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Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Twisted Morality of Simon Heffer and Iain Duncan-Smith

At last, the British government has shown some compassion and released the dying former train robber Ronnie Biggs.

But some people aren't happy.

I remember watching Question Time a few weeks back and seeing the politician Iain Duncan-Smith oppose the release of Biggs. Biggs was a serious criminal, the law should be obeyed, people should always serve their sentence etc, etc, he went on. I wonder if this was the same 'IDS' who was an enthusiastic supporter of the illegal Iraq war- which has been responsible for the deaths of up to 1m people? The Nuremburg judgement held that "to initiate a war of not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime" - but it was a crime that IDS supported.

So too Simon Heffer.

In today’s DT Heffer expresses indignation that Biggs has been released.

His release ‘exemplifies the moral destitution of our society’

The best comments under his obnoxious piece come from
'Christine M'
I think its heartless to complain about a dying man being given freedom. The right thing has happened. What does it show about our country if we cannot show compassion? we should be proud of the fact.

And 'Noodles':
How sad and twisted Simon Heffer is. For years he has bleated on from an elevated, privileged position and always with an indignant, self righteous tone
Heffer …continues to be a part of the establishment whose arrogance knows no bounds and has little or no time for compassion,instead preferring to take these so called ' higher moral ground ' and completely missing the humanitarian aspects of the case.

The morality of 'IDS' and Heffer is simple. A man who takes part in a robbery is more of a criminal than someone who launches an illegal war against a sovereign state which causes enormous loss of life.

The fact that people who hold such views are still prominent in our public life ‘exemplifies the moral destitution of our society’, far more than the release of an 80-year old man dying from pneumonia.


Anonymous said...

There was some weird looking crank on BBC Newsnight a couple of days ago (Nick Cohen was the name, I think) saying much the same thing that you are.

Maybe we should all just remember that being part of a gang of violent thugs (remember the poor train-driver anyone?) doesn't exactly make Biggs a fluffy lovable rogue! And nobody told him to go on the run, did they? If he'd just done his time like the other gang members he would have been out again while he still had plenty of good years left to live, wouldn't he?

I'm not saying that I wouldn't let him out now that he's 80 and a sick man. But don't let's see him as some kind of working class hero! Biggs was a dangerous criminal, and he has never expressed one single regret for his crimes!

Anonymous said...

A truly compassionate society would have released Biggs a few years ago to enable him to live out the final years of his life a free man and not wait until he was at death's door. He is not a murderer and poses no threat to society.

Charlie Marks said...

Biggs is on his last legs and will soon meet his maker and perhaps face judgement again.

There's overcrowding in the prison system - dangerous for staff and inmates, and no good for the rest of us. Would we rather a sick old man be let out to die, or that he stay detained effectively "cell-blocking" - taking up space that could be used to detain really dangerous and violent people...

Dave Cole said...

Hang on - you're in favour of capital punishment!

Adam said...

What's the logic of keeping a dying old man in prison? As Charlie Marks says, it's not as if we don't have a problem with overcrowding.

Roland Hulme said...

Did Ronnie Biggs show any compassion when he clubbed that train crew over the head, giving him permanent brain damage?

Nope - and neither should we.

This whole idea of hailing him as a 'cheeky hero' is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

criminals are assholes. get it into your fucking skull. so he's old. at what age exactly are you to be absolved of a hideous crime? shall we set a law for that as well? -lets see where that takes us. All bitter disgruntled OAP's will be entitled not just to moan, but to slaughter any of the next generation they disapprove of in some way.