Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Scum Villages (and other bad ideas that sound not bad)

Maybe it is because it is the Dutch or it is about Amsterdam that has mean a proposal to house anti social behaviours in 'scum flats' or 'scum villages' has attracted attention in the UK. I hope the idea does not try and swim the north sea. It is a classic notion that makes sense until one engages a brain.

Yep, that the horrible, anti social, racist, homophobic households and house them in converted shipping containers. Yes, if I had a horrible violent man next door I would want him taken away, I might even be that fussy where.

I will not get into the problems of defining who the scum households are, and the legal efforts needed to move them. My main gripe is it is the wrong cure. These people are not James Bond villains, stroking white cats. Nor are they really super tough gangsters. They are mostly going to be vulnerable, poorly educated losers. Sending them to some form of punishment housing will do little. The solution, is sadly a very liberal sounding one. Family intervention, to build the households chances of staying in education and holding down jobs is they most effective long term solution. Even if the plan were to move these people to a penal colony far away the truth remains, they have to live somewhere and we have to deal.

This idea has history for the Dutch, and has been tried before. However they found last time that concentrating all the nasty people in one place made for a bigger problem.

Please guys, forget your prison hulks for nasty people. Cure the disease not the symptoms.