Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Is Ian Brady right?

The serial child murderer Ian Brady, has made his first public appearance in decades at a mental health tribunal. On hunger strike and kept alive via a feeding tube, his declared intention is to be transferred to a regular prison rather than a secure psychiatrist unit to be able to starve himself to death more easily. 

Brady is undoubtedly an extremely evil individual. But he is also clearly someone of distinct intellect. It is this intelligence that assured his ease in manipulating his accomplice in the murder of five children, a child abuse victim herself, Myra Hindely.

Brady made a particular point regarding the Moors murders the they were "petty compared to politicians and soldiers in relation to war."

Frankly, I find it hard to argue with Brady's moral point. But the distinction I want to make clear is that Brady probably makes such statements under the rationale of them making his unspeakable crimes supposedly more palatable to the outside. Rather, it emphasises the argument that the political acts by those in power are equally as morally depraved Brady and Hindley's horrendous crimes.

The American solider Robert Bales is facing life imprisonment for indiscriminately murdering sixteen Afghan civilians, including children. Though he is correctly facing punishment for this terrible crime, I do not sense that they are met with the same level of moral indignation, disgust or sorrow that the Moors murders are thought of with.

Over a hundred Pakistani and Yemeni children, classified as "collateral damage" have been killed in drone strikes ordered by Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Brady's remarks should not make us think of his murder and rape of young children being any less nefarious. But they should make us reflect on our hypocritical cognitive dissonance in regards to violence against the innocent. After-all, shouldn't the latter justify Brady's logic, given the thousands of foreign civilian victims being politically and culturally dehumanised as much as Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans were in the eyes of Brady and Hindley?

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