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article imageOp-Ed: Grave robbers — The lowest of the low?

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By Alexander Baron     Nov 4, 2011 in Crime
London - The economic downturn has led to an increase in the theft of even not-so-precious metals, from copper wire on the railways to the bronze plaques from graves.
The front page of the latest issue of News Shopper - Bromley edition - has the following sad headline:
'The LOWEST
OF THE LOW'
Family distraught as thieves steal
memorial plaque to war hero dad
This story reports that a total of 80 bronze plaques have recently been stolen from Beckenham Crematorium, presumably to sell as scrap metal.
One family is featured in this article; that of Sidney Oswald Hoggan who died aged 81; he served in the Second World War. His plaque has been stolen, along with over seventy more, and that is just one cemetery.
Yesterday, four men were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court for corruption on a global scale. That scam by well-paid, famous cricketers involved massive sums of money in effect stolen from the living. This one by anonymous non-entities involves relatively small sums, but stolen from the dead, and from their loved ones, some of them still mourning, is vile beyond belief, and warrants harsher sentences.
The theft of not-so-precious metals including bronze, copper and even base metal drain covers is a growing problem, and in some cases the thieves have suffered instant and terrible retribution, though not from the law of the land. Last December, a man was electrocuted while stealing copper wire from a railway trackside substation a couple of miles up the road from Beckenham Crematorium. On the other side of the Atlantic there have been similar fatalities, like that of small time criminal Matthew Ward only last month.
One may argue that the theft of bronze plaques from the dead is higher up the hierarchy of evil than stealing copper wire from the railway, even if the latter does cause problems for commuters, or undermines their safety, but without wishing in any way to excuse the criminals who carry out these sordid and stupid acts, there is an underlying root cause of both.
As Islam tells us, when poverty enters a city, the Devil is never far behind. We have of course seen poverty before, and it can be argued that most of us today have a standard of living that would be the envy of even the wealthiest of our ancestors. Henry VIII may have been master in his own domain and head of his own church, but he didn't have a fridge freezer full of ice cream, exotic fruits, oven ready chips and chicken biryani. If the King of England decided to take a long weekend, he couldn't hop on a train in Central London and be paddling on the beach at Brighton within a couple of hours. And though he was a highly educated man who composed music, he couldn't vacuum his bedroom while listening to his favourite minstrels on his headphones playing Past Time With Good Company, as can Joe Sixpack.
Having said that, we are faced today as never before with a society polarised between the haves and the have-nots. All manner of explanations have been put forward to explain the phenomenon of poverty amidst plenty, from David Duke and friend who blame it on the Zionist bankers who control America (and by implication the rest of the world) to Chris Bambery and his fellow travellers who blame it on the wicked (white) capitalists, and whose solution is that we hand over all power to them so they can create a global workers' paradise, just like they did in Soviet Russia.
Though they are both wrong, Duke is nearer the mark, but he fails to see the bigger picture; we must take the power to create credit away from the banksters so that our governments can create and distribute real wealth to everyone, the have-nots as well as the haves, and the undeserving poor as well as those our masters consider deserving.
Unless and until we tackle this problem, as the "Wall Street occupiers" worldwide seek to, we will see more and more people committing heinous crimes against both the living and the dead.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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