Archive for the ‘controversy’ Category

Success people! Superdrug have pulled out of the Workfare scheme.  Take the time to thank them for this, positive reinforcement is as important as protest actions.  This way, they stay on the side of the regular people, who need all the help they can get.

However, Superdrug may have set a fantastic example, there are still plenty who have not done the same.  There are still quite a lot of companies who do want to use the scheme and today, we are focusing on the following:

  • Debenhams
  • Poundland
  • Asda
  • Argos
  • Tesco

Click on the links below to take you straight to their Facebook page, where you can copy and paste the following letter, or write your own.  Try as much as you can not to use swearwords or get angry.  This is about making a stand, not raising hell.  By the way, there are a number of organisations, including the Salvation Army, who are purposely removing any Facebook mention of the Workfare Scheme.  So much so, in fact, that if you do complain through those means, they will block you from commenting on their page.  Censorship is rife people!  Let me know if you find yourself blocked from any of the pages, more ammunition to go against these companies.

Here’s the letter:

Dear [Use full name if apparent]

I am a longstanding customer of [Name of retail outlet] but I have decided to boycott your company because I object to your involvement in mandatory unpaid labour (Workfare) schemes. I believe that the exploitation of unpaid labour is morally wrong and urge you to reconsider your involvement with these DWP Workfare placements.

I believe that as a responsible employer, your company has an obligation to meet the statutory Minimum Wage for all of your employees. I shall continue my boycott until I am provided with satisfactory evidence that your company is no longer involved in these mandatory work schemes and agrees to the principle that all employees deserve to earn at least the UK National Minimum Wage. I also believe that it is actually in your own interests that these unpaid labour schemes are abandoned, since workers with wages in their pockets are consumers and consumer spending is the principal driver of demand in the retail sector. It may seem counter intuitive that paying your staff better wages would increase your profitability, however Henry Ford demonstrated that he understand this economic principle almost 100 years ago when he made the decision to price his cars low and to pay his workers reasonably well.

I would like your company to make a public statement (press release) explicitly stating these two things:

1 That your company is no longer involved in any of the various unpaid labour or “work-for-your-benefits” schemes administered by the DWP or by private sector interests working on their behalf.

2. That it is company policy that all workers (including trainees) are paid in accordance with the National Minimum Wage.

I would appreciate it if the issues I have raised were dealt with by someone in authority. I shall look forward to hearing your response to these concerns.

Yours

[Your Name]

The following is taken directly from the Boycott Workfare website, where you can find further contact details of the various companies.

Debenhams

Debenhams has 165 stores across the UK and Ireland and has a turnover of £2.2 billion. They too have been taking advantage of wageless, rightless workers supplied by the DWP at the taxpayers’ expense. They’re very keen to insist that the scheme they’re involved in is voluntary, but DWP rules say if you don’t get take part you’re referred to a scheme which carries 3 year sanctions. So it’s only voluntary if you say yes.

Press Office: press.office@debenhams.com 
Customer services: customerrelations@debenhams.com 
Company secretary: company.secretariat@debenhams.com (Paul Eardley)
Facebook: Debenhams – the official page 
Twitter:

Poundland

Countless reports of workfare in Poundland’s stores have emerged, and the retailer has come under particular pressure since Cait Reilly successfully challenged her Poundland placement in the courts. So much so that instead of staying involved in the existing workfare schemes, they have set up their own. They tell us: “We currently have people taking part in work experience placements across 71 of our stores, and since launching the scheme, 20% have been offered a job with us”. That’s 80% who have worked for free for nothing. Poundland profits soared to £40 million last year. If Poundland needs people to work in its stores, it can pay them.

Feedback form: click here
Press centre: poundland@bottlepr.co.uk
Chief Executive (Warburg Pincus – their US based private equity fund owners): egustafson@warburgpincus.com 
Facebook: Poundland 
Twitter:

Asda

Asda has been at the heart of workfare in the UK, helping the government relaunch its “Work Experience” scheme last year. We have had reports that one of their stores in Manchester uses disabled people on workfare on the night shift. They are frank about their involvement here.

Asda contact form: Click here
Facebook: Asda

Argos

Argos appears to be using six week placements from the Job Centre on a massive scale. Multiple reports of Argos using workfare placements so that paid staff hours are being reduced and fewer Christmas temps employed have emerged.

