Rehabilitation – Who Needs It?

It could have been prophetic to be gabbing about hypocrisy and politicians for the last week or so.

Following the terrorist attack on Friday, some of our newspapers (while leaking the identity of one of the victims before the formal identification had taken place – classy) latched onto the fact that the attacker had been a convicted criminal, who had been released early.

And lo, before you could utter ‘weaponisation’, the charlatan politicians were hoeing furiously to rake over opponents’ yesteryears in order to unearth some brown blame that might be pinged in the opposite direction.

And hoes is the operative word, let me tell you.

Guys, I’ll give you a clue.  For the past two decades you’ve all been shoehorning in policy to provide for early release as a counterbalance against your ongoing cost-cutting in the criminal justice system. 

Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – you’ve all done it.

Meanwhile, back on the plot, the thirst for opportunism remained unquenched.  We witnessed a deft hop, skip and jump onto the bandwagon to unrelentingly praise the heroics of passers-by.

I sound cynical, but it’s a well-oiled political manoeuvre. He who lauds the probity of another will also bask in the reflected honour thereof. Or something akin to this.

If I can ascertain right from wrong in others, you can make that same judgement of me, right?


‘They are the best of us’, said some useless tosser, and we have to assume that as a politician, he was not referring to Adam Price and Nicola Sturgeon, who had to date been wiping the proverbial floor with Johnson (when in attendance), Corbyn and Swinson.

All in a vainglorious attempt to garner accord with effusion and to get in on the act.

‘Nothing but a coward’ was also lobbed in at the terrorist, presumably from behind the police tape and once the combat had abated.  And of course, inadvertently torpedoing their own blessing for the exploits of the have-a -go heroes. After all, it doesn’t sound so brave for a group of people to surround a coward, does it?

Of course, it was bravery, have no doubt about it. But it was brave people countering a violent criminal, end of. The more emotion you throw at something, the less reasoned, contradictory and inconsistent your train of thought becomes.

And at times like this, we need our politicians to comprehend this and press to step up to the plate.

But the madness did not end with the discharge of Glocks on London bridge. Wait until this Friday, when shyster organisations up and down the country will be organising a two-minute silence to honour the victims.

Wow, in years gone by, we would pay tribute to the sacrifices of the fallen with a minute’s silence on 11th November. Now everybody gets a souped-up respect extravaganza.

Well, not quite everybody.

No two-minute silence for the victims of the multiple stabbings that have been taking place in London over the last few years. 3 men died in Colchester earlier this year in a triple stabbing and it barely made the news. And 39 people have just perished in the back of a refrigerated lorry.

No workplace tributes for them. I wonder why not?

Because there’s no mileage in those events. No political or personal capital to be rinsed from it whatsoever.

Everybody is looking for an angle that works for them, whether it is boosting their political career or bolstering their good guy credentials. 

And that really tells you how far we’ve fallen.

Anyway, if the attitude of the newspapers and politicians of both sides had not been sufficiently vomit-inducing, an elephant appeared in the room.

Not a Babar, but a sabre-toothed woolly mammoth.

Yes, it later transpired that several the heroes who had tackled the terrorist, were, ahem, themselves on early day-release from prison.

Oh dear. Just a tad too quick off the mark with that one, chaps.

So, in a delicious twist, had they not all been up for early release, the heroes of the day might never have been in the locality. One presumes they might have otherwise been getting whacked out on spice in one of Her Majesty’s finest boarding hostels.

Of course, the nutter would have been safely chained up in Belmarsh, but let’s face it, he’s not going to be the only one out there, is he?

But don’t worry. In an era of disposable politics, by Monday, most people had forgotten what had been said on Saturday.

In one final degrading twist, sections of the tabloid press exploited personal photographs to accompany their vitriolic splurge, perfectly missing the point that both victims were in the vicinity themselves at an event to support prisoner rehabilitation.

It is all vicious, amoral stuff. The whole damned shooting match.

But it’s the politicians who need rehabilitation.

The Parole Board hearing is on Thursday 12th December 2019.

unsplash-logoEmiliano Bar

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