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Month: August 2011

He’s got a pineapple on his head…

Ok so things in the Death Penalty post have become quite heated not here but elsewhere. You know where. So whilst I’m waiting for my mate to turn up (who is very late but it is chucking it down so he may well have been delayed) I thought I’d go old school and put a couple of videos from the great Fantasy Football League.

Jason Lee and Frank Clark. Those were the days and this was 90s comedy…

Relax and enjoy.

More on the death penalty I’m sure in the coming days.

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Why @guidofawkes is so out of line over his e-petition to restore the Death Penalty in the UK

My blood has boiled and cooled and boiled and cooled on this topic several times over the past few days. First of all when it got the attention it first did I was not amused as the death penalty is barbaric and is essentially state sanctioned murder and that is never a good thing. However I cooled down a bit.

Then I saw a few Lib Dems saying that they agreed with the death penalty on the latest House of Twits Vote looking at the numbers as it currently stands 27 people (and two Lib Dems) support the death penalty whereas 344 are against it. Well done twitter for being sane and as for the two Lib Dems who voted for the death penalty I wonder whether they understand what true liberalism is.

To be a liberal you believe in equality and equal and human rights. Not being controversial here but I’m relatively sure that human rights and state sanctioned murder don’t exactly fit ideologically with one another. Liberals and Liberal Democrats can have a wide range of ideas and thoughts but to not be a basic liberal and not have core liberal values and yet proport to be a Lib Dem is to me whack. Anyway that pissed me off but I cooled down a bit.

Then came the report in The Sun telling us that three MPs are backing this cause. You can read the story here but all three are Tory MPs from Philip Davies to Priti Patel to Andrew Turner.

Now I’ve had no direct conversation with any of these three although Andrew Turner was my MP for a couple of years before I left the Isle of Wight for good in 2004. I used to live less than two minutes from his constituency office and I know he’s a bit nuts and stuck in the past but heck so is most of the Isle of Wight. I still think it’s pretty impressive the Lib Dems took the Isle of Wight in 1997 but after a pretty poor term in office for Dr. Peter Brand he lost in 2001 and the Isle of Wight is sunk for the party for the foreseeable future. It is now a Tory stronghold until something dramatic happens. Anyway three MPs backing this crazy cause pissed me right off but I was able to cool down a bit.

I was cooling down until I read that Guido on twitter said that murder in this country had gone up since the death penalty was abolished. True enough but he was hinting there was a correlation in the two. He failed to observe that the murder rate had gone up in the rest of the world too and in the states in the United States of America that had reintroduced the death sentence then their rate of murder growth was similar to that of other states that did not have the death penalty. So there is seemingly no correlation between the two and having the death penalty does not make someone think twice about killing someone. So it was a great use of a piece of data without it actually meaning jack shit. That pissed me off but the F1 was and it was raining so I cooled down a bit.
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I was cool about this thinking that this wouldn’t get through but then my blood raised a bit when I read yesterday that the death penalty is something that we cannot insert into British Law unless we recede from the European Human Rights Act. The UK along with most member states of the EU signed up to Protocol 13 of the European Human Rights Act and article one of protocol 13 stats the following clear as day:

The death penalty shall be abolished. No one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed.

So it seems that if we were to reintroduce the death penalty we would have to either pull out of the ECHR or would have to wriggle our way out of Protocol 13 and Protocol 6 which was is the same as Protocol 13 but does include wriggle room for the death penalty in times of war. Protocol 13 closed this loophole.

So pulling out of the ECHR is not something I’m terribly keen on. Nor is it something the public themselves should be terribly keen on. I know many people think that prisoners have it lightly (and I do to some extent as well) but they deserve basic Human Rights. Remember that many people convicted in this country are actually innocent of their crimes so taking away the rights of innocent people isn’t something we should ever aspire to.

So yeah that pissed me off and I cooled down a bit as my attention was taken away by Gordon Ramsay and a new series of Hell’s Kitchen USA but then whilst reading Guido’s original e-petition again my blood went and I felt compelled to write a lengthy blog post and rant about the shit that he is shovelling. I did have to calm down a bit first so I tidied up my apartment as someone is coming to syay on Thursday and the spare time is basically my junk room – anyway that’s by the by and no-one cares about that.