Business email: info@argos.co.uk
Corporate responsibility (HRG): gordon.bentley@homeretailgroup.comcorporate.responsibility@homeretailgroup.com 
Media relations (HRG): media.relations@homeretailgroup.com 
Managing director: john.walden@argos.co.uk
Head Office (01908 690333)
Customer Services (01785 710253)
Facebook: Argos

Tesco

Tesco has committed to 3000 workfare placements, and so far 80% of the 1500 people who have gone through their stores have not been given a job. In response to public pressure, they have introduced a fudge which offers people a place on their own scheme instead but this misses the point.

Tesco’s profits last year were £1.7 billion. 1500 eight week, thirty hour placements would mean the company has so far profited from 360,000 hours of free labour on the schemes. Tesco need to stop fudging the issue, pull out of workfare and start paying every single person who works in their stores a living wage.

Head office email address: online@tesco.co.uk
Customer service email address: customer.service@tesco.co.uk
Phil Clarke, Current CEO of Tesco’s: philip.clarke@uk.tesco.com

Telephone: 0845 7225533 (Head office number) or 0845 600 4411 (This is the number for Tesco direct)
Facebook: Tesco

Advertisements

I hate them.  Not just out of some misplaced sense of jealousy because I don’t drive.  I quite simply can’t drive.  I can park (even parallel), I can change gears, I can reverse around a corner.  What I can’t do, however, is steer.  At all.  In fact, the only car I have ever driven without banging into a curb or driving straight over the roundabout (and I do mean STRAIGHT OVER), was a 1969 Morris Minor.  But I thank my lucky stars for the fact that I can’t drive, because drivers are, quite frankly, wankers.  All of them.  Not just the taxi drivers or the white van men, just all of them!

My Mode of Transportation

I walk and I cycle.  And I have never felt like I couldn’t get anywhere.  If the destination is a little bit too far, I’ll take a train or a bus and walk from there.  Besides the fact that it is reasonably convenient, it is better for the environment and a whole lot better for my health as well.  I try to instil these values into my son as well, who, at just five years old, cycled from my home to the beach, a good hour or so bike ride across hills and busy roads.  Find me a five year old who can do that when he or she has parents that drive everywhere?

My Major Gripe

My major gripe at the moment is with a senior school where I live.  The school is in the middle of a residential area and parents INSIST on driving their kids to school.  As a consequence, the whole residential area is at a complete standstill twice a day.  This wouldn’t annoy me so much, because I don’t actually live in that particular area, so I don’t have a problem with crubs getting destroyed, not being able to get in or out of my own house, or the exhaust fumes.  What does annoy me, however, is that me and my son either cycle or walk there and almost get ran over every bloody time.

What I Have Done

So, I’m seriously pissed off and I’m taking action.  I hate people who complain to others but refuse to stand up and actually do something.  So far, I have done the following:

  • Play lollipop lady every morning by simply jumping in front of the cars and letting everybody pass at a leisurely pace.
  • Petitioning residents to ask for a solution and sending this to the local council.
  • Write to my MP.  He recently wrote a letter saying changing the area into a one way system wasn’t feasible.  Fuck a one way system, parents need to stop dropping their kids off in front of the school.   The school is within walking distance of a town centre, a large supermarket and a number of other main roads, why not drop them off there?
  • Speak to the school.  Who, by the way, casually informed me that the children at their school could not be expected to have sufficient road sense, mainly because the school is responsible for these children and doesn’t want to get sued.  No, of course kids don’t have any bloody road sense if they get driven EVERYWHERE!!!

I am now in the process of making a huge sign with “kids can walk” or another catchy text, which I intend to hold up to the cars whenever I get passed them.  The other thing I have done is scream at any driver who does the typical driver thing and just simply doesn’t look.  If you are a driver, do you have any concept of the fact that you are driving in a huge killing machine?  Getting ran over by a car doesn’t just hurt, it kills.  So open your fucking eyes and pay attention to the rest of the road.  Particularly since I may only be a person on a bike, but I still have right of way!  I don’t have a driver’s license and even I know shark teeth on the road mean you bloody well have to stop.

