Monday, February 25, 2008

Open Thread

Apologies for the lack of blogging today. I am about to go to the funeral of former Conservative MP for North Norfolk, Sir Ralph Howell, which is taking place this lunchtime in Dereham.

I'm back later this afternoon so until then please use this as an open discussion thread. I will moderate comments as often as I am able.

41 comments:

javelin said...

99% of Sun readers support hanging. Says something about Sun readers, but what does it say about metro man's view of crime and punishment in the UK?

30 years locked up has got to be worse than death - if you're an atheist of course.

The judges are fed up, the public is fed up - what good is political correctness if it turns 99% of Sun readers into killers?

fatboyslimming said...

http://englishtillidie.blogspot.com/2008/02/bring-back-hanging.html

Should England bring back hanging? Rather than copy and paste my thoughts feel free to look at the above link... sorry not good a coding so left link address.. But in the light of last weeks sentancing and the request of the grieving families should we look again at bringing back hanging..

Newmania said...

Brainless Bob Piper( its his pro wrestling name ) brought this to my attention:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7261710.stm

I don`t think Primaries would work here but I do think the electoral system is not working


It concerns me that entire geographical areas now depend on the government for a living and are huge net beneficiaries of taxes from others. With the modern tendency to aspire to leave such areas ...(like inner London) whole people vote for their feet their vote suddenly becomes worthless as the move to Conservative areas where vastly more votes are required per seat( 43,000 to 23,000 Labour ).
Then we get the typical inner-city left seat where antediluvian politics are still the currency of a cost free vote for other people’s money
This makes an election more like an elected dictatorship. Even if Brown does scrape home he will be in open war with the South of England and , in fact with the majority in England from the start what can he really achieve under such circumstances? This sense of having no say is worsened by the EU lie and the Scottish lie and the boundary commission lie and the .......etc.etc. As the state expands and more and more powers are taken over your life the sense that you are your enemy’s puppet is dangerously de stabilising. Tax becomes theft.
With this in mind I think you have to try to think of ways to restore legitimacy without losing the direct accountability we have and certainly not involving the squalid deals of the Scottish assembly under PR or STV which “inexplicably” appeals to the centre. I would suggest looking at an element of PR in the HOL and English votes of course in the HOC
. That would discourage tactical voting as well and would mean everyone’s vote mattered at least. I think the Conservative Party should offer such a compromise to the Liberals ( who need 70,000 for seat)...of course , I doubt they would get many votes without tactical voting but we shall see. From this ways or working with the real country would have to be ‘evolved ‘ and not avoided by following and misleading as New Labour do

What do you think

Anonymous said...

I see another days news will see the Tories go ground. This is becoming very common these days.

Today's news that ofgem have fined the National Grid £41m

These Watchdogs guard consumers against rip-off prices for gas, electricity, water and telephone services. This is proof that regulation and some red tape isn't a bad thing.

Tory John Redwood was asked by David Cameron to look in to these regulatory bodies, and in Aug 2007 the Tories proposed that all these regulatory bodies that protect the public be scrapped. Another Tory gaffe to add to the growing list, listen to John Redwoods silenc

Patrick said...

So here's an open thread question (well 3 actually):

With this country rapidly circling the bowl in so many ways, how come there are still more than 3 voters in 10 that want to vote for more of the same? How is that 'call me Dave' isn't 40 points ahead in the polls? How can it be conceivable that Labour have a good chance of being re-elected at the next time of asking? I don't get it.

Gary Elsby said...

Auschwitz. Only the lowest of the lowest of bloggers, will say anything about Dave on his outrageous outburst.

So please.No blogging against the leader of the Conservative Party, please.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Gary

Newmania said...

This is proof that regulation and some red tape isn't a bad thing.

Really and who gets this £41, mio then?The state , so its tax .I'm at something of a loss to see what the point of the excercise is

Blackacre said...

fatboyslimming, you can only hang someone once and there is no come back if you get it wrong. As someone who has a friend who was wrongly convicted of murder and later released on appeal, I am only too well aware of this as that person would have been dead in a death penalty regime.

