I wear two hats when I write this blog of mine. First and foremost, I manage a small charity in a small Scottish town called Dumfries. Ours is a front door that opens onto the darker corners of the crumbling world that is Britain 2015. We hand out 5000 emergency food parcels a year in a town that is home to 50,000 souls. Then, as you can see from all of the book covers above, I am also a thriller writer. If you enjoy the blog, you might just enjoy the books. The link below takes you to the whole library in the Kindle store. They can be had for a couple of quid each.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


We don’t do capital punishment in Britain anymore. Of course we don’t. Half a century has passed since we last hanged someone. The last time we did the deed in public was hundred and forty six years ago.

We used to be as keen on the idea as Texas and China are today. Between 1770 and 1830 we sentenced 35,000 of our fellow citizens to pay the ultimate price for their crimes. Well. That was then. We are much better now. Nicer and kinder and more enlightened. It is unthinkable that we would ever again go down the road of public executions, though one shudders at the thought of the kind of advertising such spectacles would attract.

Picture Ray Winstone doing his Bet 365 thing. ‘How long till ‘is legs stop kickin’? have a bang on that!!’  

The problem with all of this meat and potatoes British PR is that it isn’t remotely true - only this week we have all had the chance to tune in on a very public execution carried out by the British State.

This week we have all had the chance to see what it looks like when bombs from a Tornado jet marmalise a pick up truck in Iraq.

There are few grey areas about this particular execution which haven’t yet been ironed out. Was there actually anyone in the truck? Who knows? And if there were any actual human beings in the truck, then how many were there?

But I am getting ahead of myself here. It seems best to take the thing in some kind of chronological order.

Did we have any right whatsoever to execute persons unknown in somebody else’s country?

Well, we are told the answer to that one is a clear and resounding ‘Yes’ because the Iraqi Government has asked us to do it. So. That’s fine then. If your mate tells you to jump in the river would you……?

We had a few problems of our own a while back in the badlands of South Armargh where those pesky Bhoyo’s of the IRA refused lie down and die. It now seems that it would have been perfectly OK for us to have a word with out pals in Washington DC and ask for a favour or two. Please could you chaps send a couple of those super-duper drones of yours and fire off a few Hellfire missiles? Here. Have a look at this. Here’s a pick up truck in a farmyard outside Crossmaglen. Maybe you could start with that? Do we know anything about the guys inside? Well. Actually, we don’t. But trust us here, these are really, really bad guys.

I don’t suppose any of us would have been all that keen on switching on the news to hear nightly reports of American bombing raids on Northern Ireland, but at least it seems such a thing would have been entirely legal.

So that’s OK then.

Next. Assuming there were people inside the pick up, what sort of trial had we given them? What kind of due process had been followed? What case had the prosecution prepared and put before the court? Had the jury been unanimous in it’s guilty verdict? Did the judge examine background reports on the individuals involved before passing the death sentence?

Well. The answer seems to have been none of the above.

We simply took it as written that the guys in the pick up were all as guilty as sin and fit for extermination from 30,000 feet.

Were they? We have no idea. We hear a great deal about the general wickedness of ISIS. They brainwash people and bamboozle them with false interpretations of the Koran. They force people to join their ranks at the point of a gun. Well, that it what we have been told, isn’t it?

In the back of that pick up there might well have been a sixteen year old kid from some flattened town in Syria. Maybe a few months ago he had got home to find that his apartment block had been floored by an airstrike care of Assad’s airforce. Buried under the pile of rubble lay everything that was precious to him: his mum and his dad and his big brother and his two kid sisters. All gone in a searing flash of high explosive. Maybe for a while he lived like some kind of human rat drinking filthy water and eating scraps whilst all the while Assad rained death from the skies. Then one day the men in black took him in and gave him a square meal and a place to have a wash. And the men in black offered him the chance of fighting back. The chance of avenging his dead family.

Sixteen years old and all alone in the world. Sixteen years old and half starved. Sixteen years old and traumatised and lonely and confused.

Should we be so surprised that he opted to join the man in black?

So they train him in both the Koran and how to strip and re-assemble an AK47. They put him with a frontline unit and one day he finds himself sitting in the back of a pick up truck on a patch of sun bleached ground.

And on that day, without him ever knowing a thing about it, the lad is sentenced to death by the Government of the United Kingdom and he is duly executed. In public.

Did any of the people in the pick up truck have any intention of coming to the UK?

We don’t know.

Did any of the people in the pick up truck harbour any dreams of taking the war to anyone in Britain?

We don’t know.

We have absolutely no idea.

But that seems not to matter as we do not consider these people as living, breathing human beings. We don’t care a damn about their back stories. We don’t care if they are male or female or young or old. We don’t want to know their names or their dates of birth or their hobbies. All we want to do is to kill them.

To execute them.


Maybe I have missed something here, but how many terrorist crimes have actually been committed by people who have returned from the war in Syria and Iraq? I don’t think there have been any. Instead we are told that there MIGHT be crimes committed. Possibly. At a later date. Maybe. 

So we executing complete strangers in a foreign land for crimes that might possibly be committed at some future date.

I don’t know about you, but it sounds a bit flimsy to me.

There are a few facts which seem to be pretty indisputable.

Iraq is not our country.

Being a Sunni Muslim in either Iraq or Syria over the last few years has been a pretty dangerous thing to be. Presidents Assad and Malaki have both adopted the kind of policies towards their Sunni citizens as Hitler once adopted towards his Jewish citizens.

We seem to find it hard to make our minds up who are the good guys and who are the bad guys when it comes to the Shia/Sunni thing. Sunni is good and Shia is bad when it comes to Saudi Arabia and Iran. Sunni is good and Shia is bad when it comes to the Free Syrian Army and President Assad. But Sunni is bad and Shia is good when it comes to ISIS and President Assad. Except that Assad is bad as well. Because he was mates with Saddam Hussein. Who was Sunni. Who was bad.


Tell you what, let’s not think about all that. Christ. It’s enough to make the brain ache.

Let’s just assume that the guys in the pick up were bad guys. End of story. They were so very, very bad that they deserved no trial and no due process and no nothing. They were so bad that all they deserve was a public execution. With no trial. With no jury of their peers. With no jury of our peers. Because it was us who found them guilty and sentenced them to death by public execution. Good old Britain.  

Trust us on this say our leaders.

We know best.

If you Google ‘Britain Bombs Iraq’ you will easily enough find the Daily Mail’s gushing report on this particular public execution. Check out the picture. They love this kind of thing. I remember all this stuff from when we invaded the Falklands.

In the comments section, someone had pointed out that it cost the British taxpayer £100,000 for the required ordinance to carry out this particular public execution. Another commentator from Hastings took the opportunity to express his delight at this particular home for his taxes.

‘Excellent. Worth every penny including my tax contribution, unlike the contribution I make towards a load of left wing trouble makers in the namby pamby public sector.’

What a lovely chap! But let’s face it, we always did love a good old public hanging, didn’t we? And the Daily Mail likes to give us what we like.

1 comment:

  1. £100,000 to obliterate what might have been an empty pickup truck! Leaving aside the moral argument eloquently presented above, how can such obscene incompetence, such squandering of precious financial resources ever be praised.