The news bulletins and the questioning from journos when I came into Parliament House this morning had a lot of focus on this event. However, the workplace relations debate and the government’s overall approach of guillotining through a range of major pieces of legislation also got attention. Understandably, the political debate will quickly shift back fully to these other issues.
As 9am – the time of execution – approached, I attended a vigil outside the Singapore High Commission, just down the road from Parliament House. There were around 100 people, including about 6 Senators from Democrats, Labor and Greens, bearing silent witness. A book was there where people could write messages to Van Nguyen’s mother.
After that, it was back to the Senate, which resumed at 9.30am with more debate on amendments to the workplace laws….. and so life goes on.
I hope all those concerned by this event will put some energy into increasing efforts to get capital punishment abolished throughout the world, rather than just have concerns re-appear when the next Australian is involved. It is the best way to try to get something good to come out of such a sad and bad event.
There are many, many posts around the Australian blogosphere (and beyond) on this topic. It has generated a lot of reflections on many of the ‘personal’ style blogs, as well as the more politically oriented. : Catallaxy, John Quiggin, 52nd State (crossposted at Larvatus Prodeo), Sailing Close to the Wind, Margot Kingston, The Road to Surfdom, Naomi on LP, Kristin, Dunc Nuggets, Adelaide Ghost Hunter, Bilegrip (starts with a good Lincoln quote – “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice”), An Angel’s Space, A Wanderer, Hayley, Knitting and Knotting from Wagga Wagga, Leyden’s Jar, Industrial Dollhouse, Mahler’s Prodigal Son, Up43.com, Rank and Vile, Comic Books and Candy, the Reverend’s Rant, Political Musings (quotes Eric Bogle), Joanne Jacobs, Glutbusters (via Jellyfish), Jess at Ausculture, Dog or Higher (who looks like he normally just writes about software), flextime, Darlene Taylor, Barista.
Finally, Mark Thomson at Seeking Asylum Down Under has many posts and links going back quite some time. A good media report outlining a few of the experiences of the person everyone feels sorriest for – Van’s mother – can be found here. And a short descriptive piece from 1931 by George Orwell called ‘The Hanging’ (found through Pavlov’s Cat).
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