Eeeny, Meeny…

It is a strange truth which forces an honourable man to choose between two sets of posturing clowns, both sets of course claiming that they are part of the same beliefs as that which is espoused by that same honourable man.

The man is Archbishop Vincent Nichols, leader of England’s Catholics, and the two sets of clowns are opposing factions of an obscure religious bunch called  the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George. One set, favoured by, amongst others, King Carlos of Spain, is annoyed because the other bunch is giving awards, crosses, knighthoods, and is even more distinctly annoyed because the ‘Junior Prince’s’ bunch is planning a mass in Westminster Cathedral later this year.

The leader of the first set of ‘Constantinians’, who goes by the rather grand title of HRH the Infante Don Carlos, Duke of Calabria, Grand Master of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George, Head of the Royal Household of Bourbon of the Two Sicillies, and doyen of the Knights of the Golden Fleece, (I kid you not) has written to the Archbishop, claiming that as the dissident group has no authority to use the name, they should not be allowed to celebrate the Mass in Westminster. Part of their argument is that the ‘dissident group’ has awarded Gold Medals to the Presidents of Syria and of Yemen.

Now one might see an argument right now in the bestowal of medals to ruthless dictators, but it is only a few short months ago that President Assad was ‘flavour of the month’ with many because he wasn’t quite as nasty as many of his neighbours.

So, apart from the fact that the leader of England’s Roman Catholics has enough to do with fighting for what he regards as natural justice for Adoption Societies, or lambasting Labour’s Alan Johnson for attempting to force ‘quotas’ on Catholic school intakes, he also has to deal with two crews of posturing, pompous clowns, both of which are as false as the other. He must heave a hearty sigh of relief when dealing with our own Royal Family, because, complicated though they may be, they are all at least Anglicans!

Being John Malcovitch

As actors come and go, most of us find our favourites, and few of us are disappointed in our choices. Their work, their talent, entertains us, thrills us, shocks us, or makes us laugh. When I was a young man, a character appeared on our B&W (Black & White) tv screens who epitomised all that the legends of the West. Rawhide’s ‘Rowdy Yates’, or to give the actor’s name Clint Eastwood, shone through the electrons with a talent which, even to an untrained eye such as mine, gave some signal of his talent and his future.

But listening this morning to a BBC radio clip which featured John Malkovich, I realised that, through the massive egos which litter the entertainment world, you can find the occasional nugget which proves that some, at least, use their intellect to think of things other that their plays, films or tv series, and how to publicise them. Malcovitch who is touring with a play which is built around an Austrian rapist/murderer named  Jack Unterweger. who was imprisoned for fifteen years for his crimes, but then fooled (which didn’t take much to achieve) the Austrian ‘Intelligentsia’ that he was reformed, and they clamoured for his release from prison. He exceeded all their expectations, writing a book and also working as a journalist and tv reporter. He was subsequently arrested and charged with eleven more murders, but committed suicide before his trial.

John Malcovich, himself a great actor, who can project a ‘persona’ of evil intent better than most, said something profound during the interview. The Death Sentence, or ‘Capital punishment’ for those of a more squeamish nature was being discussed, especially in respect of America; and Malcovich’s words were rather telling. The interviewer asked if he was content with the Death Penalty, and he replied that ‘there were some people who he would have little heartbreak about’. He also stated that there were many people on Death Row whose cases are very flawed, and they should be looked at once more on appeal. He then stated “The death penalty is a kind of philosphical question, whether it should exist or not. Otherwise, murderers are the final arbiters of life and death, and without the death penalty, it strikes me as being as though society is lacking something when a murderer is the only one who decides whether a person lives or dies”

Do we live in a just society here in Great Britain? Would we be a better society if the death penalty for murder had been retained? Would we have slept sounder if  William Hunter had been given the benefit of a short rope and a long drop? Would we have been able to digest our cornflakes a little easier if the likes of Rosemary West or Ian Brady had been clinically snuffed out, instead of suffering the drawn-out torture inflicted on some of their victims?

By our membership of the European Union, we have submitted to the will of an unelected dictatorship. By our EU membership, we agreed that we should not kill, or plan to kill, any murderer who is found guilty in our criminal courts. The question we should be asking ourselves is simple, have we traded our independence in action and thought for the ‘comfort’ of a supra-national government which itself brooks no dissent. Consider the reaction of the EU bureaucracy when Austria brought in a right-wing party to Government. The immediate imposition of sanctions wasn’t queried in any of the nations’ capitals; no, ‘they are unnacceptable’ was the reaction, because of the ‘Fascist’ associations of the Haider party. It is indeed starnge that the sanctions were slapped upon Austria because they elected a right-wing organisation, but refuse to move at the same time against Italy, despite many of Italy’s politicians having fascist or communist backgrounds!

For my own thinking, I would state that the path of ‘forgiveness’ of ‘reconciliation’, of passive acceptance that the best we can do is lock the killers up is at best barren, at worst useless, because they can always get out, be paroled, be ‘redeemed’. No, the only redemption for a killer is the fact that they will find out what is beyond the great divide of death a lot quicker than if they lived behind bars; if they face a man with a rope and a trapdoor, who will not be budged, who will not give way to special pleading, who will carry out society’s sentence, and remove the killer from our midst!