A Just Society Will Not Come Like a Chinook

FTLComm - Tisdale - December 2, 1999
By: Timothy W. Shire

This past month our attention has been captured by three convicted sex offenders and it has brought about considerable discussion because two of them were convicted of crimes committed three decades ago. The little boys and girls that we leave this world to need not redefine the way we interact with one another if we can just get our act together now and make this a better world for him and his peers.

How quaint of us to be concerned about such things, but most assuredly we all must pay close attention to what our society is and most certainly must be about and that is, that we must strive to be a society of civility and each individual must do their part to reduce the need for laws and law enforcement.

It is depressing to see that our neighbours to the south focus so heavily in their culture, daily lives and entertainment on crime. May we strive for a more lofty pursuit of being law abiding and considerate of the rights of each other.

An hours drive away from where I live is the penal colony referred to by its familiar name, “Prince Albert”. It is a city of jails and jailors, of barbed wire and guard towers. This is not a noble place, its function is not honourable and may there be mercy on all those who live and work in that place, but it should be our goal not to make work for the jailor but to put him out of work by looking for ways to reduce crime and criminality.

When this era of merchantilism began, poverty, unemployment and dispair struck England and to respond to it parliament increased the penalties to the point that there were over 600 “capital crimes” the prisons were overflowing and hanging day just could not keep up. The opportunity to move thousands of these criminals to Australia was a Godsend but even moreso were laws to control labour practices and then a bill of rights. The society did not clean itself up, but rather economic improvements and social legislation saw moderate improvement. We are seeing the lawlessness and must work toward reducing the condition creating the atmosphere of criminality.

Repression of the impoverished is no answer, children in Winnipeg burn buildings perhaps out of desparation but more likely because they are there and so are the buildings, both idle.

Justice will not come like a chinook, but must be made by a society of people working together toward a better way of life.