Noble lordsGod bless the Lords. While the Americans continue with their policy to make torture an accepted part of a civilised society's law enforcement (by, ridiculously, redefining torture so that it no longer means torture), the Lords have ruled that we will have no part of it.
Naturally, the government claimed the ruling was meaningless because it did not rely on evidence gained through torture, but this was their usual sophistry. The case was before the Lords precisely because of the use of torture evidence. Not "relying" on it is besides the point. It shouldn't be used, period.
So my faith in Britain is rekindled very slightly. We are a cigarette paper more noble than the Yanks.
Others we are more noble than include the Aussies. If an Englishman were to be sentenced to death in some backwards shithole that still employs capital punishment, it's true that the government would not do much to save them. Representations would be the limit; it would not threaten the relationship we have with the country in question -- we don't mind being friendly with barbarians, so long as they'll trade. But the government would express dismay, and would strongly urge an end to the practice. We at least show the form of being against state murder.
It's not worth fighting the death penalty, said John Howard.