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Excluding the Excluded : New Labour’s Penchant for Punishment

Emma Bell
p. 191-204

Résumé

New Labour’s emphasis on personal responsibility leads it to shun any definition of the socially excluded as the passive victims of socio-economic circumstances. It encourages them to act positively to re-integrate themselves into “mainstream” society by participating in welfare-to-work schemes etc. Importantly, this involves an acceptance of a certain value system as promoted by the government. Refusal to accept these values - often taken to denote membership of an underclass (increasingly used by New Labour in the negative sense employed by Charles Murray) - is interpreted as a rejection of the offer of inclusion and may attract sanctions.
According to the “moral agenda”, criminals, having offended against the moral order of society by demonstrating a complete lack of responsibility, do not deserve to be included in the community. All attempts at genuine inclusion are overshadowed, as crime control becomes a means of restoring government’s moral/electoral legitimacy.

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Texte intégral

Introduction

1This paper will seek to argue that New Labour’s policies aimed at solving the problem of social exclusion are so riddled with contradictions that they are likely to be counter-productive. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that ambiguity may be considered as perhaps the defining characteristic of the Blair régime. Indeed, at first sight much of New Labour policy may appear to be contradictory, for example, its simultaneous pursuit of an essentially Thatcherite neo-liberal economic agenda alongside policies designed to tackle social exclusion or, in the penal sphere, its adoption of both repressive American-inspired penal policies such as ‘zero tolerance’ and ‘three strikes and you’re out’, and other decidedly non-American-inspired community crime control policies such as restorative justice. Yet it is possible to argue that such policies are not in fact contradictory but rather complimentary and united by a profound internal logic. Thus, New Labour’s apparent adoption of both the American model and the social-liberal/ European model is no accident. Despite the social rhetoric of the European model, both may in fact be seen to advance what is essentially a neo-liberal agenda over a social-democratic one, highlighting as they do the importance of personal responsibility over state responsibility. New Labour’s adoption of the social rhetoric of the European model may be seen as a carefully calculated political position, designed to render what is essentially an unambiguous neo-liberal project more palatable to traditional centre-left voters.

2In order to support these affirmations, I will focus on New Labour’s attempt to tackle social exclusion via the promotion of two main policies aimed at encouraging social inclusion – welfare-to-work and the targeting of so-called anti-social behaviour. Both will be shown to be underpinned by a populist moralising discourse which enables the government to focus on the moral deficiencies of the excluded, thus diverting attention away from its own failure to successfully tackle the problem of social exclusion.

From Poverty to Social Exclusion

3The term ‘social exclusion’ has almost entirely replaced that of ‘poverty’ in New Labour discourse. As with the slippery concept of the ‘Third Way’, the term is amorphous and extremely difficult to define. Again, as with the ‘Third Way’, therein lies its attraction. It is a term capable of meaning all things to all people. It has become increasingly popular throughout Europe in recent years, initially, claims Ruth Levitas, on account of its wider focus on the inequality that is caused by poverty.1 But, for New Labour, it seems that there are other explanations for its appeal. The Social Exclusion Unit, set up by the Prime Minister in 1997, officially gives its definition of social exclusion as “about more than income poverty. Social exclusion happens when people or places suffer from a series of problems such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime, ill health and family breakdown”.2 Note that such a definition consciously avoids any suggestion of how precisely social exclusion might actually happen. It thus shies away from traditional Old Labour discourse, which tended to emphasise poverty as a process, whilst at the same time allowing the government to differentiate its project from that of the previous Conservative governments which had notoriously done little about, if not deliberately encouraged, increasing poverty and inequality. In doing so, it enables New Labour to attempt to offer a ‘third way’ for policy directed at alleviating poverty. More importantly, as we shall see, the appeal of social exclusion may be seen to lie in its ability to be interpreted in such a way that it fits perfectly with other government policy. As the Prime Minister said of the Social Exclusion Unit, “its purpose is central to the values and ambitions of the new Government”.3

  • 4  Blair, Tony, First speech given by Tony Blair as Prime Minister, Aylesbury Estate, London, 2 June (...)

4Indeed, New Labour’s interpretation of social exclusion can only be understood in light of its focus on personal responsibility, a value that seems to permeate almost every aspect of government policy. It is by redefining the notion of citizenship that New Labour has succeeded in incorporating personal responsibility so successfully into its new project. As Blair has put it himself, “The basis of this modern civic society is an ethic of mutual responsibility or duty. It is something for something. A society where we play by the rules”.4 “Playing by the rules” has become the basic prerequisite of citizenship and consequently the principal means by which one may achieve social inclusion.

