Category Archives: Politics

Has There Ever Been A Worse UK Government Than This?

A Tory speaks. Some of his “facts” are a bit shaky – 42 million voted for Brexit?? Not in THIS reality – but his annihilation of this disastrous generation of Tories is spot on.

Peter Reynolds

I am a member of the Conservative Party – just.  My annual subscription is due and I feel physically sick at the prospect of doing anything that is supportive of the appalling collection of third and fourth rates that presently sit round the cabinet table.

The Conservative Party has Lost Its Way. We Need To Get Back To Being Tories.

We need to re-focus on our fundamental principles: individual liberty, individual responsibility, small government, free markets, evidence-based policy and a benevolent, responsible, one-nation approach.

Let’s face it, we’ve had a privileged toff, little more than a ponce on the nation, who from his position of wealth found it very easy to impose austerity on people with whom he was totally out-of-touch. Throughout his political career he vacillated and dithered on policy because he has no principles except self-advancement.  Now we have some fake Tory, an authoritarian bureaucrat with big government…

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Leeds, Spurs, Everyone: Give Arsenal’s Main Man a Chance   –   by Rob Atkinson


The Tories think you are STUPID. That’s why they talk at you in three word, alliterative sentences, which they repeat over and over. 
Strong and stable. Brexit means Brexit. Magic money tree. Enough is enough. Coalition of Chaos. 

It’s the crudest and most obvious form of brainwashing you could imagine, but the Tories think – because you didn’t go to Eton, Harrow and then the Varsity – that you will be easily-led enough to vote FOR fox-hunting, the end of our NHS, tax rises for everyone except the rich, cuts in police and education, the Dementia Tax – and all the other nasties that the Nasty Party wants to foist on the many, so that the few can continue to ride their beloved gravy train.

They think you’ll be daft and masochistic enough to vote AGAINST free education, a decent living wage, investment in housing and social care and 10,000 extra police to make our streets safer. They think you’re THAT stupid. Well, are you?
I have a three word sentence for you. VOTE THEM OUT. And a four word sentence. BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. 
Because, in one respect, the Tories are right. Enough IS enough. Seven years of Tory rule have dangerously weakened our front-line defences, driven teachers to despair, piled more pressure onto overworked and underpaid nurses and junior doctors. They’ve made a mess of the economy and a laughing-stock of the nation.

Now Trump is supporting the woman who failed as Home Secretary, who is failing as Prime Minister and who wants YOU to back her vague and uncosted manifesto – in effect, sign a blank cheque – for another five grim years, so that she can continue to run down vital services and sell off infrastructure. When Trump supports something, you know it can’t be good.
The last seven years of ideological austerity, which have seen national debt double to almost £2 trillion, are ample proof that the Tories are hopelessly malign and clueless. Enough really IS enough. And this election will be your last chance to make a fresh start before the Tories rig the democracy game to make sure they stay in power forever. Don’t be stupid. Don’t let them do it. The stakes are high, have your say on Thursday, and get rid of the Tories. 
Give Mr. Corbyn your trust and your faith. Give him a chance to put things right for the many, not just the few. It’s probably the chance of a lifetime to escape the yoke of neoliberalism. 

America missed the opportunity afforded them by Bernie Sanders. Look where they are now. We must not make the same mistake. 

#VoteLabour #JC4PM #ToriesOut

You Are Mistaken, Prescott And Kinnock

Why Corbyn does NOT need nominations to appear on the leadership ballot. It’s quite clear, and the motives of those who are bending themselves out of shape to suggest otherwise are, at best, highly questionable.

TheCritique Archives

by Martin Odoni

There still seems to be a running attempt to make the nomination rules for a Labour leadership contest sound ambiguous. The latest Labour members to insist that Jeremy Corbyn requires nominations from the Parliamentary Labour Party in order to defend his leadership are former Deputy leader John Prescott, and former leader Neil Kinnock.

