David Camerons Große Erwartungen

NEW YORK – Während ich die Nachrichten im Zuge der Welle von Ausschreitungen in britischen Städten verfolge und unterdessen Becoming Dickens lese, die fesselnde neue Biografie von Charles Dickens aus der Feder von Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, fallen mir  offenkundige Parallelen zwischen Leben und Kunst auf.

Im Gefolge der Unruhen hat der britische Premierminister David Cameron vorgeschlagen, Gerichtsverfahren gegen Kinder wieder aufleben zu lassen, auf harte Strafen und orangefarbene Overalls für schuldig befundene Randalierer gedrängt und  noch abstoßendere Ideen lanciert. Man könnte Verurteilte im Rahmen von Aufräumarbeiten bewusst öffentlichen Schikanen aussetzen und ihre Familien, die keine Straftaten begangen haben, zwingen ihre Sozialwohnungen zu räumen. Desweiteren prüft Cameron Festnahmen aufgrund von Facebook-Kommentaren, die Sperrung sozialer Netzwerke und eine todbringende Aufrüstung der Polizei.

Im England von Dickens hat es keine unabhängige Justiz gegeben und Zeitungen waren der staatlichen Zensur unterworfen. Kinder (wie Oliver Twist) wurden auf eine Art und Weise bestraft, die sie brechen sollte; Arme, die aufgrund relativ geringer Vergehen verurteilt wurden, fanden sich auf dem Weg nach Australien wieder oder wurden öffentlich erniedrigenden Bestrafungen ausgesetzt; die Polizei übte unkontrolliert und gewaltsam Macht über die Armen aus.

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