Spamanon said...

Open Thread – excellent

Well done Dave “Get me 20 Marly Lights” from Tesco’s” Dave for highlighting 26 areas of Labour policy. 26 policies or ideas since Broownn came into office. Scoff all you like, can you name 26 ideas from Tory central office in the past 2 and a half years.

Ed said...

Anon@1.59 I haven't read Redwood's report but I would expect that a beefed up Competition Commission could take over the policing of the regulated markets quite easily.

Gary Elsby said...

By the way, anyone noticed, STOKE CITY ahem..sitting on top of the table?

Thought not!

Well get this West Ham and Villa fans, thanks in anticipation for the six point standing order that is currently being set up in our honour.

I told you it was a mistake to ignore Stoke.

Gary

Anonymous said...

Notice its 25 years since Peter Tatchell was crucified in Bermondsey. Would you like to comment on this one Iain?

Why didn't Tatchell get the support from other gay politicians, (and prospective ones) Parris,Duncan etc.

Where were u 25 years ago?

Newmania said...

As someone who has a friend who was wrongly convicted of murder and later released on appeal

That is the problem although an appeal system would almost certainly have caught this and , I have to say , we ought to know the name because it is exceedingly rare.
At all events I would have the death penalty for those currently serving proper life ,about twenty of them , none of who are every going to be out and none of whom deserve to live.
Why should Rose West torture sexually assault kidnap and kill many and still be alive .It seems to me we have started to care more about a mealy mouthed sense of our own virtue than justice and any sort of justice demands she is dead.
The jury would have to be picked only from those who had no objection on principle to the death penalty as in the US and it would be expensive and difficult .
Nonethless it has to be done and like any unpleasant duty those who carried it out should be honoured as our soldiers out .
Like many things that have to done not everyone is up to it.


Put justice back at the heart of our system....

tachybaptus said...

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for Rwanda: Tony Blair is to advise its government on 'policy and government efficiency'. (Reported in today's Telegroan.)

Anonymous said...

Newmania- you're almost there

yes it is completely undemocratic that England is ruled by a government heavily weighted to people of another country and also not well disposed towards us .
We need an English parliament and government of course totally separate from the corrupt Westminster parody of a parliament but we also need a complete overhaul of the decrepit so called democratic system which enables the injustices to proliferate and go unchallenged eg unequal constituency sizes

Qwerty said...

Cameron's Gimmick claims have backfire tremendously, each claim can be picked apart. But worse for him, each claim focuses on what Brown is DOING and more importantly on what Cameron is NOT DOING.

Example gimmick 16 Screening tests: cervical cancer

Labours national screening programme has led to a large drop in the numbers of women dying from this disease. Survival of this disease requires cutting the waiting times for test results to a minimum.

Currently, doctors have to send off the cervical smear slide to a laboratory to be read, which can take up to FIVE weeks. New screen centres are reducing that time each year, and Gordon Brown has announced plans that all cervical cancer screening test results would be issued within fourteen days.

Do the maths, 5 weeks or 2 weeks... this is progress. Granted one week or even one day would be preferable, but Cameron again is shown to be Mr Gaffe.

HarryHoudini said...

Quoting Newmania

"This is proof that regulation and some red tape isn't a bad thing.

Really and who gets this £41, mio then?The state , so its tax .I'm at something of a loss to see what the point of the excercise is"

Its easy in the Nu Failure world

Give a subsidy of £250 Million

Fine the company £41 Million

Claim that you are regulating efficiently

Next year give a subsidy (rename it something that sounds nice) of £291 Million (refund the fine)

Claim you are investing in the country

Claim you are giving out extra money to "improve infrastructure"

Whilst in reality reducing the amount of money you hand out.

Its a win-win-win-win-win situation , Nu Labour have re-invented the term "smoke and mirrors"

verity said...

Tachybaptus - My goodness, Blair's a little busy boots, isn't he? How much is he draining off the Rwandan government (or, more likely, an international agency/cash cow headed up by a friend of his) for the latest benefit of his expertise in absolutely nothing.

