Rumour has it… part 2. UPDATED
The lovely JuliaM has ambushed and predated her way over here with the speculation that Jon Venables, precocious murderer, oxygen thief extraordinaire and all round waste of blood and organs, might have lived in Australia despite my doubts.
I suppose it’s possible he was in Australia, and the reason he’s now back in chokey is that he returned to the UK and THEN breached his license conditions?
There’s a lot of speculation that the breach involves him contacting either the Bulger family or his partner in crime.
If true, both would require him to return to the UK.
Hmmm. Well, if he felt some pressing need to do so in person then yes he’d have to return to the UK, though why he’d suddenly want just to rock up unannounced on their doorstep after nearly two decades is anyone’s guess. And that of course assumes that he he came to Australia in the first place, which I still feel is a hell of a stretch (and will get to shortly). Otherwise, no. There are plenty of means of contacting either without him even leaving the house, much less spending a day flying thousands of miles which, as I said, assumes he ever left the UK to begin with. Besides, in the absence of any official info (which is pretty lamentable) any speculation is only ever speculation. Shoplifting or being caught with a bit of puff could have sent him back there. Skipping a couple of appointments with whatever probabtion office or cop shop he’s supposed to contact could be it too. Fuck, for all we know he might have had a smoke underneath a no smoking sign. If that can get a law abiding citizen six months then surely it could send someone like him back to jail. On a side note I highly doubt that it had anything to do with contacting the Bulger family. Can you imagine them hearing from him and not going to the media? If it was you in their position wouldn’t you be on the phone to the papers right after the police? If it was me and the bastard got in touch in any way shape or form I’d make sure the whole fucking world heard about it, and if the UK media was gagged I’d go to the media of the first English speaking nation that wasn’t and was prepared to publish. The Republic of Ireland seems close enough in all respects, but since Venables’ return to gaol has made news as far away as, well, as here in Oz I reckon the family could have found a willing journo pretty much anywhere in the Anglosphere. That the news he’s back behind bars came out first makes that seem unlikely. (Edit – see update below.)
That brings us back around to my other point: why on earth would Australia let him in?
Diplomatic pressure behind the scenes?
Any pressure would need to include either some bargaining chip as an incentive to take them or a threat of undesirable consequences if Australia refused. The influence of the old country isn’t that strong here these days and when Venables and Thompson would have been released it wasn’t that long after a referendum on becoming a republic. Having won it I very much doubt the government of the day would have risked taking two world famous child killers in as a favour – political suicide if it became public knowledge and was confirmed, and someone would inevitably talk. What could Britain possibly offer as a sweetener that would persuade the Howard government at the time – in coalition again – to risk that? I can’t think of anything. Trade? But Australia trades more around the Pac Rim than with Britain or Europe. History and Commonwealth ties aren’t irrelevant but ASEAN and ANZUS are probably more important to Oz now. And what threat could Britain offer instead of an enticement? Co-operate or… or we’ll ban Vegemite imports to Britain? Or we’ll send Germain Greer and Rolf Harris back? A more certain way would have been false IDs and a newly made up background history to get ’em in without the Aussie authorities being aware of who they really were, but aside from the fact that it’s too close to a movie plot for real life it implies a level of competence that I generally don’t associate either with governments in general or the UK government in particular. Again, what would happen when it leaked, and it would leak sooner or later. London might risk the diplomatic fallout if we were talking about somewhere that was still a protectorate or a colony, but would it run the same risk with a sovereign nation (albeit with the sovereignty ultimately resting in the same person as Britain’s own) that is also an important member of the Commonwealth? Granted, what I said about relations in the Pac Rim being a bigger deal for trade cuts both ways and might seem like a reason for the UK to think that the downside is smaller, but to extend that to sneaking a pair of convicted child murderers into a friendly nation without their knowledge or consent still seems like the diplomatic version of taking a really big dump in a mate’s house and hoping he doesn’t notice and won’t mind too much if he does and realises whose turd it is.
Nope, it just doesn’t seem plausible to me. For either of them to have been “given new lives in Australia” would require either a Hollywood scenario in which Australia doesn’t know or a moon hoax scenario in which it does and is part of the conspiracy, both of which would in turn require the not insignificant miracle of everyone involved – and there’d be hundreds at the very least – keeping the secret and being prepared to go to their graves with it. The alternative is that they remained in the UK where the authorities could better keep an eye on them and more easily determine if they crossed any lines they were told not to as part of the deal for release from prison back in 2001.
Sorry, Julia. Mostly I’ll jump at any excuse to get angry with the government, and since I have two at which to rant and spit venom and bile, both of which probably would be involved for this theory to be true, in a twisted and fucked up kind of way I’d almost like to believe this. But without some hard evidence, an admission from one or other government, a whistleblower or an inadvertent leak I’ll go with Occam’s Razor on this. In other words it’s possible in the same way that Elvis might have faked his death and simply hid somewhere he thought he wouldn’t be noticed.