Now for the purpose of this blog I think we have to ignore the legal technicalities about just what we would have to do to bring back the death penalty.
The death penalty is a highly controversial issue, and just about everyone in the UK has an opinion on it. Some people want to bring it back to hang rapist, paedophiles and murders. While on the other hand there are people who think we should never bring it back, as there is a risk that we could always hang an innocent person, as it has been shown in the UK and around the world that there have been miscarriages of justice which have led to some innocent people being executed.
Now I can see both points of view and sympathise with them on both counts. It would be a great tragedy to find out that we brought back the death penalty and latter executed someone who had been framed for a serious crime. We have notable incidents in our recent history of this happening with both Derek Bentley and Timothy Evens. Both of whom it was later found out that they were innocent of the crime they had been accused of. Now if this were to happen today with the death penalty then I think the British public would be angered and demand that we got rid of it and made sure we never brought it back.
There is also the opinion that executing someone is not the way to go, and the state should not punish someone by killing them. As this is not punishment its revenge and that it would be more of a punishment to let this person have to live out the rest of their life in prison. Also arguing that it’s cruel and inhumane to kill someone as you are not treating them like a human being, and prison should be a deterrent enough.
However this argument I personally find the weakest of those against the death penalty. Now in the UK a mandatory life sentence does not mean that we send the person to prison for life, the average murder only tends to serve 14 years in prison for murder. We have to consider that is prison really a deterrent for murder? I think we can say for a lot of people prison is not really a deterrent for most crimes so why would murder be any different.
However I think we need to look at just who commits murder and the reality of it is murder is committed by loved ones and friends, and tends not to be a premeditated thing and more of a spur of the moment rage. Where someone snaps and kills someone they care about. Personally I think using the death penalty for these people in 99% of cases would be the wrong thing to do. I think it would send the wrong message to society that if you kill someone then we will kill you.
But I do think that there are some situations where the death penalty would have a use in today’s modern society. There are some crimes that truly do shock society we see the likes of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, Stephen Griffiths, Dennis Nilsen, Steve Wright and Ian Huntley. Whose crimes were predatory, sexual and violent in horrific nature and causing fear and terror in the areas that they operated in.
We accept that prison is there to rehabilitate offenders and be able to release people who do not pose a possible threat to the safety of other people. Now nearly all of the prison population would fit in to this category but those listed above and a small minority of other prisoners are never going to be safe to release in to modern society. The risk of them killing again is too high, and it would be a dangerous move to release a psychopathic killer back in to polite society.
So instead in the current situation these people are left to live out the rest of their natural life in prison with no possibility of release. They can be in prison for 20, 30, and 40 years plus at an average cost of £47,000 per year. Now in these cases we also know that these are the persons who committed their vile crimes and there is no doubt about that.
Therefore I propose that for the most egregious crimes where we know that the person would never be released due to the fact that they would just not be safe to release. That for these evil people the death penalty is more than justifiable and not only would it be legally justifiable but I think the consensus within the population would be that it’s justifiable to punish these people with the death penalty.
We are as a nation, if not a world to dependant on fossil fuels they dominate power production around the world be it power for our homes or power for cars, bikes planes et al. Now realistically we do need to find an alternative way of powering humanity or very shortly we will be living in caves again.
There are currently alternatives to fossil fuels in solar, wind, tidal or bio mass or the slightly controversial Nuclear power stations. The logical step for an island nation like the UK would be to harness the natural resource that surrounds us and try and harness the power of the sea to generate a reasonable proportion of our electricity. To take some of the strain off fossil fuels and to appease the environmental lobby.
I don’t believe we should be looking at wind energy as a viable option in the UK at the very least, on a few grounds. Wind energy is reliant on there being some wind to generate energy and when there is no wind where you have the wind farms you have no energy generation. On top of that they are not overly aesthetically pleasing and its fine if you live in a city or a town as you don’t have to see them, but they are a blight on the countryside and I personally don’t believe that they are as productive as some people would have you believe.
