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25 July 2016


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Bernard, Is Theodore Dalrymple readable for laymen?
I have two in my family who are in mental health; despite that psychology always seems to be a lot about perception by educated persons. And a bit like economics which tries so hard to be a science.

Only today were talking at coffee break about my dad's experience in WW2 bombing in Cardiff. He saw some horrible things yet got no 'counselling'; nil time off; suffered no post traumatic stress and came home to enjoy whalemeat sausages and mash.

Lived to 90 without killing anyone; married to mum for 45 years. Brought up two normal kids,- well at least my sister was.

In PNG the women of my extended family seemed to have no time for PMS, thank God!!; Hot Flushes; mid-life crisis or other modern trivia of the developed word, as they had far more urgent basic needs to consider such as feeding their family.

Death was a basic fact of life and little children accepted it as such and were not to be hidden away from seeing dead uncle Joe.

So am a bit jaundiced of the 'dark arts' loved by celebrities etc.

Many apologies Arthur,
Theodore Dalrymple (aka Anthony Daniels) was a prison psychiatrist, not a psychologist.

Dear Arthur

I don't know whether you have read Life at the Bottom-A world view of the underclass by Theodore Dalrymple.
He used to have a regular column in The Spectator and was a prison psychologist at Winson Green correctional centre in Birmingham UK.
It is worth reading and evaluates the breakdown of society in the UK. He recently toured Australia and I went to one of his presentations at the Brisbane state library some months ago.
He also has a new book out entitled Admirable Evasions, which focuses on how psychology undermines morality.
Irrespective of political persuasions, both books are very thought provoking and extremely well written.

A perceptive comment Phil.
A Federal ICAC will never be supported because they saw what happened to Nick Groaner.

No matter how much moralising and education are applied there will always be greedy people who will rort the system for their own benefit. The trick is to limit their opportunities.

Strong sanctions are the way to go but I disagree with the death penalty on principle. If applied sooner or later an innocent person, possibly set up by someone else, will be executed.

Rather, the present system in PNG is crying out for an independent commission against corruption with strong teeth.

If some sensible people get into government in 2017 that should be their first order of business.

I'm not holding my breath though.

We urgently need a federal ICAC in Australia but neither Liberal or Labor support it. You are only left to wonder why.

Brian Masters is well worth reading, especially his views on capital punishment. He appeared on SBS television around 2003 in a discussion panel, which featured the notorious Moors Murderers case involving Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. It was a fascinating program.
Another good book is the classic by Truman Capote, In Cold Blood.

I guess by the time an offender is charged with murder and is confined for life or executed the whole notion of rehabilitation is a moot question.

The formative years are more important in the preparation for life and experience.
Those years should comprise the shaping of understanding for maturity sake, and the capability of amiable coexistence with ones peers.

If there is no subsequent respect for law and order, ordinarily, society will prosecute and punish the offender with visible results accruing to the benefit of social cohesion.

If, as is apparent, worldwide societies are progressively dysfunctional, with law and order issues bedeviling their serenity, it is hardly likely that an already problematic PNG social order will attain to "normality" by the imposition of capital punishment.

Especially so will it be a thorn in the side of civic balance when juxtaposed with the already blighted state of public respect for governance and its institutions.

Perhaps the present impasse in societal dysfunction could be remedied by a better understanding of the roots and links to the past. At least such a chronicle of events as PNG Attitude records does leave a discernible trail for observers and critics to examine while pondering the pathways of tomorrow.

"2013-09-23 Jail killing in UK allowed by 'no hanging' its law.

'Two prisoners who bound and strangled to death a fellow inmate in a high-security prison have been told they will serve the rest of their lives behind bars. Gary Smith, 48, and Lee Newell, 44, who were already serving life for killings, were both given whole-life sentences by a judge for the "chilling" murder of Subhan Anwar.

Here are records of killers and victim as reported by Guardian newspaper:

1 Newell has been in prison since the late 1980s after tricking his way into the house of 56-year-old Mary Neal, a neighbour in Norwich, and strangling her. He hid her body in a cupboard of her home before getting away with just £60.

2 Smith, from Leicester, was jailed in 1999 for murdering 22-year-old Ali Hassan, whose naked body was thrown into a quarry. Smith believed Hassan was a police informer.

3 Anwar was jailed for life in 2009 for murdering his partner's child. She was found with fractures to all four limbs and died after fatty deposits from her broken thigh bones entered her bloodstream. The sentencing judge told Anwar: "Your cruelty is beyond belief." He had previously been attacked by two prisoners while being held in Doncaster.

