20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging


1:57 pm - February 25th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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Twenty per cent of likely Tory PPCs seek the return of the death penalty.

That was the finding of a New Statesman / ComRes poll out today of the incoming batch of Tory PPCs.

Andrew Hawkins, chairman of ComRes, said:

Conservative candidates are a combination of traditional Tory values and modern Cameroon Conservatism. The old tribal loyalties are there all right – witness the primacy of Gordon Brown and Tony Blair over Hitler and Stalin as political villains [in our poll].

Three-quarters of Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates also want to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU as a matter of priority.

The poll also found that six in ten want the Tories’ inheritance-tax cut (which gifts £1.2bn to the top 2 per cent of wealthiest estates) raised immediately.

The poll of 101 Tory hopefuls shows that nine in ten want to tackle the Budget deficit with cuts in public spending rather than increases in taxation.

More at the Staggers blog

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Since 70% of UK voters want to bring back the death penalty, according to a MORI / Channel 4 survey last year, that presumably makes Tory PPCs much more liberal than the electorate, surely?

So fewer Tory PPCs, as a percentage, want to reintroduce hanging than the British public? Hmm… still, I bet Labour PPCs are even more unrepresentative of public opinion on the subject!

3. J Alfred Prufrock

@1 & 2

The electorate have said no such thing – reintroduction of a death penalty is far different to reintroduction of hanging which is what the Tories want.

I always take these surveys with a pinch of salt anyway. If you asked “Should innocent people die because of miscarriages of justice?” you’d get a “No” result, it’s all very biased as far as I can see.

“The electorate have said no such thing – reintroduction of a death penalty is far different to reintroduction of hanging which is what the Tories want.”

I think you’ll find in the minds of most electors, hanging is shorthand for the death penalty, as it was the form last used in this country. As in ‘bring back ‘anging’ or ‘hanging is too good for them’, which is about an emotive response and desire to have judicial execution, not a particular form of punishment.

I do tend to agree with you about the perception thing, to the point that I believe a referendum would vote against the death penalty.

Incidentally, what percentage of Labour PPCs would support hanging? Or has no-one thought to ask because it does not fit a stereotype.

The electorate have said no such thing – reintroduction of a death penalty is far different to reintroduction of hanging which is what the Tories want.

Hmm, does the ComRes poll explicitly ask about hanging, or does it ask about the re-introduction of the death penalty? i.e. Do these PPC’s actually want people to be strung up, or is it sensationalism on Sunny’s part?

6. J Alfred Prufrock

@4

Hmm, maybe – but whenever I consider the arguments for/against the death penalty I always think of comparisons with say the US, lethal injection etc. I’m not sure the public think in the tabloid terms that you use, either…
but to be honest if all the arguments were given fair hearing then I reckon the electorate would be against it too. On every ground – moral, judical, ethical, deterrant – the death penalty fails.
What’s strange is that apparently 20% of the [likely] future governing party don’t see it like that.

“What’s strange is that apparently 20% of the [likely] future governing party don’t see it like that.”

Indeed, although I can’t see the poll on The Staggers (it is mentioned) so I can’t tell what the question was.

Also, as I said, we have no baselines from other parties to compare this to – I’ve met enough Labour party folk to know that at grass roots level there would be one hell of a debate if we did have a capital punishment referendum, but whether the normal disconnect to Labour PPCs applies would be an interesting question for example.

Oy, J Alfred Einstein, or whatever you’re called.

If you asked “Should innocent people be locked up because of miscarriages of justice?” you’d get a “No” result too, and will have proved the square root of sod all.

@8

You can let them out of prison, dumbass. You can’t un-execute people.

10. Dick the Prick

It’s that old conundrum about what price an innocent life? I’d love to bring back hanging but as some of the above have mentioned the complexities are quite err..morbid. To be in a position to do so would require a fundamental trust in the justice system, to split cases where there was indisputable evidence and a total reliance on confession, DNA tests, CCTV etc. I’m far too cynical to believe that anything is 100% fail safe. So i’d bring back the whiskey bottle and the .45 method of personal responsibility – but again, considering the massive % of crims with mental health issues it’s err.. a no brainer either way – i’ll get me coat.

I agree that the 70% figure is open to question, but no-one suggests that support for the death penalty is as low as 20%, so whichever way you cut it, PPCs appear to be less hawkish than the public on this issue.

I’m against the death penalty, by the way. But this is desperately weak stuff.

