I’ve become fairly jaded as my years have increased, the bright burning flame of fighting for what was right (then) gradually faded as the years past and the need to provide for family taught me a few valuable lessons on what really is important along with the suspicion that the real enemy is those in power, not necessarily those in government’ the rich or anyone different. Along the way my ability to become shocked has faded as in general humanity has proven time and time again that there literally no depth of depravity that some members of the human race aren’t prepared to plumb either to support a cause or get their kicks or in this instance steal.
Thieves have stolen a metal plaque erected in memory of two young boys who were killed in an IRA bomb attack in Warrington, Cheshire.
Tim Parry, who was 12, and Johnathan Ball, aged three, died in 1993 when two bombs detonated in the town centre injuring 54 people.
The A3 size plaque is thought to have a scrap metal value of no more than £30.
Tim Parry’s father Colin said the theft was “soulless, heartless and just very offensive”.
He said: “My reaction is one of incredulity that somebody would be so heartless and without any conscience, and just calmly walk along and take something that has minimal [cash] value but huge emotional value.
It wasn’t as if they’d stole something from a past age, shocking as that might be, the Warrington bomb attack is still a fresh scar to the people of that town and particularly the parents of the children killed. Nor despite the peace process in Northern Ireland is their a sense of forgiveness for the act that killed two children and injured fifty four others. There have been other atrocities in the meantime of course, but none at which a memorial has been stolen with such poignant memories.
Yet this is just part of an ongoing battle against metal thieves and those who provide the cash for their activities. No doubt there will be calls to license all scrap metal merchants and prevent a cash in hand system, that’s the usual response of the state when a public outcry forces them into action. It wont work of course, legislation like that never does.
Perhaps what we need is a punishment to fit the crime, rather than a simple slap on the wrist in most cases and being told not to do it again. Perhaps our prison system is too soft anyway and should be somewhere where people dread being sent too.
I don’t have the answers, draconian legal systems rarely work well anyway, but what we do need is an effective one which includes a deterrent value.
In one sense I’m glad I still had the ability to feel anger of an act like this, the problem is though it should have been easier.