Posthumous pardons

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Cuddles, Aug 15, 2006.

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  1. I have just heard (Radio 4) that a number of posthumous pardons are to be granted to men shot for "military offences" in the Great War. I myself make no bones about my opposition to this but I would also let it be noted that in my personal remembrances on the 11th November I make no distinction in my mind for all the dead.

    This is a very major departure for the government and shows that they have one view of changing government policy for "anti-military" causes and quite another when it comes to discussing pensions, pay and other issues particularly those of FEPOWs. Of course the difference is pardons for those "Shot at Dawn" cost nothing, whereas acting for the benefit of FEPOWS and other veterans still alive might cost money.

  2. Exactly! It doesn't cost anything and it'll make them look good in the eyes of the relatives and the great uninformed British Public. Meanwhile the system of Military justice is undermined yet again and the loyalty and sacrifice of all those men who didn't run way or absent themselves from the firing line is diminished. A cheap tawdry gimmick and utterly typical of this appalling, historically- illiterate Government. :evil: :evil: :evil:
  3. The Beeb news website is saying that Pte Harry Farrs family are saying that he will receive a pardon, but then the beeb go onto say John Reid will review the pardon. Does this mean it can still be refused?.....thats how I see it. The sky news website goes on to quote Farrs grand daughter saying that she didnt know if he would receive a full or conditional pardon.
    What would be the difference between the two types of pardons in a case like this?


    Another example of todays standards being foisted onto those of the past in my view.
  5. IMHO it appears that the knowledge of PTSD was somewhat lacking back in the days of old. It seems that although there were clear instances of cowardice in battle there is also some evidence of examples being made of boarderline cases. I feel that if there are to be pardons they would need to be on a case by case basis not a blanket pardon. This would also riase the issue of evidence available after the passage of so much time.
  6. IIRC Pte Farr's family's request for a pardon was based upon his having been shot, when due to previous "nervous strain" he shouldn't even have received the death penalty. Now that is what I call a clerical error...

    I am afraid that this is a very retrosepctive action, based on "modern" views. Imagine if we suggested Christie should not have been hanged because he was slightly unwell mentally then?? Yet you can now see psychologists argue this point in respectable academic forums - if of course there are such things!
  7. How far back is this revisionist nonsense supposed to go? Is someone presently trawling through summary dealings of the Napoleonic era, or having a look at the Reformation? Whilst the study of history is vital, the application of our standards and knowledge to past apparent injustices is particularly dangerous.

    A logical extension of this model of looking at history is to make reparations to countries which suffered from the slave trade - which is also mooted in some corners. That will be far more costly than ceding to a vocal set of (by my estimate third generation) relatives.

    You'd also think that the MoD was rather too busy at the moment but then it is flush with civvy commissars tasked with this sort of nonsense.
  8. My views exactly Jaeger. The courage of hundreds of thousands of anonymous men sacrificed for cheap political brownie points.
  9. Patrius Homus of the 4th legion stationed on Hadrian walls fell asleep on duty and was executed - lets hope in these liberal times he will also be pardoned - so pleased we can play with history - what a load of nonsense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. But we must also debunk the chain of command at the time - let's not forget how unfeeling and arrogant Hadrian was. He was surely aware of 'Hadrian's Wall' syndrome - the soporific effects of keeping the picts at bay and having nothing to read but the Vindolanda Reader's Wives Tablets.
  11. Absolutely; St Tony of Freetown has already apologised to the Irish for the Potato famine, no doubt the Zulus are about to get a visit from Rhodri Morgan to say sorry for Rourke's Drift, the Indians and Pakistanis are to be told to divvy up the Kohinoor diamond as soon as it's dismounted from the crown, and Mandelson's going to fellate Jacques Delors to make up for imprisoning Napoleon on St Helena.

    It's enough to make a cat laugh.

    Back to the isue at hand; what possible good will come of these posthumous pardons? All that I can see is that a few relatives will able to say to themselves that Grandad wasn't a coward - do they really need a piece of paper to say that? Trying to legislate against the past is somewhat like Canute and his coastal O-group - pointless.
  12. I'm a little concerned that it's John Reid who'll be reviewing the pardon and not Swiss Toni (Mr Browne). Does this suggest that it's being dealt with as a quasi civpol matter?
  13. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Step 1. Pte Farr et al get pardoned.

    Step 2. The families ask the MOD for back pensions.

    Step 3. The MOD refuse.

    Step 4. Various 'human rights' lawyers get involved and launch legal actions.

    Step 5. The courts award back pensions to the descendants of the executed soldiers, together with compensation for hurt feelings, loss etc, and costs against the MOD.

    Step 6. The MOD decides it can't afford new body armour/patrol equipment etc etc...
  14. Don't forget retrospective courts-martial for the relatives of those who (using these new principles) obeyed an unlawful order and did the shooting.
  15. I'm always very wary of sticking my oar into judgements about valour and cowardice, never having had to place myself in danger and challenge my own moral fibre, but these men were judged by the standards of the time, thus it's improper for those judgements to be revised using today's standards because we'd then have to do that for every conviction back to the year dot. I also think that something the families of these 'Shot at Dawn' men forget is that their relatives were not the only ones to suffer from battle-fatigue, shell-shock and other mental conditions, but an awful lot of men struggled through by some means and did their duty.