Responsible Worker/Active Citizen ?

  • 5  A study undertaken in 2003 by Dr Hartley Dean, Social Policy, LSE, has suggested that the success (...)
  • 6  Never-working families did see benefit rises during the first term of the Blair government, but th (...)
  • 7  Lavelette, M. ; Mooney, G. ; Mynott, E. ; Evan, K. ; Richardson, B. - “The Woeful Record of the Ho (...)
  • 8  Toynbee, P. - Hard Work : life in Low-pay Britain, London : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2003.
  • 9  Young, J. - “Crime and Social Exclusion”, www.malcolmread.co.uk/JockYoung

5The most obvious embodiment of this principle in policy is in relation to welfare reform, particularly in the so-called ‘New Deal’ schemes, according to which the receipt of unemployment benefits becomes conditional on the behaviour of the ‘jobseeker’, i.e. his taking on the responsibility to actively seek employment. Despite the questionable success of this initiative,5 work, and the citizen’s responsibility to find it, has underpinned the whole concept of social exclusion for the government. It seems to be viewed as almost the only way in which the excluded may re-integrate themselves into society. For example, one of the government’s main strategies to reduce poverty was not to raise benefit levels but rather to introduce tax credits for those in work.6 According to Lavalette et al., “'Social exclusion', while open to differing definitions, is almost wholly defined by Labour as exclusion from paid work. Inclusion, in turn, results from paid employment. That low wages may contribute to the continuing poverty of the poor is largely sidetracked”.7 This latter comment suggests that entering the workplace does not necessarily lead to inclusion. Indeed, the government’s introduction of the minimum wage does not seem to have significantly improved the lot of the poor.8 Jock Young also highlights the plight of the ‘working poor’, those who are “part of the labour market but they are not full citizens. The dragooning, therefore, of people from one category of exclusion to another… is experienced all too frequently not as inclusion but as exclusion”.9 It may seem hard then to understand why Labour still insists on work as the prime mechanism of social inclusion. Perhaps it is because such a discourse conveniently also serves another function – that of creating moral binaries between those who play by the rules and those who do not. Although inclusion in the labour market does not necessarily equate with social inclusion, those who make the effort to participate will at least feel that they are perhaps morally superior to those who have made no effort at all. Their moral values will then seem to correspond with those of the government. Creating a new set of moral values is indeed central to the New Labour agenda of getting people to fend for themselves rather than relying on government. Social exclusion may thus be regarded as a diversionary tactic : it allows the state to deny responsibility for those who refuse to accept the posited prevailing moral consensus, whilst at the same time setting itself firmly on the side of the majority who do ‘play by the rules’. Of course, those who ‘play by the rules’ tend to form the main bulk of the electorate due to the fact that the socially excluded are often also excluded from the political process (e.g. the homeless, prisoners).

Redefining the Criminal

  • 10  Lister, R…[et al.]. - “Government Must Reconsider its Strategy for a More Equal Society”, in Chadw (...)
  • 11  Kampfner, J. - “The Bling Bling List”, New Statesman, 07/03/2005.

6The construction of the socially excluded as an ‘underclass’ is central to this diversionary tactic. In emphasising the fact that this group of people is responsible for its own exclusion, the government can justify its failure to do anything to tackle the structural causes of poverty and deprivation. Indeed, Ruth Lister and others have suggested that the government’s failure to address redistribution means that it is “trying to tackle social exclusion with one hand tied behind its back”.10 Yet, blaming the victim allows the government to deny the benefit of such policies. Indeed, New Labour has overtly rejected traditional redistribution as encouraging dependency, thus exacerbating social exclusion. There is evidence to suggest that inequality has actually widened under New Labour. For example, a recent article in the New Statesman has pointed out that the fact that the top 1 per cent of the population now receives more of the nation's income than at any time since the 1930s risks undermining any genuine attempts to tackle poverty.11

  • 12  Blair, T. - New Britain : My vision of a young country, London : Fourth Estate Ltd., 1996, p. 218.
  • 13  Ibid., p. 141.