Why they are saying this, I am unsure. They may have misunderstood, or they may have darker reasons, but either way, an analysis of the rules themselves shows that they are incorrect.

The rulebook of Labour Party membership is available online in PDF format, and the rules for a leadership contest are laid out very clearly in Chapter 4, starting on page 15. Here is what it says about the selection-of-candidates stage; –

“Clause 2 Subsection 2A

Nomination.

i .In the case of a vacancy for leader or deputy leader, each nomination must be…

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Labour Party Putsch: The Traitors’ Dilemma – by Rob Atkinson

Corbyn2

Jeremy Corbyn – serenely immovable

This article was previously published in the Huffington Post

The die is cast, the ringleaders are known, their motives are nakedly obvious for all to see. The Parliamentary Labour Party coup, conceived months ago to be hatched when the timing was right, has not gone well so far. Firstly, several previous anticipated opportunities have failed to materialise. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour was fancied to lose the Oldham by-election, but it held the seat and the plotters, poised quivering and eager to pounce, had to slink frustrated back into the undergrowth.

Then, the Local Council elections. Again, there looked to be an opportunity, with the ever-obliging BBC prematurely reporting a night of disaster for Corbyn’s troops, only to be embarrassed as things turned out annoyingly well, with Labour emerging as the largest party. The EU Referendum was Last Chance Saloon – the final opportunity before the publication of the Chilcot Report, with all of its possible nasty ramifications for the Blairites of the PLP.

So, the script was written before the results were known, in line with furtive early preparations elsewhere pre-dating overt action. But yet again, the figures have not stacked up as desired. In the face of a brutal and mendacious Leave campaign, Corbyn’s Labour members voted almost two to one to remain – a highly respectable figure given the fertile territory the likes of UKIP and Farage have found among the disaffected and marginalised poor. Labour’s remain vote was only a percentage point or two short of that of the SNP – and nobody’s calling Nicola Sturgeon a referendum failure.

All of the pretexts upon which the anti-Corbyn movement hoped to base their rebellion have turned out to be duds. Despite their own professed agenda and the complaisant backing of the media, their motives are paper-thin and full of holes. But there’s that pesky Chilcot thing in the offing, and it’s imperative to get rid of Corbyn before he can use a damning report to start inflicting some long overdue justice. So, for the traitors, it’s realistically now or never.

But there’s another problem. The leadership challenge as such is probably not such a good idea. The incumbent leader would be on the ballot paper as of right, and looks set fair to trounce any and all opposition, possibly by a wider margin than even last September’s historic landslide. If Corbyn could be persuaded to stand down, that’d be a different matter. He’d then need to secure enough PLP backing to be nominated for a leadership election – which would of course be relatively unlikely, as demonstrated by the constitutionally impotent no-confidence motion. So a Corbyn resignation is decidedly the way to go. But Jeremy steadfastly refuses to budge, citing the enormous mandate he was given only nine months ago.

Hence the current impasse. The unedifying spectacle now playing out is a bitterly ironic one of deeply dishonourable men and women calling upon a decent man – that rarity in politics – to “do the honourable thing”, and resign. They seem eager to give him extra increments of time, hoping against hope he’ll “see sense”. The right-wing press throng the touchlines, oafishly cheering on these turncoats. But Corbyn knows that resignation would not be the honourable course. It would be highly convenient, for the would-be usurpers, but honourable? No way. So he carries serenely on, under immense strain, while his detractors seethe helplessly.

This is the classic Traitors’ Dilemma – act recklessly, or perform a humiliating retreat?. What are they to do now, if this inconveniently honourable and determined man refuses to fall on his sword? Skulk away again, with Chilcot waiting to explode in their faces? Hardly. Launch a challenge anyway then, and damn the consequences? Well, to be the means by which Corbyn increases his already massive authority in the Labour Party as a whole – that’s hardly the sort of history your average Blairite wants to be making.

