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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

UK Executions

'Beware of what you wish for' has ever been wise advise. The government's plan to re-open petitions on the Downing Street website, with a commitment to allowing Parliamentary time for debate, potentially as either a government or private member's Bill, seems like good democracy at first sight. But imagine this.

Jihadist terrorists detonate an ANFO truck-bomb in Paddington. Amongst the 200-odd fatalities are an entire primary school class of 35 children. An online petition to Downing Street to restore capital punishment for terrorist murders rapidly gathers 12m signatures, and MPs, stunned and cowed by the depth of public reaction, pass an Act restoring the death penalty, effective for all new convictions even if the crimes were committed before the legislative date. The six Pakistani and Somali Jihadists convicted of the Paddington bombings are held in Belmarsh whilst their appeals are quickly exhausted. Balfour Beatty quietly build a new execution shed at the prison, and Britain's first Hangman for forty years, recruited by the Home Office, tests the drop. Between seven and nine on a Friday morning, the six terrorists are hanged. Their cremated remains are scattered within the prison. 

By Friday evening, news is in that a British honeymoon couple in Jakarta have been kidnapped and hanged from a roadbridge. A British aid worker in Pakistan is shot. A bomb is detonated at the embassy in Yemen. Al-Jazeera broadcasts features on the Jihadist Martyrs almost constantly. The headline 'UK Executions' features on the strap lines of newspapers across the world; suddenly, we're in a new phase of conflict. In Leeds, three young female jihadists carefully strap their suicide vests under their Hijabs and prepare to catch a bus into the city centre. 


Edward Spalton said...

Except that our MPs would be unable to pass any such Act whilst Britain remains in the EU.

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR which runs parallel with the EU although it is not strictly of it) does provide for member states to sign up under a protocol which permits the death penalty "in time of war or imminent threat of war" (which, of course, is any time politicians say so).

According to Professor Schachtschneider (emeritus professor of public law at the university of Erlangen Nuremberg), under Lisbon the EU INSTITUTIONS are signed up under this protocol but the member states are signed up under protocols which prohibit the death penalty in all cases. If you Google Schachtschneider 10, you get the summing up of his talk on this subject with English subtitles. SO you have to look to the EU itself for a return of capital punishment - unless, of course, we are well out of it and paddling our own canoe.

Pat said...

Your assumption appears to me to be that if we are kind to people who kill to further their cause, then fewer people will do so, whereas if we treat them as they treat others then more will do so. They clearly believe that killing helps their cause, perhaps killing them will have the same effect for our cause. I am somewhat doubtful of the proposition that there will be more Jihadis if they suffer consequences for their actions- rather I think they are already doing their worst. Being nice to your enemies does not make them your friends.
On a more general theme- public opinion is volatile, and to enact legislation based on a poll, petition, whatever, taken in a limited time-frame will produce bad results- that is after all how we select governments. Better to re-run the petition two or three years later and then enact its proposals if it produces the same result.

Anonymous said...

This reads like the plot of some far flung novel set in a time unknown to us. The leaps of imagination go from restarting the petitions through to world war in the reading of a paragraph (yes, I am aware of the butterfly effect).

If such a Paddington bus bomb was ever to happen, I think we would see a different effect in Britain akin more to civil war where indiginous white skinned Britons go on the rampage, indiscriminately killing dark-skinned "foriegners". And one way or another, the UK government would have to step in at that point. Now thats a step that is easier to imagine, given the effects on feelings of tube travellers following the London tube bombings.

All that said - I think on the whole, the content of this entire post is rather worrying...

Coney Island

English Pensioner said...

I think that you are jumping to conclusions far too readily. Cameron will ask parliament to debate issues that get a certain number of signatures but this is a totally meaningless gesture. The whips will still tell MPs how to vote and nothing will change.
It's worth reading John Redwood's blog on the subject
Another problem is that if we accept your argument, we would never do anything for fear of retaliation, which I find unacceptable.

Tarka the Rotter said...

How about something less draconian: anyone convicted of terrorist activities is automatically deported to their country of ethnic origin, along with their entire families and dependants...

