Certain issues tend to come to the fore from time to time and the reintroduction of the death penalty is one such. The arguments will be aired – and they won’t be radically different from the last time that they were exposed to daylight. The debate will rage back and forth and the same basic points will be chewed over. No one’s mind will be changed and we will put the matter back into the drawer from whence it came until the next time.
Of course, whether this e-petition thing is merely a sop to the masses, a great pretence at listening is another matter. Guido’s campaign to restore the ultimate sanction for certain types of killer will never be made law. But why just cop-killers and child-killers? What about cops who kill ordinary citizens? And why is the life of a child deemed more valuable than that of an adult? Are we not all human under the skin, irrespective of our time on this planet?
That’s by the by; it is a silly campaign on the face of it, doomed as it is to fail and frankly, just because an awful lot of people want something, it doesn’t follow that it is the right thing to do. The ultimate democracy is merely mob rule and when did that suddenly become a fine, upstanding idea?
No, a little bit of me is wondering if there is a subtext to all of this. If the e-petitions thing is merely bread and circuses for the masses, a pretence that parliament is listening, then the failure of a populist campaign will demonstrate the “listening to what you say” line to be a lie just as we suspected all along.
Or am I crediting Guido with too much intelligence aforethought?