The Soft Hand of the Law

In October’s last Takimag column, Theodore Dalrymple showcases yet again the excessive leniency of the farcical British criminal justice system after the horrific stabbing of Peter Duncan at the hands of a 17-year-old criminal with seventeen previous convictions.

The question not unnaturally arises as to why British society should have become so enfeebled, so lacking in moral confidence. In this, it is probably only the worst case of a general malaise in the Western world. My provisional answer would be the expansion of tertiary education, especially in nontechnical subjects. Huge numbers of people have now been educated in injustice and grievance studies of one kind or another, which have had for their effect the dissolution of a sense of human beings as agents rather than mere victimized vectors of forces. 

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