Re the death penalty, I also want to see it returned and the government could make some extra money by auctioning the right to push the button - but only in cases where there is irrefutable DNA evidence.

N POWER said...

How would you get the death penalty through the EU ? The EU would never permit it. You all know we don't make our own laws and yet even here among the enlightened the falacy continues.
Bring back Hanging ..not a chance.. Stoning on the other hand you may have a chance with..

strapworld said...

Javelin.

Considering that The Sun has the largest number of papers sold each day. Surely the logic must be that the survey has reinforced what every survey - of the public- has found i.e. that 99% of the public want capital punishment.

Now consider two things. The Sun when it asked its readers to say Yes or No and give reasons if they wished. Did say that they did NOT agree with Capital Punishment. (When they changed their policy I cannot recall but that is what they belive now!)

The second point is this. Please do a little research and discover the murder rate before capital punishment and since.It is rather difficult because of the numbers of murders classed as manslaughter now. BUT the proof is there. More murders since the abolition than before.

That may go against your metropolitan thinking. But I can tell you that years ago I met an African Professor, who was then lecturing at the LSE.

It was just after this country abolished the death penalty. He told me what a mistake it would prove to be and continued to tell me that in his country, in his tribe. Had anyone committed a murder then the whole family (uncle and aunts etc the WHOLE family) would be put to death to remove the 'bad blood'
Now that WOULD be a deterrent!!!!!

Anonymous said...

ed said in response to the anonymous message re Redwood. That is exactly what Redwood was calling for.

Anonymous said...

Labour Gimmick No 27......Every household to be issued with a mobile phone number to contact their local neighbourhood police team and an email address for the officer responsible for their street....by April. Premium Rate no doubt.

Blackacre said...

newmania, the person is Sally Clark, worngly convicted of killing her two sons. She has since sadly died herself in part as a result of the way in which she was treated by the system and never having truly recovered from her imprisonment.

Whilst I can sympathise with the desire of the families of victims to enforce a death sentence, it is just not right in a civilised society to do so. You make the point about the 20 whole lifers, but even then why do they deserve to die, who would decide how heinous the offence happens to be to allow for it and what if they do turn out to be not guilty. In the case of Rose West, yes she was properly convicted but she was also under thrall to a monster (a true one unusually) and probably in constant fear of her own life. Not a justification but I would find it difficult to execute her on that basis.

I also have a problem with the choice of only jury members who support the death penalty as it is axiomatic that they would I think be more likely to impose it coming from that background. I may be wrong about that, but as juries cannot be researched legally it will be impossible to know and in my view, therefore, not a risk worth taking. Juries should be selected from a random list and stay as such for ANY case.

Thoroughly hacked off said...

Congratulations to every MP who cheered The Speaker this afternoon - time they all resigned as well.

These fools just don't get it - how do they think this looks to Westminster outsiders? The electorate are being forced to tighten their belts and deal with the rising costs of living while our so called 'honourable' elected representatives continue snuffling away like pigs in a trough, gorging on expenses and loot.

A major examination and reform of the whole political system by a wholly independent body is needed, and fast, before the rotting stench emanating from the corrupt members club (AKA The Houses of Parliament) overwhelms us.

Tom Hatton said...

Ever wondered what an average 16 year old thinks of politics, and the country in general? If so, have a read of this:

http://tomhatton.blogspot.com

tachybaptus said...

Verity: the article said that he was advising the Rwandans pro bono, but without the addition of publico. Draw your own conclusions.

Richard Havers said...

BBC Scotland news just carried a piece on Michael Martin in which George Foulkes said. "No one in parliament felt MM should go. It was just a campaign by the chattering classes who had been educated at fee paying schools or Oxbridge."

Well that's OK then....

Lee Griffin said...

If there was any reality in what people were asking for, that is a deterrent and "vengeance" based punishment system, then why are so many people talking about hanging again?

Aside from our closest counterpart largely giving death by nothing other than lethal injections, this attitude just goes to show that people in this country have started to really become perverse if they need the visceral "entertainment" of seeing someone they don't like die.

