Las grandes expectativas de David Cameron

NUEVA YORK – Mientras escucho las noticias que provienen de Inglaterra luego de la reciente ola de disturbios urbanos -y mientras leo la nueva e irresistible biografía de Charles Dickens escrita por Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Becoming Dickens-, la vida y el arte parecen replicarse entre sí.

Tras los disturbios, el primer ministro británico, David Cameron, propuso resucitar los juzgados de menores, reclamó sentencias duras y trajes anaranjados para los convictos y propuso otras ideas aún más odiosas. Por ejemplo, los convictos podrían ser expuestos intencionalmente al acoso público a través de tareas de limpieza, y sus familias, que no cometieron ningún delito, podrían ser desalojadas de sus viviendas subsidiadas por el estado. Cameron también está analizando arrestos por comentarios en Facebook, la suspensión de las redes sociales y un poder más letal para la policía.  

En la Inglaterra de Dickens, el poder judicial no era independiente, y los periódicos eran objeto de la censura estatal. Los niños (como Oliver Twist) recibían castigos destinados a quebrarlos; la gente pobre acusada de delitos relativamente menores era transportada a Australia o recibía castigos humillantes en público; la policía ejercía un poder violento y sin restricciones sobre los pobres. 

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