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Putin still has plenty of friends in London

If we take a brief look back at our history of “getting tough” with Russia, we can see where our political and financial elites really stand.

Miscarriages of justice not a thing of the past

Tom Griffin (London, OK):  In today's Guardian, Duncan Campbell draws out some of the implications of Barry George's acquittal for the murder of Jill Dando, a charge for which he'd already served eight years in Prison:

It was widely assumed that after the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four, the Bridgwater Three, Judith Ward and those many other high-profile cases that originated in the 1970s - when evidence rules were lax and there was still a culture of institutional corruption in some branches of the police service - the days of miscarriages of justice were over. Not so.

Restorative justice: the theory & the practice

In a comment on Damian O'Loan's lament about ongoing sectarianism in Northern Ireland, Anthony Barnett asked why restorative justice of all things is deepening the divide when it is supposed to do the opposite. Damian's answer vividly illuminates what is going on. 

Damian O'Loan (Paris): Restorative justice involves community representatives mediating in low-level disputes, reducing criminalisation while better serving victims' interests. It has been effective internationally, most particularly regarding youth justice. What's specific to Northern Ireland, where it was this week further institutionalised, is it lies in the hands of groups rising from the embers of paramilitarism.

Military Education and DNA control

Jon Bright (London, OK): The Telegraph reports today that 5,000 children are being added to the UK's DNA database a month, around 25% of the total number of new additions. A Home Office spokesman explained that, as under 18s made up roughly 25% of arrests, it was unsurprising they made up 25% of new additions.

Good Citizen XIII: Still nasty, brutish and short

Jon Bright (London, OK): Thomas Hobbes' definition of life without the state, the Leviathan, was published in 1651 - but it was based on a document written eleven years previously, during the English Civil War. Hobbes was a royalist - or, at least, he kept company with many exiled royalists in Paris - and it's unsurprising that his theory of the state, needed to keep humans from tearing each other apart, provides somewhat of a foundation for royal (autocratic) rule.

ID and DNA: I'd rather keep my freedom and be mugged more often

Matt Wardman (Leiester, The Wardman Wire): Here we go again. We have a government demanding that we let the power exist to lock people up for 42 days, and making "it won't happen very often" an excuse, and we have a police force demanding that the crimes that have been solved because of 5 million records on the DNA database and nearly as many CCTV Cameras justify putting us under more and more control.

Is it anarchy

Anthony Barnett (London, OK): Speaking of headlines and following up Jon's recent post on the Financial Times, since OurKingdom started I've been on the lookout for stories about what kind of country the UK is. So picked up yesterday's Sun which splashed across its front page: ANARCHY IN THE UK Yobs rule streets Knife Crime soars.

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