Written on: 25. 8. 2011 in the category: news


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Are you against capital punishment? You probably are. Very well. If Hitler or Himmler, he of The Final Solution, had been captured alive, should they have been executed? Would it not have been a revolting insult to the millions of dead for those men to have been allowed to remain alive? No doubt they could have penned exquisitely thoughtful essays on the meaning of guilt in the long years that mercy might have allowed them, but really, the world is always a better place without such creatures. A Pierrepoint with purpose can often do wonders.


So I’m probably not like you. I accept in principle the right of the state to execute. The practical objections are many – so much so, indeed, that capital punishment might even become impossible in practice. But if I were to hear of capital punishment for heinous crimes elsewhere, I am unlikely to sign a petition for mercy. A serial child-killer in Texas really can go his own sweet way to the chair, as far as I’m concerned.


Four young Russian men have just been found guilty of gang-raping a teenage girl in London. Admittedly, this was after an eight-week trial, so it’s possible that there were some subtleties that I haven’t grasped, and maybe they deserve some compassion. Certainly, under EU law, and human rights conventions, no-one can be executed for anything, which I personally think is an ideological virtue taken to excess, but no matter. The men will not be executed. However, if the crime had occurred in the hypothetical Republic of Mormonistan or in the Kingdom of Redneckovia where gang-rape is a capital-crime, and there were no doubt about their guilt, and someone were to ask me to sign a petition demanding clemency, I would decline, and not even politely. Gang-rapists deserve the pity of gravitational hemp.


Dominic Lawson once wrote a celebrated analysis of a  Guardian profile of some politician, in which the latter had been described as “anti-capital punishment but also anti-abortion”. Hold on, he said. What was the “but” doing there? Surely, if one was opposed to killing an adult, one would hardly then countenance killing an unborn child? But – ah yes, that word again – in the Guardian world-view, being against capital punishment of a known murderer is ideologically and morally synonymous with maintaining the right to kill a blameless foetus. Yet there is no actual moral logic or ethical coherence connecting the two stances, merely the irreducible and passionately-held belief that there is. This is writing emotions into law.


To be sure, mankind has always done that – which is why heresy became and remained for so long a criminal offence. It is also why we still have laws against sex-for-money. These were once the creation of a Catholic or Christian culture, but they are now largely the preserve of feminists. Only an emotionally illogical incontinence of the Guardian but-variety would allow feminists to campaign for, “Women’s Bodies Are Their Own”, and “Women’s Right To Choose!” at the same time as campaigning for, “But Not Their Right To Use Their Bodies As Sex-Workers!”


Feminists don’t like it that men want to and often can buy sexual favours from women. Perhaps it is because there is no real equivalence. Women’s libido does not really find gratification in buying male bodies. So feminists want to criminalise this one-way activity, even when there’s no proof that there was any coercion involved. To justify this stance, their argument is usually clouded with generalised allegations of “trafficking”, with the clear suggestion that many working girls are sex-slaves who have been brought here against their will.


Sorry. This will not do. Parallel investigations in Ireland and England have revealed almost no confirmed cases of slave-trafficking for the sex-industry in recent history. As the liberalising ginger-group, “Turn off the Blue Light” argues, the average “brothel-keeper” in Ireland is a young foreign woman who is herself an independent sex-worker. The term “brothel-keeper” is of course an absurd anachronism: and our courts now virtually recognise as much. Only one of the 55 people who have pleaded guilty to the charge in the past five years has been imprisoned. But nonetheless they now have criminal records, for engaging in the kind of sexual deeds that most of us have been doing since we were teenagers.


The only justification for this idiocy comes with the deployment of a  Guardian style “but”. Adult women may do what adult women may want to do, but not if other adult women called Feminists disapprove of them doing it. This now takes the disingenuous guise of the latest Swedish femi-wheeze: the demand to prosecute the male clients instead. In other words, punish someone for a consensual activity between grown-ups, merely because you disapprove of it. This is the same moral basis upon which laws against male homosexuals were enacted. The absence of any campaign against male homosexual prostitution confirms the lack of any coherent legal logic here. In reality, this is all about the jurisprudential gratification of some powerful and deeply prudish emotions masquerading as “feminism”: which is just about the worst possible reason for any law.

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