I have some comfort for John in the form of Tony Blair.
Americans appreciate Tony Blair, but not nearly enough.
As you know, I ain’t a fan of the death penalty. I even made a snarky remark about America and North Korea and their “Capital Punishment Club.” You see, America is such an easy target, and we chattering Europeans (and Canadians, it seems) just can’t get enough.
So, in strides Mr. Blair.
At Prime Minister’s Questions he was asked about America and the death penalty. His answer will please John, Stuart and others who welcome disagreement but loathe shrill anti-Americanism:
Dr. Vincent Cable (Twickenham) (LD): Is the Prime Minister aware that 97 per cent. of executions in the world take place in China, Vietnam, Iran and George Bush’s United States, which passed the 1,000 mark this week? Since this is an area in which the European Union has considerable moral and political authority, what role is the Prime Minister playing, as EU President, in exercising international leadership to curb this practice?
The Prime Minister: There is a difference between Europe and America on this issue—there always has been and there will be so long as the death penalty remains in the United States of America. When the hon. Gentleman puts the United States of America alongside China, Iran and so on, it is worth pointing out to him that the rule of law applies in the United States of America. Although I strongly disagree with the death penalty, I think that, if we are looking at human rights abuses, it is sometimes right to look elsewhere and at the severe human rights abuses that happen around the rest of the world, particularly in countries such as North Korea, where we never hear any protests at all.