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Saturday, January 19, 2008 

Scum-watch: Vengeance, redemption and hypocrisy.

The Scum is in full hyper-ventilating rage about the beating administered to Susan Collins by Nicholas Hague, who the paper says was "freed early" but who had actually served the usual amount of time that someone jailed for 18 months does, due to the time he had spent on remand. The image of her in hospital is indeed sickening, and it seems that Hague is likely to serve far more time than the minimum of three and a half years that was recommended, as he was also given an indeterminate sentence.

The leader is typically brazen and sneering of "liberal values":

Liberals argue there is good in everyone. Well, good luck finding it in Nicholas Hague

...

There is no hope for such monsters, or the snivelling trio who murdered loving dad Garry Newlove only three miles away.

The Sun then condemns immature men to a permanent life sentence. Such sentiments reject and ensure that there is no chance of redemption or reform. Our urge for vengeance, because that's what it is, is strong, and is it also righteous; what is not however, is always right. If we decided there was no hope for such people, then there wouldn't be Erwin James, John Hirst or all the other countless men that have committed terrible crimes but whom have repented and then spent their lives either making amends or living peacefully. The three boys who killed Newlove have not yet reached twenty; who's to say that when they are released, in 15 to 20 years time if not longer by a rough estimate, that they won't have been completely changed by their experience? Nothing that we do to them will bring back Newlove, but why should more lives be abandoned and institutionalised through condemning them until the day they die?

I'm opposed to capital punishment on principle, but I sometimes think that you might as well put those sentenced to life imprisonment when it actually means life to death: when there's no hope for redemption, or any chance of freedom for them, why should they bother to seek it and why should we then in turn provide the funds that keep them fed and alive? It's a pointless exercise all round, and the reason why Ian Brady should have been allowed to die long ago and why Myra Hindley should have been released before she died in prison.

Of course, when someone actually does show signs of forgiveness and reform, the Sun declines to believe it, as the recent case of Learco Chindamo showed, with its attempt to smear him on the basis of the words of another ex-con. It's also selective of those cases of which to chose. Here's another picture of someone who was beaten, except this time to death:


However, when some of those charged in connection with his death were found not guilty, the Sun said that "common sense had prevailed," and also that the "every aspect of investigating so-called crimes had to be re-examined." Baha Mousa wasn't beaten to death by yobs but by British soldiers who had been torturing him, the same heroes that the Sun never has a bad word to say against. How hollow the last two sentences of the Sun's leader are once you're aware of such callousness:

It is important, though, that Britain does not become blasé about the inhuman violence meted out to Susan or Garry.

A society immune to such savagery will not be worth living in.


The Sun is though at the forefront of making sure that savagery and inhuman violence committed by British forces overseas
is treated in such a blasé manner.

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