I can’t see anything about hanging.

To be honest, if offered the choice between life without parole or execution I’d choose the latter. I’m even more convinced I would if I were innocent and had exhausted my appeals.

The clever Tory response would be, “Ah, but so’s Barack Obama…

Ah, but Ben Six, they’re embarassed about One Term Barry now they know their idol has feet of clay. Better to point out that their continuing hero, Bill Clinton, also favoured the death penalty and used it to political advantage in his own nomination run.

16. Roberto Blanco

ToryScum, why dont you offer to be executed to show us how good a policy it is? There’s nothing like being prepared to stand up for your beliefs to inspire others, is there?

Ricky Ray Rector, indeed. A fascinating statistic is that around 91% of the US’s leading criminology experts(pdf) largely or wholly agree with the assertion that “politicians support the death penalty as a symbolic way to show they are tough on crime“.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/files/DeterrenceStudy2009.pdf

Roberto,

“ToryScum, why dont you offer to be executed to show us how good a policy it is? There’s nothing like being prepared to stand up for your beliefs to inspire others, is there?”

Are you a government whip? The level of stupidity in this response and the chosen language suggests so.

Anyway, I think the point is that execution would be punishment for capital crimes. Unless you are so blinkered as to believe that being a member of the Conservatives is a capital offence, I can’t see any logic to your statement. It smacks of hatred and lack of ability to reason. But we’ll put that down to a momentary lapse shall we?

I found the survey question.

“I would support the reintroduction of the death penalty as a punishment for murder.”

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/.a/6a00d83451b31c69e201310f3969db970c-pi

The headline of this article is untrue and a sensationalist lie. It should be retracted.

Having said that, read the other opinions in the image and prepare to raise your eyebrows at the other opinions. The fact that 59% don’t believe there should be any environmental legislation gives the lie to ConHome’s claims about a “blue green agenda” compromise. That’s a better story, and it has the advantage of being true.

59% don’t believe there should be any environmental legislation gives the lie to ConHome’s claims about a “blue green agenda” compromise.

Blimey, really? Clean Air Act and all? That really would be news.

21. Roberto Blanco

Why are the Tories so keen to kill other people who may be innocent? Would they be willing to subject themselves to such a legal system, in the name of conservative values?

Immigration dog-whistles, hanging, tea-partyism… just throw in Europe and abortion and you’ve got a full house.

Are there any Labour MPs who are in favour of capital punishment? Or if there aren’t any at the moment, who were the last Labour MPs who were in favour of capital punishment? I’d love to know the answer to that.

On the issue of a referendum on capital punishment. Would you hold the referendum on a day when a child killer got sentenced? Or on a day where DNA proved someone innocent after they’d been in jail for 15 years for a murder they didn’t commit?

I think whatever was going on in the news at the time could change the result. That’s why I think we should leave it to MPs to decide.

23. J Alfred Prufrock

@8

I refer you to the answer given by @9. And disagree entirely with your premise @13.

It is a pity they didn’t think to ask the aspirant Tory creeps which method of judicial hanging they preferred. No doubt the ‘modernisers’ would enthusiastically back the long-drop method (introduced to Britain in 1872) – while the ‘traditionalist’ vengeful rump will cling to authentic memories of the throttlings caused by good, old-fashioned standard drops.

“If it was good enough for Guy Fawkes…”

Blimey, really? Clean Air Act and all? That really would be news.

The statement does not say what Edward appears to think it says.

“It is a pity they didn’t think to ask the aspirant Tory creeps which method of judicial hanging they preferred. No doubt the ‘modernisers’ would enthusiastically back the long-drop method (introduced to Britain in 1872) – while the ‘traditionalist’ vengeful rump will cling to authentic memories of the throttlings caused by good, old-fashioned standard drops.

“If it was good enough for Guy Fawkes…””

Did you read Edward’s comment, the one that pointed out the question did not mention hanging?

And wasn’t Guido Fawkes beheaded? Most of the conspirators were at any rate.

Roberto,

“Why are the Tories so keen to kill other people who may be innocent? Would they be willing to subject themselves to such a legal system, in the name of conservative values?”

80% of Conservative PPCs appear to oppose the death penalty. So hardly ‘so keen’. And I suspect those who support it would be prepared to submit to the justice system they so stupidly amended, as the major failing of rightuous idiots such as those who support judicial killing is that they lack the imagination to realise it may affect them.

