Friday, July 23, 2010

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Growing up on a farm gives one a very pragmatic perspective on life. Almost all aspects of human behavior are mirrored, in one form or another, by animals. Much of how to deal with people can be learned by how to deal with animals.

I was thinking this today, when I read that Jon Venables – the monster who bludgeoned toddler Jamie Bulger to death in 1993 – had been convicted of distributing child pornography and sentenced to two years in jail.

[Which begs the question of why he was walking around free in the first place. - Editorial Bear]

This just proves what we should have known from the horrific crime he committed in 1993. Jon Venables is a wrong ‘un.

You encounter wrong ‘uns in nature quite a bit – especially amongst dogs. Dogs can be the sweetest, most loyal animals in the world – but sometimes you just encounter a wrong ‘un. You know the type – the dog who bites, suddenly and without warning. The dog who is unpredictably violent, so you can never allow yourself to be complacent around it. It could be the way the dog was raised – in a home in which it was abused – or it could be that it’s just genetic (the track record of pit bulls suggests this.) In either case, the dog just isn’t ‘right.’

And I think that’s the same with people. Jon Venables just isn’t ‘right.’ If he was a dog, you’d take him out back and shoot him.

And as I read today’s paper, that was exactly what I thought ought to be done with him.

Now this is a complete contradiction to what I’ve said before. I’ve written extensively about my opposition to the death penalty – based on purely practical reasons (an estimated 10% of those on death row are innocent of the crimes they were convicted of) and pretentious liberal ones (who are we to wield the power of life and death over people? Except when it comes to abortion, denying health care to those without insurance and bombing civilians in the middle east.)

However, today’s newspaper headlines make me dramatically reconsider my position. You look at Jon Venables and it’s difficult not to conclude that he’s never going to be ‘right.’ He’s already murdered a child (admittedly when he was a child himself) and now he’s been caught with gigabytes of illegal pornography featuring the rape and abuse of children (as young as two.) He’s just wrong and I fail to see how he could ever be rehabilitated.

As far as I’m concerned, Jon Venables is just a mad dog, and in order to protect society, he should be treated like one.

But as is increasingly the case in Britain, that’s not going to happen. Sources have already suggested that when his two year sentence is complete, he’ll be given a new identity (for his own protection, of course) and released back into society. The Crown has the power to detain him indefinitely (he’s on a ‘life licence’ for the murder of poor little Jamie) but they won’t. After all, that would infringe his ‘rights’ - which seem to trump the rights of everybody else in Britain.

I don’t want to get too Daily Mail about this issue, but when it comes to Venables I almost wish it was possible to take him outside and put him out of his – and our – misery.

After all, that’s what you’d do if he was a dog.


Susanne said...


Roland Hulme said...

I'm very dumb, Susanne. What does :-/ smiley face mean? I've never seen it before!

Susanne said...

It's not a smile. Tilt your head to the left. See how the smile faltered into an "ugh" concerning that creep and how he will be out with a new identity and such.

Sorry for not being clearer.

Roland Hulme said...

Why are you apologising? I should be up with all this stuff.

Yeah, I know. This and the Lockerbie bomber makes me despair of the UK at the moment.

Andy said...

Good piece, Roland. I too am opposed to the death penalty for a variety of reasons.

Guys like Venables test my commitment to that position.

I like the way you used the term "wrong 'un." There really are monsters amongst us.