Angela Eagle, who has shed tears of pure crocodile in the past few days, together with the rest of the opportunists thirsting for the kill, all of them are faced with the Devil’s Alternative. Whichever way they decide to act, they’re likely to plummet into an abyss of obscurity and ridicule. It really is a very problematic situation. But it’s one, let us not forget, entirely of their own making.

Cellino’s Promised “Beautiful Season” Turning Ugly for Leeds   –   by Rob Atkinson

cellino no

“The fans are going to enjoy next season so much, it will be a beautiful season, I promise to them.” – Massimo Cellino, April 2015

It’s been quite a week for holding people to account over promises recklessly made and then casually broken. On Thursday, ex-Tory voter Michelle Dorrell became an instant media star on the BBC’s Question Time, by castigating a shocked and speechless government minister over blatant lies told and cast-iron pledges tossed aside. The hapless Amber Rudd, incumbent Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in Cameron’s team of no talent, simply did not know where to put herself, under a withering barrage of anger and contempt from a voter who felt, with absolute justification, that she’d been conned, betrayed, abandoned. It is possible to speculate that Ms. Rudd, whose face told a tale of deep shame and helpless bewilderment, might not, perhaps, be the best card player out there. Which is unfortunate for that lady as, in her position as a professional liar, she really does need that unflinching poker face.

Compare and contrast the useless Amber Rudd with our very own master of spin and deception, Signor Massimo Cellino. It’s a bit like putting Clogiron Rovers of the Council Parks League next to European giants such as Barcelona or AC Milan. The mighty gulf is best illustrated by the fact that both these public figures lie and dissimulate – but whereas the Tory Minister looked as guilty and crestfallen as an Oxford undergraduate photographed with his wedding tackle in a dead pig’s mouth, our Massimo peddles his many fictions with a countenance as smoothly untroubled as a placid lake on a still, hot day.

Perhaps that inscrutable countenance is the key to Cellino’s undoubted success in many arenas over the span of a long, controversial and eccentric career. But there is a limit to what even such a convoluted operator as Big Mass can get away with. He is on record, as we can see above, as recently as April just gone, speaking in honeyed tones of the “beautiful season” we Leeds United fans could look forward to in 2015/16. It was a solemn and unconditional promise he made to us – a promise now being spectacularly broken as this misbegotten, shapeless, aimless, depressing campaign gets uglier by the week.

Massimo has previous form in his relatively short time at Leeds for making statements amounting to promises, which he has then patently failed to deliver. He said he’d pop down the ATM and sort out the wherewithal to buy back Elland Road upon taking control of the club; many months on, it hasn’t happened (though we’re assured the process is ongoing. Perhaps the pesky cash machine ate his card?). The timescale for promotion keeps getting pushed back, too. Just as Annie the Orphan sang about tomorrow always being a day away, so our prospects of Premier League Football seem to be holding a steady distance of two years into the future, no matter how much time passes in the real world. And Cellino speaks with misty-eyed affection about each successive coach he employs one minute and then, in the next breath, he’s picking a fight with them preparatory to inserting the trusty old stiletto blade between their vulnerable back ribs. It’s all initial promise, moving through bitter disillusion and ending in bleak disappointment.

But the thing about all these lies, as they mount up into an embarrassingly big and obvious heap, is that they tend to detract somewhat from any chap’s credibility. And credibility – the very currency of the successful sporting head honcho – is now a commodity of which Cellino, poker face notwithstanding, is rapidly running uncomfortably short.

Abraham Lincoln said, with typical wisdom: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time“. Massimo Cellino, though markedly less sage, appears to have been quite successful in fooling lots of people for the longest time. But there is a limit – and now, after the latest home defeat to Brighton, the rumblings of discontent are being felt around Elland Road, one time football fortress, now reduced to the flimsiest house of cards. Some of the fans remain defiantly faithful, holding that Cellino is the real deal, simply by virtue of not being Ken Bates. It’s a camp where I once upon a time raised this blog’s standard – but not any more. There have been too many lies, too many rash, undelivered promises. A good proportion of the fans now appear to have seen through Massimo’s affable facade, and they have detected the charlatan that lies beneath – and keeps on and on lying. It’s a harsh verdict on the face of it, but it’s one amply supported by the available evidence.

