Paul Staines (who is better known as the right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes) has hit the news this week by launching an e-petition calling for the restoration of the death penalty.
Last used in 1964, and abolished in 1968, the death penalty is a topic continually revisited by the right-wing media, populist MPs and morons trying to get quick publicity – in this case, Guido Fawkes. The UK has among the lowest rates of murder in the world, running around a quarter that of the United States, the last enthusiastic user of the death penalty in the Western World.
Guido has, of course, attracted the usual supporters to create the illusion of a groundswell of public demand: tabloid newspapers (which continually try to create the illusion of the UK as an increasingly lawless society) and a handful of Tory MPs. See for example this article by right-wing Tory MP Sir George Young in today’s (you guessed it!) Daily Mail.
We can’t stop morons from flocking to sign the e-petition. What we can do is try to strike back.
So if you’re a twitterer, please make good use of this hashtag whenever you reference this issue: #GuidoIsAMoron. Twitter has given us a tool to bite back against the old moronic monopoly over news. Let’s use it!