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What is crime? What is law?

Crime is an inevitable outgrowth of capitalism. The ideology of the cash nexus between man and man are the prime social incentives to crime.

A criminal is literally a person accused and convicted of being harmful to society. But is he really harmful to society than the old gent in the wig who pronounces sentence upon him? A crime is an act forbidden by the law of the land all laws devised by the strongest force in a community, and in the last analysis, made for the protection of the dominant class. This means that law has not been evolved to protect society but rather a tool developed through the class struggle used to protect that class which dominates the State. Within propertied society the law’s most important task is to protect the right of possession; that is why by far the largest class of crimes may be called crimes against property. One of the first rules of capitalist society is that where people offend against the laws of property the solution is to punish them into submi…

A Thieves Den

"Some will rob you with a six-gun, And some with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

It has been described as the biggest banking fraud in history yet no-one has been prosecuted for the Libor fixing scandal. The financial rewards of rigging rates were, and are, immense. For example RBS’s rates, currencies and commodities group — the one where Libor rigging and other forms of market manipulation are believed to be commonplace — saw its income rise by 87% in the half year to June 2008, at a time when the overall income RBS Global Banking and Markets fell 10%. Royal Bank of Scotland admitted that between 2006 and 2010 staff based in London, Singapore, Tokyo and the US conspired to manipulate the global financial benchmark, the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) calculated in both Swiss Francs and Japanese Yen. By pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud in its Japanese arm, RBS managed to avoid having its US operations shut down by the US Department of Justice.  Libor is a glo…

Violent Scotland

Scotland is still the violent crime capital of Europe, despite offending falling as a whole. A quarter of crime is violent. The report found violent crime is higher per head of population in Scotland, than elsewhere in Europe.

 Domestic abuse, in particular, rose sharply in 2011/12 to almost 120 incidents per 10,000 population.

"Every society has the criminals it deserves.”
Emma Goldman

The Swindled Scots Again

A previous post concerned the Darien Scheme. Not many Scots however know of Gregor Macgregor, Prince of Poyais, Poyais being not far up the Central American coast from Darien. Gregor MacGregor was born in Glengyle in Stirlingshire and claimed direct descent from Rob Roy. He was a soldier and mercenary who fought in the South American wars of independence. 

Upon his return in 1820 to Britain, he claimed to be cacique ["prince"] of Poyais, a Central American country that MacGregor promoted to investors and colonists. Poyais, was an independent nation on the Bay of Honduras. He claimed that a native chief King George Frederic Augustus the First had given him the territory of Poyais, 12,500 sq. mile of fertile land with untapped resources. Gregor presented himself as His Serene Highness Gregor I, Prince of Poyais and his beautiful wife as the Princess of Poyais. No-one questioned their bona fides; instead they were welcomed into the ranks of the elite and were the toast of socie…

Fear and loathing in Glasgow

Taken from here

In Glasgow a stabbing occurs every six hours - and many more go unreported. Survey after survey, from the World Health Organisation to the United Nations, identifies Glasgow as one of the most violent cities in western Europe. Among young males aged between 10 and 29, the rate of homicide is similar to Argentina, Costa Rica and Lithuania. Alcohol-related death rates are three times the British average while Scots have one of the lowest life expectancies in Europe. Three-quarters of all weapons crimes in Scotland occur in the Strathclyde policing district in and around Glasgow. Between 5000 and 6000 are recorded each year and more than 2200 hospital beds are taken up with the victims.

The nightmare is constant, a cycle of violence that each weekend sees the alcoholic and drug addicted, chronically unemployed and angry, the young and the old, take to the streets armed with knives, machetes and even samurai swords to battle the demons of disillusionment - and each other.

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Poverty breeds violence

Scots in poor areas are more than 30 times more likely to be killed in an assault than those in affluent parts of the country, a study has revealed. A woman in the most deprived area is 35 times more likely to die in an assault than one in the most affluent area with men 31.9 times likely to die - a rate similar to deaths from stroke.

The authors said: "Reducing mortality and inequalities depends on addressing the problems of deprivation as well as targeting known contributors, such as alcohol use, the carrying of knives and gang culture."

Violence against the person can be attributed to the everyday stresses and alienations that are part and parcel of our existence in capitalist society. We are conditioned into seeing our fellow workers, with whom, economically, we have everything in common, as rivals; as competitors for jobs and houses. The victims will all too frequently be fellow members of the working class. Where those fellow workers also happen to possess characteristi…

'recession crime wave'

The Socialist Party in its case for socialism have argued that there is an economic cause to crime , rather than an innate human nature reason for its existence .

