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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Treating symptoms not causes

8 March 2019

Governments like to treat symptoms rather than causes.

They treat symptoms rather than causes because these are the obvious and visible effects created by problems which are often difficult to deal with.

In the UK right now they have a very big problem -- violence.

In a typically naive way, the UK has attempted to mitigate the growing culture of violence within certain sectors of its society by banning guns -- much to the cost and frustration of the legitimate sporting and firearms-owning communities.

Let me pause for a moment and say that I do support the sensible regulation of firearms and that I would not want to see the world follow in the USA's footsteps such that guns are a right and virtually available to anyone who wants one.

However, simply saying "we'll remove the guns and violence will go away" is a pretty stupid (and ineffective) approach to dealing with a problem that is growing at an alarming rate.

Although guns are now much harder to legally obtain and use in the UK, this has not stopped the rise in violent offences one single bit.

Now the UK has a knife-crime problem... and a very big one, that grows bigger by the day.

Of course it would be impractical to ban knives, although the UK has effectively attempted to do this by making the possession of a knife in public a serious offense.

Never the less, people are being stabbed, sometimes fatally, every day. Parts of London seem to be the worst affected with some its streets now amongst the most dangerous in the world.

What can the government and the police do now?

Well sadly, not a whole lot -- unless they switch from trying to deal with the symptoms and start working at identifying and solving the underlying problems.

The problem they now have is that there is a subculture within (mainly urban) society in the UK where carrying and using a knife is acceptable. This appears to be mainly within the lower socio-economic groups.

Britain doesn't have a knife-crime problem, it has a social problem that is driving some people to use knives for violent purposes.

Whether it is racial discord, the need to steal in order to buy food or drugs or whatever, there are very few people who will stab someone without reason and authorities need to find ways of eliminating the reasons for such crime -- rather than simply standing on the sidelines and mopping up the blood.

These problems seem to have gotten a hell of a lot worse since Britain joined the EU and that would seem to point to issues of race. There has been a flood of immigrants to Britain since the borders were effectively opened and, from what I've read, this has created quite a bit of resentment within the ranks of the UK-born and bred poorer classes. They are miffed that people can come from outside the country and walk straight into a council-funded house, get free medical care and go on a benefit without having contributed anything positive to the nation. It's only natural that those who are perhaps themselves working long hours to pay the bills show a huge resentment for those immigrants that "play" the system in this way.

Then there are a generation of young who have been brought up in what amounts to urban slums, where violence and taking what you want has been a way of life since childhood. These people have little respect for the rights or even the lives of others and therefore think nothing of using violence (sometimes extreme) in the commission of a crime.

To be honest, parts of the UK are a real mess and there's no easy fix.

It will take generations to undo all the harm that has been done by the touchy-feely do-gooders in power who seem to have placed the rights, interests and wellbeing of a sea of immigrants ahead of those who have been born and bred in the UK.

Perhaps nobody speaks louder to this anti-UK bias and prejudice within the halls of power than EDL founder Tommy Robinson who is about to face renewed contempt charges in the UK. I'm not familiar with the background and I'm not saying that he is right or wrong but I think that if the UK authorities do not realise just how many people sympathise with Mr Robinson then they have little or no chance of dealing with the cause of a problem that is tearing that country apart.

By comparison with the UK, New Zealand is a land of racial harmony and contentment. Let's try to keep it that way or even improve our own situation because we don't want to follow in the UK's footsteps. Let's embrace all the diverse ethnicities and cultures that exist within our borders but let's also realise that everyone should have equal rights and entitlements -- no one group should hold privilege above any other.

What do readers think?

Is it a lofty goal to have a totally egalitarian society -- or is that a breach of The Treaty under modern interpretation? If we start promoting one race or culture over another, do we run the risk of becoming as bad as the UK?

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