A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Killer Venables 'where he belongs', says Bulger mother

John Venables was a ten-year old murderer of a two-year-old little boy. The outrage caused public anger. As with all cases like this it left more scars on the human pysche and people began to vent all manner of diatribes and platitudes in equal measure. Such an event always triggers revenge and feelings of retribution it seems. Sometimes these feelings are directed mindlessly at those who are charged with dealing with the consequences.

I'm not surprised there are still children beating up children in Britain today. Unless a child is mentally ill, all behaviour is from nurturing the nature of the child. I'm sure I could have turned my children into knife-wielding little thugs if I'd been of a mind. In turn, I could have been the evil result of debauched parents. Thankfully neither has happened or will ever happen. But my honest opinion of the human condition is that hatred of others comes about far more easily than love and understanding. It seems that most news items on television pander to the disasters and brutality in the world, rather than the triumph over adversity or the love of one to another.

So when it comes to dealing with a 27-year old man who was a ten-year old child killer what do we do? The vast majority appear to want everything from hot oil vats to a return to hanging (plus drawing and quartering for good measure!). Any half-trained television reporter could stir up such feelings. Seeing as Britain does not have cruel and inhumane punishment as an option, the authorities have deemed it fit to give John Venables a new identity. Since his release he has been out on licence. Now he is back inside for breaching his parole terms.

The questions I have been pondering are these? As he has a new name, is he currently in prison for a parole violation regarding a crime his former self committed or is he just there because he is a parole violator? Surely the fellow inmates will get round to asking what he was inside for. Does he have a made up crime to subsitute for the original one? We are not going to be told what condition he violated. According to a legal expert on BBC News he could just be in prison because he became mentally unstable. This could be one reason. Which suggests prison is not an ideal place for a mentally unstable man trying to remember who he is.

Then I have issue with this new identity business. What if he had keep to the straight and narrow according to the parole rules and had got married and started a family? Does his wife have a right to know that the man she is with is not who she thinks he is? And it could go throughout society. Could he rise to be a successful businessman or is keeping a low profile part of the deal? The trouble with secrecy is that secrets have a way of coming out. The authorities want to keep his identity secret because they fear the actions of the wider society. So a person like John Venables goes through the rest of his life like a lone rat in a sewer. Such a creature needs all the mental agility to plot a course to avoid being deluged with excrement and foul concoctions.

The real conundrum here is that no-one really knows what to do for the best, because the life Venables is leading is one that would cause anyone to go barmy. Fifteen odd years of living a lie must be a strain, particularly if those around you are more than likely to be distant and aloof.

How we treat the likes of John Venables does matter. Society has not changing one iota over the centuries. We like to think we are somehow 21st century superior, but the revenge, petty jealousies, selfishness and greed continue. Looting eathquake hit shops in Chile, excuses trotted out at the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague, suicide bombings, the list goes on. Getting steamed up about John Venables just helps to keep the kettle boiling.

I have no easy answers. But I do know that shouting epithets and venting hatred from an armchair says more about the venter than those trying to makes things better.


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