The media have been saying that Antony Worrall Thompson's repeat thefts are down to abuse in childhood. Whether or not this is true, the punishment handed out to Thompson is starkly different to that meted out to 23-year-old Nicolas Robinson back in August 2011.
While Thompson got a police caution, Robinson was sentenced to six months in jail.
Nicolas Robinson had entered an already-burgled Lidl during the London riots and taken some bottled water worth even less than the wine and cheese that Thompson had swiped. Despite not having any previous convictions, and merely having momentarily gotten "caught up in the moment", the judge handed out a prison sentence, while Thompson got a slap on the wrist.
Why the difference in sentencing?
Quite simply, while Antony Worrall Thompson's petty thieving had no effect on capitalists and those in charge of the political management of their economy, the 2011 riots most certainly did, and put the wind up politicians and billionaires.
When lots of people take to the streets and rebel against the system, the authorities and wealthy get panicky. The prime function of a government is to look after the capitalist ruling class and the economy, and if people are helping themselves to whatever they want from shops without buying it, then this will always result in a determination to crack down hard, and do whatever it takes to re-establish and maintain the status quo.
Nicolas Robinson was sent to prison in order to send a message to anyone else who might consider challenging the long-standing capitalist regulation of distributing goods and services — don't pay, don't get.
Childhood abuse may well lie behind Antony Worrall Thompson's out-of-character behaviour, but capitalism's abuse can also explain Nicolas Robinson's out-of-character behaviour.
After spending an entire lifetime being groomed and compelled to purchase everything that's needed, finding himself in front of an already-looted Lidl supermarket, Nicolas Robinson was suddenly faced with a completely strange and bizarre situation. An 'open' shop that he could enter, take something, and leave without paying. The only thing that made his behaviour wrong and illegal was the type of economy that the electorate have been duped into voting for. One where production and distribution are strictly conducted for profit.
The fact is, if we had a genuinely socialist economy rather than a capitalist one, then going into shops, taken whatever you need, and leaving without paying a penny would be entirely normal and legal.
A society that directly and collectively owned the means of production and distribution (farmland, factories, power stations, railways, HGVs etc) would also collectively own everything that is produced, making money entirely obsolete.
With moneyless real socialism, people will obviously still have to work, but it will then be carried out purely in order to provide the goods and services that society needs, and Antony Worrall Thompson, Nicolas Robinson and everyone else can enjoy free-access shopping without any fear of being arrested or punished.
From Capitalist Money Madness