Following the London riots there has been much talk of what to do with people who are anti social , and alongside the punitive process sits a judeo christian self analysis.
'Is it some Devil that crawls inside you?'
As artists are central to any public debate i thought it interesting to examine the notion of government retributive justice and its effects on criminality. And whether criminality is really what is being punished here.
The title of the peice comes from an article Burgess wrote in the Observer a few years ago
( id reccomend the floating library as a handy rescource for articles, the internet once again provides and proves how usefull it can be in democratising knowledge)
in which the author re asessed his book in light of the Bulger murder. And the themes of inherited criminality versus environment once again was chewed over, with a glass of milk.
( sorry for the relish, im no Burgess, but i cant help it lol).
There is a lot of pseudo moralising over the origins of the riots ( Lambeth and Hackney having very high poverty rates) versus the Prime Minister Eden quote ' you never had it so good' .
But we all know, in an era of cuts and a high rise in military spending ( we have always , i repeat always been at war with Eastasia) little will be done to address the social issues which we know cause crime.
I always remember this tory politican saying , on the issue of education and universtiy fees ' i was driven here in a taxi, and, why should this cabbie pay for your education?'.
My first question past the post would have been
'what if the cabbie wishes to improve his or her lot?, and gain a university education. Or their children?.'.
Once a cabbie, always a cabbie and unto death.
Its amusing anyway to continue in this vein for a little longer ( ill re edit all this ) on the current investigation wether Shakespeare ( son of a commoner) and benefactor of a basic education was really the pseudonym of a toff.Shakespeare came from a upper working class background, and some people cannot credit it.
Some of our greatest play wright and artists and musicians have come from modest means, but once a pleb always a pleb.