One person much nearer the front line of street violence (but slightly tooo far to the left of centre) is the lovely Annie who said something very perceptive in her blog comments:
Which is quite true.
The observation arose when I pointed out that pontificating Danny Baker (who I used to absolutely hero worship) had been criticising the Police on Twitter. Only last week he was on Desert Island Discs boasting about his Docker Dad bringing home loads of merchandise every week from the docks where he had, er, stolen it. It wasn't really stealing, of course, because everyone was doing it and the Dockers would come out on strike if anyone tried to stop them.
I suppose everyone in the Country is somewhere on that continuum between using an Employer's paper clips at home and marching into a ransacked Currys to pick up a digital radio. Take away the violence and the only difference is not the principle but the degree. Teary eyed looters who had been caught this week were coming out with the "Everyone else was doing it..." excuse which has such a familiar ring to it. It also means they didn't for one second expect to be caught.
In the last few years the same "Everyone was at it" mantra has been used to justify:
1. Phone Hacking
2. MP's expense fiddling.
3. Illegal downloading of Music from Pirate Bay & Napster.
4. Banker's ill-gotten bonuses.
I'd be interested to see if any reader of this blog is prepared to stand up and claim that they have never knowingly broken the law or taken (ie stolen) products or services using the "everybody else is at it" get out.