2013-09-16 The Daily Mail newspaper reported:

1 Convicted murderer Andrew Dawson branded himself the 'Angel of Mercy' after a series of murders. He was given a life sentence in 1982 after admitting the murder of a 91-year-old Henry Walsh in his flat at Ormskirk, Lancashire, stabbing him a dozen times with bread knife.
Within weeks of his release in 2010, he stabbed defenceless John Matthews and Paul Hancock to death in separate attacks, before leaving their bodies in their bathtubs in Derby.

The 51-year-old told police he felt an 'urge to kill' before knocking on the men's doors in the block of flats, where he also lived, and hacked them to death.

2 George Johnson murdered Gerald Homer in 1986 for just £3, forcing him to strip naked before hacking him to death, inflicting 35 wounds using knives and scissors in Wolverhampton.

He was freed in 2006 and five years later he battered to death 89-year-old widow Florence Habesch for £25 as she made a cup of tea. His attack was delivered with such force he caved in her skull.

3 Pensioner David Cook, 65, of Rhymney, South Wales, beat neighbour Leonard Hill, 64, senseless before throttling him with a TV flex in 2011.

Cook carried out the violent killing when next-door neighbour Mr Hill paid him a visit.

Afterwards Cook ransacked his neighbour’s bungalow, stealing his wallet before going to a nearby pub for a drink with locals. The murder was chillingly similar to the strangulation of Sunday school teacher Beryl Maynard, which he did in 1987. Cook then used a dressing gown cord and 'strangled her and killed her', his trial heard

4 'Evil and dangerous' Desmond Lee killed his lover Christopher Pratt, before dumping his body in 2009. Lee killed his lover by breaking his voice box and a bone in his neck. The body was still in his flat when he stole Mr Pratt’s credit and debit cards, paid off a phone bill, bought booze for a party with neighbours, ordered more than £200-worth of food from Asda and attempted to buy £1,181-worth of goods from Argos.

Lee killed him while out on licence, having spent nearly 14 years in jail for the murder of Bradford woman Shirley Carr in 1989. He suffocated Mrs Carr, who was his landlady, in November 1989 after she taunted him over the breakdown of a relationship. Lee was jailed for life in 1990 but released on licence in 2004.

5 In 2010 pensioner Ernest Wright was told he would spend the rest of his life behind bars after carrying out a shotgun execution 38 years after murdering another man The 70-year-old had served 26 years in prison for a 1971 killing when he was freed on life licence in 1999. Despite his release he continued to mix in criminal circles and carried out several night-time burglaries, police said.

Then, in March three years ago, he gunned down Neville Corby, 42, after bursting into his home in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Wearing a balaclava he twice reloaded his shotgun as he fired six shots at Mr Corby and his intended target, Craig Freear, 31, whom he had a long-standing feud with. He was jailed in 1973 after beating Trevor Hale to death with an iron bar in Aylesbury, then trying to burn his body in a shallow grave.

PM David Cameron is known to back 'whole life' terms for murderers, but Eurocrats fight them in Strasbourg because they believe they breach the offenders' human rights and are 'inhumane'

It came as it was revealed that one in seven murders in Britain is committed by suspects freed on bail while awaiting trial for other crimes. Last year 56 murders – more than one a week and a shocking 37 per cent rise on 2011 – were carried out by people bailed by the courts.
If they had been remanded in custody, the victims’ lives may have been saved..."

In the 60s when the UK abolished the death penalty the promoters promised that instead the murderers would be in jail for the whole of life. But gradually the sentences have got smaller and indeed the judge will pass a 12 year sentence knowing that in fact the criminal will only serve half of that. If the learned Judge feels the person should be in jail for twelve then sentence him or her to 24 years.

From reading the two national newspapers of PNG I would guess the total of murders is greater from the small 7 million population than the UK which has an average of 600 murders per annum for a population of 60 million.

It will continue to a major problem for society parliament; but especially the police and corrective services who have to deal with horrific results of murders.

It is quite barbaric but most of the PNG people I have met have an enormous amount of dignity and I do like the comment by Gore Vidal about the is the only country to go from barbarism to decadence and bypass civilization.

Take a look at our leaders, Bernard, we are a barbaric country.

Capital punishment regimes put you on the slippery slope to barbarism and you can tell how civilised a nation is by the way it treats its prisoners.

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