BY JIM BROWNE
MARINE A, Alexander Blackman from Taunton, has had his murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter. Blackman shot an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan and had his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter yesterday by five judges at the Court Martial Appeal Court in London. They heard argument on his behalf that fresh psychiatric evidence would have provided him with a diminished responsibility defence. He will remain in prison for now, and a date for a hearing regarding his release will be announced soon.
This is great news.
Perhaps Blackman shouldn’t have been jailed in the first place. Those defending our peace, protecting our world from evil and giving devoted service to our country should always be treated with fairness and understanding. Those who judge should be people who have actually set foot in the arena of war; even then they may well not have been up to their necks in it like Mr Blackman was.
I am reminded of some lines in the film Eye in the Sky when Alan Rickman’s character makes a brilliant “Never tell a soldier the cost of war” speech to some whining desk jockey government official after droning some Islamist terrorists:
This was Rickman’s last role before his death and one he should have been very proud of.
Yet Leftists and British army-hating Irish nationalists are furious that Blackman has had his conviction downgraded. Just take a look at some of their responses on Twitter yesterday:
Fortunately, for the nation’s sanity most disagreed with them:
With former Sun journalist Stig Abell hitting the nail on the head:
Until we Britons start to respect our service personnel and give them the benefit of the doubt for their service in conditions most of us will never know, we are open to division and weaker for it.
Whatever people say about Marine A, he was fighting our fight for us. Risking his life for us. Defending our values against Islamist savages who want us to convert or die, who would happily rape our daughters and grad-daughters. And we owe him fairness and understanding.
Let’s hope Sergeant Blackman is out for time already served. And soon.