There are two recent stories that, when compared side by side, show how twisted the UK state’s perception of morals, rights and worth have become.
After fighting for his country by serving in Iraq with the Royal Logistic Corps, Private Joe MacDonald decided to leave the army to be closer to his young family. But the council of his birth, where his parents still live, refused to help him find suitable accommodation. It looks like he will end up in a hostel for himself his wife and three children sharing facilities with other people.
Whereas Kevan Thakrar, a gangster who murdered three victims in a pre-meditated, cruel and brutal manner, is claiming massive compensation because he claims that two prison officers ignored his ’needs’ in a meeting.
Private MacDonald has made what many would think to be a very sensible and understandable decision. As a private he will not have been is a position to save much for a house for his family and with tighter lending criteria a bank may well not give him a mortgage until he has been earning in ‘civvy street’ for a while. So why shouldn’t the council be required to house him and his family?
But because he left the service early he is deemed to have ‘made himself homeless’. Where a council can apply this rule they wash their hands of the situation claiming they are entitled to no help at all. At least in this case they have given them some sort of roof over their heads. But what a miserable concession it is!
How is it that people who get themselves pregnant or who resort to crime have not ‘voluntarily’ put themselves in this position? Why is Private MacDonald’s position morally inferior to theirs? A family that is already in social housing can keep having children and qualify for bigger houses and more benefits whilst giving nothing in return. They see it as their ‘right’. Why hasn’t an ex-soldier got at least equal rights?
Then why is it that a man convicted of making his three victims kneel then spraying them with bullets over a Â£10,000 drug debt can be even considered for a compensation payment? A man that attacked three prison warders with a broken vinegar bottle in HMP Frankland.
The judge in his case said he should serve at least 35 years in prison. Thakrar claims that whilst in HMP Whitemoor two prison officers acted unprofessionally in a sentence planning meeting. The two officers were required to write him letters of apology but Thakrar then claimed he was offended by them. But it only really came about because Stephen Shaw, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, told a prison magazine that the two officers had treated him unfairly (without actually naming Thakrar). Mr Shaw cited this letter writing as proof of his pioneering restorative practices in action. Bet he wishes he hadn’t said that now!
Thakray’s claim is expected to be funded through legal aid.
We in the UK now live in a very strange country.