I am, as anyone will tell you, a meek and trusting soul, who, like Thomas More in the play, does none harm, says none harm, and thinks none harm.
There are moments, though, when I believe I would watch complacently as real, public justice was done to those who have, across the past half century, conspired to annihilate the quiet, quirky, proud, ancient land of my birth. I’m talking scaffolds, nooses, and trapdoors.
This is one of those moments. I have just been reading this item from BBC News, and watching the accompanying clip.
Eye-stopper in the text:
Police say only one of the defendants had a previous conviction, with many expecting to go to university.[BBC News - Gang murdered boy during rush hour at Victoria station]
What a loss to Britain’s intellectual culture! Cardinal Newman, thou shouldst be living at this hour.
• Obi Nwokeh, 19
• Christopher Omoregie, 18
• Samsom Odegbune, 18
• Adonis Akra, 18,
• Samuel Roberts, 19,
• Femi Oderinwale, 18,
• Victoria Osoteku, 19,
• Junior Bayode, 19,
Ear-stopper in the audio (at 1m56s):
All were sentenced to jail terms of two years to life.
Two years, eh? That’ll teach ’em!
I seethe, I fume, I gnash. Why can there be no reckoning for this madness? My only comfort is, that my parents are not alive to see what’s become of the nation they worked and fought for, and that they trusted would last for ever. In just two generations, it’s gone—done to death by arrogance, stupidity, and greed.
The men that worked for England
They have their graves at home:
And bees and birds of England
About the cross can roam.
But they that fought for England,
Following a falling star,
Alas, alas for England
They have their graves afar.
And they that rule in England,
In stately conclave met,
Alas, alas for England,
They have no graves as yet.
On second thoughts, forget the trapdoors. Let’s use the slow method.