Yeah, I know, Human Rights Act and all that...

Spent Copper said...

A interesting idea Tarka, except of course that those Countries would refuse to take them, especially if this involved deporting individuals who were born in this Country. There would be not a thing we could do about it and thus our weakness and decline as a once great Nation would be emphasised yet again. We need not wory though. All the time we remain in the EU we do not, as Edward Spalton makes clear above, have the option of re introducuing the Death Penalty or I supect, many other things.

Jack Savage said...

Maybe...maybe not.
Hands up all those who think we are handling all this in the best possible way?
Thought not.
I do not think capital punishment is the way forward, but we need to keep all options under review.
At present, what happens is that we release people like Magrahi,(the putative aircraft bomber...O.K. he probably did not do it but that is not the point) for political reasons. What message does that send, exactly?

JuliaM said...

Well, it's not like appeasing them is working so well, is it? Time to try something else...

Morgana said...

Our very strength, and the source of so much fury in parts of the jihadist world, is surely our refusal to cow to their tactics, and our determination to maintain the moral high ground as a society.... they don't just hate us... they fear us... and not because of our military power, but because of our ability to make our own individual decisions. Bringing back capital punishment would damage us more than any terrorist ever could.

Anyway... to the point that Radders was making... I still like to think that as a society, we are capable of debate... even if we are all to often stirred into frenzy by the ink pots and pens of a few morally bankrupt media barons.

I cannot see a likely situation where capital punishment would be reintroduced, other than a crime so heinous and vast in its scope that society was changed for ever. Maybe 12million would vote for the change... but an equally huge number are still capable of seeing the bigger picture and would argue the case against.

Anonymous said...

Dear me Morgana - any more 'moral high ground' in th UK and you all will find yourselves untermentch because the jihadists fanatics and their families. will immigrate and multiply till you give up.
After all look about you - there is an awful lot of them already.

Morgana said...

I've heard that kind of argument before in Europe.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of peaceful followers of the Islamic faith continue to suffer from the assertion that they are all Jihadists.

Ed P said...

Assumptions about morality, rational debate and fear of the death penalty are wasted on jihadists. A death penalty would give them more incentive, not less. The 72 white raisins (not virgins) would be more welcome. Islam means submission, not peace. Fanatics are not (by definition) subject to reason, so why try to reason with them?

Weekend Yachtsman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Weekend Yachtsman said...

Note that the only occasion in recent times when popular opinion was given the slightest attention was the bbc poll on a private member's bill which some Lib-Dem lefty promised to put forward once the people had spoken.

Naturally he expected something about global warming, or limiting bankers' bonuses, or free stuff for everybody, or some such warm horse manure.

Whereas what the people actually said was "we want a law making it OK for us to shoot burglars" (approximately speaking); whereupon said lefty threw up his hands in horror and said "well we didn't mean those kinds of laws, or that those kinds of ordinary people should be listened to", reneged on his promise, and that's as far as the matter went.

And that is as far as any popular opinion will be allowed to go. If an e-petition got a million signatures requesting a referendum on the EU constitution what do you think iDave would do? Agree to hold one? Be serious.

Your scenario could only happen in a free independent democratic country, none of which Britain is any more.

Anonymous said...

The problem are not Jihadis but the rapid growth of the so called moderate Muslim population. Once they are large enough, say around 40%, sharia can, and will be implemented via parliament. End of the historic cultural identity of the UK- something even the Nazis could not, or had no intention of doing.

Jihadis merely function as an instrument to demoralise the population, and panic the authorities to take unwise acts.

The real problem is therefore, how to reduce or remove the Muslim population of the UK without recourse to coercion, and therefore, without sacrificing the UK's culture of civilised values.

It can be done "in the best possible taste", as Kenny Everett would put it.

Don Cox said...

"how to reduce or remove the Muslim population of the UK without recourse to coercion"

People move from less pleasant countries to more pleasant countries: immigration is the sincerest form of flattery. So you can do this by making Britain nastier to live in than Pakistan.