Football owners are not, in the nature of these things, the most accountable people in the sport. The ones held to account tend to be the coaches, the visible face of a failing football club’s operation, the men charged with making inadequate resources do the job of competing with better-financed, more realistically-run operations. These men carry the can for the owner’s inadequacies, craziness, parsimony and tendency to be economical with the truth. It’s a thankless task, as Uwe Rosler – with his ominous recent vote of confidence/final warning – may soon find out. But the fans don’t have to accept that the coach is where the buck stops and where the blame resides. Not any more than the courts in Italy or elsewhere have to accept a man’s repeated insistence on his innocence – as more and more charges of tax evasion and other vices pile up.

One way or the other, whether it’s the courts or the fans who finally suss him out, surely even Massimo Cellino cannot continue with his steadfast avoidance of the truth, his plausible blandishments and promises – not in the long term. Not when he’s also taking unpopular decisions such as limiting away tickets on the back of a spat with Sky TV. Not when he appears stubbornly determined to lose Sam Byram for peanuts, having publicly hung the lad out to dry, unable to defend his corner. Not when he’s back in the public gaze since Adam Pearson‘s much-lamented departure, making more crazy statements and more rash promises – most of which, you can well believe, will end up as hollow and worthless as his promise of April last.

A beautiful season? With successive defeats, a winless run at Elland Road stretching back to March and a headlong downward spiral in what is not exactly a vintage Championship league table, it’s not beautiful at all. It’s an ugly pig of a season, a Luke Chadwick or a Gideon Osborne of a season, even a Katie Hopkins of a season. Any common or garden fan can certainly see that, it’s as obvious as weather through a window. And, little by little, the more we keep getting told that everything in the garden is rosy, when we can absolutely see the weeds and the brambles choking the place to death – surely even the die-hard Cellino supporters must be beginning to wonder exactly where Leeds United are heading next, under his bizarre and deceitful direction.

Bottom line, ladies, gentlemen and fellow Whites? We should have listened to Johnny Giles.

Prime Minister Mosley… and The 1,000 Days That Established The British Reich – by Rob Atkinson

The Daily Heil - peddling made-up rubbish since 1896

The Daily Heil – peddling made-up rubbish since 1896

The Daily Mail and the Mail Online have been indulging themselves again, venturing deep into the realms of fantasy and propaganda as they seek to plant fear and terror in the public mind over that nice Jeremy Corbyn, in an article subtly headed “Prime Minister Corbyn… and the 1,000 days that destroyed Britain”. Having originally adopted a stance of jocularly poking fun at his supposedly non-existent chances in the Labour leadership election, they now seem more than somewhat worried about Corbyn, not to say absolutely terrified. So they’ve done this little “glimpse into a crystal ball” thing, just to ratchet up the tensions a bit among their loyal if dim readership.

It’s all good, knockabout stuff in the time-dishonoured Mail idiom. Here we have the awful spectre of billionaires fleeing the country; there we find football’s Premier League reduced to a Hackney Marshes shadow of its former greedy glory as prima donnas head for pastures greener – and of course there’s the sale of our nuclear arsenal to President Putin, with our consequent cold-shouldering by the USA’s possibly pre-menstrual President Trump(!) There’s even a little joke – the boyband One Direction, leaving our shores, never to return. Geddit? It’s the stuff of a Thatcherite Tory’s nightmares, designed to get under the skin of the “Disgusted of Godalming” brigade, or anyone else daft enough to take the Mail seriously.

