Sgt Blackman – ‘Only those present know the full story of what happened’….Cold-blooded killer or victim of a mental aberration?
During WWII, as Allied troops moved through Italy thousands of defeated Italian soldiers surrendered. The forces fighting Fascism were told they were not to take prisoners. Surrendering soldiers were then routinely shot. The reasons, if not the morality, were clear – precious resources, food and medical supplies, should not be wasted on the enemy. Of course the war was eventually won and this slice of history was expunged from the records. Fast forward to the war in Afghanistan and helmet-cams tells the story of every individual soldier. History is recorded, acts of valour are captured for all time. And so are acts of inglorious behaviour. Sgt Blackman committed what is arguably an act of murder against a Taliban fighter. Initially tried, and convicted, of murder Blackman served a jail sentence before having that sentenced commuted to manslaughter. He has now been released and gave his first interview to the BBC today saying that he wished he could turn back the clock – he would have done things differently, an admission that his actions were wrong. He has argued – successfully – that he was suffering from unbearable stress due to the length and nature of the job he was asked to do by the British government. But does that justify killing a man who was defenceless and injured, even in the theatre of war? Shouldn’t our, undoubtedly brave, soldiers be not only merciful but also above reproach? Killing a man who is no threat can only be murder. If combat stress is a defence then every soldier has an excuse for inexcusable behaviour. Sgt Blackman’s colleagues witnessed this execution and facilitated the initial cover up. The Taliban are the 21st century equivalent of the fascists from WWII, our enemies, but what was unacceptable in the 1940s is still wrong now. Blackman now has his life back, a privilege the Taliban fighter doesn’t have. Let’s hope something was learned from the experience.
Labour Will Overcome ‘Rigged System’ Promises Corbyn
In a typically incoherent speech Jeremy Corbyn has blamed a ‘rigged system’ for all the woes of the poor in Britain. Setting out his Robin Hood policy of caning the rich to redistribute to the poorest he promise higher taxes will be levied on those earning £80,000+ per year (which means that most MPs will not face increased taxes). he will take on the ‘elite’, forcing companies to cap pay for CEOs at 10 times the lowest earning employees in the company. A recipe that would almost certainly require the largest corporations to move their business abroad, leading to higher unemployment, more poor people, more poverty. It is the economics of the madhouse. Corbyn said there will be a reckoning for ‘tax cheats, rip-off bosses and greedy bankers’. Few would argue with the sentiment of his sixth form politics but could turn the UK into the ‘poor man’ of Europe and beyond.