I would really welcome any ideas anybody else has about what I can do.  I’m getting to the point now that I’m tempted to track the cars and simply slash their tires, or write offensive messages on their cars with battery acid or something (I did write a message of sarcastic thanks in the dust on one of the cars the other day).  So yeah, any thoughts, let me know!

We all know breast is best for babies.  This subject is particularly close to my heart, because I breastfed my son until he was two years old.  Not because I’m one of these freaky extreme breast feeders who still feed their kids when they’re coming up eight or something, but simply because I wanted to stop when my son was ready to stop.  For him, this was when he was two.  For others, this is at two weeks.  Whatever.  My problem is the amount of women that don’t breastfeed and that choose not to do this for the wrong reasons.

Breast or Bottle?

There are lots of very valid reasons as to why some women don’t breastfeed.  Perhaps they simply don’t like the feeling.  Perhaps they get mastitis and are unable to continue.  Perhaps they don’t produce enough to feed their hungry baby.  Perhaps they have had breast surgery and are no longer able to lactate.  All perfectly good reasons.  Let me get one thing very clear: choosing to bottle feed does NOT in any way make you a bad mother.  Too many women are made to feel as if they make the wrong choice for their child by bottle feeding, which simply isn’t the case.  Of course breast is better, but your child will not grow up some sort of deprived little urchin if you don’t whip your boob out.

What pisses me off, however, is the amount of women that don’t breastfeed because they don’t want to get their boobs out in public.  Now that is the wrong reason not to breastfeed.  However, I don’t blame them personally, I blame society as a whole.

Boobs as Sex Objects

A big problem is that too many people see boobs as something sexual.  They’re not.  You may like the look or feel of them, you may be a boob-man (or woman for that matter), you may get turned on by boobs.  However, boobs are simply a body part and they are there to feed our children.  So get over it!

We’re supposed to be ever so grateful that stores are offering “breastfeeding rooms”.  They are comfortable and clean and at just the right temperature.  Fuck that!  Why should I have to lock myself in a room in case someone walks past and sees me feeding my child and gets turned on by the sight of my breasts?  Sorry, but I’m not the one with the problem there.  I shouldn’t have to hide away, regardless of levels of comfort, just because some people are total perverts.

And I’ve had experiences.  Funny enough, more so with younger generations.  I was feeding my child in public in a restaurant once, simply because I can and I am allowed to, and a couple in their early thirties whispered (just a little bit too loudly of course), that it was absolutely disgusting.  Well, I made a point of turning towards them even more.

Change this mind set, please.  There are so many women out there who would love nothing more than giving their babies the breast but feel incapable of doing this because they fear public perception of them.  I don’t want to write yet another article about how breast milk is so much better and cheaper and how you will save the NHS millions by breastfeeding.  We all know that.  But even though we all know that, levels of breastfeeding are still at an all-time low.  And that is because of this perception of boobs being sexual objects.  So, if you are one of these people that think tits are for sex, fuck off and get a life.  If you are one of the women who wants to breastfeed but is scared because of perverts, stand up for yourself and feed your child when it wants feeding and not when you are next to one of the “special rooms”.

And well done for anybody who is able to get over this, I, for one, am proud of you!

It was in the news yesterday that Starbucks don’t pay taxes in the UK.  Basically, they have paid just £8.6 million in tax in the UK since 1998.  This is despite a profit of £3 billion pounds.  So how the hell were they able to do this?  Surely they are breaking the law?  Well, no, they’re not…  What Starbucks, a so-called “ethical” company does, is pay fees and royalties for other parts of Starbucks around the globe.  So, technically, Starbucks is making a loss, rather than a £3 billion profit.  Worst of all, HM Revenue & Customs seem to have no problems with this type of behaviour.  But Starbucks isn’t the only company that does this!  Let’s take a look at some of the other big players in the UK that conveniently don’t pay any, or very few, taxes here.

 

Vodafone – Keeping Britain in the Red

Vodafone earns hundreds of millions of pounds of money from people in the UK every year.  In fact, they have some 19 million customers.  Guess how much money in corporation tax they paid though?  None!  This is very strange, because the year before that, they paid £140 million in tax, but they made fewer profits…  The way they do this is by offsetting their tax bill against their capital expenditure.   In fact, the chairman of Google – Eric Schmidt – said well done to Vodafone.  According to him, the laws in the UK are so easy to get around that companies should take advantage of this.  Why pay anything above the minimum right?

