Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Raoul Moat: Sympathy for a murderer?

David Cameron has said the he "cannot understand any wave, however small, of public sympathy" for Raoul Moat. Apparently it is "absolutely clear that Raoul Moat was a callous murderer, full stop, end of story."

This depresses me. While I can imagine there are those who jump on the media bandwagon to try to lash out against the Police (perhaps this is empathy, not sympathy?) - those I would disagree with - can we really cut our logic of the individual so short as to say "this person was a murderer"?

Does the PM really mean that individuals are to be judged based on their post-hoc labels? That we must condemn anyone that commits an act of savagery because the act has been committed? What of his family background and obvious emotional issues?

If the PM is so short-sighted, this cannot bode well for generations of "individuals" left to delinquency. Perhaps we should separate out all motives from their connection to others and from the world around us - gang members should be shown no mercy because they are gang members. Drug addicts should be denied rehabilitation because they are drug addicts. Bullies should be jailed because they bully.

Even to the untrained mind, this is clearly crass, ill-focused philosophy. If we are to improve anything in this world, then we must build on support, networks, friendship and respect. It is lack of these things that drives people to become "individualistic", to force a separation or rebellion between themselves and the other forces in the world. Forcing labels onto people at this point merely encourages them to continue to destruction.

That our "leader" fails to understand this role of support is disturbing. Without an honest sense of aid, we risk slipping into the world that the Daily Express seems to want to usher in - one based on division and illogical expectations to rights. One based on lazy conflict, in which the afraid seek the help from the violent.

What we see is never the end, or the beginning of the story. Only a tip of it.

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