Rothermere of the Mail and Adolf Hitler - Best Friends Forever

Rothermere of the Mail and Adolf Hitler – Best Friends Forever

But here’s the thing. The Mail is not alone in its ability (for want of a less flattering word) to dream up a “brilliant imagining” as they so modestly hail their own speculative scare-fest. Let us do some imagining of our own; let us consider how things might have panned out if Lord Rothermere, one-time proprietor of the Mail and originator of 1930s headlines such as “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” in that esteemed organ, had actually had his heart’s desire – with Oswald Mosley elected as Prime Minister instead of the Conservative Stanley Baldwin in 1935…

The night sky over London was thick with choking black smoke, a triumphant marker of the fires raging in the parks, casting a faintly demonic glow over the faces of those witnessing the first mass book-burning of the Mosley era. At last, our nation would break free of the shackles of left-wing dogma, as the works of so-called “socialist intellectuals” disintegrated before the eyes of an eagerly-watching public. The scene was repeated across the length and breadth of a British Isles looking to flourish under the jackboot of the British Union of Fascists. 

Soon, all such subversive rubbish would be gone, and the newly-formed Nationalist Government could turn its attention to other forms of cleansing, towards the day when Britain would be ethnically pure and, along with its strong ally Germany, the proud joint masters of Europe.

Soon, too, the British people would have a Royal Wedding to enjoy, as King Edward the Eighth met his bride at the altar of Westminster Abbey. And then, joy unconfined, with a spectacular coronation for our beloved new Queen Wallis, followed by a honeymoon as guests of Chancellor Hitler at his Bavarian retreat. Here, yet stronger links would be forged between Germany and Britain, as the two most powerful nations in Europe looked to extend their joint empire south to the Mediterranean, and far beyond…

At home, those with the good luck to be part of Mr Mosley’s Aryan-dominated economic miracle would thrive, due in no small measure to the opportunities afforded them by the expulsion or disposal of various groups of “undesirables”. Of the old guard, the likes of Winston Churchill were placed under house arrest shortly after the ’35 election for the expression of “Unbritish sentiments”. Rebellions in Scotland, Yorkshire and other militant and intractable parts of the United Kingdom were put down firmly but fairly, by use of reasonable military force and with an acceptable level of casualties among the rebels. The ringleaders of these mutinies had the honour to become the first traitors publicly executed since the glorious days of Queen Victoria, with a mass example of national discipline taking place via machine guns in Hyde Park in mid 1936.

By late 1938, the map of Europe had been radically reshaped as France, caught helpless between Italy, Spain and Britain/Germany, was squeezed out of existence by this quadruple Fascist Alliance. Paris fell before the massed tanks of the United British/German Army, de Gaulle was guillotined in the Place de la Concorde and the scoundrels of the much-vaunted French intellectual society were forced to flee, via Switzerland or Portugal, across the Atlantic to the United States.

As time went on, further examples of sedition were rooted out and dealt with. Subversives like Clement Attlee and Aneurin Bevan, with their dangerous notions of welfare states and national health services, have been confined to a correction camp on the Isle of Wight, from where they are unable to peddle their filth. The idea of succouring the weak and unfit bids fair to undermine national prosperity, and the British/German peoples are solidly behind the abiding concept of “Survival of the Fittest” with its associated precept of “Work Sets You Free”, shared in Germany as “Arbeit Macht Frei“. Instead of being pampered and pandered to, those unable or unwilling to make a contribution to society are housed in dedicated camps, such as Rochdale and Coventry in Britain, and Belsen, Dachau and Auschwitz in Greater Germany.

In these first three years of the Mosley administration, great strides have been made towards restoring Britain to its rightful pre-eminent world position. Great Britain is now respected abroad, in countries like Argentina and Emperor Hirohito’s Japan; we are once more a country where strong Aryans can make for themselves a good life, with no fear of racial dilution or that pollution of the mind which comes with the free publication of treacherous left-wing nonsense, now thankfully suppressed.

We at the Daily Heil can look back with pride at the part we played in bringing this new order about, as well as our sterling contribution in the first thousand days of Mr Mosley’s premiership. Let us look ahead now, under our Leader and his staunch ally Herr Hitler, to continuing prosperity for the master race in its natural homelands of Britain and Germany; we look forward with growing pride and optimism to a Kingdom/Reich which may last well beyond a thousand days, yea, even unto a thousand years!