They also move to where they think there are jobs. Reducing VAT on all goods and services originating in Pakistan, and increasing it to 33% for those originating in Britain, should greatly reduce the number of jobs in the UK and somewhat increase the in Pakistan.

However, you might find that British natives with ambition would move there, while most Muslims would stay here.

A method that does involve coercion would be to apply full Sharia Law to all Muslims, administered by extreme Salafists. Muslims would be banned from all forms of art, music and entertainment, as well as from alcohol. All Muslim women would be made to wear the burka on the rare occasions they were allowed out of the house. They would be banned from driving.

Anonymous said...

The profound problem of Muslim immigration

The subversion against our societies is executed by relatively few immigrants. Most immigrants from Islamic countries do not come to the West in order tor transform free Western countries into semblances of the autocracies or theocracies they have fled from. They seek better living conditions, employment, a better future – but they do so without the intention to change their religion, and this is where things get complicated.

Retaining faith in Islam and Islamic scholars will lead the immigrants to tacitly support the subversive aims of Islamists who have also come to the West, initially as a relatively small fraction of millions of Islamic immigrants. These Islamic leaders and scholars use the Islamic teachings to destroy confidence in Western democracies, and they are astonishingly effective in achieving that aim.

Explaining how this seemingly irrational development can take place requires some history. This first and foremost means the life and conduct of Muhammad, the perfect example for the pious Muslim even today. The authority of Muhammad is absolute in Islam, be it in form of Quranic commands or the examples of conduct recorded in hadith collections, known in Islam as the 'Sunna'. Hijra, immigration, was a key element in Muhammads takeover of Yathrib, today known as Medina.

Unfortunately, the concept of Hijra is not limited in time or space to 7th century Arabia. The command as given is absolute, and remains an obligation on Muslims. One of many hadith quotes Muhammad for this:
I charge you with five of what Allah has charged me with: to assemble, to listen, to obey, to immigrate and to wage Jihad for the sake of Allah.

Thus, immigration is step four out of a five step plan. Sam Solomon elaborates:
So Hijra or migration is binding on all Muslims for numerous reasons; the most important being that migration is preparatory to jihad with an aim and objective of securing victory for Islam and Muslims either in another country or generally as a community.

Anonymous said...

And from Jihad Watch

The massive, catastrophic problem that is the presence of tens of millions of Muslims in Europe is finally dawning on the other citizens of that continent. Fitfully and unevenly, they are stirring themselves to find that they have invited a dangerous enemy into their home, who has no intention of leaving, or ceasing to act aggressively. Time will tell if this civilizational crisis will be solved by peaceful, lawful means, or the fate of Europe as a whole will mirror that of Kosovo--a province that as recently as 1900 was still majority Serbian and Christian. Indeed, with its ancient churches and monasteries, that region was the historic heart of the Serbian nation--the Balkan equivalent of Ile de France, Westminster, or Plymouth Rock.

Indeed, I think the real reason why NATO and the U.S. struck so hard at the Serbs in 1999 was to teach Europeans a lesson: When sharia comes, you will not be allowed to fight back. You are being displaced as the Serbs have been displaced. Attempt to resist, and this will be your fate. Of course, the real atrocities Serbs committed against Kosovar Muslims cannot be justified. Besides being evil, they were utterly futile; the battle for Kosovo had been fought decades before, and lost. The higher birthrate of Muslims was part of the story, but another part is too often forgotten: the role of the Communist Yugoslav government, which saw Serbian nationalism as a threat and sought to dilute it by purposely moving Muslims out of Albania and into Kosovo. (Read the melancholy story in Milica Bookman's The Demographic Struggle for Power--cogently reviewed here.)

Anonymous said...

Don Cox

Thanks for the reply.

Any coercion violates our principles of freedom of expression, association and freedom to practice religion. The only exceptions to the curtailment of such liberties are in war time.

I believe, that step by step, we are moving to a full scale war. The recent arrests of Jihadis in England, Denmark, Netherlands and the spate of deadly bombings of Christians in Nigeria and Egypt are simply enemy actions against those who they consider are our allies. Its to be expected.