08 June 2010

What's wrong with getting a time machine and assassinating Margaret Thatcher?

John McDonnell is having to eat humble pie over a remark that he made at a Labour leadership hustings - that he wanted to go back in time to the 1980s to "assassinate Thatcher". Why is this controversial? It seems obviously the right thing to do, if one could.

It's not always the most effective technique - we could have ended up with Norman Tebbit in charge instead. But if a more moderate Tory - Heath or Whitelaw, for example, had been in charge rather than a rabid right-wing lunatic, many, many lives could have been saved.

It's a less extreme version of the dilemma faced by Christopher Walken's character in "The Dead Zone" (a classic which I implore you to watch if you haven't already). If you know that someone is going to precipitate global armageddon if they come to power, and you have the chance to take them out before they do so, is that wrong? It's a hypothetical situation to be sure.

But then so's getting a time machine and assassinating Thatcher. And to be fair, Thatcher didn't start World War III (Galtieri wasn't a big enough player).

She did a f*** of a lot of damage though. Jesus Christ.

No comments: