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Pies4shaw 



Joined: 08 Oct 2007


PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:19 am
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David wrote:
You’ve done well to emerge from that intact, Skids, but not everybody with that sort of background makes it – indeed, a great many more don’t compared to those from less dysfunctional backgrounds. If you looked back on your past, you’d probably find turning points where you got through when someone else would have fallen off the wagon. Why? It’s usually a big combination of factors, but let’s say it was just pure strength of will: why do you have that willpower when others don’t? What skills did you have that got you through?

If you can answer all that, then maybe we can start to fill in a picture of what sorts of skills Dylan Voller needs if he’s going to get his life together. I’ll tell you one thing with confidence: it’s not being treated like trash.

In fact, Skids has emerged in the way many people do - effort, good luck and happenstance get some people out of their unfair starts in life. Certainly, the effort is an essential prerequisite - but many who put in the effort don't ever emerge. Having emerged, though, it is common for people to see the failures of others as character failings for which they are personally responsible. The tragic consequence of that can be - and often is - a life condemned to the horror of viewing the world through the lens of conservatism and apportioning blame.

Some people come from privilege, have all manner of chances and fail to take any of them. Other people come from appallingly dysfunctional circumstances, get a half a shot at a life chance and "fail" to take it. The end result may be roughly the same for the individuals concerned but it is informative that some treat people from either background who fail as authors of their own misfortune. It's a kind of cop-out - a winner of a lottery may as well say, "I won Tattslotto, why couldn't they - it's their fault they're still struggling".
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David Libra

Rose with a violent heart


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:32 am
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Well said, P4S; couldn’t agree more. The idea of desert – that one’s lot in life is earned and indicative of personal virtue – is surely one of our species’ most dearly-held and dangerous myths.

I’ve been friends with someone in the past who was intelligent, well-read, came from a wealthy background and received good marks in school. All the ostensible signs suggested that she would have a successful, well-paying career. But instead she failed her university studies several times, struggled to hold down a job and had attempted suicide by her late 20s. She suffered from deep feelings of shame and guilt for having thrown all her opportunities away, and was often caught in the trap of thinking about what could have been. So why was her life such a mess? There were several factors at play: her family life, while financially privileged, had been extraordinarily dysfunctional and emotionally distant, leading her to develop all sorts of poor coping habits; she had suffered from depression and inability to interact with others socially, meaning that for a long time she had no friends or support networks outside her toxic family structure; and she was prone to self-sabotage and indecisiveness, meaning that she often started projects without finishing them.

A big part of her issue was the guilt and regret she felt over having thrown away her earlier opportunities, which only contributed to a deeper spiral of self-loathing and lack of motivation. But this idea, that she had been privileged and failed, was just a myth she was telling herself. Yes, she had been lucky to have money, live in a nice house and go to a good school. But she had been unlucky to grow up in a family without love or emotional support. She had been lucky to be an intelligent child, but unlucky to have mental health issues. Like everyone else, she had an array of benefits and handicaps, and in her case the challenges were serious and debilitating.

Was she trash? No. Did she need indulgence, or to be treated as a victim? Probably not. What she needed was help so she could learn to help herself, and develop the skills to get where she wanted to be in life. That starts with stopping the blame game (blaming yourself or others) and, in part, learning to accept oneself. As the old AA maxim goes:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”

We can’t always help everyone, or save them from themselves. But we can certainly do our best not to participate in a culture of shame, judgement and self-loathing that only serves to hold people back.
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Mugwump 



Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Location: Between London and Melbourne

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:45 am
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I think we all know people whose personal histories are full of difficulty and good and bad luck, and obscure impulses for good and ill. I cannot see how you deduce from this that the idea of desert and personal choice is a “myth”. Is your premise that certain people have the autonomy to make good choices once they have enough state help, but they have no adequate personal autonomy until they are so helped ? That does not suggest “mythic” status to me.

Even if you can find a way to square that circle, I think any world in which we obviate personal responsibility would have to be either totalitarian or utterly brutal, or probably both, to maintain any order at all. And, of course, that’s how Communism has always tended.

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David Libra

Rose with a violent heart


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:39 pm
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I said desert was a myth, not choice (though I do believe that choice isn't free, of course – stop trying to derail the topic, Mugwump! Wink). Desert is the idea that people get what's coming to them: that, for instance, the hard-working stoics make it in the end and the lazy good-for-nothing losers only have themselves to blame. I see that as a primitive and fanciful representation of human nature, and an idea that is both factually wrong and actively harmful.

Who we are and what we do are the results of a combination of our brains, environments and the stimuli we encounter. If I were in Dylan Voller's very specific shoes (e.g. not just a young criminal from a damaged background with a traumatising history of institutionalisation – that's not the complete picture – but all of that plus everything else that makes him who he is), then I would be like him and act like him. Instead, I'm someone who doesn't have a history of violence, doesn't abuse drugs and is able to hold down a professional job. Did I earn that? Do I deserve the positive consequences of my inbuilt and socialised traits? No, of course not. I was just lucky.

Your comment about state help is a bit of a red herring – there are many different kinds of help in the world, and some of us of course need more than others. It may be state welfare, it may be education, it may be therapy, it may just simply be the emotional support of friends or family. The goal is not to take away people's ability to make decisions, but simply to provide them with the tools that they need so that they can help themselves lead happier lives – something that we should all want, unless we are invested in beating others down and sneering at them so that we can feel better about ourselves.

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stui magpie 

dum nei, sakte ja


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Where ever i go, there I am

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:10 pm
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David wrote:
I said desert was a myth, not choice (though I do believe that choice isn't free, of course – stop trying to derail the topic, Mugwump! Wink). Desert is the idea that people get what's coming to them: that, for instance, the hard-working stoics make it in the end and the lazy good-for-nothing losers only have themselves to blame. I see that as a primitive and fanciful representation of human nature, and an idea that is both factually wrong and actively harmful.

Who we are and what we do are the results of a combination of our brains, environments and the stimuli we encounter. If I were in Dylan Voller's very specific shoes (e.g. not just a young criminal from a damaged background with a traumatising history of institutionalisation – that's not the complete picture – but all of that plus everything else that makes him who he is), then I would be like him and act like him. Instead, I'm someone who doesn't have a history of violence, doesn't abuse drugs and is able to hold down a professional job. Did I earn that? Do I deserve the positive consequences of my inbuilt and socialised traits? No, of course not. I was just lucky.

Your comment about state help is a bit of a red herring – there are many different kinds of help in the world, and some of us of course need more than others. It may be state welfare, it may be education, it may be therapy, it may just simply be the emotional support of friends or family. The goal is not to take away people's ability to make decisions, but simply to provide them with the tools that they need so that they can help themselves lead happier lives – something that we should all want, unless we are invested in beating others down and sneering at them so that we can feel better about ourselves.


You grew up in an ultra religious environment, yet you aren't
You grew up with (IIRC) with parents who largely relied on centrelink to raise their family, yet you work.

On those mornings when you really want to stay home, you get up, get dressed and get public transport to a workplace and there you put in your best efforts to do your job well, and take personal pride in how well you do it.

None of that comes from your family background, that is all choices you make day to day.

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Mugwump 



Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Location: Between London and Melbourne

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:09 pm
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David, there is much that you wrote above with which I agree. Our dispositions are not chosen, and we are undoubtedly less self-made than we feel ourselves to be. However, we all have a personal range of behaviour - a repertoire, if you like - open to us within the forces you describe, and thus I don’t think we can separate choice from desert as neatly as that.

In this case, where someone regularly chooses to spit at or otherwise assault another human being, I think they “deserve” rather less consideration than someone who does not. There has to be some law of reciprocity in most human interactions for society and ethics to work at all. Forgiveness and charity (in St Paul sense) are certainly better than stricture and punishment, but they cannot function without the prospect of punishment, repentance and change. A world in which we do not hold people responsible for their actions would not be fit for humanity.

That is not to say that Dylan Voller should not be helped if he is prepared to be helped. There are good reasons to do so, both on compassionate and social self-interest grounds. He is not Julian Knight, who committed a crime so heinous that it can justly lead to his permanent exile from our care. I agree that it must be hard to walk in his skin. Still, the fact that he has had so much already invested in him, yet he went out of his way to provoke and outrage the public order last week, and then claimed that he was a victim, is deserving of especially stern rebuke.

We always come back to the same point : lots of people carry pain and difficulty and damage through life equivalent to, or greater than, that of Dylan Voller. Few behave as he does. It may be that his internal state cannot carry his burden as well as they, but he never will carry that burden until he accepts that it is his responsibility. Severing consequences from his actions is unlikely to help him to get there. His background and his nature places within his range some particularly destructive options, but he is responsible for not choosing them - even more so after the lavish help he has recently received.