7It seems that Tony Blair himself has contributed to promoting the view that an underclass exists which may be defined in behavioural terms. In his book, New Britain : My vision of a young country, he wrote of the existence of an “underclass that may be a minority but is frighteningly large”.12 Earlier in the book we get an insight into who exactly he believes comprises this minority : “people cut off, set apart from the mainstream of society. Their lives are often characterised by long-term unemployment, poverty or lack of educational opportunity, and at times family instability, drugs abuse and crime”.13 This definition is rather similar to that given of social exclusion by the Social Exclusion Unit ! It would thus seem that the government conflates the terms ‘socially excluded’ and ‘underclass’. Indeed, both groups of people may be defined by their behaviour. New Labour claims to have provided the routes out of social exclusion, for example, via welfare-to-work schemes, educational opportunities, drugs treatment programmes etc. Those who fail to partake in these schemes, who reject the prevailing value system by refusing to take responsibility for their actions, condemn themselves to remain ‘cut off’ from mainstream society. Perhaps this is why Blair chose to use the term ‘frighteningly large’ when talking about the size of the underclass. Perhaps what is frightening is their perceived moral difference from the mainstream.

  • 14  Murray, C. - The Emerging British Underclass, in Charles Murray and the Underclass : The Developin (...)
  • 15  Blair, T. - “Speech by the Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Peel Institute”, 26 January 2001,http: (...)
  • 16  Ibid.

8Blair’s views would seem to correspond with those of the American conservative, Charles Murray. Murray, when enquiring into the possibility of the existence of a separate US-style underclass in the UK in 1990, condemned the benefits system and took a strictly behavioural approach to the underclass who could be defined by illegitimacy, unemployment and criminality.14 Like Murray, who takes a distinctly moral tone, advocating a return to Victorian values, Blair, talks of “re-building a decent society”.15 Again like Murray, Blair has highlighted how crime impacts on social exclusion, forming an integral feature of the life of the underclass. He has referred to “a hard core of persistent offenders”16 – rhetoric which suggests that he may even believe in the existence of a distinctly ‘criminal class’.

  • 17  Stevenson, W. - Communities, Social Exclusion and Crime, in Grieve / eds. John and Howard, Roger ( (...)

9Engaging in criminality is, of course, the most obvious way in which people may refuse to play by the rules of society and accept its moral standards, thus leading to self-exclusion. But there are other ways in which criminality is linked to the underclass. Most importantly, crime is seen to lead to the exclusion not just of the criminal, but also of his victim. Interestingly, in both scenarios, crime is seen as a cause of social exclusion, rather than its consequence. Rather than finding ‘excuses’ for criminal behaviour, criminals are accused of exacerbating social exclusion in deprived areas. Indeed, Stevenson has suggested that as a result of criminality in deprived areas, “employers are deterred from setting up businesses, there are fewer employment opportunities and a vicious circle of neighbourhood decline ensues”.17 Yet again then, attention is diverted from the possible structural causes of exclusion onto behavioural causes.

10The moral dimension becomes most salient here. Those who commit crime are seen to have a totally different value system from the rest of society. They are described as “the selfish minority”.18 They are those who do not share the “values of a decent society”.19 Petty criminals are “without any residual moral sense”.20 Criminals and those individuals who are considered anti-social are pitted against the “the law-abiding majority”.21 As crime becomes regarded as a threat to the value system of that society, it is not just actual criminal behaviour which is focused on, but also non-criminal behaviour which offends against the moral consensus – so-called ‘anti-social’ behaviour. In tackling such behaviour, government again attempts to place itself firmly on the side of this ‘law-abiding majority’. Indeed, in its five-year crime strategy, launched in July 2004, the government makes it clear that its aim is to reform the criminal justice system in favour of those who obey the law. “They are our boss”, Blair declared.22 It would certainly seem so. In recent years, there has been a distinct change in the way in which criminal justice policy is made, with ‘expert’ opinion being side-tracked in favour of that of the victim. David Garland believes that the victim has become “the dominant voice of crime policy”.23 This shift is clearly illustrated by government policy towards ‘anti-social behaviour’.

  • 24  Crime and Disorder Act 1998, Part I, S.1(1), http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/98037--b.htm#1
  • 25  Ibid. S.1(10). An example may be given of a 15-year-old boy was sentenced to an 8 months’ detentio (...)
  • 26  Lavelette et.al., op.cit
  • 27  Muncie, J. - “Institutionalised Intolerance : youth justice and the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act”, (...)

