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The appalling moral outrage of contemporary slavery

Last week, I attended a dramatic and distressing exhibition in the House of Commons highlighting the hidden nature of contemporary slavery. The exhibition, built by students from the Central St Martin’s College of Art, depicted the four different kinds of slavery hidden away in our society. Curtains, doors, drawers and tea chests concealed the stories and photographs of survivors. The survivors who shared their stories with the Human Trafficking Foundation to create the exhibition attended the opening. Among them was […]

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Book review: The Invisible Hook – The Hidden Economics of Pirates

Peter Leeson’s study of “The Hidden Economics of Pirates”, The Invisible Hook, is theoretically correct, thoroughly grounded in historical research and fun to read. From the jacket: Pack your cutlass and blunderbuss–it’s time to go a-pirating! The Invisible Hook takes readers inside the wily world of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century pirates. With swashbuckling irreverence and devilish wit, Peter Leeson uncovers the hidden economics behind pirates’ notorious, entertaining, and sometimes downright shocking behavior. Why did pirates fly flags of Skull & […]

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A remarkable visit to Acorn Treatment

Yesterday, I completed a remarkable visit to Acorn Treatment. I saw some serial offenders confronting their own lives and the consequences of their actions, often criminal, on others. I also heard some of the atrocious things which they had suffered at the hands of others, including their own families. I saw remorse, acceptance, struggle and transformation. There was real joy shining forth from those who have escaped cycles of addiction and crime and who are now looking forward to healthy […]

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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

A group of young music artists have released a track aimed at dissuading young people in Wycombe from joining gangs. DJ LoMotes and record producer Phoenix Keyz have collaborated with Styler, Sicx, Dimples and Treasure. Already with over 14,000 views on Youtube, ‘An Eye for an Eye’ is becoming an internet hit. Filmed in Wycombe town centre and around local gang hot-spots, the track dispels the myths of glamour and respect surrounding gang-culture through frank and open lyrics targeted at […]

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What is “reasonable force” in a riot?

As Londoners take to defending their own lives, property and communities, it seems the state is failing in its first duty: to defend life, liberty and property. A good number of my constituents have written — dismayed by the shameful, reckless behaviour they have seen on TV — demanding that tougher action be taken with rioters. My understanding of the law (and I am not a lawyer) is that “A person may use such force as is reasonable in the […]

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Philip Lawrence’s widow urges reform of human rights laws after killer Learco Chindamo recalled to prison – Telegraph

David Cameron is under pressure to deliver on a promise to reform the Human Rights Act following the disclosure that the foreign-born murderer of Philip Lawrence has been arrested on suspicion of another violent attack. via Philip Lawrence’s widow urges reform of human rights laws after killer Learco Chindamo recalled to prison – Telegraph. I will be joining colleagues in calling for reform of the Human Rights Act to deliver a classical English Bill of Rights.  I have great respect […]

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Sycamore Tree | Prison Fellowship

A couple of weeks back, I visited a prison to see the Sycamore Tree Prison Fellowship in action, delivering victim awareness and restorative justice. I was able to see prisoners take clear responsibility for their actions and the hurt and harm caused to victims. It was moving to see men (in this case) whose lives have been blighted by their own crime recognise their opportunities for individual change and restoration. I understand the programme has significant benefits in reducing reoffending…

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On trial by jury

Via The Last Ditch: Another step toward the abyss: I despair. The right to trial by jury has protected Englishmen from an over-mighty state since long before democracy was born. Combined with the Great Writ of habeas corpus, it meant you could not be detained without trial and that your trial must be by 12 independent jurors. For most of the last 400 years, those jurors were required to decide unanimously that you were guilty. If they couldn’t, you were […]

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The Law in Action in Wycombe

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I spent this morning in the public gallery of one of Wycombe’s Magistrates’ courts. What I saw could have been a study for the Centre for Social Justice. What I witnessed today included the following cases (I dispense with the details for obvious reasons): Casual theft by a man with a methadone problem. Taking a vehicle without consent. Antisocial behaviour by a person with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, currently trying to turn their life around through work […]

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The Conservative Party | News | The drug and crime culture portrayed in ‘The Wire’ is in British cities too

Via The Conservative Party | News | News | The drug and crime culture portrayed in ‘The Wire’ is in British cities too: In a keynote speech on crime and broken communities today, Chris Grayling has highlighted the “decade of neglect” under Labour – a decade in which “violence in our society has become a norm and not an exception”. I was present for this excellent speech as a representative of the Centre for Social Justice. I was struck that Chris […]

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