The Wonderful World of Philip Green

Philip Green has long been the target of UK Uncut because he has been able to avoid corporate tax.  Bear in mind, as well, that this spineless little weasel even worked as a government advisor.  What Philip Green has done is bank offshore.  He owns a company in Monaco, which is run by just a single person: his wife Tina Green.  She is technically the owner of the Philip Green empire, and since she is not a UK resident, she is not subject to UK corporation tax.  This means some £285 million in tax does not get sent back into the country.  He then also manages to offset any loans and charges from Arcadia (the name of Philip Green’s company) against charges and profits.  Not just that, the man manages to pay himself £1.2 billion a year for holding 92% of the Arcadia company.  He said that this isn’t excessive, because he is “risky business”.  Yeah, no shit!  But then he takes it a bit further.  He doesn’t want to “lose” any money either, so he uses overseas sweatshops (child labour!) and other companies where there is no such thing as minimum wage, and even if there is, it is ridiculously low.  Next time some tells you that they got rich through hard work, ask them who’s hard work!

By the way, Philip Green owns the following companies in the UK:

  • BHS
  • Topshop
  • Dorothy Perkins
  • Burton
  • Outfit
  • Miss Selfridge
  • Evans
  • Wallis
  • Etam

And of course, every time he buys one of these companies (because he didn’t start them up), he sells them on to his wife in Monaco within 24 hours.  Clever little man, isn’t he?  So think about it next time you shop at one of these stores.

These are but a few of the shops.  It is expected that there are many more, Boots being one of them, for instance.  Think hard where you shop, because most of these stores have made cuts in their numbers of staff since the recession started, when there is no need to since their profits are larger than a mere mortal could possibly comprehend.

It is a scary thought that in this day and age, child labour and slave labour is still being used.  As terrifying as that is, we sort of know and understand that it still happens in “less developed” parts of the world.  However, if we were to know that an item that we use was made by children or through slave labour, we wouldn’t buy it right?  Wrong.  The range of companies on the big markets that use child and slave labour is absolutely frightening.  Of course, they also say they “don’t know” or that “there’s nothing they can do”.  Yeah, whatever.  So, let’s take a look at the brands you should avoid as much as possible.  Oh and one other problem is that one company often manufactures multiple products under different names, so you may not even be aware that you are still shopping from this company.  For instance, Proctor & Gamble (they don’t use child labour, they just test on animals in horrifying ways…) produce Andrex and Febreze.  So, I’ll also add a number of the products you should avoid.

Philip Morris

Philip Morris has actually admitted that 72 children work on the tobacco forms from which Philip Morris buys its plants.  The youngest of these was just 10 years old.  The problem is that they only admitted this when they were forced to by the Human Rights Watch.  Philip Morris only took a very small part of the blame as well.  The details on these 72 children (be aware that evidence has been found for just 72 children, that doesn’t mean there aren’t actually more) are horrifying.  They have neck and stomach rashes, their passports were confiscated, essentially enslaving them, and they were force to work overtime without receiving additional pay.  Philip Morris is yet to live up to their promise of changing these situations.

Philip Morris also makes Basic, Marlboro, Cambridge, Benson & Hedges, Commander, Chesterfield, English Ovals, Dave’s, L&M, Lark, Parliament, Merit, Saratoga, Players and Virginia Slims.  Don’t light any of those up in other words!

Victoria’s Secret

Ah, the one place all of us women run to when we want to seduce our significant others or new mates.  Well don’t, basically.  Yeah, they say that they only use “fair trade cotton”, but that is like saying a meal is “gourmet”, it actually means jack shit.  Victoria’s Secret uses cotton grown in Burkina Faso.  Here, it has been a known fact that there is not enough labour available to run the farms, so they turn to children instead.  So yeah, it’s fair trade because it comes from Africa, but it actually means that you are buying fabrics that are made from cotton picked by a little 13 year old girl who sleeps under a piece of plastic, getting shouted at to get up and go to work.  Oh and who gets beaten with sticks if she’s not quick enough.  This is no something that is a debate, it is a known fact.  Burkina Faso quite readily admits these practices go on.  And Victoria’s Secret readily admits they get their cotton from Burkina Faso.  But when asked about his, the shrug and change the subject.  Because Victoria’s Secret was eventually forced to make a statement, they said they would investigate it.  The result?  The “fair trade” label has been removed.

