Socialist Worker

Tabloid vengeance

Issue No. 1730

The right wing press have launched a disgusting attack on a judge's decision to give Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, jailed for the killing of James Bulger, anonymity for life when they are released from prison later this year. The Sun devoted five pages on Tuesday to a vicious exposé of the lives of the two boys since they were sentenced eight years ago.

It was outraged that any attempt had been made to rehabilitate the boys. It railed against them having one to one tuition, well balanced diets, and visits from their parents and loved ones. Both Venables and Thompson were ten years old when they horrifically killed two year old James Bulger. They both had huge emotional and social problems. As Victor Moss, the foreman of the Bulger jury, said after the trial, 'We should have gone back into the court and said yes, we do have a verdict-our verdict is that these young boys are in urgent need of social and psychiatric help.'

The right wing press would prefer to publish the teenagers' addresses when they get out, so vigilantes could go round and beat them up, or worse. They refuse to believe that anyone can change, even two messed up ten year olds. The boys are now completely different people. Both Venables and Thompson want to live relatively normal lives away from the interference of the media. They should be allowed to do so.


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SCOTLAND: Friday 2 February, 7.30-9.30pm, and Saturday 3 February, 10.30am-7.30pm Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road (near Queen Street station). Phone 07808 117 488

LONDON: Sunday 4 February, 12-7pm Imperial College, Sherfield Building, Exhibition Road, SW7 (South Kensington tube). Phone 07956 681 328

BIRMINGHAM: Tuesday 6 February, 6pm UCE Conservatoire, Paradise Place, next to Central Library. Phone 07949 028 362

LEEDS: Wednesday 7 February, 6pm University of Leeds, Conference Auditorium, Willow Road. Phone 07719 079 728

MANCHESTER: Friday 9 February, 6pm New Century House, Corporation Street (opposite Victoria station). Phone 07946 413 763

LIVERPOOL: Saturday 10 February, 12-7pm Liverpool University, Eleanor Rathbone Building, Bedford Street, city centre. Phone 07947 645 289

SHEFFIELD: Sunday 11 February, 12-7pm Sheffield Hallam University, Pennine Suite, Owen Building, City Campus. Phone 07949 089 589

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Article information

Sat 13 Jan 2001, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1730
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