David Cameron has been talking about "Broken Britain" for a long time now. He frequently raises the issue and did so again recently regarding the horrific Edlington torture case.
I do not think Britain is "broken". In fact crime has generally fallen in the last few years. However the public do not perceive that is that case and a recent survey showed that most people actually think crime has risen in recent times. The truth is though that there are pockets of deprivation and very large social inequalities which the official figures disguise to some extent. The circumstances in which the boys who perpetrated the torture in this case were brought up have been well covered in the media and I do not doubt that sadly there will be other children currently being brought up in such circumstances right now.
Of course just because crime is falling does not mean we should not try our hardest to eliminate the sort of problems that led to this tragic situation. However we are dealing with deeply embedded and in some cases intractable social problems. Nothing I have seen from David Cameron suggests that he has policies that will end these problems and herein lies his problem.
I well remember Tony Blair as Shadow Home Secretary in 1993 commenting on the Jamie Bulger murder case. He made similar comments to the ones that Cameron is currently making. In fact Cameron's response seems to be emulating the politician that he most closely resembles in this respect. But of course Blair was not able to eliminate these deep seated problems in our society and as much as I hope that Cameron would be able to were he Prime Minister it is an extremely tall order and he is leaving himself a very big hostage to fortune.
Let's imagine that Cameron becomes PM in a few months time. I can well imagine that in 3 or 4 years time there could be another horrendous case such as the Edlington one and at that point who would Cameron blame? The media will be justified in blaming him directly, after all he said he was going to fix it, just as Blair did and even if crime has been reduced further under his government he will get no credit for it as he is hoist by his own petard.
I wish it was not like this. This way the media is able to continue with their narrative that things are constantly getting worse even when they are not. Cameron is playing straight into this and will come to regret the way he has approached this issue because the narrative will eventually come back to bite him.