Pun­ish­ments will be counter-pro­duc­tive

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir hite Van Man in his col­umn ( The

Oban Times, June 8) sug­gests the death penalty for ter­ror­ists and de­por­ta­tion for those as­so­ci­ated with ter­ror­ism. This pro­posal ap­pears to be more of an ap­peal to pop­ulism than a well­rea­soned ar­gu­ment.

The death penalty, apart from the hu­man­i­tar­ian ar­gu­ment against it, has a fun­da­men­tal flaw as in the mind of a rad­i­calised ter­ror­ist, life is mean­ing­less, death is glory. There is no fear of death and to en­act the death penalty would surely only serve to fur­ther rad­i­calise and offer them the ad­di­tional re­ward of mar­tyr­dom. I imag­ine there would be more fear of be­ing locked up for a life of hard labour than of state-sanc­tioned mur­der.

Then there’s the sug­ges­tion de­por­ta­tion is the an­swer. De­port them to where – Tower Ham­lets? Bark­ing? Hack­ney? The largest com­pre­hen­sive study (Gate­stone In­sti­tute) on UK ter­ror­ism car­ried out be­tween 1998 and the pre­sent day shows 72 per cent of at­tacks are per­pe­trated by UK or dual pass­port hold­ers.

One point White Van Man didn’t men­tion and that I think is a pos­si­bil­ity, is that rad­i­calised per­sons go­ing abroad and train­ing with ter­ror­ists should have their UK pass­ports re­voked.

So, what is the an­swer? I hon­estly don’t know.

Ev­ery time there’s an at­tack we in­evitably hear ‘known to se­cu­rity ser­vices’. Many times, we’re told that a par­ent, friend or the wider com­mu­nity have re­ported the in­di­vid­ual but no ac­tion was taken. So why was noth­ing done?

Per­haps the an­swer lies in the re­al­ity this gov­ern­ment has cut se­cu­rity bud­gets to the bone. They sim­ply don’t have the re­sources. Even a small pro­por­tion of rev­enue from arms deals with Saudi Ara­bia, which funds the ter­ror­ists, would help in the fight against home­grown ter­ror­ism. Ex­treme irony.

Then we may con­sider why rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion hap­pens. We bomb their rel­a­tives, ac­cept maimed, mu­ti­lated and mur­dered moth­ers and chil­dren as col­lat­eral dam­age then won­der why those here in the UK are up­set? Let’s stop fund­ing ter­ror­ism and rad­i­cal­is­ing the youth.

My thoughts on crime and pun­ish­ment are some­where to the right of Genghis Khan - but only if that pun­ish­ment is ef­fec­tive. John Pater­son, by email. Ailean Caim­beul

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.