Officer Krupke Could Not Be Reached For Comment…

Camila Batmanghelidjh again… *sighs*

In pursuit of greater discipline, the education secretary, Michael Gove, this week advocated tougher sanctions: the picking up of litter and the writing of lines as punishment.

His concerns are legitimate. Pupil violence is manifesting itself in younger students, and in some schools teachers are struggling to maintain control.

So you should be agreeing with him?

Even though we are reluctant to admit it, punishment is fundamentally the delivery of legitimate revenge. The violated regain power by violating. It makes them feel better because, in expressing power over the offender, they reassure themselves that they have regained control, a prerequisite for a sense of personal safety. Some element of humiliation is an added bonus, as the punisher is reminded of their supremacy by generating servitude in the offender.

Ah. OK. Well, that was a pile of psychobabble, but I guess spouting it in front of an audience keeps you in head scarves and canapés, eh, Camila?

But despite the emotional rebalancing, punishment actually doesn’t work. It’s effective if offenders are removed from the opportunity to commit a crime, that is imprisoned or permanently excluded, but it rarely leads to improved behaviour.

So…what does?

Wait, wait, I bet I know the answer…

With Kids Company’s therapeutic and social work programmes across 48 schools, I’ve noticed that children who can obey rules on the whole stick to them, and those who don’t defy punitive strategies and are excluded from schools, sometimes illegally, and in a way that exacerbates inequality between social classes and further reduces opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ahhh, yes. Of course. The answer is to pour yet more resources your way.

Persistent bad behaviour involves pupils with complex psychosocial needs who exhibit antisocial behaviour for good reason. Society finds it hard to accept the rationality of bad behaviour and, consequently, ends up suppressing it as opposed to exercising curiosity to resolve it.

Good! I’m all for a bit of suppression of this sort of thing.

…a combination of maltreatment and neglect leads to structural and functional changes in children’s brains, rendering them more impulsive and less able to appraise situations calmly. They attribute to a neutral face the intention to attack; they can’t hold eye contact because they find the human glance unbearable; some of them have frontal lobes which no longer activate when exposed to violence. For children like this, punishment doesn’t work, because they have disorganised thinking.

And so do the sort of people who think huge amounts of money should be poured down the drain trying to civilise savages while even larger quantity are paid to the underclass to breed more of them…

8 comments for “Officer Krupke Could Not Be Reached For Comment…

  1. Lynne at Counting Cats
    February 12, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Moneygrubbing morons like Camela give me the hump!

    • Ed P
      February 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Dromedary or Bactrian? Ooh, sir, sir, I know sir, Camela’s only got one L (ump)

      • February 15, 2014 at 6:56 am


  2. February 12, 2014 at 10:56 am

    What on earth is she bleating on about? Punishment is not about revenge at all, it’s about correcting bad behaviour; part and parcel of raising a child.

    If you take corrective punishment out of schools then you get…

    …well, the stuff she said.

    But when there’s taxpayers money to be had for being a lefty.

  3. Voice of Reason
    February 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Why don’t psychologists accept that we are, at the core, social animals with a pecking order. That order is established from the top down in any species.

  4. John
    February 12, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    What Camilla conveniently forgets is that the country is incapable of allocating a teacher:pupil ratio of 1:3 so we can devote all the love and nurturing to the little darlings in the way she demands.

    We need children who are brought up properly by thier parents, with respect, manners and a sense of right and wrong from the start. For those who decide that is too much of a burden we need something rather more cost efficient that sitting down with them individually for 6 months to psycho-analyse them in depth. If litter picking and “punishment” achieves that efficiently then the choice is then down completely to the kids isn’t it?

    • February 15, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Well, quite! We had that once, we threw it away. And called it ‘progress’.

  5. Monty
    February 12, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    The Big State lefties have really mastered this technique, to the point of excellence. They have applied it to almost every situation. The steps are always the same:

    1. Identify a problem. Maybe a social underclass problem such as FGM, just as an example.
    2. Create a hue and cry about this terrible problem in “our” society.
    3. Insist that all rational methods for dealing with the problem, (eg screening the children and deporting the offending families) must be ignored, in favour of their usual pet interests “Education, counselling, therapy…” blah blah, which creates all manner of cosy sinecures for the Big State lefties. Even better, it preserves the problem, because none of these approaches work. (A problem solved is a quango-queen out of a job.)
    4. Nag and scold the public incessantly about the shame of such a medieval problem in a modern western democracy.

    Rinse and repeat, for every issue under the sun. It’s a way of keeping up the fiscal and moral persecution of the law-abiding public. All the world’s troubles busily shovelled onto Britain’s desk.
    Think how much happier, and wealthier we could be, without these monkeys on our backs.

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