“And wasn’t Guido Fawkes beheaded? Most of the conspirators were at any rate.”

Hanged it seems, was to be drawn and quartered also but chose to break his neck in the noose instead…wimp.

Doh…

Should have remembered that particular unpleasant form of execution. Does Sunny not think that would have made a better headline incidentally?

30. J Alfred Prufrock

Hmmm I also think the headline of this piece should be changed, it is rather misleading (even if, yes, hanging results in the same outcome as – say – lethal injection). It’s not what the question asked.

“And wasn’t Guido Fawkes beheaded? ”

No, Paul Staines merely lost his head, he wasn’t beheaded.

“Does Sunny not think that would have made a better headline incidentally?”

Why stop there? If you’re gonna make it up, go nuts:

“20% of Tory PPC’s want to impale people on spikes in forests, cite Vlad III second only to Thatcher as inspiration”

I’m not surprised there are still a bunch of Tory PPCs who are in favour of the death penalty. On the other hand, given that it’s a ‘conscience’ issue when it comes to a parliamentary vote, I’d have to hope that enough Tories don’t think the same way to thwart the hang ’em high brigade (but I wouldn’t bet my house on it). After all, in the ’80s Thatcher had two successive majorities of over 100, and they still failed to bring back the death penalty. I’d be more worried about the ‘renegotiate’ nonsense regarding the EU:

Three-quarters of Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates also want to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU as a matter of priority.

There’s plenty of Maastricht-like craziness in the making there, especially as the EU-phobes are will hold Cameron to his vague promise of some kind of ‘in-or-out’ referendum in 4-5 years time if the other 26 countries tell the Tories to get stuffed.

I bet the death penaly people are anti abortion as well.

And pro war. but then they are pro life you see. (sigh)

“And wasn’t Guido Fawkes beheaded?”

No. Guy Fawkes was hanged, drawn and quartered in 1606, as were his fellow conspirators.

Our ancestors were often more astute than we allow. When hanging was a regular judicial punishment for a wide variety of offences, such as petty theft, they appreciated that something extra special was needed for truly heinous crimes, such as treason and threatening the life of the sovereign, to avoid the risk of perverse incentives, as in that traditional adage: Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.

“Some thirty-five thousand people were condemned to death in England and Wales between 1770 and 1830, and seven thousand were ultimately executed, the majority convicted of crimes such as burglary, horse theft, or forgery. Mostly poor trades people, these terrified men and women would suffer excruciating death before large and excited crowds.”
From the publisher’s blurb for: VAC Gatrell: The Hanging Tree – Execution and the English People 1770-1868 (Oxford UP, 1996)

For those who would relish details about hanging, drawing and quartering – not for the squeamish:
http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/hdq.html

The attractive current fiscal advantage of capital punishment is that it is so much less expensive for taxpayers than keeping the convicted in secure accommodation at an annual cost to taxpayers nowadays of £40,000+.

Of course, there is the minor politically embarrassing matter of the numbers of innocent people who have been convicted by due process of capital crimes since WW2, but let’s not dwell on such distasteful incidentals:
http://www.innocent.org.uk/

My favourite hanging, drawing and quartering story is about an event in 1447:

In 1447 five men had already been hanged, cut down while still alive and stripped naked ready for quartering when their Royal pardon arrived by messenger but the hangman refused to return their clothes – a legitimate perk of his job – so the five were obliged to walk home naked. At least the hangman wasn’t going to be called a scab for neglecting to insist on his entitlement under custom and practice. Viva trade unionism.

Source: the entry for “Tyburn” in Weinreb and Hibbert (eds): The London Encyclopaedia (1993). Tyburn was close to where Marble Arch now stands.

@25, ukliberty, can you tell me exactly what is meant by “no need to legislate to make people behave in an environmentally “greener” way”, other than opposition to environmental legislation?

You can’t both believe that and support clean air legislation, which is about making people behave in an environmentally “greener” way.

Edward, I apologise – it was I who got it wrong.

38. astateofdenmark

Only 20%? I’m pleasantly surprised.

And the question was about the death penalty, not hanging. I know a few people who have convince themselves that the death penalty is fine, provided it is ‘humane’. Which when questioned usually means drug overdosing them.

39. Roberto Blanco

only 20%? Im pleasantly surprised

In other news, only 20% of Conservatives are racist. Pleasantly surprising eh?