Chinese Factories and KYE

Remember I said above that we sort of know that child labour happens in under developed countries?  So it probably won’t surprise you when I say there are lots of Chinese factories that use slave and child labour.  After all, the Chinese are not particularly big on human rights.  What will surprise you, perhaps, is the amount of well-known brands that use KYE and other Chinese factories to create their branded products.  In these factories, employees are housed in dorms, 14 to a room.  Instead of a shower, they are issued a plastic bucket and a sponge.  They work 15 hour shifts with no weekend breaks at all.  There is no air conditioning in boiling hot environments.  They are not allowed to speak to each other.  They have to take part in military drills and women are subjected to sexual harassment.   And in return, they receive $0.65 per hour.  So, who uses these factories?

Some of the main branded products that use KYE and other Chinese factories include Microsoft and Apple (we will look at them in more detail later on).  Nokia is another guilty party.

Toys ‘R’ Us, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Aeropostale

Each of these say they have stringent contracts in place to ensure that the cotton they receive uses “legally qualified workers”.  They are lying.  They buy their cotton from Uzbekistan, where the government removes children from school and sends them to work.  So yeah, they are “legally qualified”, but not by any humane standards.  Nothing at all is being done about this, besides a statement that “they would look into it”.  Profit before people, clearly.

Hershey’s Chocolate

Hershey has been using child labour in their cocoa farms for ever.  It is only since the Rainforest Alliance told them they would air a video that showed the child labour and the conditions in which they have to work that they made a real change to produce ethically sourced chocolate.  However, there are still thousands upon thousands of children that harvest cocoa beans for Hershey’s in West Africa today.  The only product you can buy from Hershey’s chocolate that doesn’t use child labour, in fact, is Bliss Chocolates.  But why not just boycott the lot?

Apple

Apple has recently admitted that they use child labour.  They couldn’t do anything else by admit it when eleven 15 year old kids were working in the factories that Apple uses.  These are some of the KYE factories described earlier.  However, the same practices go on in the other factories that supply Apple with products.  Apple has promises that they have looked into this and that these practices really aren’t happening anymore.  Well, don’t believe them since only last week 62 employees at an Apple and Nokia factory were poisoned by n-hexane.  Naturally, Apple is yet to comment on this one.

Primark

This one really breaks my heart because I freaking love Primark.  But yeah, I should’ve known that offering products as cheaply as this can only come from unethical practices.  In fact, a documentary from the BBC has proven that 11 year old children sew the products that are sold in the Secret Possessions Range of Primark.  Primark places huge pressures on their suppliers to provide items quickly and cheaply and this has led to absolutely shameful abuse of children and slave labourers.  Naturally, Primark has said they have now stopped using the Indian suppliers that use slave labour.  However, as we have seen above, it remains to be seen whether this is actually true, or whether they have just moved the problem elsewhere.

Nike

Nike has been using child labour for years and years.  In fact, when I was just 18 (and that is some time ago…) I went on a demonstration against Nike.  It seems nothing has changed since then.  They now use factories where human rights are broken on an almost daily basis.  People are kicked and slapped and verbally abused.  This is particularly true for the Converse factories in Indonesia, which really pains me because I freaking love Converse shoes…  Women and children at the factories in Pou Chen make only $0.50 per hour.  Nike has some stringent standards, but at least 75% of the suppliers they use don’t meet these standards, as admitted by Nike.  Why have standards at all then?  12 of the factories they use don’t even allow Nike inspectors access to the plant.  97 factories are said to be “improving”, but only in as such that they now pay minimum wage.  And six factories haven’t even been inspected by Nike.  Yeah, fantastic standards there…  Here are some interesting statistics for you.  Producing a pair of top end Nike’s (or Converse) costs between $0.88 and $3.  Add to this the shipping and tax payments, and it will basically cost between $4 and $6.  And these are the shoes that you will pay between $40 and $185 for!

