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Monday, June 25, 2007

Busted, Middle Class Responsible for Fueling Vacuous, Crime Ridden Society, its Official !!

Darling, look at this new piece of stolen jewelry, 10% of the real price, makes us look richer than we are !!

Pay taxes, OH no that is for the little people, you know, the working, Lower classes !!

Behind the Cloak of respectability the Middle Class are among the most dishonest groups in society, now a fact !!

Middle-class is on the take

Jun 25 2007
Western Mail

MIDDLE-CLASS crime is rife with more than six out of 10 people regularly committing offences against their employers and the Government, a survey claims today.

Researchers at Keele University claim their findings expose the image of a “law-abiding majority” to be a myth.

Crimes that many consider “harmless” including stealing from work or claiming illicit refunds are some of the most common.

And the researchers said that while these crimes are not anti-social as such they can certainly be classed as “anti-civil”.

A poll of 1,807 people in England and Wales found 61% had committed one of a series of offences including paying “cash in hand”, keeping money when given too much change and stealing from work.

A large number of offenders in the poll were classed as middle class and the “respectable” by the academics.

Author Professor Suzanna Karstedt said, “Contempt for the law is as widespread in the centre of society as it is assumed to be rampant among specific marginal groups.

“Anti-social behaviour by the few is mirrored by anti-civil behaviour by the many.

“Neither greed nor need can explain why respectable citizens cheat on insurance claims or in second-hand sales, and do not hesitate to discuss their exploits with friends in pubs.”

The survey found:

A third (34%) paid cash in hand to avoid taxation;

Just under a third (32%) kept money when given too much change;

Around one in five (18%) had taken something from work;

Around one in 10 (11%) avoided paying their TV licence;

Around one in 10 (11%) wrongly used identity cards for their own gain;

Just under one in 10 (8%) did not disclose faulty goods in second hand sales;

Some 7% padded an insurance claim;

6% asked a friend in bureaucracy to bend the rules;

And 5% claimed for refunds they were not entitled to.

Of those who admitted to an offence nearly two-thirds (62%) committed an offence on up to three occasions and 10% admitted to nine or more offences.

The survey of people aged between 25 and 65 was carried out by Professor Karstedt and Dr Stephen Farrall, and published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (CCJS) at King’s College, London.

Dr Farrall said, “It is the values and the behaviour of those at the centre of society that are indicative of the moral state of our society, perhaps much more so than violent and other street crimes.”

CCJS director Richard Garside said, “Politicians from across the political spectrum regularly claim that most crime is committed by offenders largely drawn from low-income groups.

“This research demonstrates that the middle class is responsible for a wide range of illegal activities.

“The reasons for this are complex, and relate to the fundamental social changes in British society over the past 30 years.”

Whose pockets are we picking today, then?
The middle classes regard theft as a crime - unless it involves nicking stuff from the office. It's time to take a look at ourselves and face up to our hypocrisy, says Hannah Jones

“It doesn’t matter if you pinch from a factory or from work or from some big business,” a friend once said to me.

“They won’t miss it. But it’s wrong to steal from your own. Never, ever pinch from someone’s house.”

It seems that when it comes to taking things that aren’t yours, selective morality is more important than the most basic tenet of law – that stealing is a crime.

Yet more than six out of 10 of us regularly commit crimes against their employers, businesses and the Government.

Don’t be mistaken in thinking that the majority of people committing “harmless” infractions live in the Chavtastic underbelly of society.

Apparently a large number of offenders in the poll were classed as middle class and “respectable”.

Most people, it seems, are content to commit what they would consider as “minor crimes” if nobody is hurt in the deal.

I heard of a man who was offered a move from a senior job in retail to an office position.

But it wasn’t the salary (an increase of £4,000) or holiday entitlement (a week more and no working on weekends) which made him think twice about the move.

It was because his retail position enabled him to treat the racks of goods in his shop like an all-you-can-take-for-free buffet.

When he was offered his new job, he told a mutual acquaintance, “I don’t know if I should take it. What am I going to do about presents now? I saved a fortune in that job.

“I can’t wrap up any more notebooks and Tippex for someone’s birthday, can I?”

The acquaintance in question was famed in certain circles for saving money on a new bathroom suite, fitted for £150 all in.

So what if she couldn’t stretch out in the bath and the sink was off-white instead of pearl.

She got it on the cheap because she knew someone who knew someone who knew another man who worked for a council’s storeroom and was able to lay his hands on bathroom suites. No questions asked (apart from how a woman of 5ft 8ins managed to stretch out in a 4ft bath).