Now solar power has its advantages that you can stick some panels on your roof, providing its facing the right way, and you can generate a bit of power to save some money on your electricity bill and put a little bit back in to the national grid. Which is great, it saves you money and reduces by a small amount the need for burning fossil fuels. However there is one small problem, and the clue is in the name, solar power needs sun light to be effective so when it goes dark it doesn’t work. It’s great in the summer time when there is lots of sunlight but in the winter when we want to heat our houses and use more electricity it’s not so good.
So what about bio mass, well there are certain environmental issues in that although we are not burning a fossil fuel to generate the power we are still burning a fuel which releases potentially harmful gasses in to the environment. So although it is a viable alternative in that we can grow crops to use as bio fuel which could take the strain off fossil fuel consumption; environmentalists would argue that it’s not really doing much difference. We would also have to factor in the setting aside land to cultivate crops like hemp purely for fuel production. Which could have an impact on our food production.
This leads us on to Nuclear, a very reliable and clean energy production method. They can be run day or night and are not reliant on external forces such as wind, tides and the sun. Its currently an under used power generation method, and is estimated to be value for money wise as cheap as producing electricity as a coal power station. Though people will point to the accidents as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and most recently at Fukushima as to why we shouldn’t move to this type of power production and the fact you are left with some rather nasty waste at the end of it, which has to be disposed of safely for several thousand years.
If we look at them all like that then there really does not seem to be a really viable solution to solve what is a rather big problem; and that we may have to actually resort to decimating our countryside with thousands of wind farms and sticking solar panels on every available surface that faces the right way and replace our cars with horses and bicycles.
Though there is one other option one that you won’t hear any environmentalist spouting off about, purely because they all have shares in bicycle companies, but that’s Nuclear Fusion. The same reaction that happens on our sun every day, the great power source of the universe, which in essence is pushing hydrogen together to make helium and a hell of a lot of power.
Now people will say that this is a technology that is decades away and it may not work and all of that stuff. Currently it’s probably one of the most underfunded alternative energy sources out there. Which considering what it would mean if we could harness its great power is shocking. We see at the moment little clusters of some of the greatest minds working away on separate projects in different corners of the world. Instead of this we should look to our not too distant past and look what happened when we put the greatest brains and engineers together to work on the Manhattan project, humanity split the atom.
If we took a lead from that, and got all of these great minds together and funded them properly like it was a military project. I guarantee you we would have viable fusion reactors in years rather than decades. Imagine a world powered with clean unlimited energy just how beneficial to mankind that would be. Businesses could prosper; old people wouldn’t have to worry about heating bills in winter, you wouldn’t need to worry if you turned the light out.
So let’s stop this debate about should we put wind farms in the peak district, and let’s get the G8 nations together to commit to putting in the money that is needed to advance the development of fusion as a power source. The money that we would have to spend to do it would be miniscule to the benefit that humanity would get out of it, and it’s Green so there would be less chance of making the poor polar bears homeless. The only viable long term solution to the worlds energy demands is Nuclear Fusion, so let’s make those politicians do something about it now!
Political correctness has been a buzz word for some decades now, in general it’s been used as an attempt to sanitise the western world to make the world a less offensive place for people to live in; or so those who are the main exponents of it will have you believe. In its very basic set-up it has had us stop using nouns to describe people, so we shouldn’t call someone who suffers from male pattern baldness a bald person, or refer to someone who suffers from dwarfism as a dwarf. This is all done in the name of advancing equality.
But I have some major issues with them trying to equate political correctness with equality. As if we look at all the big equality movements of the last century; we have the suffragettes, the civil rights movement, feminism and the gay rights movement. Now each of these were fighting a social injustice such as no votes for women, unequal pay for women, unequal divorce laws, segregation of people because of skin colour, treating people differently because of skin colour, treating people differently because of sexual orientation and the list could go on and on. Now the equality changes were done to correct an injustice that everyone would now consider to be wrong and unfair.
Now I am not naive to believe simply changing the law has changed society, there are still incidents of inequality happening today, or I would be out of work, but political correctness is trying to push things a lot further than is needed and in an attempt to stop people being offended is actually offending people.
