I think the attitudes you so readily ascribe to the prevalence of socialist thought have little to do with socialism. Addition: far from socialism becoming more prevalent in this country, surely it is free market and business values that are often the norm - especially inside the government, where a 'target culture' dominates (an assertion based in part upon conversations with a senior civil servant who visited my college recently)? This is in many ways the lasting legacy of the extensive reforms civil services and government overwent under Thatcher, Major and even Blair. I just think your connection of 'socialist' values with rising crime in a country where actual socialist values have greatly declined since the 70s - partly because of the perception that they led to disaster - is extremely tenuous. It seems almost as big a stretch but not quite as big as Kathaksung linking Cho's massacre to a drive for federal gun control. I say that with a straight face. Not only do the values you blame have only a dubious connection to socialist ideals, but I really don't think socialism has gained much of late at all. This may be because each person inevitably percieves his own political alignment to be under the heel of the 'enemy', but A. I'm not socialist enough to consider the free market the 'enemy' B. I'm trying to be fairly realistic and C. that could just as easily be said for yourself! In any case, this subject, one which I'm sure you can tell I'd like to discuss in a lot more depth when I'm not revising, threatens to derail the thread into another of our increasingly frequent economic debates. The subject is whether gun control, or lack of it, affects gun crime - seems to me we might want to start a 'Causes of Crime' thread if we want to discuss alternative solutions. Interesting note: It appears the violent crime rate has greatly risen since the late 90s but the overall crime rate has fallen significantly. Either way these statistics are unreliable because new counting methods instituted in 1998 made the violent crime graph suddenly shoot up - but because more was happening, but because more was found. Considering New Labour's tightening of police and government powers, combined with increasing surveillance, it seems difficult to trust such statistics as offering a true picture. EDIT: Goddamnit why do I make these posts. I know I'm only going to be able to make a few replies and then I'm going to have to stop. Similarly I'm sure you'll still be saying exactly the same things in July (no offence ) so I wouldn't miss much by abstaining from comment. GAH.