No Bigg(s) Straw man

As I found out last night over drinks with some politically minded chums, Jack Straw’s hypocritical version of justice is a hot topic of conversation. At best its a radically insane change of mind, in the very worst case scenrio its sick.

In March 2000 Straw informed an unhappy audience (which included many people over the world) that it would be impossible to take General Augusto Pinochet to trial for his dictatorial crimes in his 17 year reign of Chile (practising by the gun, exactly the ruthless free-market tyranny Maggie Thatcher had imposed on Britain).

Thatcher at the time celebrated the decision, saying;

“Senator Pinochet was a staunch friend of Britain throughout the Falklands war,” she said, reading a statement outside her London office.

“His reward from this Government was to be held prisoner for 16 months.”

It appeared that Straw had extended his heart strings – not to a dictator with the blood of many Chilean disappeared and those who were imprisoned in the National Stadium used as a concentration camp – but to a dying old man. Yet, Straw has said that the great train robber – who, though not justified in his crimes, killed or tortured nobody – Ronnie Biggs will die in prison for the reason that he is unrepetant.

Rightly people have been pointing out that Pinochet, too, was unrepentant, but Straw did not probe any further to the decision that a Pinochet trial was impossible.

Justice is a dirty business, but history will not be fitted with a rose-tint for Mr. Straw after evidence of his hypocrisy.


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