Category Archives: terrorist attacks

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?

We drive lorries into them: they light candles

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-09-08-50A moment, writes Dalrymple, used to be defined as the period between

a Mexico City traffic light turning green and the sound of the first car horn.

Now it might be defined as the period between

a terrorist attack in a Western city and the first public appearance of a candle.

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-09-10-14Every terrorist attack

is immediately followed by the public exhibition of lighted candles. It is as if the population keeps a store of them ready to hand for the purpose.

Dalrymple imagines that all the candles

are an encouragement to the very kind of people who commit the massacres that are the occasion for the exhibition. We cut their throats, or drive lorries into them: they light candles. They are not morally superior, as they like to think they are; on the contrary, they are feeble, weak, soft, enervated, vulnerable, defenceless, cowardly, whimpering, decadent. Against such people, we are bound to win, and it won’t even take long.

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