I was reading an article about a current consultation by the General Medical Council, who are looking at changing their code of conduct for doctors. Currently a doctor can refuse to provide medical treatment to patients if they find that particular treatment to be immoral or not right for that person. The big proposed change is in the field of gender reassignment, where at the moment a GP can refuse to treat someone because they have a moral objection to doing such. The current GMC proposal would change it so that a GP had to treat that person or fear possible sanctions by the GMC with the possibility of being struck off as a doctor.
This change in stance by the GMC is being done under the guise of the Equality act says you can’t discriminate against Trans people, as per section 7. However this to me is not about a quest for equality, but more the GMC trying to be political correct and not wanting to upset the Trans community. As if it had been about proper equality they would have looked past section 7 and noticed that section 10 covers religious belief and discriminating against people on the grounds of it. Which arguably you can say that forcing doctors to do things that go against their belief is most defiantly discrimination.
Though the PC brigade will tell you that oh its only religious people and they really don’t matter when it comes to discrimination. Even though they have the same legal protection as the other minorities under the Equality Act. But because in 95% of cases they are Christians it’s fine to ignore them.
Which follows on to another contentious issue, and that’s the wearing of a crucifix. In which two women were reprimanded for wearing one at work. Now we don’t hear of a Sikh being banned from wearing a turban or a Muslim woman being banned from wearing a head scarf. It gets to a situation where one group can’t do something because it may offend a minority group. Now I don’t see how someone wearing a plain crucifix around their neck in a Christian country would offend anyone one! If you were to go to a Muslim country they would not go round de- islamifying their country as not to offend you, so why does the PC brigade insist that in the UK we have to.
Then we have the press, an issue that is somewhat under reported at the moment is Female Genital Mutilation, something I had a discussion with someone only this week about. The media reports that it is an African problem, and young girls in the UK and across Europe are being taken to Africa to be subjected to this horrific situation. Now if you read what is said in the press and by the WHO it is put across as being an African problem, indicating it happens all over Africa, but if you do some digging it’s a problem that happens in Muslim countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. But because of the PC brigade and not wanting to offend Muslims we strip it down to being an African Problem.
Political Correctness is not about bringing about equality or not wanting to offend people, as if you look at the laws of the land there is legal equality already, and legal remedies for when that is breached. What political correctness is about is social engineering or in another word cultural Marxism. It is about getting everyone to think the same way and punishing those who don’t comply. It’s not about ensuring freedoms for everyone; it’s about forcing people to adopt the same view point on a topic. In the first half of the twentieth century we saw a few people who imposed similar ideals on countries, restricting freedoms and making people do and think what they want. That lead us to World War Two and the deposing of people like Hitler and Mussolini.
Yet now after the battle for freedom, so that people could live their lives how they wanted to free from persecution, we now see in the here and now our freedoms and beliefs being ebbed away with each new push in the name of political correctness. But because these people pushing this agenda are claiming it’s in the name or equality society lays down and lets it happen. People need to realise that it’s not equality that is happening it’s an erosion of our freedoms one by one. We need to say enough is enough.
Since we joined the EU back in the 70’s there has been a vocal section of society who has opposed the UK’s membership of it. We even have one political party whose main aim is for us to leave the EU, in UKIP. A party that I have never really got as they position themselves as being centre right and are against an organisation that’s main objectives are for basically the furthering of capitalism. So you can understand why the socialists are against it but not a centre right party.
Now I think the main problem with the UK and Europe is the confusing bodies that exist. We have on one hand the EU and we also have the Council of Europe. The two are very separate bodies but I think the media often misrepresents which is which. Both are separate bodies and operate independently, the Council of Europe is the body that is responsible for that lovely organisation that is the European Court of Human Rights, which we all know is responsible for some questionable decisions, and probably annoys more people in the UK than anything else. Most recently the fact we couldn’t deport a terrorist to stand trial because at some point in time there may have been some evidence that may have been obtained through torture.
Then we have the EU and its bodies of the European Court of Justice, Council of Ministers, Commission and European Parliament. Whose main remit is for trade, European relations, Finance in some states and a little bit of influence in crime and punishment. Its constitution was to set up an area of free trade, free movement of people, goods and services and money. This as a core set of ideas I think are brilliant.
However there has been a problem with the EU, and that rather than sticking to the core values and ensuring that we have a world class trading zone, where countries’ economies can flourish they decided to allow mission creep and the EU now has its fingers in more pies than a hungry octopus.
