Tag Archives: David Cameron

Hang on, Levi Bellfield should be facing the voters’ justice

1 Jul

WHEN it comes to the legal system in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, there’s not much I agree with. Come to think of it, I’m not too keen on anything else about the two regimes, either.
Not that the citizens of those esteemed Muslim democracies (I’m joking) have much say in what’s going on.
But just how democratic are countries like the UK and Spain? Do Brits really have a say in everything that matters – particularly when it involves contentious issues where government and public opinion are at odds?
Like bringing back the death penalty.
Successive governments have known from their research that a national referendum on the return of capital punishment for predatorial killers like Levi Bellfield would produce a massive ‘hang the scum’ vote.

Levi Bellfield

And that’s where the British system ceases to be democratic. Because David Cameron’s government, like the Brown, Blair, Major and Thatcher regimes before them, think they know better than the voters.
So Bellfield will merely spend his life in jail at our expense.
My heart bled for his victime Millie Dowler’s family in their understandable rage following Bellfield’s conviction.
‘‘In my eyes, justice is an eye for an eye,’’ said Millie’s sister Gemma. ‘‘You brutally murder someone then you pay the ultimate price …a life for a life. So in my eyes no real justice has been done’’.
And so say the vast majority of those who think political correctness sucks. Which is just about everyone I know!
Gemma made it abundantly clear that she wanted Bellfield six feet under.
But however desirable that may be, it would not politically correct. Because it would impinge on Bellfield’s human rights.
Human rights? Since when are vermin like Bellfield human? And let’s not call him an animal because, unlike him, no animal is innately evil. Ask the average Brit and at least 75 per cent will say this particular piece of filth has lost his right to live.
Likewise, the likes of Ian Brady, Myra Hindley, Ian Huntley and Harold Shipman should have been executed as soon as they were convicted. It’s all very well for the Lord Longfords of this world to cry out at the lynch-mob mentality of the masses, but public opinion still seems to favour the Old Testament philosophy of an eye for an eye.
It may be PC to take the New Testament route and turn the other cheek – but if it leads to being whacked twice as hard, what’s the point?
I took a straw poll among friends the other day and whilst a majority favoured bringing back the death penalty, the one proviso everyone demanded was that guilt must be established, not beyond reasonable doubt as in the past, but beyond ALL doubt.
I would also confine the ultimate penalty to murders involving premeditated evil – which would exclude crimes of passion.
Isn’t it ironic that bringing back capital punishment is so popular with those who remember, not only the heinous crimes of the Crippins and Christies, but also the horrendous mistakes when convicted ‘murderers’ were hanged and then found to be totally innocent?
Discussing this topic is, of course, largely pointless, because Britain will never restore the death penalty.
Neither will Spain, which in 2009 became one of the last nations in Europe to dismantle its gallows completely.
Indeed, the death penalty remains in only two of Europe’s 50 nations, Latvia and Belarus. And the Latvians retain it only for crimes during wartime.
I’m no fan of the gung-ho Americans, but at least they listen to the people (even to the point of electing an idiot like George W Bush and half-destroying the world as a consequence).
The Yanks executed 47 murderers last year with Texas the most prolific and enthusiastic state.
The problem is that our friends across the Pond often fail to understand the difference between a life sentence and a death sentence.
I mean, serving 20 years on death row and THEN being hanged is a bit steep.
But even 20 eyes for an eye would be too lenient a punishment for the likes of Levi Bellfield.


65mph speed limit can ease motorists’ fuel headache

17 Mar

The answer to the ever-spiralling fuel costs facing British motorists could lie on the roads…of Spain.

As petrol prices continue to soar in the wake of the political chaos in Libya and other oil-producing countries, pressure is mounting in the UK for a cut in petrol duty, which with VAT accounts for two-thirds of pump prices.

But tax cuts are one thing David Cameron‘s government simply cannot afford in the current depressing economic climate.

The solution? Well, one way would be to follow the Spanish government‘s example by cutting the motorway speed limit and reducing rail fares to encourage drivers to become public-transport passengers.

I know 65mph on the M1 or M6 seems a ridiculously inhibitive limit but if it saves the average motorist 10p a litre, it surely makes sense. After all, if the government were to reduce petrol prices by 10p, there’d be whoops of delight from the AA and RAC.

My good friend Mike Thornton is sales manager of the BK Executive chauffeur-driven car-hire firm, whose fleet of luxury vehicles include Rolls Royces and Bentleys. And he is well aware of how much fuel can be saved by reducing speed by just a few miles per hour.

”By slowing down from 70 to 65mph, the average motorist would use 10 per cent less petrol,” he says. ”There are considerable savings to be made and if the government won’t reduce the price of fuel, then this is another way to put some money back in the motorist’s pocket.”

As someone who tootles around at a moderate speed and rarely uses motorways, I suspect my own savings would be minimal. But the revved-up racers who bomb around at the speed of sound could obviously save themselves a packet (not to mention the odd life or two)  if they actually had the sense  to slow down.

But the rocket men need not worry about having to come off their accelerator pedals because Britain is unlikely to adopt an idea that has been thought up by Johnny Foreigner.

I’ve grumped about it before, but one of the biggest weaknesses of the British psyche is our refusal to acknowledge that other countries sometimes do things better than we do. And in this case the Spanish have beaten us to the punch.

Earlier this month, they reduced the maximum speed on motorways and dual carriageways from 120kph (74.5mph) to 110kph (68.3mph) as a temporary means of saving energy.

The price of rail tickets on suburban and medium-distance services has also been reduced temporarily to offset the economic consequences of the rise in the price of crude oil.

These two limitations will be maintained while tensions in north Africa continue, and deputy prime minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba is working on further measures like reducing street lighting and the energy costs of public buildings.

The Spanish authorities claim that the reduction in the speed limit could save drivers up to 15 per cent in petrol and 11 per cent in diesel.

Rubalcaba insisted that the tensions in north Africa do not pose a problem to supplies – but something had to be done to reduce the effect of rising fuel prices.

“Every ten-dollar rise in the price of a barrel of oil increases Spain’s energy bill by some 6,000 million euros,” he explained.

In 2008, a Daily Telegraph survey in 2008 found that of 27 European countries surveyed, Britain had the highest fuel taxes. Some 57p of the cost of a litre of petrol was tax, compared with 31p in Spain, 45p in Italy, 48p in France and 52p in Germany.