"The final aim of the transportation system, then, was less to punish individual crimes than to uproot an enemy class from the British social fabric. Here lay its peculiar modernity; its prediction of the vaster, more efficient techniques of class destruction that would be perfected, a century later, in Russia. However, it failed. Transportation did not stop crime in England or even slow it down. The “criminal class” was not eliminated by transportation, and could not be, because transportation did not deal with the causes of crime."

— “The Fatal Shore”, Robert Hughes

"This accorded with the basic conservative tenet, that people are not “naturally” wise or good: We must be restrained by law, and frightened by punishment. Such ideas, however, were in themselves a harshly coercive part of the social environment and may have caused many people to give up the struggle—to let go, to be what society said they would become, and accept the only milieu that would not rebuke them: crime. The son of a well-off country grocer, caught stealing apples over a neighbor’s wall, might get a small fine and a heavy thrashing from his father and so, chastened, go on to respectability. The son of an Irish casual worker in a London slum, caught breaking a window, might experience no such change in the House of Correction. All people, but especially the young, tend to become what society says they are."

— “The Fatal Shore”, Robert Hughes

"The minimum gesture was one that indicated recognition of the discontent the so-called ‘battlers’ felt. If their complaints derived more from unlovely envy than actual hardship, it was all the more urgent to recognise them. The political precondition of the social wage was public acceptance, and the public would only accept what seemed to be just. This was the government’s imperative—to reinvest the social wage with a consensus view of justice. If ‘social justice’ was to be more than a cliché of Labor ideology and government departments, it needed to be vigorously extended to those who worked and earned and had ambition. The answer was not to send everyone in the town or street a cheque, but to assure them all that they were part of the equation and no-one was getting a cheque he did not deserve."

“Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” - Don Watson

This was absolutely true then, and absolutely true now. Too many on the left fail to appreciate this…