Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is like a compass-that-faces-south… always wrong but useful nevertheless because as long as he is dependably wrong, he can still be used when plotting a course.
His latest pearl of wisdom is the solution to reducing the numbers of children acting irresponsibly by engaging in violent crimes: Stop holding them responsible. His logic is hard to fault. If you deem than a child cannot be responsible for their actions, clearly they cannot therefore be irresponsible… voila… less children acting irresponsibly. In fact by definition no children can be said to have acted irresponsibly because the very notion of judging responsibility is disallowed. In a political and law-enforcement culture in which ‘that which is not measured never happened’, I can see the attraction of this approach. But then again Britain’s welfare state treats everyone regardless of their age like an irresponsible child, incapable or unwilling to look to their own pensions, medical care, etc. etc, so perhaps there is a bigger meme at work here.
It’s not to weaken the seriousness of what they do
… the Archbishop says, and then promptly weakens the seriousness of what they do by suggesting a child can cause the death of someone and get away with it, whereas an older person cannot. So how is that not weakening the seriousness of what the child has done? Also I am curious, how is taking away responsibility going to encourage more responsibility? Perhaps the following is what the Plod will be told to do:
PC Dixon of Dock Green: “Now look here, Little Timmy, it is very bad throwing rocks at people and killing them. If you do that when you are older, we will be very cross.”
Little Timmy from the Bedlam Estate: “Oh, okay then, I’ll just get it out of my system now while it doesn’t count.”
PC Dixon of Dock Green: “It’s a fair cop, Timmy, just don’t do it after you turn sixteen, okay?”
Little Timmy from the Bedlam Estate: “Nice hat, Copper. Hand it over.”
Oh, and mothers too, they also should not be held responsible for some reason. It is all down to too many bad movies and Britain’s ‘gun culture’, whatever the fuck that means in a country which probably has less civilian guns in total than almost any single US state other than the very smallest ones. I wonder of God’s Idiot would describe a nation without much in the way of musicians or musical instruments as having a ‘musical culture’?
However would we manage without the Church of England to guide us, eh?