So there you go, some of the biggest companies in the world use child labour and slave labour.  They don’t care about the way staff are treated and the profits they make through these practices are ginormous.  Will you continue to play a part in this?

The Dutch are great right?  It’s like a paradise country.  It’s flat, there’s plenty of water, it’s one of the cleanest countries in the world.  Us Dutchies lie on beds of tulips in the shade of our windmills, eating nothing but cheese when we get the munchies of the readily available weed.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Except that’s not the case.  At all.  So stop booking your trips to Amsterdam (not in the least because there’s a heck of a lot more to Holland than Amsterdam) and look around you a bit first.

The Dutch Government

We, as Dutch people, are known for our tolerance right?  We have this super multicultural society where everybody is welcome whenever they want right?  Other countries look at us and how we do things, because we have almost no racism.  That’s right, isn’t it?  No it’s not.  Not at all, in fact.  You wouldn’t believe how many people voted for Wilders in the last election, Wilders being a right winged idiot who will give the leaders of the BNP and the EDL put together a huge run for their money.  He wasn’t actually elected, but the idiot had so many votes that he became some sort of advisor to the cabinet.  And when he didn’t agree with something crucial, the cabinet had to be dissolved.  Elections have only just been held again, I’m scared to look at the results.

This all started about a decade or so ago, when Pim Fortuyn suddenly reared his ugly head.  Interestingly, I once had a seminar by Pim Fortuyn, a seminar on Marxist Sociology.  Imagine my surprise when his main message was, in very simple terms (and that’s how he put them): All foreigners OUT.  Pim Fortuyn was murdered by an animal extremist, but his party continued to grow in popularity.

So no, Holland is not tolerant.

Pass the Dutchie

The other great thing about the Dutch is the free access to drugs right?  Wrong.  You now have to apply for a “weed pass”.  You can only apply for these from the council in which you live.  With your pass, you can only buy weed in the town for which you got the pass.  So me, a Dutch person, cannot buy weed in my own country anymore because I don’t live there.  I am now, when I visit my own country, a drugs tourist.  Back to the tolerance again, I guess…

My Own Little Gripe

Some years ago, I moved to the UK because my husband is from here.  When my passport ran out, I found out that I have to go through a hugely complicated process just to reapply for a Dutch passport.  Not a problem, I thought.  Since I am married to a Brit, I’ll just apply for dual nationality.  I contacted the British government and they said that wouldn’t be a problem at all and that I should contact the Dutch authorities to set the ball in motion.  Surprise, surprise, the Dutch don’t allow it.  Once you’re Dutch, you’re Dutch for life.  So, the only way I can get an English passport is if I officially denounce the Dutch nationality and apply for full British nationality.  That entire process would cost me somewhere near £3,000.  And my son, who is half Dutch, half English, will be allowed dual nationality until he is 18.  On his 18th birthday, he will have to choose.  The British would be happy for him to have two passports, but not the Dutch.  He either chooses fully for his half cultural heritage, or he doesn’t get it at all.  Again with the tolerance.

So next time you praise the Dutch for all their wonderfulness, think again.

If you are not in the United Kingdom, you may not have heard about this, but one week ago, a five year old girl, April Jones, disappeared from her village in Wales.  A man, Mark Bridger, has been arrested and charged with her abduction and murder.  No body has yet been found, and people remain hopeful that April will be found alive and well.  A message was placed on the 10 Downing Street Facebook page asking that the death penalty would be reinstated for Mark Bridger.  I am personally against the death penalty (unless it is in relation to beheading royals, obviously), but I understand this is an on-going debate that people will probably never agree on.  I will lay out why I am against the death penalty, just to start a debate.  But what I really want to talk about is how horrified I am by the barbaric nature of many people, who have commented on the post on 10 Downing Street.  I am, personally, shocked.

Why I Am Against the Death Penalty

First of all, I strongly believe in human rights.  And I think the most basic of all human rights is the right to live.  Taking someone’s life is hideous and horrible, but that does not mean you have lost your own human rights.  Bear in mind, as well, that Mark Bridger is innocent until proven guilty.  Personally, I think it’s a shocking state of affairs that this man has been named and shamed publicly.  What if he didn’t do it?  And it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened in the UK.  A few years back, a man was wrongly accused of murdering a number of prostitutes.  He didn’t do it, but he was named and shamed in the media and will never live this down.

