker once things like this are taken away, plus it’s a punishment that can be applied across all class groups, not just those on benefits.

Proposing to take away benefits as a response to what happened will be ineffectual and assumes that everyone involved is claiming benefits – you can be sure that’s not the case. The puppet masters, organising the looting and making the profit from it, won’t need benefits. They’ll place a much higher value on the privileges that come from being connected to the internet and phone networks.

They’re my thoughts anyway, feel free to tell me if I’m wrong, or it you agree, on Twitter or Google+.


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