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2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Caroline ffiske: How n... · 0 replies · +1 points

The very long backlog in trials doesn't have anything to do with juries, it's because the court system has been underfunded and for years courts haven't been able to run at capacity. Juries are a very small part of the costs, stipendiary magistrates would be more expensive. Besides which, it's a centuries old fundamental part of the liberties of this country that people have a right to be tried by a jury other than for minor sentences.

2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Caroline ffiske: How n... · 0 replies · +1 points

You may well have a point about whether "hate" is a helpful word to use in the law. One alternative would be to remove a formal distinction between a "hate crime" and other crimes, and instead simply ensure that the sentencing guidelines, which already take into account the perpetrator's motives in a variety of ways, are explicit that motivations such as targeting someone because of their race are aggravating factors for sentencing.

On your example of football fans shouting insults at an Irish team vs at Millwall or whoever else, my view is first that shouting something racist or otherwise thoroughly offensive shouldn't automatically be a crime unless it crosses into harassment or violence (which I expect you agree with), but second that there is a difference between how we should treat crimes with those motivations. If after an England/Ireland game an English supporter starts a fight with an Irish supporter and it's clear they wanting to target someone Irish (e.g. using racist language while they did, showing hostility to other Irish people around who aren't football fans), or vice versa, that's something we can legitimately decide as a society is worse than if it happened just say from an argument about something from the game.

2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Stephen McPartland and... · 1 reply · +1 points

I googled this phrase, it seems to have been around for a number of years in connection with disaster relief and means the idea that you try to prevent the same problems happening again, e.g. you replace buildings destroyed by floods with flood-resistant ones. Whether that needs a slogan or not, it seems like a completely uncontroversial idea. What exactly are you concerned is "satanic" about it?

2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Anthony Browne: Why th... · 1 reply · +1 points

"The fundamental issue is that the UK measures the public sector from its outputs (eg how many hospital visits, how many school lessons) not from the inputs (money spent), which is what other countries normally do. So when we carry on paying for the public sector but close a lot of it down, then we show a decline in output but other country’s don’t"

This is not correct. The ONS publish GDP using an average of the three measurements via output, expenditure and income. These different measurements should eventually come out to the same thing, it is only early estimates in which we are reliant on the output measure and which may change later.

2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - David Gauke: Ten years... · 1 reply · +1 points

"people want to see criminals serve their full sentence"

See my reply to GeorgeWardell9 about release on license. Having a period after leaving prison where criminals have a higher threat of incarceration if they don't behave is a good thing. This needs to be communicated to the public better, making clear that the default is to have a period in prison followed by a period of monitoring and conditions and not trying to give the impression that the combined length of both these periods is meant to be the length of time spent in prison.

I think most people aren't at all aware of what being "released early" really means.

2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - David Gauke: Ten years... · 0 replies · +1 points

Release on license is a policy which is very sensible, but has created mistrust by the public in the justice system because of politicians' misrepresenting what prison sentences mean in an attempt to appear tough on crime. Without release on license, the default (other than life sentences) would be that as soon as criminals re-enter society the justice system pays no more attention to them unless they are caught commuting another crime in the usual way. With this policy, there is a much greater incentive on those leaving prison to keep on good behaviour because even a minor offense, or some other breach of their license conditions, will automatically mean another substantial stay behind bars.

The problem is that repeated governments somehow think the public won't see the logic of this, and Ministers want to give the impression of longer sentences actually in prison.

2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - David Gauke: Ten years... · 1 reply · +1 points

I'm in favour of prosecuting people who do this, and making the sanction strong enough that it clearly outweighs the benefit they might feel they are getting from their trip, but 10 years is ridiculous. Take as another example: there has been evidence before showing that a large minority of people with covid symptoms don't take a test, such as because they don't feel they can afford to take time off work. If you consider those people at the time say that the new variant in the South East was emerging and there was plenty of uncertainty about how much more serious it would be, then their reasonable expectation of harm done by continuing to go to work is probably no less than these dishonest travellers. I doubt anyone would think that those tens of thousands of people should face a decade in prison.

2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Emily Carver: An onlin... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm not clear why that would mean there isn't a clear difference between the two? Making a clear distinction between legal and illegal practices doesn't mean viewing everything that is (at least currently) legal as responsible or acceptable behaviour.

2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Emily Carver: An onlin... · 2 replies · +1 points

There are different levels of reducing one's tax as an individual or business: evasion (acting illegally), avoidance (legal, but via a loophole that is clearly not the intended purpose of the law), and tax planning (reductions that are intended by the law, e.g. income tax relief on pension contributions).

Amazon is one of the most prominent companies with a long history of avoidance. That isn't something for HMRC to prosecute them on, but it means those loopholes should be closed.

2 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Oborne condemns Johnso... · 0 replies · +1 points

The most common fact-checking websites all give very clear and open sources for their judgements which you can look at if you doubt their accuracy.

You refer to "sincere opinions" - an opinion, including a sincere one, can be on either a statement of fact (and so can be wrong), or a moral/political value. As I referred to in another post on this page, the famous "alternative facts" remark is an example of trying to pass off a statement of fact as something on which it's up to people to think whatever they like based on their political stance.