11Initially introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) may be taken out against “any person aged 10 or over” who has acted “in an anti-social manner, that is to say, in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as himself”.24In an attempt to tackle youth crime, the Act also allows for the imposition of parenting orders, child safety orders and child curfews. Failure to comply with any of these orders may result in a sentence of imprisonment25. In this way, according to Lavalette et al., the CDA 1998 “went further than the Conservatives had dared”.26 Indeed, although successive Conservative governments had, from the 1980s, begun to impose curfews, they had only been applied to children over 16 who had committed a crime. New Labour has gone much further, subjecting children under 10 to curfews on the mere presumption that they may commit a crime.27It is ASBOs, however, which have attracted most attention.

  • 28  Campbell, op.cit., p. 13.

12The first major problem with these orders is the failure to provide an adequate definition of the kind of behaviour which may lead to the imposition of one. Indeed, these orders have been applied to an extensive range of behaviour, for example, simple verbal abuse (accounting for 59 % of all anti-social behaviour), creating noise, shoplifting, harrassment, being drunk and disorderly and throwing missiles.28 Yet it is not just the wide definition of anti-social behaviour which may be problematic, but also the particular groups which find themselves the target of such legislation.

  • 29  Blackstock, C. - “Flyposting music giants face five years’ jail”, The Guardian, 02/06/04.
  • 30  Foot, M. - “Asbo absurdities”, The Guardian, 01/12/04.
  • 31  Gardner, J. - “Still the wrong approach”, Howard League Magazine, vol. 23, No. 1, February 2005, p (...)
  • 32  Ibid.
  • 33  Ibid. p. 5.
  • 34 MORI, “Public Concern About ASB And Support For ASBOs”, 10 June 2005, http://www.mori.com/polls/200 (...)

13Indeed, although in one unusual case an ASBO was served against music industry executives and Sony & BMG for fly-posting in the borough of Camden,29 it would appear that the overwhelming majority of these orders have been served against already disadvantaged youths or adults who find themselves socially excluded. The most extreme case is that of begging. In 2004, a young disabled man with learning difficulties was prosecuted for breaching an ASBO served upon him which forbade him from street begging. It was only thanks to a technical fault with the ASBO that he avoided prison.30 It is therefore rather unsurprising that John Gardner has commented, “ASBOs are devices to create tailor-made criminal offences for particular people”.31 He notes that it is often “unpopular” behaviour and not just “aggressive” behaviour that is targetted. To illustrate his point, he asks why ASBOs are not sought against the parents who persistently drive their children to school in SUVs and park on the pavement. His answer is that, although such behaviour may be regarded as equally as anti-social as so-called ‘aggressive begging’, “the aggressive parent vote matters more than the aggressive beggar vote”.32 Here is perhaps the key to understanding the current government’s apparent obsession with anti-social behaviour. As Elizabeth Burnley of the Howard League has noted, “There is no doubt that the ASBO is a popular measure”.33 Indeed, a recent MORI poll showed that 82 % of people support them.34

  • 35  Howard League, “A report on the use of anti-social behaviour orders by the probation unit”, Howard (...)

14All of these efforts to promote the use of ASBOs are quite astounding given that there is little evidence which proves that ASBOs actually work. First, approximately 50 % of those subject to an ASBO will breach their order and consequently end up in jail.35  This would suggest that ASBOs are failing in their aim to change the behaviour of their targets. Moreover, ASBOs run contrary to New Labour’s professed determination to tackle the problem of social exclusion. ASBOs which lead to prison terms will not only physically exclude the offender from the wider community but also brand him with the label of ex-offender which can only serve to exacerbate his social exclusion on his release. Even where ASBOs do not lead to a prison term, it is highly unlikely that they will fail to exclude the offender from his community. ‘Exclusion orders’ erect metaphysical barriers within communities, segregating the wrongdoer from the majority.

  • 36  Gil-Robles, A. - “Report by Mr Alvaro Gil-Robles, Commissioner for Human Rights on his visit to th (...)
  • 37  Burnley, Elisabeth, Howard League Magazine, op.cit.

15The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 gave the press the power to name those handed ASBOs. In a report deeply critical of Britain's human rights record, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, Alvaro Gil-Robles, said the 'naming and shaming' of people on antisocial behaviour orders was a breach of their human rights, and that children under 16 should not be put in custody for breaching them.36 The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act has gone further, abolishing the anonymity of children in criminal court proceedings following breach of an ASBO. I would thus have to agree with Burnley when she declared, “The ASBO has become part of a growing apparatus of exclusion and social control introduced in the name of protecting communities”.37

  • 38  Speech by the Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Peel Institute, op. cit.

