All that glitters sure ain’t gold…

My friend has just sent me a link to a TV show that will be airing in the UK next Monday (9th November). Channel 4 is showing “The Execution of Gary Glitter“, a documentary-style look at

‘an imaginary Britain in which the death penalty has been re-introduced, the film confronts viewers with the possible consequences of capital punishment in the UK.’

I will have to watch this, of course, but it is with a sense of instantaneous nausea that I am anticipating the aftermath. I fear this is going to excite the British public into a bloodlust frenzy. You see, Gary Glitter (born Paul Gadd) is the epitome in British currency of the kind of sick weirdo that deserves eradication. Or worse! Emasculation, torture, disembowelment and then execution if he’s LUCKY. Apparently.

OK, maybe I’m expecting the worst. It might be possible that the documentary exposes and puts into genuine perspective the real, moral, practical, financial and human abhorration that capital punishment represents. But I suspect it will not go far enough, and what we will end up with is just enough treatment of the topic to stir emotion and generate column and comment MILES on the subject, and the ugliness of uninformed reactionary rhetoric will yet again have its day.

Just like the BBC’s recent gift of a platform to the BNP in Question Time, maybe this will actually turn out to be a good thing. Maybe like Great Aunt Doris’s tablecloths, it is beneficial to occasionally get these issues out and aired, so that we can remind ourselves why we hid them away in the first place.

Oh well, good. We’ll see. As long as at the end of the day we all remember that civilised society sees the abandonment of irreversible forms of punishment as progress. Thank goodness Britain is in the EU, and the spectre of capital punishment rising from the grave won’t become a reality on our shores anytime soon. Brrrr.

November 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Keep writing this blog Kathy and good article on the Gary Glitter show. I haven't seen it but I will try to watch it at some point. I think it is definately good to air views on capital punishment and make the arguments against it. Otherwise it is euphemised, glamourised and misunderstood.

    Comment by Samuel Dale | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks Samuel, I am intending to do a follow up drawing on the many and varied viewer comments that were made in response to the show – unfortunately C4 have tidied away all the comments but I have mailed them to ask for copy.

    Comment by k4thybrown | November 13, 2009 | Reply

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