But this should not be a reason for the UK to pick up its toys and go home and stop playing with the EU. In my opinion that would be the worst thing in the world for the UK to do. Now UKIP will point to Norway and say that they operate fine outside of the EU but within the trading zone, in which they do. But Norway also has a problem being there that one of the other 27 members of the EU doesn’t have. If the EU decided to change the laws about trading of food within the economic zone, the 27 member states could have a say about it and possibly get to make changes to the law. But Norway can’t, and it would have to oblige by whatever change in the law was passed.
So the Norway argument is one that is flawed, while yes you get the benefits to a degree, you are stuck with no say in how the system changes and how it will subsequently affect you and your economy.
I think there is only one logical place for the UK and that is as a member of the EU. As if you want to change something you have to be part of it to have your voice heard. The economic crisis that is happening within the Euro zone at the moment could be the perfect spring board for a major overhaul of the EU; and if the UK is not there then like Norway we would just have to like whatever changes happen.
The EU has to relatively soon realise that the Euro while in theory was a good idea was implemented in the wrong way. So hopefully they will dismantle it completely and let the economies of Europe recover and then we can sit down and look at rebuilding the EU in to a better more socially acceptable system. It grew too big to fast for what it is, and that gave it to much confidence to spread its reach in to areas that it was not designed to be in.
So leaving the UK would not only be bad for us economically it would leave us out in the cold on the world stage. We need to summon up that British spirit and take the lead in reforming the EU turn it in to a beacon of free trade, where economies can grow as business flourish and sell their goods with ease. Then and only then once we have this perfect trading zone should we consider expanding the remit of the EU.
In reading an article in the guardian by a journalist whose name I don’t wish to type I came down upon the comments section a few people demanding that MP’s publish all they earn every year so the public can see if they are paying enough tax. Now these people obviously don’t know about the Register of Members Interests, a public document in which MP’s have to list their earnings for all to see. Now I know it does not say how much tax they pay but it’s a jolly interesting read.
Which spurned me on to have a look at the latest version that’s up for all to see, purely out of curiosity. What caught my eye when I opened it was the amount of money one MP got from doing 3 hours’ work for the jolly good show that is “this week”. Now that MP was Diane Abbot and she earned £869
hour work, which is roughly £290
per hour. So over the 6 month period listed she earned £5214
hours work, which works out to a wage of £573,000pa
. Now obviously she doesn’t work a 38 hour week for the BBC but it’s still an awful lot.
However to leave it there would be wrong, and very biased of me to pick on “poor” Diane Abbot, so I decided to peruse the rest of the register to see what the BBC pays other MP’s for guest appearances on both radio and telly. This is what I found listed in money earned;
- Alan Johnson (Lab); £22,750 for a total of 44 hours’ work (£517ph)
- Diane Abbot (Lab) £5214 for 18 hours work (£290ph)
- Frank Field (Lab) occasional appearances on radio 4 up to £5,000
- Tristram Hunt (Lab) £4097.89 18 hours’ work (£227ph)
- Charles Kennedy (Lib) £1600 for 4 hours’ work (£400ph)
- Bob Ainsworth (Lab) £1,500 for 5 hours’ work (£300ph)
- Gisela Stuart (Lab) £1000 for 4 hours’ work (plus two appearances on ‘Any Questions’, for £150 each) (£200ph)
- Rory Stewart (Con) £1148 total 5 hours’ work (£229.60ph)
- Hazel Blears (Lab) £500 for 40 minutes work (£750ph)
- Caroline Lucas (Green) £300 for 5 hours work (£60ph)
- Patrick Mercer (Con) £300 for 3hours’s and 40 min work ( £81ph)
- Susan Jones (Lab) £300 for 4 hours work (£75ph)
- David Lammy (Lab) £300 for 2 radio appearances
- Ben Bradshaw (Lab) £237.70 2 hours’ work and travel (£118ph)
- David Davis (Con), Stephen Dorrell (Con), Matthew Hancock (Con), Bernard Jenkin (Lab), Elfyn Llwyd (PC), Stephen Pound (Lab) and Jacob Rees-Mogg (Con) all having 1 entry totalling less than £200 for assorted radio apperances.