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David Libra

Rose with a violent heart


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: où surréal côtoie

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:38 am
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stui magpie wrote:
David wrote:
I said desert was a myth, not choice (though I do believe that choice isn't free, of course – stop trying to derail the topic, Mugwump! Wink). Desert is the idea that people get what's coming to them: that, for instance, the hard-working stoics make it in the end and the lazy good-for-nothing losers only have themselves to blame. I see that as a primitive and fanciful representation of human nature, and an idea that is both factually wrong and actively harmful.

Who we are and what we do are the results of a combination of our brains, environments and the stimuli we encounter. If I were in Dylan Voller's very specific shoes (e.g. not just a young criminal from a damaged background with a traumatising history of institutionalisation – that's not the complete picture – but all of that plus everything else that makes him who he is), then I would be like him and act like him. Instead, I'm someone who doesn't have a history of violence, doesn't abuse drugs and is able to hold down a professional job. Did I earn that? Do I deserve the positive consequences of my inbuilt and socialised traits? No, of course not. I was just lucky.

Your comment about state help is a bit of a red herring – there are many different kinds of help in the world, and some of us of course need more than others. It may be state welfare, it may be education, it may be therapy, it may just simply be the emotional support of friends or family. The goal is not to take away people's ability to make decisions, but simply to provide them with the tools that they need so that they can help themselves lead happier lives – something that we should all want, unless we are invested in beating others down and sneering at them so that we can feel better about ourselves.


You grew up in an ultra religious environment, yet you aren't
You grew up with (IIRC) with parents who largely relied on centrelink to raise their family, yet you work.

On those mornings when you really want to stay home, you get up, get dressed and get public transport to a workplace and there you put in your best efforts to do your job well, and take personal pride in how well you do it.

None of that comes from your family background, that is all choices you make day to day.


Actually, your description of my own example is a good case of overly simplified analysis of cause and effect. Even though I don’t think parental upbringing is the whole story, I can actually trace both of the traits you mention back directly to how I was raised.

The first: Yes, I had a hyper-religious upbringing. But an interesting feature of my parents’ beliefs was their scepticism about everything, from mainstream Christianity to media reportage to the theory of evolution. I was raised, essentially, to believe that the entire world was wrong about pretty much everything, and that what I heard and read should be treated critically. I see it as little wonder, then, that I and most of my siblings turned that learned scepticism back onto the worldview that we’d been raised to accept. Perhaps unintentionally, they fostered a critical approach within us.

The second: my family did benefit from Howard’s middle-class welfare policies, it’s true. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn the value of working hard: my father worked full-time like anyone else; meanwhile, as a stay-at-home parent, my mother was more of a workaholic than nearly anyone I’ve met: imagine doing the laundry for up to 9 children (three loads a day), cooking dinners every night, organising trips out of the house, all often while breastfeeding or caring for one infant or another, and home-schooling us. We weren’t just passive observers of this; we were drafted in to a regular housework roster ourselves from an early age, and many of us had paid work of some kind before we were teenagers (I had a paper round from the age of 11, for instance). I don’t say all this to suggest that I was worked to the bone as a child or that I had the biggest work ethic going around either then or now – neither would be true – but it is the case that I grew up with a culture of pulling one’s own weight and not having my immediate desires indulged, an attitude that has placed me in reasonably good stead for the world of adult work and handling basic responsibilities like getting to work on time. Most people have those skills, but not everybody does, and a lot of that does come down to the conditions in which you’re raised. It’s a skill that can be developed, if there’s motivation to do so (again, not something that one can merely will into being).

Getting out of bed every morning on time is a choice to some extent, I suppose, but it’s really more like a habit. If you thought about it too long, you’d probably press the snooze button! So for me it’s a question of why some people successfully manage that habit and others don’t; I think that just comes down to a mixture of predisposition and basic skills. I’m also very lucky in that I love my job and that it allows me a great deal of creative freedom and intellectual engagement. Others have been low-effort, at least, which means my avoidant tendencies haven’t kicked in too much – the fact that I put care into them and took pride in my performance is very much a personal disposition thing. Most jobs that most people work, frankly, are pretty terrible.

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Member 7167 

"What Good Fortune For Governments That The People Do Not Think" - Adolf Hitler.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Location: The Collibran Hideout

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:37 am
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Skids wrote:
Geez you soft cocks just don't get it do you!?

Everybody has got a story, had a tough hand dealt to them. Winners get up, losers make excuses!

