Sunday, July 31, 2005

Answering Terrorism.

There are two sides to every coin. I think that while desiring a crackdown on Islamists, on all who support them, and for pressure to be put on the communities who harbour them- we have to admit that there are people who, like the terrorists against democracy in Iraq, don't want our society to work. There are vicious and destructive people who build their own rationale to the point where they express it violently- if 'express' weren't a horrible euphemism for acts like that against Anthony Walker in Liverpool-, of British origin.

Maybe it's sentimental, but everything I hear about him suggests that the apparent racists who targeted him chose an admirable example of where integration actually works, in order to make their point the more brutal and hard nosed.

Just over ten years ago I was part of a debate where I argued for the reintroduction of the death penalty (I lost the original vote, won the ultimate one). One of the things I argued was that for society to have the respect of all its extremely varied and vigorous members, it had to have an effective ultimate sanction. I still hold that view, and I'd apply it to the likes of Anthony's murderers. Our sclerotic justice system won't wake up until it realises the power it has whether it likes it or not. The fact is that power suppressed is merely manifested in the increasingly ego-centric behaviour of the extremer fringes of society. If somebody out there thinks that Anthony's death was just politics by other means- because they calculated it to be that way- then politics has to be able to give an answer by other means than the purely political ones it currently has.

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