Saturday, May 23, 2009

The McCanns are middle-class deadbeats

I came across a news story last week about some Waynetta Slob living on a sink estate. Obviously she was a single mother, and she decided to go out to the pub and leave her baby at home alone. The house caught fire and neighbours dialled 999. The baby was rescued and the mother arrested for neglect.

I was watching TV recently with a woman I know who comes from a south east asian country. The Madelaine McCann case was being discussed. She hadn't heard of it before. When I explained it, she was shocked. "They don't need to look for anyone else to blame for that", she said, "They should blame themselves. They went out drinking with their friends and left the baby alone".

When I thought about it, I realised that the McCanns are no different from that sink estate mother. They just have more money and education. Both are part of that me, me, me generation. Never mind responsibility, I'll do just whatever I like.

In fact the McCanns are worse than her, because they had more choices. They should have known better. Who the hell would go out drinking leaving a 3-year-old at home alone? I am concerned about the child. I don't have any sympathy at all for the parents.

In fact if they ever do find her, social services probably ought to take her into care and put her up for adoption. Those two idiots are obviously not capable of looking after her.

What does a woman have to do to get life in this country?

So the murderers in the notorious Baby P case have finally been locked up. It looks on the face of it as though they have been given very harsh sentences; they are officially 'jailed indefinitely'. However the judge has set a 'tariff', or minimum time served before parole can be considered.

The mother of Baby P got 5 years. That's the penalty for torturing a baby to death in this country. No doubt the judge thought she had suffered enough, the poor thing. A bad man made her do it.

Let's remember the facts of the case. This is a woman who systematically obstructed the authorities. On one occasion, just before a social worker was due to visit, she smeared chocolate on the baby's face to cover bruises. The judge described her as manipulative and self-centred. She could be out in just over 2 years. Her partner in crime got 12 years.

There is a widespread feeling that these sentences are pathetically lenient, which they are. No-one is asking why there is such a disparity. Why did she only get 5 years when he got 12? It is political; it is the pussy discount once again.

Philosophers have argued for decades over whether criminals are mad or bad. This is related to deeper questions such as the existence of free-will. Are criminals responsible for their behaviour or not? Traditionally, the political Right emphasises individual responsibility and free will, while the Left emphasises individual rights and social determinism. It is a debate which will continue, probably forever. However, the post-1968 radical feminist movement feels that it has resolved the difficult question of whether criminals are mad or bad: Male criminals are bad. Female ones are mad.

Male criminals must be dealt with harshly; female ones must be treated with sympathy and dignity. They have been through enough already. They should be given some nice therapy, and probably a little cuddle. They certainly should not go to prison.

Making different rules for different people based upon their biology is one of the cardinal pillars of fascism. In any kind of just society, we must have the same standards for all. This attitude towards sentencing, advocated by the Liberal Left, is the direct opposite of liberal; It is deeply illiberal. It is like advocating different sentences for black and white. Can you imagine the furore if someone advocated that? Yet that is exactly what we are seeing time and time again with regard to sex, and this is being passed off as liberal!

I have to admire the shrewdness and audacity of the feminist movement in screaming that women get heavier sentences than men. They must know as well as I do that the opposite is the truth.

The idea that men should suffer heavier punishments than women is a very traditional one, feeding into long-established strands of conservative thought. Here is just one small example. In British schools in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, teachers could administer corporal punishment with a cane. It was official policy to keep two kinds of cane; a big one for boys and a small one for girls. We are seeing this traditional sexist thinking now, and this is one form of inequality which feminists do not want to change.

The sun is organising a petition, and I recommend everyone to sign it. Let’s demand that these sentences be increased. The only fitting outcome to this case is to give all three of them the same; life without parole.