Saturday, February 10, 2007

ASBO Nation

Definition of an anti-social behaviour order: “Causes or likely to have caused harassment or alarm or distress”.

Three-quarters of ASBOs are breached in the County Durham. And therefore the County of Durham has the privilege of coming top of the highest ASBO breach rates. Second is Dorset and third is Cleveland.

The national average of breached ASBOs is 47% compared to 74% from County of Durham. There is no consistency in the way ASBOs are being handed out especially highlighting over-zealous councils who seem to be dishing them out at a high rate.

The definition of an anti-social behaviour order is ambiguous and extremely broad meaning you can include really anyone who you don’t really like such as controling people from entering a certain geographical area to restricting a person’s right to associate with others.

Examples of ASBOs being imposed have ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous such as swearing, being sarcastic (!!) to being seen in the garden in your underwear…..!!

How much more evidence does New Labour that ASBOs are not working? Yet John Reid et al are devising new anti-social behaviour orders .

Matt Foot argues from ASBO Concern: “The Government claimed that ASBOs would stop anti-social behaviour, but if you’ve got 74% being breached, it’s clear they are not working at all”.

This law reflects the attacks on mainly working class people and racism as ASBOs are being disproportionately used against young Black teenagers. New Labour said that children would only be issued with an ASBO as a worst case scenario but more than four in ten ASBOs have been imposed on young people aged 17 years or less.

This piece of draconian legislation is actively criminalising, stigmatising and scapegoating people from various sections of society. ASBOs have been used against anti-war protesters.

Just who is next on New Labour’s anti-social drive?


AN said...

You see, for me the importance of ASBOs is not just that they are bad legislation, or socially reprressive, but that they define the strategic direction of New labour, towards what we could desrtibe as communitarian politics, stoking up fears against people who are different, to enforce arbitrary norms of social conformity.

This seems to be a strong a theme for labour now as neo-liberalism. The Labour party are seeking a theme that will mobiise its traditional voters without making any gesture to the historicall progressive constituency they reppresent.

Specifically, the Labour party is actively trying to drive the political climate in the working class to the right, in which case socialists should be opposing labour, and not proping it up.

Well that's the comncluion I draw, but I know it is controversial.

Louisefeminista said...

Well yes, there is a kind of divide and rule about ASBOs. But I still think you can oppose these laws and all the nasty neo-liberal policies from within the LP and in fact that is the best way of doing it.

Well, my conclusion will be seen as controversial too (maybe more..)

AN said...

perhaps the topic is too ig to handle in the comments box, but whay is it the "best way" to be within the LP?

I am genuinely curious why you think so, not trying to set you up (would I?)