Try this educative doc by Michael Portillo for BBCTV Horizon on the science of executions:
http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/educational/watch/v142180623k6Etksg#

41. astateofdenmark

39
Equating support of a death penalty with racism. Classy.

That is fine ukliberty, it was a mistake I or anyone else could have made in the circumstances.

We can’t have capital punishment in the UK for the same reason that we can’t have fox hunting. Because we as a country are so sensitive about things that other people don’t really get into such a flap about.

I was waking though the night market in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur the other night and at a chicken stall a couple of guys were cutting the throats of chickens and then just tossing them into a basket to bleed to death (halal style). I watched a few birds get done, wincing before walking on. No one else (including young children) batted an eyelid.

This is a an old mural that has been untouched by people passing by, on the old prison near the center of town – right by a rail station. In Britain it would have been defaced soon after being painted.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_oVvCYxtlKQo/SyarZnJKZyI/AAAAAAAABMg/C8OGMa9TVsc/s400/PuduMural1.JPG
It doesn’t make Malaysians barbarians though.

I would vote against capital punishment in the UK, but I don’t mourn the death of the Washington sniper for example. Or some of the worst murderers who have been topped. Why keep them around for years like a bad smell and reminder of their crimes?
As I say, I’d be against, but perhaps we have become too detached from our more ”natural” selves.

44. Golden Gordon

Damon
I would vote against capital punishment in the UK, but I don’t mourn the death of the Washington sniper for example. Or some of the worst murderers who have been topped. Why keep them around for years like a bad smell and reminder of their crimes?
Confused by the last sentence seems to contradict the first.
I can understand the revenge aspect of CP but not the deterrent argument. It didn’t work in 18th C England and does not work in 21st C USA.
Also there is a golf club class of Tories, the majority of it’s voters, who say things that Cameron dare not say. The new progressive party, maybe, and it’s a big maybe, at the top but not in it’s heartland.

45. Golden Gordon

Maybe the Pythons Meaning of life style execution is required. Bouncy birds chasing a man to his death of the cliffs of Dover
All the conservative boxes ticked.
1. Dead criminal at the end.
2. Could be shown on Sky. Keeps Murdoch happy and pays for itself.
3. Satisfies the blood lust of the golf clubbers, taxi drivers and right wing bloggers.
4. If they are immigrants they would simply float out of British waters.
Sorted

Golden Gordon – it might sound contradictory because I have conflicting opinions on capital punishment. I’m generally against it, but I don’t think it would be such a bad thing for particularly brutal criminals just to be put down and not keep them living some pointless life banged up forever.
I understand that we can’t do that because the nature of our society, but if it was a bit different and we weren’t so squeamish then I wouldn’t object too strongly to the worst of people being done in.

I mean, what would be the point of keeping Fred West alive for the next 30 years if he was still alive? Just for him to turn into some tabloid bogeyman.
Same with the Washington sniper.
Is it so much worse than supporting NATO’s war in Afghanistan where we kill people every day? (I don’t support that).

Albert Pierrepoint concluded, after hanging over 400 people, that it was ineffective as a deterrent and was merely a form of revenge by society. One of the last people he hanged was Ruth Ellis. Would she have even been imprisoned today?

Perhaps the capital punishment fetishists feel that these changes show we have become weak. Compassion and understanding aren’t signs of weakness.

As others have pointed out, how many hangers and floggers consider themselves Christian or “pro life”?

I would have hoped we could move on from this sterile “debate.”

Nice to know where all the marxist vermin hang out.Still, I’m sure you’ll grow up one day – perhaps when you have to pay your own bills – spongers.

Ah, classic use of what Fraser Nelson would call a ‘Brownie’

which gifts £1.2bn to the top 2 per cent of wealthiest estates

The implication is that somehow everything you have belongs to the state, and they are being generous by ‘gifting’ it back to you. Who ought to decide what is done with the money? The recently deceased who, you know, worked for that money, or the state who would probably use it to employ 20,000 outreach workers or racism awareness councillors?

Isn’t it also funny that critics only talk of the richest 2 per cent when they talk of these proposals. No mention at all of those who no longer have to pay inheritance tax at all. Perhaps I should be asking you why you think people who own a two bedroom flat in Camden (asking price, £450,000 according to rightmove) should pay over £40,000 in tax when they pass on their ‘estate’?