According to crime figures, around 95 percent of all statutory crime is property-related. This breaks down very roughly as follows: 25 percent theft from or of motor vehicles, 25 percent burglary, 30 percent other forms of theft – fraud, forgery, shoplifting etc., and 15 percent criminal damage to property. The remaining five percent comprises four percent violence against the person and one percent sexual offences . The great bulk of the residual five percent (violence against the person and sexual offences), can be attributed to the everyday stresses and alienations that are part and parcel of our existence in capitalist society. We are conditioned into seeing our fellow workers, with whom, economically, we have everything in common, as rivals; as competitors for jobs and houses.

The system is almost entirely responsible fo…

Tax Fraudsters

THE tiny principality of Liechtenstein is one of three countries to be blacklisted by the OECD for failure to co-operate with a clampdown on tax avoidance.With a population of around 35,000, Liechtenstein has a banking system shrouded in secrecy.The OECD named it, along with Monaco and Andorra, as a country that could do more to clean up its tax laws. It has also been accused of condoning money laundering, and tax evasion.Non-residents can set up a foundation, allowing them to avoid taxes. Foundations also minimise requirements to file returns or accounts and guarantee anonymity for the investor.There is no need to keep accounts or submit financial statements if the foundation does no business or trade. If the foundation qualifies as an offshore company, it is not subject to income tax or capital gains tax in Liechtenstein. The only requirement is to maintain an "office" in Liechtenstein, but this can be a mailing address.

THE identities of wealthy British tax evaders will be…

Jailhouse Blues

Sometimes Socialists feel for our political rivals . Yes , we really do . We know they know that their political programme and policies are worthless yet they are unable to refute them .
One such politician is Mark Oaten one-time Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman .

The Winchester MP desperately wanted to say that all prisons should be demolished and replaced with education and training centres, mental health facilities and drug rehabilitation units. But his Lib Dem colleagues would never allow him to air this radical view in public.

"It was clear to me that prison wasn't working," says Mr Oaten. "But I would have been crucified as a front line politician for saying this in public and the party would have tumbled in the opinion polls."

Since he is no longer seeking re-election he is now able to disclose his real views on political and social matters .

"Prison is not fit for purpose and it's beyond reform. We need to abolish it and replace it …

Crime Pays for Some

A junior barrister was handed more than £1 million in legal aid last year, it was revealed yesterday. Balbir Singh, head of Birmingham’s Equity Chambers, was paid £1,116,000 in 2005/06.

The second-highest paid was Nigel Lithman, QC, who received £978,000 in legal aid, followed by John C. Rees, QC, with £947,000.

Four of the 10 top-earning criminal barristers were from the same chambers: 2 Bedford Row in London. Mr Lithman, William Clegg, QC, Jim Sturman, QC and Howard Godfrey, QC had a combined pay-out of £3.3 million.

Tuckers Solicitors was the highest paid criminal firm, receiving £8.5 million in the year from the legal aid purse. They were followed by Irwin Mitchell (£5.3 million) and Burton Copeland (£5 million).

In a separate list of community legal service firms - carrying out non-criminal work - the highest paid was Duncan Lewis Solicitors with just under £7 million, followed by Irwin Mitchell with £5.2 million.

The law is an instrument of the owning class, that pretends to be f…

Freedom Is Jail

Just to reinforce the previous blog's comment that capitalism distorts all relationships a report comes out of Europe that finds many women in Scotland are choosing to go into prison - and stay there longer - because their lives on the outside are so chaotic .
In some cases, the problems faced by women on the outside were so enormous they considered prison as a refuge.
"There is evidence that some of these women are choosing to go to prison," said Dr Shewan of Glasgow Caledonian University .

It indicates some women choose to go to prison to escape abusive partners; others to try to stabilise spiralling debts and drug addiction. Also reveals that women had committed crimes (including fire-raising) within prison so as to actually avoid release .

Scotland has one of the fastest-growing female prisoner populations in Europe, despite repeated promises from ministers to reduce the problem. In the past decade, it has more than doubled. Last year, it peaked, with 365 women behind …

Prison Blues

In a recent Scotsman article it is estimated that the Scottish prison population will reach American-type proportions . Prof Coyle, head of prison studies at Kings College in London, said Britain was "ten to 15 years behind the US", which he said was already using prisons as a quasi-welfare state. America has a prisoner rate of 738 per 100,000 head of population, nearly six times more than Scotland's rate of 139 per 100,000.
Presently standing at around 7,200 people prison service estimates that the number could hit 10,000 within the next decade but Professor Andrew Coyle, a former governor of Peterhead and Shotts prisons, yesterday said that if courts keep sending mentally ill people, along with offenders whose crimes arise from drug and alcohol addictions, to prison, Scotland could end up with a prison population as high as 35,000.

He notes that seven out of ten prisoners in Scotland have mental health problems, with seven per cent displaying "psychotic elements&qu…