I've disclosed plenty about my upbringing on here before, the sexual abuse by a mates Dad in my early teens, the domestic violence, the alcohol abuse and subsequent results.... did I sulk, did I serk to lay the blame on somebody else, did I become a sex offender, did I abuse authority.... ?

No! I got on with my life and made the best I possibly could of it.

Am I perfect? Laughing ... Vic Parkers know I'm far from that, but please, lets stop the protection and pandering of oxygen thieves with NO desire to contribute to or, be part of a civilized society.

Call them for the trash they are and deal with them accordingly.... for fuvks sake!


It is great to see a person who has attempted and succeeded to be the best they can be despite the adverse influences in their lives. Yes, many of us have had challenging times and some live the life of a victim whilst others choose to learn from the experience, ensure that the adverse actions are not repeated or imposed on others and choose to stand up and move forward at every opportunity.

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Pies4shaw 



Joined: 08 Oct 2007


PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:35 am
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Member 7167 wrote:
Skids wrote:
Geez you soft cocks just don't get it do you!?

Everybody has got a story, had a tough hand dealt to them. Winners get up, losers make excuses!

I've disclosed plenty about my upbringing on here before, the sexual abuse by a mates Dad in my early teens, the domestic violence, the alcohol abuse and subsequent results.... did I sulk, did I serk to lay the blame on somebody else, did I become a sex offender, did I abuse authority.... ?

No! I got on with my life and made the best I possibly could of it.

Am I perfect? Laughing ... Vic Parkers know I'm far from that, but please, lets stop the protection and pandering of oxygen thieves with NO desire to contribute to or, be part of a civilized society.

Call them for the trash they are and deal with them accordingly.... for fuvks sake!


It is great to see a person who has attempted and succeeded to be the best they can be despite the adverse influences in their lives. Yes, many of us have had challenging times and some live the life of a victim whilst others choose to learn from the experience, ensure that the adverse actions are not repeated or imposed on others and choose to stand up and move forward at every opportunity.

Yes, we all have our own narratives about overcoming adversity.

But I'm not sure that too many of us got to where we are out of that lad's kind of adversity. "Disadvantaged" doesn't even begin to capture it.

I don't doubt that the boy has made his very own personal mess of things but, at the same time, I struggle to see what a statistically "acceptable" outcome for someone with his start in life would look like. I acknowledge that it'd have been convenient for the rest of us if he'd managed to emerge from his upbringing as a well-adjusted, happy, law-abiding have-not who whistled Disney tunes to himself as he waited at Centrelink - but, sadly, some people do find themselves angry and resentful about what they haven't got when they see what other people have got and are rightly able to recognise that many of the people who have got lots just happened to be born in a better place.
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Skids Cancer



Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Location: Joined 3/6/02 ... aka Assassin member #175

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:37 am
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Pies4shaw wrote:
Member 7167 wrote:
Skids wrote:
Geez you soft cocks just don't get it do you!?

Everybody has got a story, had a tough hand dealt to them. Winners get up, losers make excuses!

I've disclosed plenty about my upbringing on here before, the sexual abuse by a mates Dad in my early teens, the domestic violence, the alcohol abuse and subsequent results.... did I sulk, did I serk to lay the blame on somebody else, did I become a sex offender, did I abuse authority.... ?

No! I got on with my life and made the best I possibly could of it.

Am I perfect? Laughing ... Vic Parkers know I'm far from that, but please, lets stop the protection and pandering of oxygen thieves with NO desire to contribute to or, be part of a civilized society.

Call them for the trash they are and deal with them accordingly.... for fuvks sake!


It is great to see a person who has attempted and succeeded to be the best they can be despite the adverse influences in their lives. Yes, many of us have had challenging times and some live the life of a victim whilst others choose to learn from the experience, ensure that the adverse actions are not repeated or imposed on others and choose to stand up and move forward at every opportunity.

Yes, we all have our own narratives about overcoming adversity.

But I'm not sure that too many of us got to where we are out of that lad's kind of adversity. "Disadvantaged" doesn't even begin to capture it.

I don't doubt that the boy has made his very own personal mess of things but, at the same time, I struggle to see what a statistically "acceptable" outcome for someone with his start in life would look like. I acknowledge that it'd have been convenient for the rest of us if he'd managed to emerge from his upbringing as a well-adjusted, happy, law-abiding have-not who whistled Disney tunes to himself as he waited at Centrelink - but, sadly, some people do find themselves angry and resentful about what they haven't got when they see what other people have got and are rightly able to recognise that many of the people who have got lots just happened to be born in a better place.