EDIT: Reformatted – feel free to delete my previous comment

A record survives of the names and convictions of those executed at Newgate Prison (which was on the site of what is now the Old Bailey) between 9 December 1783 and 31 November 1799:
http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/ng1783.html

Note the last execution at Tyburn by hanging on 7 November 1783. Only a small minority of those executed had been convicted of murder; most executions were for crimes against property, which rather illuminates social priorities. Of those executed, 3 women were burned at the stake for coining, which was High Treason. For reasons of public decency, legislation provided that women convicted of High Treason were to be burned at the stake instead of being hanged, drawn and quartered.

Newgate prison was substantially damaged in the (anti-Catholic) Gordon riots of 1780 and subsequently rebuilt, reopening in 1782. Executions were transferred from Tyburn to Newgate. Every Monday morning, crowds gathered outside the prison to watch the executions, which were a form of popular entertainment until public executions were abolished in 1868. Thereafter, the executions were conducted inside the Newgate prison until it was finally closed in 1902.

Possibly of historic interest to readers here is this transcript of the proceedings in the trial of John Briant at the Old Bailey on 20 September 1797 for the rape of Jane Bell:
http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t17970920-12-defend120&div=t17970920-12#highlight

This was a jury trial and the defendant was duly convicted, sentenced to death and duly hanged at Newgate on 8 November 1797 according to the records of executions shown in my previous post..

Perhaps of special interest is the cross examination during the trial of the victim, Jane Bell, which seems to me to have been relatively kindly by modern day standards, even if inevitably clinical at times.

52. Golden Gordon

“Nice to know where all the marxist vermin hang out.Still, I’m sure you’ll grow up one day – perhaps when you have to pay your own bills – spongers.”
Nick Cohen will you stop using this site.
So to your reasoning, your a Marxist if you oppose capital punishment. Does Stalin know ?
Damon we are all too squeamish eh. Yes, the SS had the same problem, they found their hard men couldn’t handle the shootings hence the gassing.
Giving the choice of being squeamish and or having a total lack of empathy to the sanctity of human life. I will choice been a soft leftie.I will leave the killing to you hard men.

I’m not really into ”sanctity of human life” argument anymore than most people who aren’t pacifists. I’m not going to call for anyone to be killed, but I wouldn’t stand outside a prison in Virginia with a candle when someone like the Washington sniper was being executed either.
If Virginia people want that, then that’s their business.

@53 Damon

“If Virginia people want that, then that’s their business.”

Of course, but it says a lot about them too.

You keep mentioning the Washington Sniper. How about considering all the mentally ill, the 18 year-olds and poorly represented disadvantaged who have been executed in the Land of the Free?

I am very proud that we long ago realised that the death penalty is not a form of justice suitable for a civilised country.

“If Virginia people want that, then that’s their business.”

Presumably, this is outrageous interference in Iran’s internal affairs by another of those bleeding hearts organizations::

“Amnesty International has urged the Iranian authorities not to execute nine people sentenced to death who were arrested in relation to the protests that followed last year’s disputed presidential election.”
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/nine-risk-execution-over-iran-protests-20100202

I definitely don’t support a general death penalty, either in the States and certainly not in Iran. It’s just that I’d be tempted to make an exception for certain cases.
I’m not sure about the morality arguments about what it says about us as a people (to kill the odd person now and again).
I don’t see myself as somehow being a loftier and more humane person than all those who would have liked to have seen a bit of people’s justice handed out to the worst of our killers.

I think you can take the ”sanctity of human life” thing a bit far.
Che Guevara did what he thought had to be done.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article2461399.ece
So did Lenin.

Some people are so stupid you’d think they had a death wish.
Smuggling heroin into Malaysia??
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/53469-two-pakistanis-iranian-arrested-with-rm15m-worth-of-drugs

With compounding evidence from ever more refined DNA testing – a British discovery – of historic scene-of-crime samples and from botched or fraudulent expert testimony from forensic scientists, who were too anxious to please prosecuting lawyers, we have reasons enough for growing concerns about the reliability of many – admittedly, not all – homicide convictions, including some for which the accused were executed.

An additional curiosity is that we keep in indefinite secure detention some deemed insane but who undoubtedly were implicated in serial homicides. And there are also the horrific cases of children who murder, such as the case of Mary Bell:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/85396.stm

Those who have carefully considered whether the facts in America show that capital punishment acts as as deterrent there have concluded from the evidence that it does not:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/teaching_aids/books_articles/JLpaper.pdf

In all, I’m more at ease as a citizen from knowing that we no longer have capital punishment in Britain.

