Another thing to blame Tony Blair for

So, stowaways hijack a tanker off the Isle of Wight. Before T Blair piracy on the high seas with violence still had hanging – even if not with the x days being covered by the tide – as the punishment.

19 thoughts on “Another thing to blame Tony Blair for”

  1. Wasn’t on the high seas, was it? Though by law these days you cannot, by definition, commit piracy in British territorial waters, I’m not sure whether the previous piracy laws actually were limited to the high seas.

  2. A neat trick by the tanker crew and illegal immigrants. The crew are ‘not guilty’ and the illegals are in the UK having their bed and board paid for by the taxpayer.

    What do you think the chances are that these illegals will be immediately dumped back in Nigeria? Or do you think that the screams of the woke will ensure that they stay in the UK with a nice government pension.

  3. You are, no doubt Boganboy, perfectly correct. Yet another reason to hang Tony Blair, though. Just a shame it’d only be possible to hang him the once.

  4. The DT version of this suggested that the crew had known for a while that the illegals were on board. To only announce it once the vessel had entered UK waters sounds like the Captain is guilty as hell to me.

  5. If we still had hanging I would not trust this government to get the hangee the right way up, doubtless it would be world beating gallows..conceptually . By the way I notice you bragging about the UK`s economic performance. GDP fell 20% ish in the 2nd quarter thats much worse than France Germany and Italy( fcs),as well as worse than the US.
    I agree that out of the Euro and Schengen zone wrapped in special exemptions and rebates was a great deal. Its just a pity we had to ask the stupidest people in the country if they liked it or not.
    It is amazingly rare in the private sector to ask the cleaners what they reckon the Company should do next. There is a reason for that.

  6. @newmania

    I’m not sure I would trust any figures from such an exceptional period as a lot of aspects of economic performance were almost impossible to measure – eg due to sales in certain venues ceasing entirely, services being paused or withdrawn or put online.

    Certainly would want to be very cautious about international comparisons. As I understand it the UK figures attempted to take into account how some public services like education and non-covid dial healthcare shrank during lockdown whereas other countries’ statistical agencies worked on the basis that “if teachers are still being paid they count as still educating”, regardless of whether the schools were closed or online-only or whatever, so this contributed to a lower but likely more realistic UK figure. Not sure whether that explains the whole difference though.

  7. PF:

    If the captain is guilty, he will be falsely imprisoned and will be unable to access billions of dollars which are rightfully his. Can you help us clear his name by…

  8. “Just a shame it’d only be possible to hang him the once.” You could come over all multicultural, drag him into multiple bits with wild horses, and hang the bits separately. Or like Boris’s great-grandfather, you could have a mob tear him limb from limb.

    I mean, Guardianistas like multiculturalism, don’t they?

  9. @MBE

    By definition piracy can only occur on the high seas

    Whatever offence was committed (if any) it was not piracy

    By all accounts this vessel belongs to a pretty good shipping line so the bridge voice recordings should be available and very interesting

  10. Blair wanted us to learn more about Iraqi culture. Didn’t Saddam’s thugs resort to cattle prods in rectums?

  11. It’s all very rum. The vessel appears to be empty, or nearly empty, judging from the photos. Given a crew of 20 (say) someone would have noticed if 7 extra mouths were raiding the fridge. And why cause a fuss within sight of the destination? Perhaps a row broke out over the room service charges or something.

  12. @starfish

    “By definition piracy can only occur on the high seas”

    Like I said, that’s how it is defined at present. My point was that historically that’s not the case.

    Consider the Piracy Act 1721:

    Commanders of ships or others, trading with pirates, furnishing them with stores, corresponding with them, &c. guilty of piracy. Forcibly boarding any merchant ship, and throwing any goods overboard, shall be punished as pirates.

    If any commander or master of any ship or vessel, or any other person or persons, shall anywise trade with any pirate, by truck, barter, exchange, or in any other manner, or shall furnish any pirate, felon, or robber upon the seas, with any ammunition, provision, or stores of any kind, or shall fit out any ship or vessel knowingly, and with a design to trade with, or supply, or correspond with any pirate, felon, or robber upon the seas, or if any person or persons shall any ways consult, combine, confederate, or correspond with any pirate, felon, or robber on the seas, knowing him to be guilty of any such piracy, felony, or robbery, such offender and offenders and every of them shall, in each and every of the said cases, be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be guilty of piracy, felony, and robbery, and he and they shall and may be enquired of, tried, heard, and adjudged of and for all or any the matters aforesaid, according to the Offences at Sea Act 1536, and the Piracy Act 1698, and in case any person or persons belonging to any ship or vessel whatsoever, upon meeting any merchant ship or vessel on the high seas, or in any port, haven, or creek whatsoever, shall forcibly board or enter into such ship or vessel, and though they do not seize and carry off such ship or vessel, shall throw overboard or destroy any part of the goods or merchandizes belonging to such ship or vessel, the person and persons who shall be guilty thereof shall in all respects be deemed and punished as pirates as aforesaid.

    The Offences at Sea Act 1536 for the punishment of “pirates and robbers of the sea” doesn’t (on a quick reading) seem to define piracy as a separate offence, rather talking about “treasons, felonies, robberies, murders, and confederacies”, but the wording “upon the seas, or in or upon any other haven, river, or creek” is included so this seems to be the original formulation.

    I don’t know whether Blair’s tidying-up exercise was the moment at which restricted piracy to the high seas. The death penalty aspect that Timmy is talking about is specifically the penalty for the crime of “piracy with violence” which was created in the Piracy Act 1837 (which abolished the death penalty for other forms of piracy). The Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997 sets out the current definition of piracy in UK law (essentially a copy-and-paste job from UNCLOS) and indeed restricts piracy to the high seas. There’s also the Territorial Waters Jurisdiction Act 1878 which I think is what covers crimes-previously-known-as-piracy in UK waters. But I’m not sure what was the critical juncture when the definition shifted. The 1878 act includes (both when first enacted and today, this part still unamended) a section stating

    This Act shall not prejudice or affect the trial in manner heretofore in use of any act of piracy as defined by the law of nations, or affect or prejudice any law relating thereto; and where any act of piracy as defined by the law of nations is also any such offence as is declared by this Act to be within the jurisdiction of the Admiral, such offence may be tried in pursuance of this Act, or in pursuance of any other Act of Parliament, law, or custom relating thereto.

  13. Is the ship registered in the UK or owned by a UK company? If not, ship the stowaways to the country of registration or ownership. Be a laugh if it was Nigeria.

  14. Forgot to add: Re hanging Tony Blair. Wasn’t the corpse of Oliver Cromwell dug up and then hung, drawn, and quartered? In the interests of expediency, we needn’t wait till Blair is dead. He can still be buried, and then dug up.

  15. I was given to understand that Britain would hang those found guilty of “Piracy on the high seas” but otherwise limited its prosecutions to its own subjects or foreign nationals committing crimes within its own territory including territorial waters. i.e. “Piracy on the high seas” was the exception to its normal practice of eschewing extra-teritorial claims by its judges. Piracy in French/Spanish/etc coastal waters was a matter for France/Spain/etc

  16. The Captain was in a difficult situation. If he had arrived in port and announced that he had 7 stowaways on board it is quite likely he would have been fined a substantial amount, in much the same way as lorry drivers are when illegals are found in their vehicles. By announcing that he had 7 violent possible terrorists on board and asking for armed intervention he may have covered his backside.
    As for the bridge voice recording, this is usually limited to the past 12 hours so, unless the Captain had hit the “save” button on the VDR, any such evidence would be lost.

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