Like $100k ??? Poor little tyke hey Rolling Eyes

NT Government and Dylan Voller reportedly reach legal settlement over Don Dale treatment.


THE Territory Government has reportedly reached a legal settlement with former Don Dale detainee Dylan Voller.

THE Northern Territory Government will pay former detainees Dylan Voller and Jake Roper more than $100,000 in compensation for their treatment in youth detention. Lawyers for the Government agreed to settle a long-running civil case earlier this month, with details of the settlement kept confidential.

http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/nt-government-and-dylan-voller-reportedly-reach-legal-settlement-over-don-dale-treatment/news-story/c1685e559fb3f38018cbf3ea6c3dcd0e

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Pies4shaw 



Joined: 08 Oct 2007


PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:19 pm
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Let me get this straight. This lad has brought a proceeding alleging unlawful imprisonment, the NT Government has allegedly agreed to settle it (on legal advice, of course) and you think what exactly about that? Whatever has happened, the Government will have settled on terms favourable to it (it certainly won’t have paid “overs”).

People who are unlawfully imprisoned or tortured (or both) are entitled to be compensated for the wrongs done to them. The alternative to accepting an entitlement of prisoners and administrative detainees to be compensated (see Attorney-General and Hague in the House of Lords and Behrooz in our High Court) is to accept that people have an entitlement to flee their unlawful detention. I know which bus I’m on. Sorry I’m not giving you full citations - I’m referring to those cases off the top of my head.
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stui magpie 

dum nei, sakte ja


Joined: 03 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:31 pm
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Settling a case is a commercial decision based on legal advice but also on the cost of continuing to run the case, both financial and reputational.

The added advantage is the confidentiality and (usually) mutual non-disparagement clauses, neither of which are part of a decision handed down by a judiciary.

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Pies4shaw 



Joined: 08 Oct 2007


PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:29 pm
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Thanks, Stui. I promise to tell [insert name of massive telecommunications company here, because I shouldnt] that, next time.

I’d be surprised if there’s any non-disparagement clause in this case - that’s something that happens in a commercial or employment context. Also, reputational damage to the defendant can’t be a genuine concern (it’s been well and truly trashed already).

Here, the defendant wouldn’t, in my opinion, want to avoid incurring costs defending the case if it thought it had the slightest real prospect of succeeding at trial. It will, however, have been a definite consideration for the plaintiff, who is, presumably, all but impecunious (at the moment). You can reasonably assume that the advice on both sides is that judgment for the plaintiff would be for way more and that it is likely that the plaintiff would succeed. Doing all that complex analysis probably required Counsel concerned to watch a bit of 4 Corners. Wink
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stui magpie 

dum nei, sakte ja


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:32 pm
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It's an interesting one.

If, as you say, the defendant considers their reputation already trashed, then it does come down to the $ to settle vs the $ potentially lost in accordance with the legal advice.

I used to work for (insert name of large telecommunications company here) and was involved in several settlements, all of an employment nature so I take your distinction. Wink

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Skids Cancer



Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Location: Joined 3/6/02 ... aka Assassin member #175

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:00 pm
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Pies4shaw wrote:
Let me get this straight. This lad has brought a proceeding alleging unlawful imprisonment, the NT Government has allegedly agreed to settle it (on legal advice, of course) and you think what exactly about that? Whatever has happened, the Government will have settled on terms favourable to it (it certainly won’t have paid “overs”).

People who are unlawfully imprisoned or tortured (or both) are entitled to be compensated for the wrongs done to them. The alternative to accepting an entitlement of prisoners and administrative detainees to be compensated (see Attorney-General and Hague in the House of Lords and Behrooz in our High Court) is to accept that people have an entitlement to flee their unlawful detention. I know which bus I’m on. Sorry I’m not giving you full citations - I’m referring to those cases off the top of my head.


You rave on about how he has nothing and is so hard done by.... after committing over 50 acts of violent and unsocial behaviour, the poor little fella had to endure a few consequences for his heinous actions and is awarded more money than 99% of teenagers who work for a living, will ever see in their bank account and... what does he do?

Goes out on the piss, no doubt flash with cash with all the other pathetic crew he hangs with.... and cause mayhem!

what the hell are we supposed to do with these oxygen thieves?? Please, enlighten me with your world of knowledge!

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