Thursday, February 22, 2007

Gettin' medeeval on ya

Various incidents this week have combined to make me happy that I still reside in a land where the leader of the opposition can imagine that tax-breaks might get the instiution of marriage back on its feet.

I'm quite sure there are plenty of folk in Guatemala who would like their own government to deal out the kind of punishments currently favoured by the Saudis. This week al-Riyadh has reported that four Sri Lankans were executed in a busy market square on Monday and their headless bodies were afterwards tied to wooden beams or 'crucified' and put on public display ,"as a deterrent".

This is way too medieval for my taste. However, reading up this week on the Anglo-Saxons and their menu-based bloodfeud/weregeld system, it has occurred to me that something similar might just slow down the escalation of violence over there. The power of the state was similarly un-dependable in the Dark Age kingdoms. If there were serious financial disincentives to causing murder and mayhem perhaps people would think twice before shooting someone 14 times. Maybe David Cameron is on to something. Or maybe not. Tax-breaks wouldn't really work in Guatemala anyway.

For the past day or so all of Guatemala's crime-solving capabilities have been directed at the headline difficulty of the three dead Guanacos. They had even asked for FBI assistance. But now four suspects are in custody: two high-ranking police officials and two police investigators. All four, according to Radio Sonora, were assigned to a special unit to combat youth gangs.

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