It is necessary for Parliament and the courts to give effect to his assertion that we should each act to maintain public order. The policeman who was prosecuted and fined for walloping a youth should have been thanked instead. Teachers are afraid to try and discipline their pupils for fear that, if they touch a pupil, they will be charged with assault.
It is old-fashioned to say it, but what is needed is the teaching of discipline, that is to say, self-discipline, and concern for the well-being of other people, at an early age. Because lack of courtesy, and of concern for other people, has become so widespread, the ordinary citizen is afraid to do the kind of thing to which Jack Straw referred. Nevertheless, we should salute him, act as he says, and hope that he may have started a turn in the tide.
S GRATWICK QC
Sevenoaks, KentReuse content