The papers and news programmes today are frothing at the mouth about the mother who killed herself and her daughter after suffering terrible harrassment from local delinquents. What were the police up to? Why didn't the council know what was going on? Why didn't somebody do something?
The PM is about to make a speech at the Labour Party Conference in which he will promise more legislation about combating anti-social behaviour and giving "problem families" something euphemistically called "support". Seems to me we have had lots of legislation to deal with isolated but no doubt upsetting outbreaks of what you might call bullying. Statutes are introduced, usually at great expense, and years later it's decided that the statute was not the appropriate measure. The Dangerous Dogs business was a classic case of this. It doesn't appear to have reduced the number of pinheads with threatening dogs on chains larging it in Chapel Market. I know this might seem like a counsel of despair but are we fooling ourselves in thinking government can do anything to make some people behave better?