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Sunday, February 07, 2010


Norman Tebbit has started a blog & it is one of the interesting politician ones. He is a fearsome political operator & the Conservatives lost a generation of office when he didn't become leader. Googling for a quote I found this comment from a knowledgeably political commentator who unfortunately can't spell psephology - "Norman Tebbit was an annoyingly competent pepsologist when in power & still clearly knows many things that the current high flyers have yet to learn." I am certain that he would have detached the working class, as opposed to the on the dole or government employee class permanently from the New Labour party.

This rather touching thread takes Blair to task over Iraq, not so much from a classic "leftist" point but for the sheer stupidity, pointlessness, callousness of it & its being managed with more concern for spinning it than for casualties. On this he is right but what I had not known previously is something he says inter alia about the effect of the removal of the death penalty:
the actual number of people who have been murdered by killers who have been let out from jail to kill again since the suspension, then abolition, of capital punishment. Up to April 2008 it was 131. That is an average of all but three a year. All these people were innocent. Each one a miscarriage or failure of the justice system. Quite remarkably, three convicted killers even killed again while in prison
I support the death penalty because I believe it acts as a deterrent. Anybody who doesn't must explain why they either (A) believe murderers are more afraid of prison than hanging or (B) say that they believe murderers shouldn't be imprisoned either but presumably let off with a warning/probation/community service.. Nothing else is intellectually honest & I have never seen any opponent manage either. Nonetheless I have always also accepted that miscarriages are possible, indeed over the long term certain, & have had to accept that as the cost of not being perfect. I am thus glad to have these figures since clearly any worthwhile judicial system is not going to execute even within an order of magnitude of that many innocent people & the figure given takes no account of first time murderers who would be dissuaded which is equally clearly likely to be at least an order of magnitude greater again.

A common point on both issues is that the people politicians kill by their deliberate action & those they kill by refusing to take responsibility for the duties they have sought are equally dead & the politicians responsible similarly heinous.

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