The survey also says 7% of us pad out an insurance claim – you know, like dropping a tin of paint on your old TV just because you fancy a swanky new plasma set. Come on, you’ve never done something similar? Just pushed the boundaries an inch or two? Just under a third (32%) kept money when given too much change.

And around one in five (18%) had taken something from work.

Apparently it is wrong to “borrow” an envelope or 28 from your office stores.

To say nothing of going home with a few new pens for company.

It’s obvious, then, that the law- abiding majority is a myth and we really are a nation of Fagins – even if the only pockets we’re picking happen to be those of the people paying our wages.

This criminal unlawful behaviour is not just mainstream in Britain but a global problem with the nasty, dogmatic, pedantic, disingenuous, dishonest, duplicitous, greedy, miserly, tight fisted, mean, self-serving hypocrites that are the Middle classes, read on....

Crime is a class act as Britain hits back at rip-off culture

Spot the honest Middle class person above, answer, none of them !!

By Roger Highfield and David Derbyshire

Crime has become respectable, according to a survey that suggests almost two thirds of middle class people fiddle insurance claims, return new clothes after wearing them to a party and keep money when "overchanged".

The findings of the study were presented to the British Association's annual science festival at Salford University yesterday by Dr Stephen Farrall and Prof Susanne Karstedt of Keele University.

They asked 4,000 people aged 25 to 65 in England and Wales and Germany about their involvement in "shady", "unfair" or "downright illegal" activities. They found that around two thirds had committed one of the offences they were questioned about. Generally, the Germans emerged as the most dishonest.

Middle class rip-offs are significant: figures suggest that burglary costs the nation £2.7 billion, around one fifth the cost of fraud and forgery, said Prof Karstedt.

There was evidence that this kind of crime is increasing, she said, notably among young people. And there was also evidence of police indifference.

While corporate and street crime were well known, Prof Karstedt said there were many other crimes "committed at the kitchen table, on the settee and from the home computer, from desks and call centres, at cash points in supermarkets or in restaurants".

They were committed by "respectable" members of the middle classes who would reject the labels of "criminals" and "crime" for themselves and their actions.

The survey revealed that the offences were not committed by the conventional stereotype: "a young man in his early 20s".

Instead, the study of "everyday life crimes" revealed that typical offenders tended to be from a higher social class (70 per cent of ABs had offended, as opposed to 53 per cent of Ds and Es) and high earners (75 per cent of the top 20 per cent earners had offended, in contrast to 58 per cent of the bottom 20 per cent).

But at the same time, these groups were also among the most victimised. "This section of society is - or at the very least sees itself to be - preyed upon by insurers, travel agents, restaurants, 'repair men', supermarkets and, perhaps most troubling of all, one another," said the researchers.

This set up a "vicious circle", since customers were often retaliating against businesses for spoilt supermarket food, useless insurance policies, charges for undelivered services or bogus repairs.

"Is a predatory society emerging here?" asked Prof Karstedt, in which "every loophole is exploited, every opportunity taken, every advantage - fair or unfair - grabbed?" The survey found that 75 per cent of the interviewees had experienced at least one type of "victimisation" while "two out of three of our interviewees said that they had committed one of the 'offences' that we asked them about", said Dr Farrall.

"In terms of the types of offending we asked about, we found that the Germans nearly always outdid the British," he added. "So much, then, for the English being a nation of shopkeepers, and the proverbial 'Prussian virtues'."

In Germany, for example, 20 per cent of respondents said that they had padded their insurance claim. In England and Wales this figure was seven per cent. Half of the Germans had paid cash in hand to avoid taxes, while in England and Wales this was only one third.

Fifteen per cent of Germans had claimed refunds they knew they were not entitled to, while in England and Wales only five per cent had done so. "It would appear that the German government need worry more about benefit frauds then the UK government. In Germany three times as many respondents as in England and Wales had reported cheating while claiming state benefits [nine per cent v three per cent]," he said.

The research "turns on its head contemporary ideas about the most common forms of victimisation, who commits these crimes and the arenas in which such behaviour takes place".

Art Hostage comments:

Such is my glee at finally being vindicated about how truly dishonest the Middle Classes are, I will keep adding to this entry as and when I get the chance.

The same Middle class who complain about drug dealers, gang violence, art and antiques theft and burglary, are the same people who consume Cocaine on a Friday and Saturday night, fraudulently claim excess amounts off their insurance, as well as criminally defraud the Inland Revenue and V.A.T. Customs and IRS.

These same middle class, pretentious, so-called moral do-gooders also purchase high value stolen art and jewelery to impress their piers, but try and hide behind a cloak of respectability.

