Brian's Brief Encounters

This is an Unofficial Kaffe Fassett fanzine. Brought to you from a Leafy Suburb of the Throbbing Metropolis.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

New Sherriffs In Town

Once in a blue moon the Government comes up with an idea.

Well not the government exactly, they’re far too busy running the country for new ideas. Instead they have ‘think-tanks’ to do it for them. I’m sure this is so that no bias can be shown and has nothing at all to do with being able to later distance themselves from the slightly ‘off the wall’ suggestions that come up.

We’ve had a couple of real doozies recently. Those clever people at the Institute for Public Policy Research appear to have been taking advantage of controlled drug reclassification and have come up with Community Justice Panels. Forget courts for impartially listening to evidence and deciding on guilt and punishment. No, they’re far too ‘remote’. We obviously need something more cute and cuddly to deal with crime.

The IPPR have suggested that we have three community volunteers on a panel. They would be able to deal with between 6 and 20 cases a year. That should make a dent in the amount of cases in the Magistrates Courts then. Speaking of Magistrates, I seem to recall that they tend to come, in threes, from the community as..err.. volunteers. The new panels will get three days training and be able to pass a range of sentences. This sounds strangely familiar too.

Apparently, “Research shows that local, visible institutions that engage the public are more trusted than remote and anonymous ones.” So, the courts have an image problem then? Sounds like a job for Changing Rooms. Maybe we should paint them all Barbie Pink and get some animal print scatter cushions for the dock? Trinny and Susannah could then run their practiced eyes over the bench and get them the right mix of tracksuits, hoodies and bling to demonstrate their lack of remoteness.

With a voice coach added to the mix, to get the pronunciation of their “yo’s” and “whodats?” just right, we wouldn’t need the ‘new’ panels. In case these suggestions are too wacky and if the IPPR have finished munching their jumbo packs of crisps, I have a more sensible suggestion for them. I’ve called it:-

The Brian Factor©

We’ll stick to the triumvirate idea and let the interested parties address them one by one. The panel could then give their views on each person’s delivery, content and style. They’ll need to have the right mix of ‘good member’, ‘bad member’ and ‘downright rude member’ to ensure complete fairness.

The whole event would be televised and we at home could make up our minds on the guilt/innocence issue. Then, with the assistance of a premium rate short text number, we could all send our votes in. The proceeds of which could go to pay for the defendant’s legal aid.

In the case of a guilty verdict, the sentencing would be opened up to the studio audience with four options to be considered. As an example, for a burglar we could have:-

A. Community Penalty (leaving them free to continue to burgle)

B. Drug Treatment Order (see above)

C. Paltry Prison Sentence (after a couple of months, see above)

D. Chop Their Hands Off

I wonder if I could get Hazel’s backing for it?


At 26/10/05 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've turned on my TV and have found the "D" key on my mobile phone... when does the show start??

The new system is yet another waste of time and money. And, you know what, the people in the think-tanks are paid about twice as much as you or me. Perhaps if we forgot the "Shiny new ideas" and employed more coppers, that might help.

Ooooh, too far off the wall...

At 27/10/05 12:34 AM, Anonymous Cynic said...

No, No, No... thats the wrong attitude completely.
Lets think about this rationally. We need 3 people to represent the community and pass judgement with only minimal training.. lets have:
1, An educated person who can understand all the long words and steer the other 2 - how about David Blunkett's dog 'Lucy' - she reads all the policy documents to him anyway.
2, A champion of the working classes who will be in touch with the man in the street - John Prescott
3, A member of a minority or special interest group to be the token gesture - Gerry Adams
I dont know about you but I'd go to that..

At 27/10/05 2:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea could actually work... if the three community volunteers were picked at random from the public and given no training, and the power to impose whatever penalty they wanted...

At 27/10/05 6:22 AM, Blogger gonorr said...

Plan D sounds like the best course of action to me......but won't you have to compensate the scrotes for loss of earnings and human rights violations?
Maybe whats needed is more of a running man concept?

keep up the good work.

At 27/10/05 2:07 PM, Blogger MuppetLord said...

You can't chop both their hands off. Why not a hand and foot instead? That way you reduce their potential thieving total amount, and they can't get very far on a limp.

Sorry, is that too extreme? Perhaps a mandatory hoodie restraint notice...that might get their attention....NOT.

At 28/10/05 9:08 AM, Blogger Spike said...

I vote for Running Man.

At 29/10/05 3:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for "Running Man"....Once the Govt was advised of the potential earnings from Pay TV, I'm sure it would help get over the fact that every hippie and civil libertarian would be screaming to the media.

Hang on....the media would pay more attention to "running man" as well.

Our future is certain!

At 29/10/05 1:36 PM, Blogger MuppetLord said...

Think of the commercial spin-offs. I suspect Running Man will be the future.


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