Death and taxes are often considered to be the only things certain in life. One is under the control of government. The other, currently, is not.
The government claim they will be ‘forced to consider’ the return of the death penalty if a few thousand people sign an online petition. Yet they have studiously ignored many thousands of calls for a referendum on the EU, for a revision of the smoking ban, for control of our borders, and much more. What makes this case special? Is it because this time, people have been goaded into asking for something the government actually wants?
The techniques involved in gaining support for this new venture do seem eerily similar to those employed previously. Demonisation of particular people and extrapolation of those people to all similar people, and most of all, the cost to the taxpayer.
Colin Gunn is without doubt a particularly repellent individual and his demise would make the world a better place. However, looking at the comments, it’s not his crimes that cause people to call for the death penalty. It wouldn’t apply to him anyway, he has already been tried, convicted and sentenced. No, it’s not about his crimes.
Here’s the highest rated comment as I write –
another reason to bring back the death penalty… how much is it costing to keep this pondlife alive? – chu, glos,uk, 6/8/2011 13:20
There are many others in this vein.
It’s the cost of keeping people in prison that is getting the Mail’s readers excited. ‘Their’ taxes are paying to keep murderers alive and it would be so much better for the economy if those criminals were dead.
Just as the attacks on smokers, drinkers, fat people etc all boil down to ‘costing the NHS money’ and nothing to do with health concerns at all, we now have a growing mass of people who want to bring back the death penalty for no other reason than to save money.
We are seriously considering killing people to save money. Our government is pretending they have to look at this issue even though they have consistently ignored all other issues raised by the public.
Death and taxes are becoming interrelated in the current discussion on State-sanctioned murder. If we let the government kill people, it will save us money. It won’t, of course. Taxes will not decline in line with the decreasing prison population. No, the government will have the power of life and death, and still take the taxes just as before. Those crowing ‘Kill the miscreant’ have not realised this. Nor have they considered that the examples they are shown will not be subject to this new law because their time in court is over. It will only apply to those not yet in prison.
The ‘costing us money’ refrain has worked so well on smoking, drinking, obesity, and has now been extended to life itself. Criminals cost a lot of money to keep in prison. Kill them all and think of the money we’ll save.
Of course, the families of the wrongly convicted will have to be compensated but hey, it’s only other people’s money.
Am I unusual in finding this sickening? It was bad enough when smokers became legitimate targets for abuse, bad enough that shop staff feel justified in sneering at anyone buying booze, bad enough when open season was declared on the overweight. Now the same ‘costs us money’ mantra is used to go beyond harassment and abuse.
We are proposing killing people for the sake of money. And there is widespread support for this.
I write horror stories. I could never have written this one.