Thursday, June 26, 2008
Nazi Paedophile Terrorist Bomber Gets 8 Years
At first, the Major thought it must be some kind of joke.
But it isn't:
"A Nazi paedophile who made nail bombs to attack black, Asian and Jewish people was jailed for 16 years yesterday".
So with automatic parole, that's 8 years in one of Her Majesty's holiday camps. For a man who evidently poses a serious danger to at least two groups of people; a man who thought it perfectly OK to hide nail bombs under his five-year old son's bed.
The Major came steaming round to Tyler Towers.
"There you are! There you are! What have I been telling you? A pederast and a terrorist, yet we still can't lock the bastard away for good! Human rights? What about victims' rights? Pah!"
Earlier, Tyler had listened to a R5 phone-in on the government's emergency law to allow anonymous evidence in criminal trials. Many of the callers sounded just like the Major. They wanted to know why murdering scumbags should be allowed to walk free just because they terrorise witnesses who might testify against them? They thought witness anonymity was a good idea, and they heaped derision on the lawyers and other "bleeding heart liberals" who phoned to argue that anonymous evidence overturns 1000 years of British freedoms, and puts far too much power into the not always lily white hands of the police.
It's a tricky one.
Clearly, all of us want to see scumbags banged up, and witness intimidation is a real problem. Yet at the same time, none of us wants to get fitted up by the cops and a performing troupe of faceless police snouts.
But listening to the phone-in, there's huge confusion about the distinction between trial and punishment.
We can all agree that punishments are far too lenient... well, the Major and I, and R5's callers can all agree anyway. But that doesn't mean we accept fewer rights to a fair trial: if I'm in the dock, I certainly want to see my accusers.
So what to do?
One thing we could do quite easily is to increase the penalties. If witness intimidation is such a huge problem that we're prepared to ditch 1000 years of Magna Carta etc, WTF haven't we whacked up the penalties for doing it?
According to m'learned friend, the current maximum penalty is only 5 years (equals 2.5 years after automatic parole; Sections 39 to 41 Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001). Why not make it 20 years, with hard labour and no parole? That way we keep our right to a fair trial and still do something about witness nobbling.
It's all very reminiscent of the 42 days issue. In particular, I'm struck by the line that says David Davis can't be serious about his defence of civil liberties because everybody knows he's a rabid right-winger who favours the restoration of capital punishment. QED.
That encapsulates our muddle over crime and punishment. There is no inconsistency between demanding robust protection for our civil liberties, while at the same time demanding harsh punishment for those who abuse them. Indeed, in the absence of magic wands to reform scumbags, we can only protect our civil liberties, including the right to life, if we are prepared to do precisely that.
PS As we all understand, "right-wing" is a Progressive Consensus term of abuse, and the lib media misses no opportunity to "build the brand". Thus, various reports of this Nazi bomber describe him as "a right-wing extremist", and the BBC report refers to him as making bombs "for a far-right terrorist campaign". That same brand is then routinely wheeled out by the same Prog Cons to undermine their mainstream opponents. For example, the BBC's Eddie Mair refers to the excellent Civitas as "a right-wing thinktank" (BBC PM 20.6.08), whereas neither he nor any of his colleagues would ever dream of describing, say, the ippr as "a left-wing thinktank". In reality, the freedom/personal responsibility/small government ideas of Civitas have got as much in common with the Nazis as the state broadcaster has got with objective reporting.