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Saturday 28 January 2017

Paul Nuttall - Waterboarding Volunteer

A subject that is back in the news, if only because Combover Crybaby Donald Trump claims to favour its reintroduction, is that of what are euphemistically called “Enhanced interrogation techniques”, or as most other people call them, torture. The form of torture that the new incumbent of the White House particularly favours is waterboarding. And so his admirers in the UK would like to see it reintroduced, too.
Ullo Don, gorra new waterboard?

Prominent among those admirers is UKIP’s leader, comedy politician Pauil Nuttall, who has taken time off from gracing the portals of the Athenaeum Club in London’s fashionable Pall Mall to pretend he is a man of the people in order to try and con his way to victory in the Stoke on Trent Central by-election. The “Bad Bootle Meff” wants to follow the example of his predecessor Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, and suck up to The Donald.

So when he was quizzed about waterboarding while pretending to be on the campaign trail yesterday, he decided that torture was fine. As Politics Home has told, “Mr Nuttall, who is standing as his party’s candidate in the Stoke Central by-election, told Sky News that he would ‘probably be OK’ with using the method in a bid to foil terror plots in Britain … He said: ‘I think sometimes you have to fight fire with fire, and I think these people are incarcerated because they are bad people … And they want to do us harm’”.

Nuttall went on “If someone admits that a terrorist attack is going to happen and saves the lives of innocent individuals then I think maybe it's a price worth paying … if a British government was elected and said it was required to ensure it saved innocent people's lives then sometimes you have to go that extra mile”.
There is only one problem with this approach - it has been banned in the UK, our armed forces and intelligence agencies are prohibited from indulging in the practice, and accepting intelligence that has been gained that way is illegal. Theresa May, Boris Johnson and David Davis have all been quizzed on the subject this week, and all have passed severely adverse comment on the idea that it might be revived.

But Nuttall is happy with the use of waterboarding, and equally happy to have others subjected to it. So I’m sure he’ll be happy to follow the example of the late Christopher Hitchens and experience the technique himself. After all, if he’s going to speak with any authority about how he’d be happy to inflict it on others, it’s the least he could do.

Back in 2008, Hitchens volunteered to be waterboarded. The title of his Vanity Fair article describing the experience tells you all you need to know about it: “Believe Me, It’s Torture”. Waterboarding is not merely a term for glib politicians to throw around like so much confetti: it is the simulation of drowning. To be subjected to such a technique could, and often does, prove fatal. It is utterly inhumane. It almost guarantees answers to questions: the only problem is that they are unlikely to be of any use.

But Paul Nuttall is OK with inflicting simulated drowning on others. So let’s see him follow in Christopher Hitchens’ footsteps. OK by you, Paul? No, thought not.


Stephen said...

People who support torture always use as an example a scenario that seems common in adventure films but vanishingly rare or even non-existent in real life. Or maybe Dirty Harry was really a documentary.

Alan Clifford said...

What people in the West seem incapable of grasping is that none of this will ever be forgotten by people in the East.

And water torture is the least of it. A very old former army captain once recounted to me how he dealt with captured members of the Hagana and Stern Gang during Britain's Palestine Mandate: He'd whip their penis with knotted bootlaces......"Not as bad as the SS," he conceded, "but pretty near it." There were other even worse examples. There's no reason to believe the British were any less brutal during the scuttle from Empire.

The USA inherited this during the formation of their Empire, as witnesses from Vietnam to Chile to the Philippines will testify. Their School of the Americas was particularly notorious for it.

The point about all of this, as the British found out, and the USA will discover, is that in the long run TORTURE DOESN'T WORK. Sure, they will break individuals. But they will never eliminate the underlying Zeitgeist to be rid of oppression. They might satisfy their own mad sadism but they will leave behind a hatred only time will ease.

Not that Nuttall will understand any of this.

Tim Fenton said...


It was made clear to Harry Callahan in the first Dirty Harry film that evidence gathered as a result of torture was inadmissible and contrary to suspects' rights.

Problem is, I suspect, that too many viewers forgot the scene in the DA's office where Harry got his bollocking and was told Scorpio would go free.

Anonymous said...

Colin The Bat says:

Torture works in terms of getting the enemy to talk. However...

The trouble is the enemy knows this and says nothing initially.
The United States armed services then move onto torture.

Only when their resistance is broken do the enemy talk.
But the talk is a pre-arranged load of garbage designed to provide mis-information.

BTW Waterboarding does not 'simulate drowning' - that is US propaganda - it is drowning. Slow and controlled drowning.

rob said...

I see Michael Crick is finding it difficult to find where Mr Nuttall resides in Stoke.

" Michael Crick ‏@MichaelLCrick 13m13 minutes ago

EXCLUSIVE: 65 Oxford St, Stoke which Nuttall put on nomination form as home address. He admits he's never been there"

UKIP all at sea. Possibly helping those 3 coastguard cutters protecting our borders?