Under Islamic law, adultery is a capital offence which would likely have serious consequences for our national sport of football if Sharia law were introduced here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoning

I’m not sure about the morality arguments about what it says about us as a people (to kill the odd person now and again).

Because we do not have the moral or legal right (in peace-time), except in self-defence or the defence of others against an imminent threat.

How about instead reviving the historic British tradition of caning and corporal punishment, which has lamentably been allowed to lapse through persistent lobbying by do-gooders and social workers?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BVR3UswjHY

This educational sketch by Rowan Atkinson illuminates:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBeguUvuDzs

I hazard an explanation for our nostalgic regard for corporal punishment.

Beyond serious doubt, Britain was the superpower of the 19th century, due mainly to the supremacy of the Royal Navy. Quite why the Royal Navy was so good in sea battles, relative to other potential naval powers, is a matter for informed discussion but it was good. One reason is that British ships-of-the-line had a significantly faster rate of fire power than their opponents and that mattered in an exchange of broadsides. Another reason was the better discipline of RN seamen – try French accounts marvelling at the way in which seamen made their battle-torn ships ready to face a coming storm after the battle of Trafalgar 1805.

Churchill’s famous retort early in the last last century to someone extolling the “traditions of the Royal Navy” was to attribute the traditions to “rum, sodomy and the lash”. That could explain a lot.

61. Golden Gordon

Damon
Is the washington sniper, black because you seem a little obsessed by the fellah.
Also on what criteria do you decide which someone should be topped.
If he is black and kills white people but not the other way round.

Don’t be daft GG. His crimes were pretty appalling, and he is no loss to anyone.
I could equally have mentioned 70’s serial killer Ted Bundy – and I did already mention Fred West.
I have also stated that I don’t think we can have capital punishment in the UK because of the way our society is – and I don’t support it generally in the States because it ends up being barbaric by keeping someone on Death Row for so many years – and then killing them.

And as you can see, the Washington sniper killed all races.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Cah6rQ0gp0E/Rdd8vaCJ-BI/AAAAAAAAAM4/1vkALoo79Ac/s320/sniper-victims.jpg

I was only trying to make the theoretical point that a total rejection of any kind of capital punishment in any situation isn’t always the one with the higher moral authority.

And it’s not me deciding who should be topped in reality, but just regretting that a few people from time to time, can’t be.

You’d really have to say why you think it would have been so wrong to have killed any of those three people. Surely their ‘right to life’ doesn’t come into it?

@62

I don’t think anyone denies people’s right to life.

You are falling into the trap of conflating the crime with the punishment. While some countries are happy with the death penalty to appease their citizens’ lust for revenge or for simple economic reasons many others, happily ours included, have decided that two wrongs do not make a right.

I don’t really wish to labor the point – and I agree I am being a bit contrarian here, but why exactly would executing any of those three guys I have mentioned, be ”wrong”?

Wrong from who’s point of view? Not fair to them?
Or in someway injurious to the society doing it?
As well as a ”lust for revenge” there is also a possibility of putting some horrible episode ”to bed” so to speak.

I think that that’s been done with the three people I mentioned. Two executed and Fred West killing himself.
Did we really need to be hearing Fred West stories for the next 30 years?

Anyway, I only took this position to see if it was possible to say something against the liberal consensus that capital punishment is always wrong.

It’s mostly wrong is my opinion.

I think the point is you can’t have it both ways. The law is supposed to be the same for everyone, so you can’t say we only have capital punishment for some people.

I happen to think its always wrong because of the risk of miscarriages of justice, the effect on innocent relatives and what it does to society as a whole, among other reasons.

Killing criminals like West because of tabloid behaviour suggests a degree of confusion in your thinking.

You’d really have to say why you think it would have been so wrong to have killed any of those three people. Surely their ‘right to life’ doesn’t come into it?

Why not?

With Britain’s prison population at an all-time record as well as being the largest per capita in western Europe, we should consider reintroducing corporal punishment as an effect deterrent to unruly behaviour by youth compared with the bureaucratic nonsense of ASBOs. The government of Singapore has demonstrated the effectiveness of this deterrent over many years.

Corporal punishment would relieve the pressures on the over-worked probation service and by reducing the necessity for custodial sentences help George Osborne to cut the fiscal deficit.