Hail Mr Mosley and the Fatherland! Heil Hitler!! A rousing chorus, if you please, of “Hoorah for the Blackshirts”!!!

That’s one way things might have turned out, though it’s highly doubtful that the Mail would care to “brilliantly imagine” any such thing these days. All that Nazi-sympathising stuff is such a long time ago now, buried in their past and, surely, not to be mentioned by persons of taste.

Still – sauce for the goose, as they say. And alternate histories can hardly be as downright ill-grounded as pointless, biased, agenda-driven speculation about the future – now can they?

Leeds Blog Exclusive: Unelected PM Camoron “Rules Out Third Face” – by Rob Atkinson

Camoron: two-faced and that's quite enough, thanks

Camoron: two-faced and that’s quite enough, thanks

Unelected PM David Camoron has shocked Tory Party faithful by ruling out a third face. Speaking at a gathering of hostile, heckling pensioners which also included an undercover reporter from Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything, Mr Camoron remarked “I have always felt that two faces are the right number for a Tory politician. I have been two-faced for the whole of my political career, and I see no reason to change that now.” Mr. Camoron also pointed to the example of former Leeds United CEO Shaun Harvey, a man who has managed to rise to the heights of Football League top man on a mere two faces and absolutely no principles whatsoever.

“Mr Harvey is a fine example to all of us Tories,” stated the one-term, no-mandate PM. “He has managed to support the inclusion in the “football family” of rapists, porn barons, embezzlers, money-launderers and other such rank-and-file Tory types, whilst pursuing somebody in this foreign chappie Cellino, who has just a few import tax misdemeanours to his discredit, with all the enthusiasm of a bunch of purple-faced Conservative chinless wonders hounding a fox to its grisly death. It’s the kind of leadership I can only dream of providing myself, and shows that being two-faced is enough to get you to the top.”

Tory Party sycophants were quick to praise their leader. “Whatever David has said, I feel he is right, and very courageous too.” said Tarquin Toady-Greaser of Lesser Mansion Tax, near Cheltenham, “Now get off my land, you horrible little Leeds United oik, before I have you thrashed, tarred and feathered, demmit.”

In a week when it appears to have become de rigueur to rule out a third this or that, Nick Clegg is refusing to pass on an additional third chance of re-election in Sheffield Hallam this coming May, stating that his existing two chances of “slim and none” were leaving him “a little short of options” – particularly as ‘slim’ is reported to be on the point of leaving town.

Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, was last night refusing to rule out the prospect of a third MP for the party, pointing out that he himself is standing in Thanet South. Speaking from a smoking shelter outside a pub in the constituency, Mr Farage said that he remains “optimistic” that the UKIP message is finally getting across, praising the frankness and honesty of the likes of Janice Atkinson. When it was pointed out that Ms Atkinson had actually been ejected by the party for transcending even their standards of public conduct, Mr Farage would only quip, cryptically: “Oh, bollocks”.

Meanwhile in the Labour Party, there were contrasting approaches on this issue from two senior figures. Party Leader Ed Milliband was quick to rule out a third kitchen, stating that two were enough for any socialist – but at the dinosaur end of the party, John Prescott has confirmed that he “would rather like a third Jag“.

Nye Bevan is 117.

An Honest Tory Election Poster

Satire – a form of humour that only really works when there’s some truth behind it.

This really works.

Same Difference

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DWP To Terminally Ill Claimant: If You Don’t Die Within Six Months, We’ll Prosecute You

Words fail me…

Same Difference

A shocking post from The People Vs The Government, DWP And ATOS.

Linda Cox

A lady came in to see me today. She was beside herself as the DWP had treated her very badly over numerous different aspects of her claim. She had been misled and lied to, but this is the thing that’s making me want to roll some heads…

Her phone call to DWP last year….