But here are some statistics on the death penalty, which make it even more important for me that this horrific type of punishment is never brought back to this country, and why I think it should be removed from any other country:

  • Since 1992, 15 death row inmates have been fully exonerated in the United States.  This means they were waiting to die for a crime they didn’t commit but had a very lucky escape.
  • In the United Kingdom, three exonerations and one pardon have been granted to people who were executed between 1950 and 1953.  Posthumously, obviously.
  • Some specific examples of people wrongfully executed in the United States include Johnny Frank Garrett, Wayne Felker, Thomas and Meeks Griffin, Chipita Rodriguez and Carlos DeLuna.
  • Statistics show that 3% of executions in the United States are botched, meaning that three out of every 100 people executed should not have been.
  • In the United Kingdom, specific examples of people wrongfully executed include Timothy Evans and Derek Bentley.

There are many more examples from cases around the world and these are just examples of cases that were reinvestigated.  What does that tell you?  The chances of killing an innocent man or woman are just too big, in my eyes.

Not just that, every person sentenced to death is still someone’s relative, someone’s child, perhaps husband or wife, someone’s father or mother, someone’s friend.  Why destroy their lives even more in the process?  What do you gain by executing somebody?  After all, the perpetrator will simply be dead, nothing else.  Remember my favourite saying: an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

Despicable Words from the British Public

It seems that in the UK at least, there are plenty of people that don’t agree with me.  They are aggressive and violent and some of the things they say are completely inhumane.  In my eyes, that makes them no better than Mark Bridger, and I must reiterate once again that the man has not been convicted of anything yet.  Here are a few quotes from people that have commented on the letter to David Cameron, requesting a reinstatement of the death penalty:

Death would be to easy for cunts lyk this torture the fucker – three “likes”

This man needs more than hung or tied in a chair!! He need’s tying to a bed, tortured for days on end, when his body packs in and he is close to his end he then needs skinning and fed to aload of pigs! Evil, discusting, filthy worthless piece of shit!! I’d spit on his grave!! – two “likes”

Put an old tyre around his neck, fill it with petrol, light. Job done. – two “likes”

A bullet costs 30p. – six “likes”

jus put him or anyother inbreeded freak of nature in a hole jus leavin his ed above ground and cut his eye lids off n leave him, naa throw a rock a day till its stop breathin slowly but surly kil the cunt… – three “likes”

May he die a slow painful death u evil bastard if u molested her may ur penis be cut off in to tiny pieces n u be fed them u p***k – two “likes”

My Response

One thing I noticed is the incredibly high standard of literacy in these comments…  Anyway, here’s what I wrote and the conversation that followed.

I’m really saddened by some of the things that have been written on here. Read back and look at what some of you guys have said. It is barbaric and despicable. You are talking about gruesomly murdering another human being, someone who hasn’t been convicted of any crime yet. He is someone’s son, someone’s father and someone’s friend. And not just that, how are your opinions making anything better? Do you really think April’s parents are reading this and thinking their daughter will probably never come home but that’s ok because a bunch of random people want to have him hung drawn and quartered? I am honestly shocked at the brutality and evilness that is so clearly within some of you. Shame on you.

Response:

Jolande Mace… April was somone’s daughter, friend & loved 1… That arsehole took her from them.. He deserves all he gets you fucking muppet!!

Jolsnde mace fuck off its evil what he’s done

To which I said:

I never said April’s life isn’t valued. She is just as much someone’s daughter and friend. What I am saying is that even her killer – whoever it may be and if she is dead – is a human being too. The acts described in here as punishment for him are inhumane. No matter what someone has done, they are still human. Imagine for a minute that the bloke is your son or father, maybe then you’ll understand what I’m saying. His behavior, if he did it, is inexcusable. That means there is never any excuse for that kind of behavior. Ergo, doing it back to him is still inexcusable.

“fuck off” really? Is that how you always conduct yourself in a debate? Perhaps expanding your vocabulary slightly will give you a bit more credibility. The guy is innocent until proven guilty. Even if he is guilty, murdering him will not change anything. You will only destroy more families.

I’m very happy to say that my comment got 19 “likes”.  Hopefully this does say something about the general opinion of the British public.

What are your views?