Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Why wasn't Thomas Mair charged with terrorism?


Thomas Mair has been found guilty of the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox and given a whole life sentence. It's obviously a good thing that this dangerous right-wing fanatic is going to be locked up where he can't kill anyone else for their political views, but the big objection many people have to this verdict is why he was tried for murder when his crime was quite clearly an act of extreme-right terrorism.

The facts are absolutely clear.

The politically motivated killing of a politician by a person with connections to various extreme-right political groups and a house rammed full of radical extreme-right literature seems like pretty much the definition of an act of terrorism, yet somehow the Crown Prosecution Service saw fit to depoliticise the killing by trying it as a murder.

We all know full well that it would have been a terrorism charge if the killer had've been from a Muslim background with links to extremist Islamist groups and a house full of radical Islamist literature.

The obvious question is 'why the discrepancy?'

Why is a radicalised right-wing white supremacist who kills a politician in the street any less of a terrorist than a radicalised Islamist fanatic who kills anyone else?

I'm not going to attempt to answer the question for you. I'll leave it to you to think about why the discrepancy exists; what kind of message this discrepancy sends to extreme-right fanatics like Britain First and their followers; and what effect such an obvious double standard might have on the perceived legitimacy of the UK justice system.


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