Friday, 7 August 2009

Great Train Robbery. Great Computer Hack.

In between the self-righteous cries that Ronnie Briggs should rot in prison and the claims that he was a diamond geezer, lies an inconvenient truth – in our society political expedience trumps ‘justice’ every time – and the powers-that-be simply don’t like to be made to look daft.

When the train robbers were sentenced in 1964 their biggest crime, apart from having literally committed the biggest crime (to that date) of nicking £2.6million, was of making the state and establishment look stupid. This was the end of the Macmillan era and the establishment was feeling a bit threatened on all fronts by cheeky chappies who didn't know their place. So the train robbers all got 25-30 year sentences – by the way the average rape sentence is under 12 years.

(And just for the record, despite the outraged voices from the Daily Mail: The train driver, Jack Mills, who had undeniably been attacked in the robbery, was still alive at the time of the sentencing and didn’t die until four years later - from leukemia not as a result of his injuries).

And when in an extraordinary move a few weeks ago Home Secretary Jack Straw over-ruled the parole board’s recommendation that Biggs be released, the decision was again not based on the individual rights and wrongs of the case but on a desire to be seen to be tough on crime and a fear off offending Middle-England.

There’s a surprisingly similarity with the present Gary McKinnon case: The extraordinary no-questions asked extradition arrangement with the US (that is not even reciprocal) has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with proving the UK’s reliability as an ally in the war against terror.

That - and McKinnon being a UFO obsessed computer nerd who has managed to embarrass the scary and shadowy great minds of the Pentagon by hacking into their IT network. So he will now face a 60 year sentence in the ‘states.

The bankruptcy of justice is even clearer here than it was in 1963– there really are no victims to this ‘crime’ and the perpetrator is not even a ‘lovable villain' but a vulnerable individual with Asperger’s syndrome.

Still - as always embarrassed authority must have a whipping boy.

7 comments:

quba said...

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Patricia

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quba said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Patricia

http://lioneltrains.info

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