16Indeed, that is the irony of the whole policy. The government claimed that it is tackling anti-social behaviour out of concern for the plight of the socially excluded – tackling crime forms an integral part of the work of the Social Exlusion Unit. Its approach appeared to fit in with new thinking from the Left on law and order issues, notably that of the ‘Left Realists’ who recognise the reality of the problem of crime for the most disadvantaged. In true New Labour style, however, it also borrowed some ‘tough’ talk from the right of the political spectrum. Thus, Tony Blair declared that there would be a ‘New Deal’ for the offender to enable him to “become a productive citizen once more”38 yet, at the same time, he made it clear that those who didn’t keep their side of the bargain would be punished. So, just like welfare-to-work initiatives the contradictions within this policy have doomed it to failure. Yet the government has ignored the warning from many criminal justice experts that ASBOs may prove to be counter-productive.

The Politics of Exclusion

17Once again, the real explanation for the government’s pursuit of a policy which tends towards exclusion rather than inclusion, in spite of its professed aims, may be seen to lie in its ability to divert attention from the real problem. It is widely believed that real social inclusion can only stem from an improvement in the economic condition of the excluded.

18To a certain extent, New Labour has recognised this in placing paid work at the centre of its policy on social exclusion. Unfortunately, however, as we have seen, poorly-paid part-time jobs are unlikely to achieve this aim. What really seems to be at the centre of all these policies is a particular economic agenda, concerned with instilling a new work ethic in the population at large – one which values work as a good in itself, however precarious and demoralising it may in reality prove to be. Such a policy allows government to pursue a neo-liberal economic agenda which insists on international economic competitiveness as opposed to internal economic security. It is essential, if the exclusionary effects of the government’s economic policy are not to be questioned, that those who fail to work or those who partake in crime are seen as wholly responsible for their own exclusion. In this way, government policy towards the excluded may be regarded as a means of securing its own legitimacy in the eyes of the electorate.

  • 39  Garland, D. - “The Limits of the Sovereign State : Strategies of Crime Control in Contemporary Soc (...)
  • 40  Mathiesen, T. - Prison on Trial, Winchester : Waterside Press, 2000, p. 21.
  • 41  Hughes, Gordon. - “Communitarianism and law and order”, Critical Social Policy, vol. 16 (1996) : 1 (...)

19As Garland has famously suggested, “A willingness to deliver harsh punishments to convicted offenders magically compensates for a failure to deliver security to the population at large”.39 Mathiesen is also convinced that punitive criminal policies may be seen as an excellent means to restore public confidence in government.40 In showing itself to be tough on crime and on all those who refuse to accept the moral consensus of the community, the government sets itself up as a kind of community folk hero. Its crime control policy may thus be seen as inherently populist in nature. Yet, populist policies need not necessarily be exclusionary policies. Gordon Hughes, for example, has pointed out the value of what he terms ‘radical communitarian’ work which favours communal participation in criminal justice issues in ways which prevent the exclusion of the offender. Advocates of such an approach stress the need for the state to “first repair the social wounds before ‘the community’ can be allowed to participate in an inclusive politics of crime control”.41 The New Labour government, it would seem is, however, only interested in using the community for its own ends.

20‘Repairing the social wounds’ would require a huge amount of government intervention and spending - something which simply does not correspond to New Labour’s ideology or economic agenda. Better to enlist the community’s help in punishing those who offend against that ideology, an ideology which conveniently seems to resemble that of the majority of the population.

21So given its failure to adequately tackle the problem of social exclusion, it would seem New Labour is in the process of abandoning the traditional view of citizenship – the defining feature of inclusion – as a universal right. As in the US and perhaps also in Europe, citizenship is becoming conditional : inclusion in mainstream society is wholly dependent on the acceptance of a certain value system which promotes personal responsibility over state responsibility at all costs. Any attempt to tackle social exclusion and the crime which is an inherent feature of it will remain meaningless unless the government starts to encourage communities to accept moral difference instead of condoning their preference for moral absolutes. The exclusion of the already excluded will only be exacerbated and a few new faces are likely to be added to their ranks.

