Category Archives: anti-terrorist legislation

The long march of sentimentality

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Sudesh Amman

The absurdity of British criminal-justice policy over several decades at the behest of penological liberals

The British criminal-justice system, writes Dalrymple, is one of

elaborate and ceremonious frivolity.

The frivolity

is serious in its effects, not only for its immediate consequences on Britain’s crime rate but also because it undermines the legitimacy of the State, whose first and inescapable duty is to maintain enough order to secure the safety of citizens as they go about their lawful business.

Remission of prison sentences is automatic,

turning all judges into liars. When a judge says, ‘I sentence you to three years’ imprisonment,’ what he means is: ‘I sentence you to 18 months’ imprisonment.’

Appalling as terrorist violence is, the average person in Britain is many times more likely to be the victim of violent common crime than of terrorism, so that Boris Johnson’s announcement that the laws governing the sentencing of terrorists will be made more severe,

by fixing attention on what remains an uncommon problem and ignoring a far more prevalent one, may be doing a disservice.

Dalrymple says that good sense on criminal justice in Britain

will be difficult to put into practice, for a long march of sentimentality has occurred through the minds of the intelligentsia and élites in general. The father of the last man to be murdered by a terrorist recently released from prison said that he hoped his son’s death would not be used as an argument for more drastic sentencing of terrorists.

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Does one laugh or cry?

Going to Syria is not like going on a day trip to Bognor Regis

Max Hill QC: a conceited ass, and at the same time a naïf

Dalrymple writes:

One of the reasons given by Max Hill QC, the independent reviewer of anti-terrorist legislation, as to why not all British travellers returning from Syrian war zones will be prosecuted — namely that many of them were merely naïve — is itself somewhat naïve.

What we are being asked to believe

is that young people — but not so young as not to have reached the age of discretion — travelled to Syria without knowing very much about what they might find there, or what they might be asked to do.

This, Dalrymple points out, is

among other things an insult to their intelligence.