Now some of them I couldn’t calculate the hourly rate because they had not listed just how long they were taking part for like Mr Field and those with small payments. But at a brief glance of the figures the shock I got last night calculating how much Diane Abbot was paid pails in to insignificance with the payments for Alan Johnson and Hazel Blears who both earn over £500 per hour, closely followed by Charles Kennedy at £400ph.
Now here is where my problems with it lay. Now the BBC prides itself on being impartial and providing a balanced view on the news and especially on politics but if you look at the figures 9 out of the top 10 earners are all MP’s who are politically on the left leaving only Rory Stewart the only Conservative in the top 10. Now those of us on the right have always doubted the BBC’s true impartiality in recent years but this alone starts to raise questions about that.
The second issue I have is the sums of money; those politicians being paid to appear on political shows are in all intense and purposes being paid to put across the political views of the party they represent. So in effect we the license payers are paying Diane Abbot to preach to us about the Labour party. That’s what I have a problem with, I am happy to give every political party air time to disseminate their ideas and ideology, but what I object to is finding out that they are then being paid by the BBC to do so.
If we total up the fees from the top ten it comes to £43,109.89 for probably no more than 150 hours’ worth of work. Now surely the BBC could employ 2 fulltime people on £21,000 a year rather than pay politicians to tell us the same thing they do all the time. Is this really a good use of license payers money?
Now I know this is only the tip of the ice berg and I could have looked at payments from SKY TV or ITV or Channel 4 as well as all the newspapers. But those organisations do not go on about being impartial politically; we know the Guardian leans to the left and the Telegraph to the right. We know Sky is influenced by what pair of socks Rupert Murdoch is wearing on a particular day. But the BBC is supposed to be impartial, and these figures alone raise certain questions as to really if the BBC is impartial, and actually does lean to the left even if it tries to keep up the pretence it does not.
Maybe just maybe we should consider should the BBC really be funded this way anymore, we now have hundreds of TV channels in the UK at our disposal and is it really fair that one of them gets £145 per house hold to keep it running. The other TV channels all seem to survive funding themselves, so maybe it’s time to set the BBC free and let it go off in to the big wide world on its own to take care of itself.
All the information for this blog was obtained from The Register of Members Interests, viewable http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/contents.htm
You would have to be very naïve to believe that the high street’s decline is something of a recent thing, the likes of supermarkets and out of town shopping centres both played their part in changing how we shop.
However in more recent years we have started to see the likes of what we would call big shop’s coming to an end. Previously we had been seeing the likes of independent shops closing down. Such as when I was a teenager there was a great little record shop in town where I would go to buy my CD’s, which eventually got in to a position where it just couldn’t compete with the likes of HMV or Virgin Records. Like many independent shops went to the great high street in the sky. This was a great shame; as I picked up some great albums that I would never have got in the main stream shops
We resigned ourselves to the fact that high streets and latter shopping centres like Meadowhall and the Trafford Centre would be dominated by the big shops. Who would meet our consumer needs provide jobs and generally keep us happy till we maxed out our credit cards.
Though slowly over the past 10-15 years a new menace has been creeping up on the retail industry one that is slowly but surely picking off its victims one by one, like Woolworths, Virgin Records, Blacks and Game. A menace that can strike from miles away, cruising through the air like an exocet sinking retail outlets one by one.
I am of course talking about the Internet and shopping online. The handy convenient super high street that has everything there at a few clicks of a mouse. Where you can sit in your pyjamas in the warmth of your own home and can order everything from abacuses to stuffed Zebras. Where you don’t have to deal with the possibility of an inept shop assistant and the huddled masses clambering over the last copy of The Kings Speech special edition in 3D.
Now some people will argue that the internet is a great thing, and shopping on it is fantastic and you can find anything you can think of and more. You can go to an online shop and find 1000 different pairs of shoes in hundreds of different colours. Because the diversity and range is just not on the high street any more.