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Bibliographie

Blackstock, C. - “Flyposting music giants face five years’ jail”, The Guardian, 02/06/04

Blair, T. - New Britain : My vision of a young country, London : Fourth Estate Ltd., 1996

Blair, T. - Selected Speeches, www.pm.gov.uk

Burnley, E. - Howard League Magazine, vol. 23, No. 1, February 2005

Campbell, S. - Home Office Research Study 236 : A Review of ASBOs, January, 2002, www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/hors236.pdf

Chadwick, A., Heffernan, R. (eds.), The New Labour Reader, Cambridge : Polity Press, 2003

Foot, M. - “Asbo absurdities”, The Guardian, 01/12/04

Gardner, J. - “Still the wrong approach”, Howard League Magazine, vol. 23, No. 1, February 2005

Garland, D. - “The Limits of the Sovereign State : Strategies of Crime Control in Contemporary Society” The British Journal of Criminology 36,4 (1996) : 445-467

Garland, D. - The Culture of Control : Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2001

Gil-Robles, A. - “Report by Mr Alvaro Gil-Robles, Commissioner for Human Rights on his visit to the United Kingdom, 4th-12th November 2004”, Strasbourg : CommDH(2005)6, 08/06/05

Grieve, J., Howard, R. (eds.), Communities, Social Exclusion and Crime, London : The Smith Institute, 2004.

Hughes, G. - “Communitarianism and law and order”, Critical Social Policy, vol. 16 (1996) : 17-41

Kampfner, J. - “The Bling Bling List”, New Statesman, 07/03/2005

Lavelette, M. ; et al. - “The Woeful Record of the House of Blair”, International Socialism Journal, Issue 90, Spring 2001

Levitas, R. - “The concept of social exclusion and the new Durkheimian hegemony”, Critical Social Policy 46, vol. 16 (1996) : 5-20

Mathiesen, T. - Prison on Trial, Winchester : Waterside Press, 2000

MORI, “Public Concern About ASB And Support For ASBOs”, 10 June 2005, http://www.mori.com/polls/2005/asbo.shtm

Muncie, J. - “Institutionalised Intolerance : youth justice and the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act”, Critical Social Policy, 1999, vol. 19 (2) : 147-175

Murray, C. - The Emerging British Underclass, in Lister, R. (ed.), Charles Murray and the Underclass : The Developing Debate, London : The IEA Health and Welfare Unit, 1996

Toynbee, P. - Hard Work : life in Low-pay Britain, London : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2003

Toynbee, P. ; Walker, D. - Did things get better ? : an audit of Labour’s successes and failures, London : Penguin, 2001

Toynbee, P. ; Walker, D. - Better or Worse ? : has Labour Delivered ?, London : Bloomsbury, 2005

Young, J. - “Crime and Social Exclusion”
www.malcolmread.co.uk/JockYoung/crime&socialexclusion.htm

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Notes

1  Levitas, Ruth, “The concept of social exclusion and the new Durkheimian hegemony”, Critical Social Policy 46, vol. 16 (1996): 5-20, p. 7.

2  Social Exclusion Unit, http://www.socialexclusionunit.gov.uk/page.asp ?id =213

3  Blair, Tony, London, December 8, 1997, http://www.socialexclusionunit.gov.uk/page.asp ?id =66

4  Blair, Tony, First speech given by Tony Blair as Prime Minister, Aylesbury Estate, London, 2 June 1997, http://www.socialexclusionunit.gov.uk/news.asp ?id =400

5  A study undertaken in 2003 by Dr Hartley Dean, Social Policy, LSE, has suggested that the success of the UK’s welfare-to-work policy is endangered by the failure to help individuals to sort out their problems which may prevent them from succeeding in the workplace. It found that many unemployed people also suffer from homelessness, long-term physical or mental health problems, substance abuse, learning difficulties, public or institutional care or custody, and violent or abusive family lives. LSE, “'Welfare-to-work' and 'work-life balance' must be joined up : people with big problems need space to sort out their lives”, 24/01/2003.
www.lse.ac.uk/collections/pressAndInformationOffice/newsAndEvents/archives/2003/Welfare_toWork.htm. Also, the increased number of jobs may not have actually improved the economic or social situation of those in them, given that the amount of insecure, part-time work has soared under New Labour. P. Thornton, “Boom in part-time working keeps unemployment at 30-year low”, The Independent, 17/10/02).

6  Never-working families did see benefit rises during the first term of the Blair government, but these were only for families with children. Toynbee and Walker, Did things get better ? An audit of Labour’s successes and failures, London, Penguin, 2001.p.22.

