Friday, 1 August 2008

Barry George - an innocent (and free) man

Mrs Didactophobe and I are absolutely delighted with the news that Barry George has been acquitted of the Jill Dando murder. It was patently obvious that the 'evidence' against him was flimsy in the extreme and, when even that was discredited, there was only one possible verdict. Because a celebrity had been killed, the police were under pressure from the tabloids to get a result. When the suspect can be stereotyped as 'mad' (Daily Mirror); a 'beast' (Daily Mail) and 'tried to kill Di too' (The Sun), the chance of a fair trial plunges to somewhere sub-zero. Even Nick Ross, who believed George to be guilty, admitted to 'surprise' at George's conviction.

Barry George will undoubtedly be entitled to compensation: I wonder if he will be pursuing further damages through the libel courts.

Where is Patagonia?

Somewhere in South America. Beyond that, I don't know and you don't know. And if you do happen to know, don't bother telling me because I am not interested. And you need to get a life.

It is, however, important to Dr Aribert Heim, a 94 year old Nazi war criminal responsible for hundreds of murders in the Mauthausen concentration camp. There is no doubt that Heim's crimes were unspeakably evil. However, they were more than sixty years ago and he is now a man of very considerable age. I am not convinced that bringing such an elderly man to trial over crimes which happened so long ago would be at all fair or just. He has spent most of his life exiled from his native land and unable to touch the $1.8 million he has in a German bank account. Nor can his family claim the money until he is dead.

I am inclined to say that he should be allowed to stay where he is, and the money in the bank should instead be forfeit and distributed to Holocaust-related charities. That would be justice.

We need proper punishments - urgently

This is the story that caught my eye this morning. Three vile thugs who tortured and murdered a teenager with learning difficulties in a completely unprovoked attack getting off with 'slap on the wrist' punishments. The piece of filth which slit Laura Milne's throat, Stuart Jack, received the toughest punishment and will serve 18 years in prison. I am not sure even that is an adequate punishment for such a vile offence. His two co-accused, Debbie Buchan and Leigh MacKinnon, have been sentenced to a mere nine years each. With time off for 'good behaviour', that scum could be out in just six years. Six years for torture and murder! Buchan is quoted in today's Scottish Daily Mail, p.25, as having recorded a video in which she boasted of having really enjoyed stomping her head to ****. Why should that creature ever be allowed to walk the streets again? The legal system has failed yet another victim.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

It was God wot won it

At least, that is the gist of this post by Cranmer on the Glasgow East by-election.

There is much to be said for this. John Mason, the successful candidate, was the only candidate to identify themselves as a practising Christian. Opposed to the Fertilisation & Embryology Bill. Cranmer is right to point out that New Labour is keen to suck up to every minority apart from those who profess the Christian faith.

Even more significant on the moral front is the exposing of Labour's 'dirty little secret' in Glasgow East. Broon is fond of quoting statistics to claim that Labour has been active in tackling poverty, yet the state of so many in the east end of Glasgow demonstrates how utterly bogus this is. Labour has represented at least parts of that constituency continuously for well over 80 years, yet it is still one of the most deprived parts of the western world.

A year ago, I questioned what the point of the Labour Party was. A Tory voting great aunt of mine had witnessed at first hand the poverty of Springburn in the 1920s, where she started her working life. She left school shortly before her 14th birthday, but was no fool. She could see that Labour was, as it still is, owned, bought and paid for by powerful unions. Its only purpose was and is to look after these interest groups and to hell with everyone else. Voters in places like Glasgow East were and are taken for granted: their votes electing people who aspire (like Margaret Curran) to live elsewhere. At least, hopefully, until now. I hope and pray that John Mason will be an effective constituency MP, who will indeed promote aspiration among his constituents. This should not necessarily, however, involve the aspiration to move elsewhere. It must include the aspiration to improve their community as it is. To make life safer, healthier and generally better for those who can never afford to move out or do not wish to move out, as well as for those who do.

Back in December, I pointed out a great great great aunt of mine who remained on the electoral register for Bridgeton years after she had emigrated to New Zealand. I have no way of knowing the reason for this, nor whether the Labour MP of the time benefited. Where she lived in Bridgeton is now part of the Glasgow East constituency: no one lives there now, because the land has never been redeveloped after the slum clearances. The derelict land speaks volumes for the failure of socialism and the failure of the Labour Party. If Labour does not stand for improving the lot of the poor, it stands for nothing. Perhaps the kindest thing to do would be for its creditors to call in the party's astronomical debts and wind the whole thing up.