A Brief History of Crime

Book Cover - A Brief History of CrimeBy Peter Hitchens.
Atlantic Books
ISBN 1 84354 148 3

Peter Hitchens is angry. Angry about the increasing crime and social disorder he sees all around him, furious about the gradual withdrawal of the English citizen’s right to defend himself (sic) and incandescent against politicians of all hues – from Roy Jenkins, by way of Michael Howard to Tony Blair – who have let this come to pass: “The sheer concrete-headed stupidity of most political statements about crime defies belief.”

Objectivity is put to one side as Hitchens lines up and shoots down the usual suspects.

The “bobby on the beat” has been replaced by “a motorised bureaucracy”; prisons have become overly comfortable helping “gangsters to write self-serving sociological epistles to the newspapers”; juries of upstanding property-owners have been replaced by “younger, unemployed” people with “tattoos, nose-rings and pony tails”; and an Orwellian “elite state”, fuelled by the European Union, poses “the greatest threat to English liberty since the seventeenth century.”

It is not too difficult to predict the Hitchens agenda: bring back the death penalty, arm the middle classes, revamp the war on drugs and recapture the moral restraint of days gone by.

Whether you love or loathe this analysis, it is a provocative and entertaining read.

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