Guido’s e-petition says the following:

We petition the government to review all treaties and international commitments which may inhibit the ability of Parliament to restore capital punishment. Following this review, the Ministry of Justice should map out the necessary legislative steps which will be required to restore the death penalty for the murder of children and police officers when killed in the line of duty.

Can anyone see what would make my blood boil so much in that e-petition?

I’ll make it clearer:

We petition the government to review all treaties and international commitments which may inhibit the ability of Parliament to restore capital punishment. Following this review, the Ministry of Justice should map out the necessary legislative steps which will be required to restore the death penalty for the murder of children and police officers when killed in the line of duty.

Yes. Guido and all the signatures that he is amassing for this e-petition are basically saying that murder isn’t just murder and that some people’s lives are worth more than others. That to me is one of the most abhorrent things that I have ever read. I don’t give a stuff about people’s political persuasions but I do think that most of us unless we are evil, racist, sexist, moronic believe in the basic principle that all human life is equal. To say that is isn’t to me makes you out to be not only a sick person but also one that believes in inequality. The world isn’t perfect but if we put to the people of this country that policemen are more valuable and important to society than teachers, doctors, nurses, cleaners, SEO consultants then we are portraying a myth that we are all born equal.

Also by backing this e-petition then you are saying quite firmly that ‘murder is not just murder’ and there are murders of varying degrees. Now two and a half months ago Ken Clarke got into all sorts of hot water over saying that ‘rape is not just rape’ and saying there were varying degrees of crime that all fall under the rape shield. There was uproar not only on twitter but also in the newspapers and in the pubs. To say that there are varying degrees of crime was heresy but when it comes to murder – which in all honesty is just as bad of a crime at least – then people are fine with saying the murder of policeman and children is worse than killing any other human being.

C’mon folks that is horse expletive of the highest order. Now if you want to have a debate about the reintroduction of the death penalty then that is fine and due process should take place. I have no problems with that although I would be about as against it ever becoming law as I could be but the debate is fair and legitimate. However if you want to say that some people are more important and more valuable and worthwhile as human beings – which is what you are doing if you say the murder of children and police officers killed in the line of duty should be rated as a worse crime than any other murder then I think you have some serious issues and should look at yourself long and hard in the mirror.

We all came into this world kicking and screaming our little heads off and there is no reason whatsoever to ever believe that one human is more important than the next. Every single one of us has a mother and a father and to say to a mother and father that their son or daughter is worth less than the son or daughter of another couple is the biggest type of wrong imaginable.

So I urge you all not to sign the petition that Guido Fawkes has put forward as written. If you do then you are saying loud and proud that not all human beings are the same and do you really want to say that? Do you really think that some people are worth more than others?

I’m pretty positive that you don’t.

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The Sun’s politics poll is a crock of you know what

This morning everyone’s favourite newspaper* The Sun showed us the results of a poll they had done on politics. The results are as follows:

Nick Clegg is a sheep. Ed Miliband and David Cameron are like snakes and William Hague is the only cabinet minister who is doing a good job. Nick Clegg is doing the worst job because he’s evil. Sums up the piece pretty well or does it?

Right at the bottom of the piece there was a graphic that showed how many of the respondents to the poll in percentage terms could recognise the cabinet members by photo and here are the results:

Who is this 'Danny Alexander?'

How seriously can we take the rest of the results when there are several cabinet members who people don’t even know by face? How can these people decide if they are doing a good job or not if they don’t know who they are? Douglas Alexander was only recognised by 15% of the people answering the survey but more alarmingly Andrew Lansley – who of course is in charge of the NHS – so has been on the news rather a lot over the past few months was only known by 18% of people. That surely in one foul swoop makes a mockery of this piece?

As for the people in this survey saying that MPs don’t deserve a holiday. Give me a break. It seems as though this poll was answered to by people with no interest in politics who think they are all shits (except William Hague for some reason) and think they all deserve to work 24/7/365 whilst being publicly whipped if they even think about straying from doing something for the good of the country.

MPs are just people doing jobs like the rest of us. They have long and demanding hours and need time off to recharge their batteries. We all need time off and I don’t see why just because they are MPs it should be different for them.

If you want to read the full story then you can do so behind this link

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