Not that I'm surprised of course, the mob culture fuelled by the Daily Mail and the Sun among other has generally advocated emotions over empiricism.

Alex said...

Would that be George Foulkes, fomer pupil of Haberdashers' Aske's, a well known private school?

Newmania said...

newmania, the person is Sally Clark, wrongly convicted of killing her two sons. She has since sadly died herself in part as a result of the way in which she was treated by the system and never having truly recovered from her imprisonment.


Yes I know the case and I mean that such a case must be are enough for the details to be well known. I would not advocate the death penalty for such crimes

Whilst I can sympathise with the desire of the families of victims to enforce a death sentence, it is just not right in a civilised society to do so.

You feel presumably that an element of injustice is something that is civilising , you feel a certain amount of callous disregard for the innocent is somehow more polite ? You’ve lost me there


You make the point about the 20 whole lifers, but even then why do they deserve to die, who would decide how heinous the offence happens to be to allow for it and what if they do turn out to be not guilty. In the case of Rose West, yes she was properly convicted but she was also under thrall to a monster (a true one unusually) and probably in constant fear of her own life. Not a justification but I would find it difficult to execute her on that basis.


Well if you can find an excuse for her I cannot see that you accept any notion of personal responsibility at all. There would be a difficult and expensive , no doubt , appeal procedure to deal with such questions but the assumption or personal responsibility lies behind the administration of justice . If you do not accept it then you can hardly accept the notion of punishment at all and if that’s what your view is based on then you are in a minority or one ..or maybe two.
In the case of Rose West and eye for an eye would involve her being tortured killed kept in dark rooms brought back to life , killed crueelly and lingeringly and again and so on. I would not suggest cruelty of this sort but there has to be an acknowledgement of seriousness of the crime . Playing chess and whining about your breakfast cereal will not do and everyone can see that.


I also have a problem with the choice of only jury members who support the death penalty as it is axiomatic that they would I think be more likely to impose it coming from that background. I may be wrong about that, but as juries cannot be researched legally it will be impossible to know and in my view, therefore, not a risk worth taking. Juries should be selected from a random list and stay as such for ANY case.

It is not axiomatic those in favour of the death penalty form the vast majority and they are not as you suggest cruel stupid or bestial by comparison to the callous “forgivers”. Quite the reverse I would say it is aposition born out of love and reverence for life .Still a strong and continued guidance that the death penalty was not on trial might suffice.


As with most of those prepared to forgive on behalf of others you in the end are obliged to dispense with all notions of justice .I `m afraid is exactly what has happened to our society under the guidance of the Liberal elite,.



We must treat human life with reverence anmd love. This is why we must have the death penalty

Anonymous said...

Verity said...
"Tachybaptus - My goodness, Blair's a little busy boots, isn't he? How much is he draining off the Rwandan government (or, more likely, an international agency/cash cow headed up by a friend of his) for the latest benefit of his expertise in absolutely nothing."


Verity, as has been widely reported, he offered his services free. (Good advertisement for his book sales).

Tachybaptus, when lawyers say 'pro bono' - the 'publico' is always implicit.

verity said...

Tom Hatton. No.

Blackacre: "Whilst I can sympathise with the desire of the families of victims to enforce a death sentence, it is just not right in a civilised society to do so."

Yes it is. You give no reason for your lofty lefty statement; just your personal notions about what a "civilised society" is.

"In the case of Rose West, yes she was properly convicted but she was also under thrall to a monster (a true one unusually) and probably in constant fear of her own life. Not a justification but I would find it difficult to execute her on that basis." She was probably in constant fear for her own life? Oh, really? Friend of the family are you? Or just a marvellously intuitive mahatamesque individual?

I won't continue to slice 'n' dice you (you should excuse the term) as not only is it too easy, but Newmania has done a typically bang up job.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

so, has canvas seen the drudge report?

A fancy dress outfit too far?

