I wasn’t going to get into the Gary Glitter fiasco because, frankly any rational attempt to discuss the issue brings out the hysterics and the vapours in otherwise rational people, making a sensible discussion of the issues difficult. However, while perusing at JuliaM’s, I got dragged into this discussion over at the House of Dumb. Julia felt that HoD was right, I don’t. Not least, because this statement is a pile of poo:
Look at the proportion of liberals in the MSM (approximately 100%) who denounce anti-paedophilia activism as ‘hysteria’. Really? What would be the correct reaction to child rape? Apathy? Ironic detachment? Warm applause? And if the abduction and subsequent sexual torture of a child doesn’t raise any hackles on the left, what would? The assailant having a cigarette afterwards?
It is, frankly, pure hysteria, nonsense from start to finish. A strawman that is deserving of a CAP subsidy all of its own. Therefore, unlike Julia, I don’t feel that House of Dumb is right. No one is suggesting apathy, ironic detachment or warm applause. What those of us who agree with Carol Sarler are saying is; make your mind up about how this particular offence should be classified and prosecuted. Let’s (just for once, eh?) be rational, logical, consistent and effective.
What is not appropriate is the home secretary jumping onto the bandwagon when one particular high-profile offender is released from prison.
Anyway, I pointed out that there appeared to be some misdirection here:
I’m also somewhat bemused at the misdirection here – is DK, for example, or Tom Pain* for another, now a lefty liberal? First I knew of it. Carol Sarler may be, but there are those on the opposite political spectrum who agree with her on this one. I am one of them.
*that should be Paine – my misspelling.
So, House of Dumb decides that Libertarians deserve both barrels:
Also exposed by the Gary Glitter case: libertarians. We always knew they were just people who wanted to live in a liberal world, but without having to pay for it, and now no one can deny it.
I’m sorry, but I find it difficult to take a statement that is so utterly absurd even vaguely seriously. Another strawman – that CAP subsidy must be starting to build up nicely. No one, I repeat; no one has said anything remotely close to this absurd assertion. Once again, I find the libertarian position mischaracterised. I shouldn’t be surprised by this; it’s nothing new even among those obviously intelligent enough to know better.
Having got off to a really, really stupid start, we go downhill on a cresta run of strawmen, absurd assumptions and ridiculous assertions.
Our friends in black have adopted the liberal position wholesale, even down to the snobbery. Hmmmmm…. apparently, the libertarian position is to trust the people, even though they’re all morons.
Really? All of them? Again, this is not what libertarians think at all – although it is a useful method of demonising them. Libertarians believe that people should be allowed to live their lives without coercion from others – irrespective of intelligence. Trust is a matter for individuals.
More to the point, the libertarian position doesn’t even make sense on its own terms. Unelected agents of the state have pronounced on Mr Gadd’s case, and so the rest of us should just shut up? Huh?
This simply does not make sense. Which unelected agents have pronounced what exactly? And when has anyone told others to shut up? Again, this is not what is being said. God, but that subsidy will be turning into a straw mountain at this rate.
Never mind libertarian principles, when did we stop being a democracy?
This has what, exactly, to do with anything? Certainly nothing to do with the discussion – unless the home secretary making an undignified fool of herself as she decided to make up law on the hoof in a disgraceful episode of populist politicking that made me briefly feel a pang of sympathy for Gary Glitter is an example of democracy in action. Jesus, but something’s going horribly wrong when that happens.
Harassing perverts who prey on young children is pretty much the definition of what the state should be doing.
No, it is not what the state should be doing. What the state should be doing is prosecuting the guilty and punishing them appropriately – it should be harassing no one.
Of course, this is where we start to get to the crux of the matter. Carol Sarler in her thoughtful article described by House of Dumb as a “piece of dreck” posed the question; do we consider paedophilia to be a crime that is controllable by the perpetrator, or an urge akin to mental illness? It was a reasonable question. Personally, I’m inclined to treat it as a crime. But, that said, we have the issue of recidivism. As an aside, this is an issue for criminal justice generally, but in this particular case, I’ll pick up on something JuliaM said:
But there’s a much better agreement among psychologists than among scientists regarding ‘global warming’ that there’s an element of compulsion in paedophilia that makes them unsafe.
Okay, I’m not an expert in this area, so, for the sake of argument, let’s take this statement at face value. How should the state punish the offender and protect potential victims? If we section indefinitely under the mental health act – that is, if we deem it an illness, then the individual would be constantly monitored and supervised while confined. If we decide that it is a crime and gaol is the appropriate response, then it has to mean life being life. If that is the way forward, then I would have no complaints. Certainly this would be preferable to the current mish-mash.
