Be afraid, be very afraid
''We are trying to fight 21st century crime - anti-social behaviour, binge drinking, organised crime - with 19th century methods, as if we still lived in the time of Dickens," he said. ''The whole of our system starts from the proposition that its duty is to protect the innocent from being wrongly convicted.
''Don't misunderstand me. That must be the duty of any criminal justice system. But surely our primary duty should be to allow law-abiding people to live in safety. It means a complete change of thinking."
He promised to extend the summary powers of police and local authorities to take on the wrong-doers, to ensure a "uniformed presence on the street in every community, and to pump more money into youth services and sport in schools to ensure that young people are taken off the streets".
The crime Tony is talking about are local neighbourhood crimes, which are exactly the sort of crimes that existed in the 19th Century. (There may be a point that international crime is very different these days.) It sounds like he is dreaming of his happy gilded youth when he was at an exclusive Private School and the oiks outside the gate knew their place and showed respect. There was a friendly copper on every beat who knew the young scallywags and gave them a clip round the ear, and sent them on their way, if he caught the stealing the Squire's apples. And why can't that happen now, eh Mrs Blair? So we end up with a proposal where the worry of convicting innocents is relegated for the greater good, for a uniformed presence on every street, re-education centres for the youth where they will be taught respect for our Dear Leader, summary justice on the street etc.; more 1930s Germany than 1950s Enid Blyton Land.