Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Youth sentenced to community service

A couple of years ago, the government decided to raise the school leaving age from 16 to 18 - something that the LPUK opposes. One of the great benefits, from a political point of view, is that it improves the statistics. Keeping young people in school not only keeps them out of the unemployment statistics, but it also keeps them in the education statistics, so that the government can boast of the proportion of young people the country has in education. From a public relations point of view, it’s a win-win situation. And the government’s method is compulsion - telling young people what they have to do.

Such is this government’s enthusiasm for compulsion, that one is not surprised at their plan to introduce compulsory community service for young people - described as “investing in young people.” Many have written about the government’s plans, but I am indebted to Mr. Walker at the Melangerie for pointing out that compulsory community service has generally been seen as punishment for petty crime in the country. Even the language used (they will be expected “to give something back to their communities”) suggests that this is about restitution. Far from “investing in young people", it is treating young people like criminals. (I look forward to the day when judges sentence convicted criminals with the words “The government will be investing in you for a period six months”)

I don’t know if the government’s determination to treat young people as petty criminals is because it sees the young people of this country as petty criminals, but if the young people of Britain see most politicians as petty (or not so petty) criminals, they might not be far wrong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.