Yes, the diversity and the range has been lost from the high street but there is only one person to blame for that, and that is ourselves. When we had the little independent shops there was more options on the high street, but people wanted cheaper and cheaper items which forced these shops out of business. If we carry on with the growth of the internet then the shops that remain on the High Street and in the shopping centres will follow suit. We have already seen the likes of HMV, the last proper “record shop” having problems, because of the likes of I-tunes and Amazon. If our last record shop goes it will be a very sad day for the high street. We will end up with a generation not knowing what it’s like to go in to a record shop and thumb through all the cd’s to find new and exciting bands.
While yes the internet can be a force for good, a place to debate with socialists, to find out the weather forecast for Corvo Island but I implore you if not for me but for future generations use the High Street. Spend your hard earned money in a proper shop, an independent one if you can, because if we continue to spend online we will lose those shops and it may not matter to those of us who can shop online, but it will matter a lot to those people who don’t have that option. So let’s support that High Street, let’s see a growth in independent shops let’s get back to being able to go out and shop in person and find what we want.
The more we do it, the more choice we will get which is better for everyone. As not only will we be able to find those red shoes we were after but jobs will be created the economy will blossom and we will make Britain Great again.
If you look in any newspaper you will see on any one day a news story where a criminal had got a very strange sentence; such as the paedophile who escaped prison when found with a million pictures of child abuse, then there was the student in south wales who got 56 days for his actions on twitter what he said and did were wrong but really prison when a community sentence would have been more proportionate. Then we see in today’s paper the case of a prolific burglar who 12 months ago was given a suspended sentence for his actions, only for him to go on and commit 22 more offences in 9 months and asked for more to be taken into consideration when sentencing and he got 6 years.
Now these are just a handful of cases where criminals have been handed down unusual sentences for their crimes. Now I could also add in my own experience where my attacker got a 2 year community sentence for two serious sexual offences, after he had evaded police bail for 14 months. So is he likely to have turned up for his punishment?
Now some people will tell you that prison doesn’t work and we should use more community punishments, now yes re-offending rates of people on community sentence is 13% lower on average than those sent to prison. But it’s still 54% or people re-offending after, their sentence.
So I can see why a judge may think it makes more sense to issue one, as there is only a 54% chance that they will re-offend as opposed to a 67% chance. But this in my opinion is where the judges are going wrong and why they are out of touch with society.
Now I can understand with a first time offender they would think what’s the best way to send this person back on the straight and narrow so they won’t get in to trouble again? In that case if it’s nothing serious then a community sentence is probably the right thing for them. However when the judge is faced with a habitual offender who has a criminal record as long as your arm, is the best thing to let them walk around the streets?
What we need is reform of the whole criminal justice system, as I have spoken about prisons
earlier I won’t talk about that now. But I think that the judiciary is letting people down. Prison is there to make the people feel safe, to keep people we perceive as a danger to society and our belongings away for us for a period of time.
Now watching Free Speech last night on the BBC they had a person who went to prison and said “he didn’t enjoy it and didn’t think it was right for him.” But does he not understand prison is not supposed to be fun it’s a punishment for doing something wrong.
Anyhow the judges need to realise that we the public want to feel safe, and as a result habitual offenders and violent people should be locked up for what they do. If we change prison we can address their re-offending rate.
In America we see judges standing for office, and being elected by the people to do their job. Now yes this may politicise the judiciary a bit, and may account for their astronomical prison population. But I think that if people know that burglars would get sent to prison when convicted people would feel safer, and this would also impact on the opinion the public have on the police to a degree.
As I know personally, that if the police put in a lot of effort to catch someone and put them on trial for the judge to say ok you can go and have a community sentence feels like a kick in the teeth for the victim and I am sure the police feel the same.
The justice system is there to protect the law abiding, but in lots of cases we see it as if they are protecting the criminals, with a slap on the wrist don’t do it again and go and pick up litter for 200 hours.
Judges need to get tougher on offenders, the sentencing guidelines need completely overhauling and increasing; and prisons need changing. Then when people are seeing justice being done and criminals punished in an appropriate manner will people start to feel that justice is being done and we can feel safer in the streets and our own homes.
Now if we go back 60 years to the early 1950’s male homosexuality was illegal, and you could find yourself in prison just for following through with your sexual attractions to another man. However at this time attitudes were starting to change with regards to if this should be a criminal offence. Then we saw in 1957 the Wolfenden Report which suggested the decriminalisation of certain sexual acts.
