Friday, July 11, 2003

Repeat Offender

Brian Deegan has offended decent opinion yet again with an article in the Australian. At least four charges have been levelled against Deegan:

1. Once again, Deegan has raised the "it's all our fault" shibboleth in relation to international Islamo-Fascist terrorism;

2. Deegan's repeated references to his dead son Jake Joshua amount to a blatant exploitation of his son's memory for political purposes;

3. Deegan is angry at the wrong people. Instead of raising questions about the Government's performance in relation to the Bali bombings - for example questioning whether travel warnings were adequate - he should pay more attention to the people who were really responsible, the bombers;

4. Deegan is a naive goody-two-shoes wimp who doesn't realise that shooting is too good for terrorists, who really deserve a drawn out, painful death, preferably involving the creative use of pork products as a ritual defilement.

These charges, and the various other outraged comments found at Tim Blair's blog and Gareth Parker's have the same root: Deegan is not being a good victim. Tim Dunlop has already commented on both posts, so this post of mine may be supererogatory. On the other hand, having half written it last night, I've decided what the hell, I might as well finish it and put it up anyway.

Victims, especially of crime, enjoy a number of special privileges in political debate, but they must also abide by a number of binding obligations. Otherwise the office of poor bugger will be passed on to someone else.

The victim's first obligation is to reflect the community outrage arising from the crimes perpetrated against him. In saying that he is against giving the death penalty to Amrosi, Deegan has signally failed in this obligation. It would have been more fitting if Deegan's article had said that, while he is opposed to the death penalty in general, he was prepared to make an exception in the case of his son. This would have kept everybody happy: the boil 'em in lard brigade would have another clear example showing that, when they are personally affected, soft-headed opponents of the death penalty discover that maybe it's a good idea after all. On the other hand, the rest of the soft-headed bleeding-heart hand wringers would be able to tut-tut quietly, and make patronising comments about how we need to cut Deegan some slack, and offer the usual suggestions that once he gets over his initial grief, he might change his mind.

The victim must also show in his public statements, that he understands and respects the proper role of government authority in dealing with crime. Any suggestion that a criminal act may have been the result of government neglect is, of itself, offensive. This accounts for the objections to Deegan's repeated suggestions that the Australian Government might have stuffed up, even a little. Of course, this obligation may be waived if the current Government is a Labor Government because, as we all know, Labor Governments are necessarily out of touch with community attitudes and notoriously soft on crime.

Finally, victims who are grieving relatives, must show the proper respect for their dead. Once again, Deegan fails to perform properly. If Deegan's references to his dead son, and his dead son's grave been combined with a demand for fitting retribution on the killers (preferably involving very hot lard), no-one would have had a problem with his article, for the reasons I've already outlined. In summary, despite what the softies commenting at the Dunlop place may have to say, it's time for Deegan to wake up, smell the coffee and get with the program.

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