Lady: I am calling to inform you of changes to my health; I now have cancer.
DWP: Well?
Lady: I was told to inform you of any changes to my health.
DWP: Well, are you going to die?
Lady: I’m not sure. I’ve only just been diagnosed.
DWP: Well, I can put you through on the special rules for terminal claimants, but if you don’t die within six months we will prosecute you.

She was so taken aback, she didn’t get…

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Murderers Don’t Execute People. Murderers MURDER People – by Rob Atkinson

Nous sommes tous Charlie

Nous sommes tous Charlie

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo atrocity in Paris earlier this week, and amidst all of the horror and the inevitable soul-searching that follows any such tragic event, an old and unwelcome misuse of terminology has reared its ugly head again and – in its own subtle and insidious way – could be set to play its part in undermining the fight against terrorism and mass murder. The word being misused is “execution”. It’s being wheeled out all over the media to refer to the acts of the cowards guilty of these foul crimes – and the danger is that, to some, it might just lend a false air of dignity and gravitas to what is more accurately just another disgusting act of terrorism. cowardice and callous rejection of all that is civilised.

The Charlie Hebdo story is everywhere at the moment, and rightly so. It’s a high-profile atrocity, the terrorists’ answer to the maxim of peaceful people everywhere that “the pen is mightier than the sword”. It is because of this context that it’s so important we get our terminology right, and don’t risk succouring the enemy by portraying its actions in an unrealistic, even flattering, light. If we are to match the pen against the sword with any hope of ultimately winning, then we have to give an appropriate name to the criminal acts we are opposing. This is not merely a matter of semantics, it’s far, far more important. As a first principle, let’s call murder precisely that. Let’s speak of cowardly attacks, let’s talk of helpless and innocent victims. Let’s not use a legal term whose meaning has been perverted far beyond its original application.

The word “execution” in a capital punishment context, refers to application of a death warrant consequent upon judicial proceedings. It is the warrant, properly speaking, that is executed – not the miscreant at the end of the rope. Whether you’re pro or anti the death penalty wherever it might still apply, you are surely aware that it is a culmination of this lengthy legal process. It is not a random killing perpetrated by a random individual or group who have accorded themselves the right to make their own rules and enforce their own penalties, without regard for law, justice or the sanctity of life, and devil take the hindmost. When we use the word “execution” in connection with events like the chilling murders in Paris, we run the very real risk of planting incorrect impressions in uncritical minds. We are in danger of depicting the thugs and terrorists as having some kind of moral or even legal force behind their heinous actions. We must not do this. Murder is murder, and should be scorned and met with horror and outrage. Any language which seems even slightly to suggest that such an action can be mentioned in the same breath as the outcome of due process must be suppressed in the interests of preserving the truth of the matter. Murderers don’t execute people. Murderers murder people.

I was listening to the radio only a little while after the attack, and a BBC Five Live reporter was talking about some video pictures from the scene in Paris, deemed too graphic to broadcast, of “a terrorist executing a policeman.” Wrong! That policeman was not executed. He was murdered, the victim of a cowardly and tawdry act that has nothing to do with civilisation, nothing to do with the judiciary or the forces of law and justice. His family have been deprived of this man, not by a legal warrant, but by a hooded coward, a murderous thug wielding an illegal weapon. That is the fact of the matter. Use of the word “execution” can only give a false, misleading and utterly unhelpful impression.

The pen is mightier than the sword – and words (even cartoons) properly used and artfully aimed, can strike home where an arsenal of missiles might fail to reach. What more graphic proof of that than the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a visceral reaction to the wounding power of high-class satire? Given that, let us not play into the enemy’s hands by dignifying their actions with the wrong words. Let their cowardly attacks be described with scorn, derision and condemnation. Let’s not succour the thugs by appearing to admit some moral compass in their grisly world of terror and intimidation.

May the victims of this cowardly and barbaric attack rest in peace. Aujourd’hui, je suis Charlie. Demain, et dans l’avenir, nous sommes tous Charlie.