The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Perhaps We Can Sell You Some Bullets?

The British Government, as we know, is more or less opposed to the death penalty. Where it cannot get a lawful detrimentation by the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club, it prefers to deport people to war-zones or have them restrained by boot-boys in the employ of G4S, rather than stringing them up on its own account. Certainly the British Government has no particular liking for countries full of dusky foreigners, more than one of them Muslim, who go around executing people without even having the courtesy to be the United States. Nevertheless, there are principles which the Government holds even more dear than the right to life of white British drug smugglers; and one of these is the contributory principle which dictates that British citizens are entitled to as much legal aid as they can pay for out of their own pockets. The co-defendants of the drug smuggler in question had access to funds and competent legal counsel, and received custodial sentences of no more than seven years; the smuggler herself, courtesy of the British Government, had no funds and received a sentence of death by firing squad. According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's own legal counsel, "that does not mean that the appellant's individual circumstances have been ignored"; as one would expect, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has taken the appellant's individual circumstances into account so far as making a conscious decision to do nothing about them. Doubtless the British Government deplores the death sentence for its lack of humane profitability to the likes of G4S and Serco; but given the appellant's financial state, any pretence of real disagreement would simply be a waste of resources.


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