The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for April, 2006

Creepy conversion

Posted by rantingkraut on April 26, 2006

The Pub Philosopher recently pointed out a story of an Indian immigrant planning to vote BNP. That sure doesn’t sound like a good idea. To show that the crazy conversions do not all work one way consider the bizzare tale of “Abdul Aziz ibn Myatt”:

David Myatt, a founder of the hardline British National Socialist Movement (NSM) who has been jailed for racist attacks, has changed his name to Abdul Aziz ibn Myatt. … Myatt is reportedly the author of a fascist terrorist handbook and a former leader of the violent far-right group Combat 18. But now — in his mid-50s and sporting a red, bushy beard — he subscribes to radical Islamist views.

This leaves the question of how those who make a living from political satire manage to compete. With that kind of real world, what is there to exaggerate???

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Some interesting changes to sentencing rules …

Posted by rantingkraut on April 25, 2006

Frank Furedi makes some fitting remarks on recent changes in the law, allowing victims’ relatives to submit a statement in murder and manslaughter cases prior to sentencing. As I understand it, relatives of the victim will be allowed to elaborate on how a crime has affected their lives and this can be taken into account in sentencing. If this implies what I think it does, sentences should be more severe where the victims have been more severely affected. Conversely, it should also make it somewhat safer to murder someone who is unpopular with his family. Who knows, in a few years time murderers may get off on probation so long as Champagne is ordered for the wake.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Justice System | Comments Off on Some interesting changes to sentencing rules …

New Labour taking liberties -again

Posted by rantingkraut on April 19, 2006

This story from the BBC reports how the government is restricting compensation pay-outs following miscarriages of justice. On the one hand this goes naturally with a government which considers itself above the law. It is also to be expected from a regime which is committed to eroding due process guarantees (as discussed earlier here) and which seems to view the judicial process as little more than yet another social engineering project. Following changes in the law which virtually guarantee an increase in wrongful convictions it is a logical further step to make this institutionalisation of injustice fiscally sustainable.

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Boris Stays

Posted by rantingkraut on April 4, 2006

David Cameron seems to be doing the right thing for a change, according to the BBC: “Boris Johnson will not be sacked from the Tory frontbench over allegations he had an affair, David Cameron has said.” It is nice to see a refusal to be distracted from politics by a politician’s private life. Reminds me of this bit in Jamie Whyte’s “A load of Blair“:

“Any system that depends on the superior morality of its participants is poorly designed. A well-run army does not require heroic soldiers, and a well-structured polity dos not require honest politicians. Political deceit should be so readily discovered and punished that even the most conniving politician becomes utterly trustworthy.”

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Is Freedom of Expression an Absolute Right?

Posted by rantingkraut on April 3, 2006

When debating freedom of expression, advocates of censorship usually claim that freedom of expression is not an absolute right but has to be balanced against other rights, such as a right not to be offended [1]. Frequently the argument for censorship is based on an extreme example where few would disagree with an existing restriction: surely, the leader of a criminal gang should be punished for ordering gang members to carry out a murder. He may not have done the deed himself –by ordering the crime he is merely expressing something—but he is clearly guilty. Surely, perjury should remain illegal. On one level it is merely a verbal statement, an expression, while in practice it can pervert the cause of justice.

Defining rights: two forms of freedom
Freedom of speech is a concept that defines a specific liberty or a specific way of exercising liberty. The two phrases in the preceding sentence look very similar, but their similarity conceals an important difference: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech | 4 Comments »