Which eventually did materialise a decade latter with the Sexual Offences Act 1967; and over the coming decades we have seen major changes in public attitudes to homosexuality. Now culminating in the current consultation that is looking at how we can grant marriage equality for same sex couples and we have a raft of anti-discrimination law for homosexuals.
However today I was saw a re-tweet of a link to a news story comparing homosexuality with paedophilia (http://m.yahoo.com/w/news_america/b4u-act-pedophilia-takes-step-toward-being-considered-212800919.html?orig_host_hdr=news.yahoo.com&.intl=us&.lang=en-us
). By a group who want to normalise the attraction of people to children. Wishing to de-sensitize society to the effects of paedophilia so that some people may consider it normal like we do with homosexuality now.
So naturally I had a look at their website to see how credible this group actually is, and to see if it’s not just a group of paedophiles’ trying to find a way of justifying what they do so that they can eventually campaign for the de-criminalisation of their actions. However their website doesn’t list names of either the lay people or the medical professionals that are part of this organisation. So it does raise credibility questions.
However as a gay woman I find their stance and comparison to the LGBT movement unnerving and very offensive. As with homosexuality it concerns two consenting adults, who know and understand what they are doing and can rationalise their feelings for each other.
Whereas does a young child know what is happening and would they want to have sexual relations with a middle aged man? Now I know some 8 year olds are very bright you occasionally hear of an 8 year old getting a GCSE or an A-level. But that type of intelligence is not the same as being able to cognitively understand what sex is. This is why we have an age of consent for sex; as this is the age where people can understand what sex is.
I don’t think any rational human being would agree that we should let paedophiles have sex with children because they consider it to be a natural thing just like homosexuality. The problem is not if it is a natural thing or not, but it’s what it is doing. There are numerous scientific studies that say children that go through sexual abuse can have a multitude of problems in later life. This on its own should be enough to convince people that to even consider talking about the possibility of doing something with the law on this issue should just not happen.
This I see as being one of the few things that society will never be able to accept, because of the shear destructive effect that it can have on the lives of the children involved. It is an abhorrent and egregious act and we shouldn’t be looking at listening to their nonsense we should be looking at ways to strengthen the protective measures in place to stop these people doing it in the first place. Personally I consider this a crime up there with murder and should upon conviction automatically generate a life sentence, on public protection grounds.
There has been a bit of fuss about the web monitoring that the government announced yesterday. When you think about it, it's a lot of fuss over nothing really. Yes some people will be upset because they will see it as an invasion of their privacy and the state shouldn’t be snooping on them and seeing what they are looking at in the privacy of their own home.
They will argue that Article 8 gives them a right to a private life and this should be respected and not interfered with like this. However Article 8 is not an absolute right and can be limited hence why it has a qualifying statement.
But this argument takes away from what the problem really is. When the Internet first started to become accessed by the average person in the street it was relatively harmless and full of useless facts and personal websites of people who liked Star Trek. But as it took off and more and more people started to use it, the nature of it changed. As well as having the law abiding people who wanted to find out what the day’s weather was going to be or to read the news, the internet attracted nefarious people too.
So along with the good things came a dark side to the internet. In the late 1980’s there wasn’t even any laws governing the use of the internet in the UK, and judges were faced with having to bend existing laws to fit. We then got the Computer Misuse Act 1990. However since then we haven’t really seen any progress in regulation or legislation of the internet.
However although we have these offences, if not outdated ones, the internet is still basically a lawless place where criminals can operate with relative impunity. If the streets were in such a state there would be a public outcry.
Which leaves us with two possible options, we can police the internet or we can police those people using the internet. The first of those tasks would be near on impossible, it would require huge scale international co-operation from every government in the world and all the ISP’s to be able to effectively police the internet. Then you would be faced with the dilemma of what if X is illegal here but not illegal over there. So the mammoth task of policing the internet is something that we can’t do.
So we are left with policing the citizens’ of the UK and what they access, which is a more than doable task; even if it will upset a few people along the way. But any task that the state carries out will upset some people, as you can’t please all the people all of the time.
