Following the Coalition’s launch of an overhauled E-Petitions facility, with the potential of petitions with 100,000 signatures being debated in the House of Commons.
Guido Fawkes has been promoting a campaign to Restore the Death Penalty.
I have to admire Guido’s murdering of Paul Flynn MP in debate about the Death Penalty on Channel 4 News this evening; a textbook example of how to get your points across and leave your opponent looking like the public’s perceived image of Michael Foot.
But I think Guido is on a sticky wicket on this one if the public kick the tyres, rather than just jump on the bandwagon – purely on practical grounds.
There are far simpler ways to reduce the murder rate than pfaffing about with the death penalty, the years of Appeals and dozens of lawyers involved, the specialist prisons to retain the accused for years, and all the rest.
Guido has made great play of the statement that the murder rate has doubled since the 1960s.
For example, we can continue doing exactly what we are doing now, which is cutting the murder rate at quite a clip already.
The murder rate in the UK has fallen substantially – by a quarter or more – in recent years without any help whatsover from hanging. In 2000 there were 1.7 murders per 100,000 people; in 2007, 2008 and 2009, this figure was 1.28.
Perhaps more interesting is that the murder rate in Scotland is much higher than in England and Wales. Here are the comparative figures from 2002 to 2008.
Source: Eurostat 58/2010. Crime and Justice in Focus.
If we want to lower the murder rate of the ‘UK’, one of the best technical steps we could take would be to give Scotland its independence, as the Scottish murder rate is nearly double that of England and Wales.
Wee ‘Eck would probably still tell us that there are more murders in Scotland because of the Evilz English sneaking over the border, mind.
Perhaps Guido should be campaigning for that, instead.