Category Archives: leniency

The CCTV state

Every Briton has his Boswell

Every Briton has his Boswell

There is no evidence, writes Dalrymple, that continual surveillance deters or reduces crime.

Why should it, when the convicted have so little to fear from the courts?

The surveillance, he points out,

is intended not to protect or deter, but to intimidate.

Frivolity of Western criminal justice

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A mockery: Palais de Justice, Brussels

How liberal pœnology fosters Islamist terrorism

Dalrymple writes that the 2016 Brussels bombings

exposed the frivolity of the Belgian criminal-justice system, which it shares with the British and French systems, and several others, and which has turned the fight against crime into an elaborate and expensive—though lucrative—charade.

Ibrahim El Bakraoui possessed and used a Kalashnikov, which

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 08.55.51is not generally a sign of good citizenship or of a momentary lapse therefrom such as we may all from time to time suffer.


you would not have to be Sherlock Holmes to surmise that a man who had used a Kalashnikov before he went to Syria might be a dangerous man after returning.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.03.00Khalid El Bakraoui was

left at liberty.

One is struck, says Dalrymple,

not only by the leniency of the original sentence—the violent robbery of cars is not the result of a submission to momentary temptation—but by the iron determination of the system to keep him out of prison.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.06.29Given that

so many Islamist terrorists graduate seamlessly to politico-religious crime from common delinquency, one can say with tolerable certainty that one of the root causes of such terrorism in Europe is liberal pœnology, with its view that punishment is therapy and prisons are hospitals for the temporarily disturbed or naughty.

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How the victims of evil are doubly punished

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 03.31.33The lack of proper punishment of the perpetrators of evil, writes Dalrymple, is

a punishment of the victims of it, a punishment that is often long-lasting and even rather like a life sentence. This is because it removes from the victims all confidence that there is justice in the world or that anybody cares what happens to them. Their experiences and their feelings are of no account; they (the people who have them) are nothing, no more than insects under the feet of society.

Firm punishment after due process will

reduce the level of vengefulness in society rather than increase it. Man is vengeful by nature, inclined to lash out at those who do him wrong; but this tendency, inglorious as it might be, is reduced by an assurance that the wrongdoer will come to justice, even if it is justice tempered by mercy according to mitigating circumstances. Where, however, there is no such justice, private vengefulness flourishes.

The principal cause of crime in England is the criminal justice system

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 03.31.33Dalrymple points out that what he calls the brutal leniency shown to murderers and other violent criminals

  • fails to protect or deter the public
  • undermines confidence in the criminal justice system
  • undermines the legitimacy of the government, ‘whose primary and inescapable purpose is to protect the peace’
  • encourages criminal violence, police over-reaction and vigilantism

Cretinism of the intellectuals

The French plan to reduce prison sentences further and be much more lenient to criminals and convicts. Dalrymple comments:

We’ve tried that in Britain, with results that only an intellectual with years of training to prevent him from being able to see what is in front of his nose would or could find surprising.


The alliance between leniency and authoritarianism

It is a matter of para-detection and para-deterrence, says Dalrymple, who notes that CCTV cameras have no effect on the number of crimes solved.

Common sense suggests that they should deter, but common sense might be wrong. For if the punishment of detected crime is insufficient to deter, there is no reason why the presence of cameras should deter. The CCTV cameras in Britain—perhaps as many as a third of all such cameras in the world—is an official response to the increased lawlessness of the population. But as with so much official activity in Britain, it achieves nothing.

As the official of the Embassy in Conrad’s The Secret Agent put it,

The general leniency of the judicial procedure here, and the utter absence of all repressive measures, are a scandal to Europe.