Try this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVeqBbnLkt0

@67

We’re not Singapore, there are so many differences between our societies that may influence people’s behaviour that to suggest their crime rate is attributable to corporal punishment is simply facile.

We’ve got loads of prisoners because we’ve got loads of crimes. Labour have increased the number of imprisonable crimes by 3000 since 1997 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/10/conrad-black-labour-law-crime).

To deal with the most deprived, crime-blighted hotspots requires the investment of public money and police resources no politician has the guts to deliver in our tabloid-dominated politics.

@68:

You’ve obviously not watched that demo by Rowan Atkinson.

“Put the Heritage Industry to work and make a spectacle of reviving our finest British traditions!”

With the Pound at a low ebb in the exchange markets, this would do wonders for promoting the tourist industry in Britain. Even BA might attract more passengers.

Seriously, I do wonder why we in Britain have such a strong sense of nostalgia for capital and corporal punishments compared with other west European countries.


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  1. topsy_top20k_en

    20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  2. Simon HB

    RT @CathElliott: RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF << Meet the new Tories: same as the old Tories

  3. Katie

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  4. HarpyMarx

    RT @chickyog: RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  5. Luiza Sauma

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  6. Gareth Winchester

    RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA <- Only (?) 20% Tory PPCs are authoritarian bastards then…

  7. Simon Hewitt

    RT @chickyog: RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  8. tony hatfield

    RT @chickyog: RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  9. Michael Hanley

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF < They'll get a hung parliament, and that is all

  10. earwicga

    RT @CathElliott: RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF << Meet the new Tories: same as the …

  11. Andrew Tindall

    RT @hanlemic: RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF < They'll get a hung parliament, and that is all

  12. Jordan Newell

    RT @wdjstraw: RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  13. Alex Ross

    20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/ce7dJP

  14. Hannah McFaull

    RT @TheBrianDuggan: RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  15. Martin Johnston

    RT @CathElliott: RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF << Meet the new Tories: same as the old Tories

  16. Jonty Olliff-Cooper

    RT @pickledpolitics: RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  17. James Plunkett

    RT @mydavidcameron: RT @hanlemic RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF < They'll get a hung pa …

  18. Bella Caledonia

    RT @pickledpolitics: RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  19. Milena Buyum

    RT @pickledpolitics: RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  20. MissTJD

    As if you needed another reason to not vote Tory — RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  21. Liberal Conspiracy

    20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  22. Richard George

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  23. Elly M

    There would be one of many reasons I shan't be voting Tory… RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  24. CathElliott

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF << Meet the new Tories: same as the old Tories

  25. Justin McKeating

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  26. Soho Politico

    Meet the new Tories: same as the old Tories. RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  27. Me Myself and I

    As do public RT @SohoPolitico Meet the new Tories: same as the old. RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want 2 bring bak hangng http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  28. Steve Brewer

    RT @SohoPolitico: Meet the new Tories: same as the old Tories. RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  29. Kate B

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  30. ciphergoth

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  31. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  32. Will Straw

    RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  33. Joseph Brown

    RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  34. Gary Williams

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  35. Jessica Asato

    RT @wdjstraw: RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  36. Andrew Nix

    RT @hanlemic & @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF <<<< They'll get a hung parliament, and that is all

  37. sunny hundal

    RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  38. Brian Duggan

    RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  39. James Cowley

    RT @TheBrianDuggan: RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  40. Paul Sandars

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  41. Mikey Smith

    RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF

  42. Rachael Mc

    RT @mydavidcameron RT @hanlemic RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF #sameoldtories

  43. Graeme Stirling

    RT @mistywabbit: RT @mydavidcameron RT @hanlemic RT @libcon: 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/dBAucF #sameoldtories

  44. Liz McShane

    RT @TheBrianDuggan: RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA

  45. Daryl Chambers

    RT @pickledpolitics: RT @libcon 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging http://bit.ly/9lskGA Once a bastard , always a bastard.

  46. Dave Drever

    Liberal Conspiracy » 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging: Hmm, does the ComRes poll explicitly ask about h… http://bit.ly/cWCa5R

  47. Todd Inman

    Liberal Conspiracy » 20% of Tory PPCs want to bring back hanging: We can't have capital punishment in the UK for t… http://bit.ly/9DDw7Y

  48. Jonathan Davis

    @pwaring I can really believe that. According to this, 20% of Tory PPCs do: http://bit.ly/p8E0LN





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