If you want to know why there is a rising drug problem, or why art and antiques theft continue to rise, then look no further than the Middle Class who fuel these things by their consumption and regular dishonesty.

That is not to say there is still crime committed and encouraged within poorer groups in society, but without the demand of the middle class there would be less art crime and less demand for drugs.

OH what a Vacuous world we live in, and now it's Official !!

From The TimesJune 25, 2007

Why Middle England is the new criminal class

Richard Ford and Dominic Kennedy
They look down on council-estate dwellers as welfare-fiddling, light-fingered hoodies and chavs but it is the middle classes who are exposed today as Britain’s real habitual criminals.

Mr and Mrs Middle England may plot their crimes from the comfort of their conservatories but, if anything, they are more dishonest than those they regard as the lower orders.

The presumed “law-abiding majority” is nothing but a cosy myth, an extensive crime poll shows. Most Britons admit that they only obey the laws they want, when they want.

A survey found an everyday crimewave in smart suburbs and picture-postcard villages with not a mobile-phone snatcher or drug dealer in sight.

More than a third of people admitted that they had paid in cash to a cleaner, plumber or other tradesman to avoid paying tax.

One in five has taken something from work and just under a third, if handed too much change in a shop or business transaction, would just keep it.

One in ten avoids paying their television licence. About 6 per cent have padded out an insurance claim.

Corruption is alive and well as 6 per cent say that they have asked a friend working in a bureaucracy to bend the rules for them.

Stephen Farrall, co-author of the report, told The Times: “There’s a lot more of it going on than people thought. The people doing this are the people who otherwise would think of themselves as the law-abiding middle classes.”

The worst perpetrators are said to be highly paid people facing temporary financial difficulties, perhaps because they have overstretched themselves.

“The higher up the income scales you went, the more people were doing more of these things,” Dr Farrall said.

“What was interesting was it was those people who earned a lot but felt they weren’t doing that well financially in that year or so who were more likely to engage in these behaviours.”

Measured according to the money and numbers involved, fraud and similar white-collar crime is now on course to outstrip the cost to the nation of offences such as burglary.

The guilty would certainly reject the label of criminal. Many are likely to feel that they have been ripped off in the past and see nothing wrong in behaving the same way. “It gives a completely different picture of what crime is and who commits it,” Dr Farrall said. “Typical images of crime are burglaries or getting punched in the face. This suggests there is a whole different kind of miasma of ethically dubious offences.”

The report, Law Abiding Majority?, is co-authored by Dr Farrall and Suzanne Karstedt, a criminologist, both from Keele University.

Professor Karstedt said: “Contempt for the law is as widespread in the centre of society as it is assumed to be rampant at the margins and among specific marginal groups. Antisocial behaviour by the few is mirrored by anticivil behaviour by the many.

“Neither greed nor need can explain why respectable citizens cheat on insurance claims or in secondhand sales, and do not hesitate to discuss their exploits in pubs.”

Many of the crimes are committed by those who are better educated and in employment, the report for the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King’s College London said.

“Politicians refer to them as the ‘law-abiding majority’, ignoring the fact that the majority do not abide by the law, or at least are highly selective about when and when not to comply,” it says.

“These are the crimes and unfair practices committed at the kitchen table, on the settee and from home computers, from desks and call centres, at cashpoints, in supermarkets and restaurants, and in interactions with builders and other tradespeople.”

The report found that 61 per cent of 1,807 people in England and Wales aged between 25 and 65 had committed at least one of a number of offences against business, government or their employers.

Of those who admitted committing any of the crimes, 62 per cent had carried out up to three, and 10 per cent had committed nine or more offences.

One reason suggested is the growth of self-interest in the past two decades. “Self-interest-ed people distrust large and small businesses, are more fearful of victimisation in the marketplace, and generally nourish cynical attitudes towards rules and regulations.”

Have your say

What about excessive taxation and no value for money in return? Trash bin story (every 2 weeks), no police on the streets, no response when incidents reported by phone, all the NHS blunders etc. And we all pay for it through our nose. Mainly middle class.
Let me tell you a story that shocked me. On my street , one night, I had a gang of teenagers damaging the parked cars. I called what I believed is the police. First question from the other end was "Which city are you in?". I just hang up. Useless.
What about tax money (our money) waisted on Milennium dome, touring the world as a farewell, going to war for no reason, MPs personal expenses etc etc.

Wigo Bernhard, Aberdeen, UK

It also forms part of the Marxist theories of crime and crime prevention; ask who in society draws up the laws and enforces them, and you may find that the emphasis is on criminalising the working classes.