7  Lavelette, M. ; Mooney, G. ; Mynott, E. ; Evan, K. ; Richardson, B. - “The Woeful Record of the House of Blair”, International Socialism Journal, Issue 90, Spring 2001 (my emphasis).

8  Toynbee, P. - Hard Work : life in Low-pay Britain, London : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2003.

9  Young, J. - “Crime and Social Exclusion”, www.malcolmread.co.uk/JockYoung

10  Lister, R…[et al.]. - “Government Must Reconsider its Strategy for a More Equal Society”, in Chadwick / eds. Andrew & Heffernan, Richard, The New Labour Reader, Cambridge : Polity Press, 2003, p. 139.

11  Kampfner, J. - “The Bling Bling List”, New Statesman, 07/03/2005.

12  Blair, T. - New Britain : My vision of a young country, London : Fourth Estate Ltd., 1996, p. 218.

13  Ibid., p. 141.

14  Murray, C. - The Emerging British Underclass, in Charles Murray and the Underclass : The Developing Debate / ed. Lister, R., London : The IEA Health and Welfare Unit, 1996.

15  Blair, T. - “Speech by the Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Peel Institute”, 26 January 2001,http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page1577.asp

16  Ibid.

17  Stevenson, W. - Communities, Social Exclusion and Crime, in Grieve / eds. John and Howard, Roger (eds.), London : The Smith Institute, 2004.

18  Blair, T. - PM's speech on anti- social behaviour, http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page6492.asp

19  Blair, T. - My Vision of a Young Country, op.cit., p. 247.

20  Blair, T. - Extracts from the Prime Minister's speech on crime, http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page6129.asp

21  Ibid.

22  Ibid.

23  Garland, D. - The Culture of Control : Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 13.

24  Crime and Disorder Act 1998, Part I, S.1(1), http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/98037--b.htm#1

25  Ibid. S.1(10). An example may be given of a 15-year-old boy was sentenced to an 8 months’ detention and training order for entering an exclusion zone, Campbell, Siobhan, Home Office Research Study 236 : A Review of ASBOs, January, 2002, www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/hors236.pdf, p. 119.

26  Lavelette et.al., op.cit

27  Muncie, J. - “Institutionalised Intolerance : youth justice and the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act”, Critical Social Policy, 1999, vol. 19 (2) : 147-175, pp. 154-155.

28  Campbell, op.cit., p. 13.

29  Blackstock, C. - “Flyposting music giants face five years’ jail”, The Guardian, 02/06/04.

30  Foot, M. - “Asbo absurdities”, The Guardian, 01/12/04.

31  Gardner, J. - “Still the wrong approach”, Howard League Magazine, vol. 23, No. 1, February 2005, p. 6.

32  Ibid.

33  Ibid. p. 5.

34 MORI, “Public Concern About ASB And Support For ASBOs”, 10 June 2005, http://www.mori.com/polls/2005/asbo.shtm

35  Howard League, “A report on the use of anti-social behaviour orders by the probation unit”, Howard League Magazine, op.cit., p. 4.

36  Gil-Robles, A. - “Report by Mr Alvaro Gil-Robles, Commissioner for Human Rights on his visit to the United Kingdom, 4th-12th November 2004”, Strasbourg : CommDH (2005)6, 08/06/05.

37  Burnley, Elisabeth, Howard League Magazine, op.cit.

38  Speech by the Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Peel Institute, op. cit.

39  Garland, D. - “The Limits of the Sovereign State : Strategies of Crime Control in Contemporary Society” The British Journal of Criminology, 36,4 (1996) : 445-467. p. 460.

40  Mathiesen, T. - Prison on Trial, Winchester : Waterside Press, 2000, p. 21.

41  Hughes, Gordon. - “Communitarianism and law and order”, Critical Social Policy, vol. 16 (1996) : 17-41, p. 32.

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Emma Bell, « Excluding the Excluded : New Labour’s Penchant for Punishment », Observatoire de la société britannique, 1 | 2006, 191-204.

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Emma Bell, « Excluding the Excluded : New Labour’s Penchant for Punishment », Observatoire de la société britannique [En ligne], 1 | 2006, mis en ligne le 01 février 2011, consulté le 24 juillet 2017. URL : http://osb.revues.org/550 ; DOI : 10.4000/osb.550

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Emma Bell

ATER à l'université de Lyon 2 Lumière

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