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Table of Contents ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Stan Dandyliver's Political Column



Crime, Thrillers & Horror

Fantasy & Science Fiction

Popular Fiction

History & Historical Fiction

Comics & Graphic Novels

Non-fiction Books

Children's Literature


Feature Articles

New ALLISON & BUSBY titles

Scene of the Crime

Interview: Joanne Harris

Publishing Wars - WWII

The Edge Chronicles

Robin Hood

Vintage Classics Twins

Mary Poppins

Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer

Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree

Harcourt Children's Books - Special Supplement

Stan Dandyliver's Political


Elizabeth Chayne's Reading Room

A Gloucestershire Lad


Stories and Serials

Phyllis Owen: A Soft White Cloud Chapter Three

Paul Norman: Daylights

Paul Norman: Heraklion ~ Outcast

Star Wars: Dark Emperor


Owen Owen's Gallery

Dark Tower Comics Covers Gallery

Marvel comics previews

Top Cow comics previews




BRING IT BACK (Written before the callous murder of Rhys Jones on August 23rd 2007)

By Stan Dandyliver, Gateway's Political Correspondent (The opinions expressed in this column in no way represent the opinions of Gateway or its Editor)

Now here's an idea I want to run past you, see how it hangs, so to speak. How do you make capital out of punishment? Put the two words together - capital punishment.??Bring back hanging. See what I did there? Well, not wishing to make light of a very serious situation, it has come to my attention that a number of people have been killed outside their homes whilst attempting, rashly, some would say, to protect their homes and their property from gangs of youths on the rampage. I don't know how you feel about this but it saddens and infuriates me. I'm sad because of the loss of life, and infuriated because I know that within a minute of these rampaging youths being arrested, or even questioned about their involvement in these most serious of crimes, an army of people will move in to protect them from our rather feeble justice. We'll be asked to consider their background, their deprivation, the fact they can't read or write, the fact they are themselves the victims, of their environment, of their lone parenting, of their lack of role models, their complete lack of anything to do in the evening because many?can't read or write, the fact theywere themselves abused whilst they were children by a bullying father, sibling, or peer, etc., etc. And so it goes on.

So-called pundits appear on TV saying the government isn't doing enough, these kids don't have anything to do, and so on, but they're missing the point - there's a serious problem now. These kids need to be removed from the streets now. By all means put something in place to get the next generation off the streets, away from the gangs and their obsession with violence and lethal weapons, but these happenings are here and now, and the perpetrators are?coddled by a society that's been forced to accept rock-bottom values for the last forty years. Every day there are headlines screaming out that people are afraid to leave their homes at night, and this is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue. The penalties for carrying knives and firearms should be so great that no one will take the risk, culminating in the death penalty for anyone who murders. If they're too young to hang, lock them up until they are old enough.

We recognise that some young people start at high school unable to read and write, and consequently become disruptive and, when that doesn't work, have to resort to gang culture and drugs to make their presence felt. But these people, no matter how deprived, cannot be allowed to interrupt our peaceful way of life. To say that we view young people with misapprehension is true. What we do about it is to let them get away with murder, often literally, and the problem simply gets worse, because they have no concept of right and wrong. We have bred two generations of people, some of whom have no respect for any kind of authority, from which we now need protection. Get the legislation in place to curfew anyone over 16 after nine o'clock. Clear the streets, and come down hard on anyone carrying a lethal weapon. Then get to work on the generation coming up through the ranks - spell it out for them in no uncertain terms - step out of line and you're for it, and make the punishment something they will understand and be deterred by. We're going soft, and it's clearly not working. I wonder if it is rooted in the women's liberation movement, and Thatcher's Total Emasculation Programme,?following which men ceased to have any meaning in society, which is now driven by women, and consequently young people stopped respecting their fathers.

No one is allowed to look at anyone else for fear of some kind of abuse. We're not allowed to smack our children, the police are not allowed to give them a clip round the ear (and I can remember a time when they could), in fact no one is allowed to do anything to them because they have to be protected. Now here's the revolutionary idea. Take the whole sorry bunch of do-gooders (and I guess that means the entire social services department) and ship 'em out to Iraq and Afghanistan, and let them have a go at the conflict out there. We don't want them here because they are counter-productive. They protect the antagonist and the victims are left to rot in a sea of bad feeling, these unsung heroes who may have had a go. Stupid, maybe, but they are the victims of their environment, not the rampaging thugs. Make it a twenty year stretch for carrying any kind of weapon. Hang them for murder.

Hang them twice over for the more violent murders, like kicking someone to death outside their own house. They serve no purpose in our increasingly rotten society. The fact they killed someone means they forfeited their right to life and protection. Don't appoint a lawyer to represent them in court, they forfeited that right too. Let them defend themselves while we applaud them on their way to the scaffold. Civil rights, human rights, they forego any protection from these pink liberal tossers who have taken over the world and made it rotten to the core. If you step outside the law, you are an outlaw, and you have no human rights because you have chosen to put yourself outside our society and the laws that were designed to protect us. What about the rights of the parents and spouses of the people whose lives have changed because someone has taken away their son, daughter, husband and wife? Why should any murderer be entitled to any rights of any kind? It's a question I can't find an answer to, because our society has been brainwashed into thinking that everyone has rights, no matter what they've done. We've made some progress in the last two thousand years or so, but in the last forty years we've taken a step back in my opinion.

As far as I'm concerned, justice only works one way. There's the person who commits the crime, and he or she needs to be punished in a way that fits the crime. If you take a life, you forfeit your own. If you hurt someone, you should suffer some kind of commensurate reprisal in the form of corporal punishment. Bring back hanging, bring back the birch, and ship every do-gooder out of the country to a place of danger, where they can bleat about human rights to their heart's content, before they are obliterated by terrorists who have put themselves outside the law. But that's what they want, isn't it? To defend everyone's inalienable right to protection, no matter what they've done. What a ridiculous concept! Rights are earned. If you obey the law, you earn those rights to take part in a peace-loving society. Step outside the law, and the rights are stripped from you, one by one, depending on the enormity of what you've done. It's so simple.....

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