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

the danger of trying to win an election by emoting is that America will no longer be able to emote with Obama ever again.
would you go for a beer with this man?

see The Drudge Report for the photo of Obama dressed as a village "elder"

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Now Canvas have you heard about this one?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3433485.ece


what was that you were saying about integrity?

Lee Griffin said...

Newmania: "You feel presumably that an element of injustice is something that is civilising , you feel a certain amount of callous disregard for the innocent is somehow more polite ? You've lost me there"

"Disregard for the innocent"? I find that such a peculiar phrase when used in this way. I seem to remember that it came up not long ago that victims families should have a say in the sentencing of individuals and that was shot down quite quickly.

What is it about the irrational and emotional desires of an "innocent" family member of a victim or victim themselves that gives them the right to hold more sway over the outcomes of individuals than learned judges? I'm not even going to get in to the situation of death penalty sentencing when victims families don't require nor wish to proclaim all over the tabloids that they want their son/daughter's killer murdered by the state.

"I would not suggest cruelty of this sort but there has to be an acknowledgement of seriousness of the crime ."

I don't see why there does beyond length of sentencing to incarceration. But then that's where the simple case of people believing two different reasons for the justice system to exist comes in to play. I find that I can never argue with people that say they want the Death Penalty for people that are truly evil serial killers/rapists with 100% proof of guilt, only that I can disagree with them on personal moral grounds that neither side should necessarily begrudge the other for having. Free society and thought, etc. etc.

The problem comes when you get people trying to suggest that Hanging should specifically be brought back, or start talking about death penalties under lesser burdens of proof, as if the current system incarcerating innocent people now and again is proof that it shouldn't matter if we kill an innocent person now and again in the aim of reinstating capital punishment. This unfortunately always surfaces with these debates elsewhere, and it does the more well thought out arguments for capital punishment an injustice.

"It is not axiomatic those in favour of the death penalty form the vast majority and they are not as you suggest cruel stupid or bestial by comparison to the callous “forgivers”. Quite the reverse I would say it is aposition born out of love and reverence for life ."

Again, I don't see why general members of the public that are being attempted to be swayed through con tricks and smokescreens by two sets of lawyers should ever have the capability to determine a particular sentence on anyone. I can just about live with them determining guilt or not but leave the sentencing to people that have the experience and knowledge to act empirically not emotionally, regardless of their political disposition on capital punishment.

Newmania said...

Lee-

I don`t think that victims or their families should have any say in sentencing or that juries should decided anyhting other thna guilt and innocence especially in the sort of case we are discussing .

rupert tube said...

Lee Griffin: 'What is it about the irrational and emotional desires of an "innocent" family member of a victim or victim themselves that gives them the right to hold more sway over the outcomes of individuals than learned judges?'

Oh, what vindictive little proles, eh? Let them eat cake.

Your own views seem to have been sculpted with one and only one policy in mind: the craving for assurance that you are above the common heard.

"I thank thee, Lord, that I am not as other men."

The rest of us thank the Lord, or more nebulous equivalent, that we are not like you, you sanctimonious twerp.

Oh, and PS. I oppose reintroduction of the death penalty on the grounds that it would just add about six more carriages to the lawyers' gravy train.

Whether it should have been abolished in the first place is, of course, a separate question.

Unsworth said...

I see the Blunkett bandwagon rolls on. He's got a new TV show:
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23441787-details/Blunkett%20is%20new%20reality%20TV%20star%20in%20'jail'%20show%20aimed%20at%20cutting%20crime/article.do#readerComments .

Maybe the programme makers will want to change its title - "Banged up with Blunkett". Is that "with" or "by"?

Anonymous said...

Lee Griffin said...

"I can just about live with them determining guilt or not"

and there we have it. The proles are there to be ordered around by their betters - usually self-regarding deviants from a Poly.

Lee Griffin said...

"Your own views seem to have been sculpted with one and only one policy in mind: the craving for assurance that you are above the common heard."

My views have been sculpted by the idea that you wouldn't ask a turkey to vote for Christmas and you wouldn't rely on convicted murderers to write sentencing reform.