Anyway, back to our field of scarecrows:
On the contrary, it is the people arguing that the state should declare itself neutral between degenerate felons and innocent citizens who seek to establish a new – and absurd – principle.
It is not a new principle. It’s a very old principle. It is the correct and appropriate principle. We are all equal before the law and we are all innocent until proven guilty. The justice system should be neutral. It should conduct itself according to the evidence placed before it. Punishment is then meted out according to the rule of law. What should not happen is that emotion becomes a part of the process because of the nature of the victim group. Children are people and all people should be treated equally under the law. I agree that the decision regarding punishment should take into account the inability to give consent – hence my point about life imprisonment and the risk of recidivism.
If you’re going to insist that paedophiles have the same rights as everyone else, then you’re arguing that everyone should be treated as though they were a paedophile.
Another strawman. My, but they’re piling up, aren’t they? Until convicted of a crime, paedophiles, like all other perpetrators of criminal offences are innocent until proved guilty – that is how the law works. That is how the law should work. And, frankly, thanks to the mob rule stirred up by the gutter press, ordinary citizens are being treated like paedophiles.
Once you claim there’s no meaningful distinction to be drawn between the average citizen and degenerate filth, then you’re faced with either letting maniacs run free or clamping down on the rights of the non-depraved.
False dichotomy. Nothing of the sort has been claimed. Still, it’s a change from the strawman. A different logical fallacy. Well done you.
Doubtless, there will always be folks in government keen to push Option 2, but I’m not sure why libertarians would want to help them out.
I’m sure there are, but no one has suggested that we do – well, you have obviously, but as your credibility rating is disintegrating by the nanosecond, I don’t suppose we need worry too much about it, eh?
In reality, no one really supports equal rights for vermin. Again, no one on the left is demanding that felons be given firearms licences – it’s only the specific case of perverts that has these people claiming we’re on the way to the Fourth Reich.
Again, this doesn’t really make sense. Any rational, reasonable person should support the “innocent until proven guilty” concept. Once the offender has been convicted, the issue is then one of appropriate punishment. The rest of the statement is pure gibberish.
The liberal – and now libertarian – position is that a predator released from prison in the morning should be free to spend the afternoon reconnoitring the main routes to and from local schools, free of harassment, risk, interdiction or even minor inconvenience. It finds no support in any obvious concept of natural law.
Good grief! Another strawman – is there no end to them? A positive prairie load. This is not what is being said. What has been said is this; if society deems that this is a crime, such that urges can be controlled, then once the sentence is finished and time done, the ex-con should be free; much the same as, for instance someone who has commited murder. Although, as I understand it, they are released on parole, so that would be a sensible parallel. Note that “if” in there – so I would refer back to my comments on the likelihood of recidivism and the best approach to managing that.
Or take the Sex Offenders’ Register. Here we have a list of all the active threats within a given area, but access is carefully restricted to agents of the state. Libertarian, how ?
Because we don’t really want mob rule and people dangling from lamp posts?
This is the flip side of the supposed hysteria about paedophiles: the state really is conspiring to help perverts infiltrate unsuspecting communities – with entirely predictable consequences.
Which goes back to my point – and to an extent, Carol Sarler’s and the Devil’s Kitchen’s and Tom Paine’s – about how we classify and deal with this particular crime. If they are sectioned or imprisoned for life (my preferred option), then this problem ceases to exist.
It’s easy to mock the ‘nonce-spotters’ who claim a father photographing his daughter in the park is an obvious pervert, but let’s hear the flip-side of that. There really are perverts out there and, again, the right of felons to pass themselves off as ordinary citizens is not something that immediately follows from natural law, let alone cries out for government assistance.
Yes, there are felons out there. No one has suggested otherwise. The risk remains much as it has done since I was a child. The risk to children from the predatory paedophile is, in fact, very small. It does not justify the level of hysterical over-reaction we are seeing from the press. What it does justify is an effective method of dealing with it via the criminal justice system. Something we can probably all agree on, is that this is not currently the case.
Hell, if you’re going to argue against welfare in general, surely your taxes going to help perverts set up shop elsewhere ought to be something of a sore point?
And just to finish, another pile of poo. Sorry, but on this issue, the House of Dumb really is living up to its name. Could do better.
Update: I see HoD has responded. Unfortunately, it’s another pile of poo rather than a reasoned response to the issues.