Thursday, August 4, 2011

Not something you can afford to get wrong.

There are a whole load of reasons I'm opposed to the death penalty, ranging from not wanting the UK government whom I mistrust greatly over civil liberties to have that kind of power to the most major one in my eyes that if a mistake is made it cannot be corrected.
Still the coalition did make a rod for its own back when it announced any e-petition getting over a 100,000 signatures would have a chance to be debated in parliament and so various newspapers dusted off their pet projects and went for it so to speak. The Express are trying to force a debate on having a referendum on the EU which is bad timing as far as I can see and would have worked 2 years ago but today with the EU having amassed a gigantic fighting fund there's a possibility that they might bribe their way out of a defeat. To the Daily Mail and hanging...

MPs face being forced into a landmark vote on restoring the death penalty.
Capital punishment is expected to be the first subject debated by Parliament under an e-petitions scheme.
The initiative allows the public to help set the government agenda and means anyone can set up an internet petition on any subject. If it attracts more than 100,000 signatures, MPs must consider debating it in the Commons.
The scheme is officially launched today, but it has already backfired on the Coalition because Right-wing internet bloggers have been collecting signatures for the last few days.
The restoration of hanging for the murderers of children and policemen is by far the most popular serious issue.
Don't get me wrong here, I do believe that some people are an utter waste of oxygen like Huntley and Sutcliffe and not worth the cost of housing and feeding at our expense at her Majesties pleasure, but I also think that about most politicians too. Recent history is awash with certain crimes later having proved on appeal that the person convicted actually didn't do it, we probably would have hung the originally convicted Birmingham pub bombers for instance.
Capital punishment is not an area in which we can afford to get things wrong, there is no room for a jury to use reasonable doubt, if there is any I can see some juries unwilling to give guilty verdicts, then again perhaps not, you never can tell with ordinary people.
In the end though, it wont matter, EU and ECHR laws will not permit our MP's to bring back the death penalty. Though as an opening move to get us thrown out of the EU it does have some merit. Still, I do hope it's quashed, those who would have this power cannot be trusted with it.

5 annotations:

English Pensioner said...

You have highlighted one very good reason for bringing back the death penalty - we would be thrown out of the EU !
Whether we actually use the death penalty if it is restored is a different issue; I believe that the penalty should be available but used sparingly. It would also allow us to extradite or deport foreign criminals who could no longer complain that they face the death penalty in their own country whereas they wouldn't face it here.
My view is that we should have a referendum rather than a debate in parliament which will get us nowhere.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Further question QM and a more fundamental one - having opened the Pandoras Box of e-petitions. does the HoC have the right to decide what can and cannot be debated? When were MPs given the right to be the moral conscience of our country - when were they granted the power of God?

Of course, were we to have true devolution of power it is one areas could decide for themselves, rather than a load of numpties having to do so.........

Anonymous said...

Another one of Cameron's batty ideas that went wrong.

It will soon disappear into the mists as if it had never happened, like most of the rest of his manifesto.

One problem about the reintroduction of the death penalty in England and Wales (because this would not necessarily affect Scotland) is that juries will be far less likely to convict in case they get it wrong and two years down the line they are found to have murdered the person. So some people will walk free who might have gone to prison for life.

Secondly if its use is limited, how limited, for what crimes? Kids' murder? Yes, probably ...up to what age? Terrorism? Police murder? What about corrupt police (there are a lot of them)?

Will women be treated the same?

If it is the objective to come out of Europe, why not just have a referendum on that? It was the Libdumbs' policy anyway.

If England and Wales are thrown out of the EU because of it, they can't throw Scotland out if it hasn't agreed to capital punishment. Would Scotland stay in if England were out? Greenland is out while Denmark is in, so it's possible.

It becomes more and more complex.

Another idiotic Cameron plan...doubtless part of the idiot's big society rubbish.

Captain Haddock said...

Launched this morning .. crashed by lunchtime ..

Yet another typically government oriented IT failure ..

Still, I don't care what the subject matter is .. if it gets us out, or better yet, thrown out of the hated & despised EU .. it gets my vote ..

Anonymous said...

Yet again I feel these things are approached from the wrong angle.

The objective should be to get them to discuss something in such a way that opposite views to the political consensus get a hearing.

Topics such as HS2, Climate Change and the EU.

We have all seen questions loaded with bias that anyone answering in the negative looks a lunatic.

Do you think climate change is real?
Are you proud that our country gives aid to the impoverished?
Do windmills produce electricity?
Is Chris Huhne a tw@t?

Also a quick glance at the site shows how thick the population seems to be. What is the use of having 100,000 petitions asking for the death penalty or for Formula 1 to be on the BBC. Look at the first page and see the repeat subjects! Great if 2 identical questions get 99,999 names, No Debate.

Having signed a number of petitions in the past it is uncanny that when one gets momentum another one crops up to split the field.