The front page of today's Sun
Note particularly the 7th thing in the 2nd column
I'm speachless. I'm sure eventually I'll become cynical and blaise and stop getting upset about the tabloid press though. It's not like "Sun Evil" is news...
(And out of interest, I'm proud of at least 6 things on that list. Well, sort of proud. Obviously a world where extremist clerics weren't preaching jihad might be better, but a country that doesn't automatically lock them up for life for doing it
is a Good Thing.)
The whole thing cries out for a wonderful spoof (with one of the things replaced by "The Sun" etc)
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 09:41 am (UTC)|| |
Ummmmm. I must disagree in the strongest possible terms.
Having treason as a criminal offence is a Good Thing.
Arresting those encourage others to take up arms against their country is a Good Thing.
If anything I hope that our country becomes less tolerant of those who seek to manipulate people so that they take up arms against this country. I think we have often turned a blind eye to such things in the name of freedom of speech.
I must disagree with you in the strongest possible terms. Having treason as a criminal offence is a Bad Thing.
Historically speaking (and I should know) treason prosecutions have almost invariably been Bad Things because a person who can only be prosecuted for treason has generally not done very much harm to anyone except for spreading a few (normally liberal) ideas around. The kind of people one would want to prosecute have normally done things more interesting to the legal system than mere treason, like murder, conspiracy to murder, etc. etc.
Treason prosecutions are the last resort of desperate governments trying to uphold the status quo against what people actually believe in. It is shameful to prosecute people for merely suggesting changes, no matter how ill-advised their suggestions may be. Inciting racial hatred, murder, conspiracy to murder, piracy, and a range of other things, on the other hand, should be prosecuted with the full force of the law.
Heh, nice and ironic given the headline.
There are valid arguments against the Human Rights Act, though, at least to my understanding. As I understand it, the HRA prevents the government from deporting people - even convicted criminals - if the government cannot guarantee their safety in their country of origin.
Assuming for a moment that the 21/7 attempted-bombers are a) guilty and b) imprisoned for a couple of decades (as opposed to life), then the HRA would probably mean that they couldn't be deported upon release despite having falsely obtained immigration papers, since virtually no countries in the Horn of Africa could be considered safe to repatriate people to.
That's not to say it's not good in principle, or even as-is, but there are persuasive arguments against the HRA - and you can bet The Sun and the BNP will be using them.
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 09:50 am (UTC)|| |
I don't know if it was law before, but it has long been practice not to deport people to unsafe countries.
I note, OTOH that released (as opposed to paroled) ex-convicts aren't criminals any more though; they've served their time. And the government is always at liberty to refuse to parole them if they think it's unsafe to deport them.
I was amused by the combination of "sentences too lenient" and "no space in jails".
Of course, they'd decry the overspending on our prison system if these two weren't the case...
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 10:03 am (UTC)|| |
Am I the only person who thinks it's kinda unfortunate that they can complain so bitterly about the state of our country when they, our best selling newspaper (I think), think the most interesting thing in the rest of the paper is some idiot sports star's new tattoo?
I saw that on the beeb website today, very worrying.
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 10:18 am (UTC)|| |
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC)|| |
I was leaving that one as an exercise to the reader.
Guess, and I'll give you marks out of six :)
I believe that it is the perceived fact that the Human Rights Act can be easily abused to create legal loopholes, letting criminals off 'because their human rights have been infringed', rather than the fact that such an act exists, that is being railed against.
For reference, I've seen similar opinions in all the press of the Right from the tabloids to the Telegraph. "You're infringing my human rights" is a cry that is too often heard from the lips of criminals, and the Act gives yet another layer of appeal to a legal system overloaded with such. I give no comment as to whether I support such views, for I have not yet formed a coherent opinion on the subject.
Or, at least, I hope that's what they're saying. Then again, this is the Sun we're talking about. Maybe they just dislike the concept of humans having rights.
I was under the impression that there is no new source of appeal, the human rights act effectively moved responsibility for such matters from the European Court of Human Rights to the British legal system. The Sun must have hated that, it meant they couldn't whine about Europe as much.
I see they have no real news to print today then.
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 10:40 am (UTC)|| |
Because the Sun is the newspaper which can boost banana sales by an appreciable margin by running an article that says "I like bananas".
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 11:51 am (UTC)|| |
Oh, no! It's political correctness and Human Rights run rampant! And terrorists! And...racist murders. No apparent irony. Sigh.
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)|| |
The most thought/ire/something-provoking headline of recent weeks was the Daily Mail's [and others] one along the lines of TERRORIST BOMBERS WERE BENEFIT SCROUNGERS. Because, yes, they were - but what a perfect conflation of the Mail's two chief hatepoints. It's the sort of headline that so epitomises the Mail that you would think it had to be fictional...
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 01:44 pm (UTC)|| |
We were considering the other week in response to the "7/7 bombers were illegal immigrants" headline from the Mail starting a fighting fund to encourage the accused-bombers (none of whom are illegal immigrants) to sue for damamges.
[not very seriously, but the idea is amusing]
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 01:36 pm (UTC)|| |
The Dail Mail ran a "the London bombers thought only of the HRA when they were arrested, so we must scrap it now" story the other day :(
|Date:||August 3rd, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)|| |
Personally I was more troubled by the concept of 'Legal Aid being Offered to the Undeserving'. How I wonder were they planning to decide who was undeserving without first offering said legal aid.
"You're guilty so we don't need to bother with a trial"
"Don't you need a trial to determine that?"
I think you always get free legal advice if you're being tried for a criminal offence. For civil cases, some one assesses your case to decide (a) whether you have a reasonable chance of winning and (b) whether it is the sort of claim which a person would bring if they had to pay for it themselves; only if both the answers are yes (and you're very poor) will you get legal aid.