The point made by the report is welcome - it may not be "new" as such but at least it is new research to evidence that white collar crime is a problem, but not one as well policed as blue collar crime.

Simon W, Rossendale, UK

Middle England are the new criminal class because they see everyone else doing it and think "oh well, I might as well". And where do they see everyone else doing it? Why, in your excerable rag, amongst other places. If the media concentrated on the news, as opposed to trying to grab attention (and therefore sales) through fear, we'd have a far more honest society, I'd wager

Scott, London, London

We also give more to charity than the middle and upper classes. I am so proud to be working class.

And let's not forget that the majority of crime is down to deprivation, as Martin in Leigh pointed out, the real criminals are those that force others to pay for their comforts.

We make your money for you, we drive your ambulances, we cook your food, we watch over you while you sleep. Who is ripping who off here? If it wasn't for the working class, Britain would never have been great, so its no surprise that the middle classes are this way. It's historic tradition, ripping other people off.

Jennifer Hynes, Plymouth, England

Not sure I'd couple this with self-interest. Perhaps people out there view it as their own moral code, in lieu of what they see around them?

I know for a fact there are many people upset with things like council taxes, and what they view as not getting what they are paying for. While local authorities provide a wealth of services, the narrow view is that its £1000 a year (or more) for garbage collection and nothing else.

Frankly, the nanny state is perpetuating much of this, and there needs to be careful thought given to how benefits are accessed.

I honestly believe a more American style system is needed. If you're able to work, then you do, otherwise you get nothing. And let the benefits flow back to the rest of the community that actually does work. Give them tax breaks, and they will spend their money, and propagate the economy.

The best solution is a robust economy. I dont believe in public spending (inefficient). Private is far more efficient.

Roberto Maietta, London, England

String us up, I say. It's the only language we understand.

Alex, London,

Here we go again! Another load of bleating salaried lefty meusli-munching academics whining about people avoiding tax etc etc. Problem for them is that they can't – which is one of the reasons they hate those who can. Actually they're a bit like our useless police 'force' who find it much easier to deal with this kind of crime than REAL crime.

Malcolm, Maidenhead, UK

So, the 'middle classes' are being demonised for avoiding a bit of tax by paying plumbers in cash, are they? Perhaps that's because we are all taxed on everything we do and take any opportunity to avoid giving the Government even more of our money to waste.

Also, what about the super rich avoiding tax by using off-shore trusts, non-resident status and non-domicile status? Roman Abromovic, for example, is based in Britain, yet it is suspected that he pays no tax on overseas earnings.

Until this innequality is sorted out, we will continue paying for services in cash.

Olly, Cambridge, England

I thought Labour had classified being middle class as a crime in itself.

Stephen Berry, Birmingham,

I had not realised that paying in cash was now a crime, though I have to admit that with 3000 new categories of crime having been added to the statute books over the last ten years I should not be surprised. Up until now I had always thought it was the person providing the service who was committing an offence if they did not declare their true earnings to the tax authorities. Must make sure I use my credit card on my next trip to John Lewis !
This does reinforce my determination to get out of this country as soon as possible. Better do it soon though before that becomes a criminal offence as well.

J. Mackay, London, UK

Well at leat they can rest soundly that they wont be going to our over crowded prisons. They can afford good legal advice to make sure fo that! I also bet that the police wont be trawling around the wealthy areas to cut these petty crimes. After all we need somewhere to bang up all the 'council estate scum' who are struggling to make ends meet with earnings often well below the average.

Victoria, Tunbridge Wells, UK

"More than a third of people admitted that they had paid in cash to a cleaner, plumber or other tradesman to avoid paying tax."

Surely it's the cleaner or plumber who is commiting the crime by not declaring the income for tax purposes? Or doesn't this count becaue they are working class?

Andy Gill, London, UK

Terry Pratchett said this years ago. Your considered a criminal if your poor, but it's criminal to own slums.
This isn't news, this is olds.

Martin, Leigh, Lancs,

Years ago I was tolled by some-one that the higher up society you go the more corrupted people become.
The lower class commit petty crime, when the upper class commit Large-scale crime.
I think this is quite correct, and this report goes to confirm it.

James hallyburton, Pickering, uk

This is such a non-story: Show me the person who hasn't 'accidentally' lifted some stationery from work and I'll show you someone who is morbidly unemployed.

Mikey, Bromley, Kent

Why do academics waste so much time and money on useless research?

Richard cox, Birmingham,

Surely these so called crimes are committed by all people irrespective of income of financial means - not just middle england!

John Doe, Chonburi , Thailand

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