Now there are lots of reasons why this is actually a good thing and not a bad thing like lots would have you believe. Firstly this should be seen as giving the police extra resources to do their job in an effective way, as there are lots of people out there who are committing crimes on the internet and going totally undetected. How many paedophiles are out their sharing images of child abuse that the police don’t know about and currently can’t find out about without a warrant? There are shops out there that have gone in to administration due to people file sharing copyrighted material, which is money and jobs being lost from the economy. Then not to mention people posting material that is technically a hate crime. If I stood in the high street giving out copied music or spouting hate crime I would get arrested, yet as it stands I can sit in my living room on my computer and do the same thing with impunity. Why is that the case? They are both the same things yet one we ignore at the moment and when there is the likelihood we will do something about it people don’t want it to happen.
In a modern society we should have a police force that are able to deal with the changing types of crime, to say that because it may infringe on my civil liberties is a very selfish way to look at it. Those pictures of child abuse infringed on the civil liberties of the child who was abused, are your civil liberties really more important than bringing someone to justice for passing around abhorrent materials?
Then you have people saying well if we let the police do this then corrupt police officers could pass on the information to other people that could lead to blackmail. Well there is nothing to stop a corrupt police officer doing that now; these changes don’t introduce a new computer system, they just take away the need for a warrant to look at them. So if there was a corrupt police officer now they could gain access to this information, and do the same.
This is not an increase in the “nanny state” it’s an increase in police powers, to bring them in to the modern age. So what if they can see what I have been looking at online, I have nothing to hide about my browsing history. Hell the last 10 websites I looked at were;
- My blog
- Google Analytics
- Lexis Library
Hardly the most interesting of browsing history’s and I bet the vast majority of you don’t have anything out of the ordinary in yours; so there is nothing we should worry about. If there is a small encroachment on your civil liberties then surely the benefits of the people arrested for committing crimes and making society a safer place outweigh that.
If you believe the left then this bad 10 day period for the government has spelt the end of them and that they will be wiped of the electoral map at the next general election. However a lot of these people are the same type of people who would love to see Karl Marx as prime minister.
But let’s address the real crux of the issue, a bad 2 week period in April 2012 all of 3 years and a month before the next general election will not be remembered by 99% of the electorate come May 2015 when they head to the polling stations to decide who to vote for. If anything it is the 6-8 weeks prior to a general election that will help people decide how they will vote, as we saw in 2010 with the sudden surge in support for the Lib Dems after the leaders debates.
But you see Dave and Co. have a huge advantage over previous governments in that they actually already know the date of the next general election. So unlike previous governments they know when they have to start the political bribery of the electorate. Just like at the moment in the USA Obama doesn’t want anything to do with the Iran situation because he knows it could harm his re-election.
So come the end of 2013, we will see in the UK this Government starting to focus on things that the people care about, and making changes that will directly impact their lives. However what the left have not factored in to their neigh saying is come 2015 when people go to the polls one big thing that people care a lot about is benefits; and we will see in 2015 the effects of the benefit reforms with those on benefits earning less than they are now. Which will leave Labour with very little room to manoeuvre on the subject; as to say they would increase them would be political suicide.
We will also see the changes to the NHS in full swing by 2015, and unless the NHS has collapsed and exploded like the left are hoping for then the electorate will be happy with that and Labour will have nothing they can really say about it.
So all this doom saying from the left is really a lot of hot air, 2 bad weeks 3 years before an election is not the end of a government. If it were then Tony Blair would have been done in at the start of each of his terms as Prime Minister, as he made lots of bad decisions at the beginning of his terms. People don’t realise that the first 3 years of any government is when they get rid of the unpopular things that they have to do, so that the last 2 years they can pander to the voters for re-election.
It’s what has always happened and will continue to happen so while Dave is probably spending a relaxing Sunday evening with Samantha and his family he is probably not worrying about 2015 today and is more thinking what should I watch on the telly tonight. Whereas Ed on the other hand is probably thinking I am glad Bradford is over and done with but oh crap we have more elections in a months’ time!
However it’s not a time to be complacent about 2015 but it’s equally not a time to worry. As if a week is a long time in politics then three years must be an eternity.