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Why a kinder post-corona society must have a prison in every village

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23.05.2020

SOMETHING a friend said this week lodged in my brain like a peanut in a tooth: to wit, that in any society or community around 20-25 per cent of the inhabitants will be anti-social undesirables.

That sounds a lot and, at first, I thought it confirmed on reading about a shock poll that found 74 per cent of Scots hoped for a kinder society once the coronavirus had been obliterated with bleach.

You say: “Where’s the shock in that, big nose? If you’re saying Scots aren’t kind then you should be battered in the face.”

Whoa! Let me put this another way, by inviting you to do as I always do and look at the poll the opposite way from the headline: 26 per cent of Scots don’t hope for a kinder society when this damned war is over.

I’m guessing, or hoping, that I’m misreading this. The position of the 26 per cent isn’t clear. You must presume they’re just not hopeful about a kinder society. And, granted, some too will be the usual suspects who say “Don’t know” when asked for their name.

But what if they, or a fraction of them, really didn’t hope for a kinder society? Maybe it has implications of socialism and they’ll have to pay higher taxes? I don’t know. I’m just guessing. But, if my friend’s calculation of 20-25 per cent of any community being bad or inconsiderate is correct, then maybe that’s them right there: hoping for the worst.

Let’s say it is. (And before rural supremacists start their usual bragging, this figure applies equally to town and country.) At the time of going to press, my remedy – a prison in every neighbourhood or clachan – is not popular, largely on grounds of cost to the public purse, but it is in reality the only way.

Liberals indulge and encourage criminals or the merely unpleasant but the only practical way is to discourage them with retribution. However, I digress, and I accept that we must deal with society as it is and not as it would........

© Herald Scotland