BBC Views Online, On This Day, December 16th, 1969: MPs vote to abolish hanging: Much is made of the reasons why hanging was abolished, including then Home Secretary James Callaghan’s argument in favour of abolition that “figures show that the murder rate is not soaring as a result of the abolition of capital punishment but remains remarkably stable”. Sadly, the In Context panel, whilst finding room to explore varous subsequent issues, omits to explore the increase in murderous violence in the years since abolition.
Like so many other issues where the BBC is out of step with the will of the British people, capital punishment is almost completely off the radar as far as the BBC is concerned, even though survey after survey has established that the public are in favour of the principle of capital punishment by a large majority – the only catch being the state’s well demonstrated propensity to hang the wrong person from time to time – though that is surely an argument for life in prison to mean life (rather than 12-14 years of sheltered accommodation with all mod cons, as it were), another issue off the agenda at the BBC.
While we’re on the subject, the picture caption looks like yet another case of BBC sloppiness – it reads:
Angry exchanges outside the Commons as abolitionist Lord Soper tackles a retentionist clergyman
- but the clergyman on the left in the picture looks remarkably like Lord Soper, the well known Methodist minister, socialist and pacifist, whereas the young chap with the Deer Stalker hat on the right doesn’t appear to be a man of the cloth at all. Correct me if I’m wrong, but could it be that the BBC have assumed that the chap with the Deer Stalker is a lord (by dint of his garb) arguing with an unknown clergyman (by dint of his garb), rather than the truth, that the clergyman is Lord Soper? Doh!
Still on the subject of On This Day, on the same day, Queen opens ‘tube’ link to Heathrow, from 1977, is happily illustrated with a picture of a modern Tube train – what appears to this non-trainspotter, to be a Central or Northern Line train from the last ten years or so, rather than a Piccadilly Line train from 30 years ago. I suppose it would have been too much effort to use a screen grab from the corresponding footage of Her Majesty in 1977.