[Ed: Part I of this essay was published here on Saturday, 3rd December.]


Mair’s history of mental illness

One of the most surprising things about the case is that no psychiatric evidence was offered in court. This was noteworthy for two reasons. The first was the obvious one that Mair’s behaviour and the nature of the crime itself was such as to make an assessment of his state of mind necessary if justice was to be seen to be done. The second was the fact that Mair had not only received psychiatric treatment in the past for depression but on the day before the killing he attempted unsuccessfully  to get help for that condition.

There is plenty of opportunity within the justice system for mental illness to be picked up. The police have powers to order a psychiatric examination of  someone they suspect has a mental illness. The question of fitness to plead may be raised before arraignment by the prosecution, defence or Judge. Requesting psychiatric reports after conviction but before sentencing is often done. It is important to note that an accused cannot simply declare himself or herself as fit to plead.

Despite all these opportunities there was no psychiatric evidence presented to the court. Of course if Mair instructed his lawyers not to bring his mental health issues in court as a defence or mitigation they could not do so if he was considered fit to plead which he was. However, the court itself could have ordered psychiatric reports before sentencing took place and  apparently did not do so.

But if Mair instructed his lawyers not to use his medical history in the case that would make it all the more extraordinary that he failed to either give evidence or to make a public protest when he was being denied an opportunity to speak.

Had his  psychiatric history been used at his trial it is possible it could have made a significant difference to the sentence Mair received. The charge could have been reduced to manslaughter if Mair was judged to have diminished  responsibility, or lead to a sentence of something less than a whole life term.

What the British state had to gain from Mair’s silence

The alternative explanation that state actors have frightened Mair into keeping quiet raises the question: what did  they have to gain? The British elite are very twitchy about having trials in which those charged with breaches of the totalitarian ideology known as Political Correctness are unwilling to plead guilty. Moreover, even those who do plead not guilty very rarely rest their defence on the right to free expression, seeking instead to blame their behaviour on things such as the side effects of  prescription drugs. Often those who start off with a not guilty plea will be gradually worn down by officialdom until they agree to plead guilty. A first rate example of this is the case of  Emma West who, after complaining on a tram about the level of immigration, was first held in the UK’s nearest to a maximum security prison for women and after being given bail was then harassed for months simply because she would not plead guilty. Eventually worn down by the delay and fearing that her young son might be taken away from her, she pleaded guilty to some lesser charges than those originally laid.  

The reason why our politically correct powers-that-be fear a not guilty plea in such cases is that they do not want their willingness to suppress free expression attacked or simply made starkly visible in a public forum, or for those in the dock to challenge the politically correct view of the world.  Part of the politically correct narrative is that Political Correctness does not impinge on free expression. This is self-evidently absurd, but it is an essential  plank in the enforcement of Political Correctness. For the politically correct to say otherwise would be to undermine Political Correctness and show it nakedly for what it is: a totalitarian creed which insists the only acceptable view of anything which Political Correctness touches is the politically correct one. In principle this means everything  important in human existence because the concept of discrimination lays every aspect of life open to intrusion by the ideology. No totalitarian ideology can survive if it is questioned and Political Correctness is more vulnerable to intellectual demolition than most because it is  series of injunctions which conflict horribly with human nature.

It could have been this fear by the elite of having Political Correctness challenged which prompted the judge to refuse Mair leave to address the court. Mair’s  case was of course very different from those prosecuted for non-PC speech because of his undisputed crime of murder, but the threat of someone calling those with power who supported the UK’s EU membership traitors, as Mair most probably would have done judged by his previous public statements during the killing and his first court appearance, might have seemed a little too close to home for our politicians in particular, to view with equanimity. Treason is a unique crime. Whether it is on the statute book or not, whether it is formally defined one way or another, everyone knows in their heart of hearts  what it is:  the most heartrending of emotional blows, namely, betrayal.  

There was also the possibility of the elite’s fear of what one might call the Anders Breivik effect. If Mair had spoken in court and given a purely political motive for the killing and justified it on the grounds that Cox was committing treason this would almost certainly have created an ambivalent response amongst the public. The British experience with Irish terrorism are a good example of the tendency where Irish Republicans would often say after a bombing atrocity “I  don’t approve of their methods but….”.

There would have been condemnation of the act of killing of course, but along with that in quite a few minds there would be a sense that Mair’s political reason for the attack, that he was killing a traitor, would somehow have softened the purely criminal sharpness of the deed. There will also be a hard core of those who were unambiguously glad to see her dead. A piece of research carried out by Birmingham City and  Nottingham Trent Universities on tweets about the murder of Cox found that at least 25,000 out of the 50,000 tweets studied celebrated her death.

A  silent Mair, or at least a Mair not allowed to speak publicly is a perfect  fit to fill two roles for the UK’s politically correct elite’s narrative. First, he could be typified as the type of person the remain side of the referendum said was the typical leave voter, someone who was ignorant and potentially violent. Second, he could be pointed at as a “far right” terrorist  to balance against the many Muslim terrorists. This has already happened, here are a few example links:  one, two, three .

There is also the possibility that the security services or the police knew about Mair and did not take any action because they hoped  that he might do something which would promote the idea that those who wanted to leave the EU were dangerous extreme rightwingers. It is conceivable, although very improbable, that in some way the security services surreptitiously encouraged Mair to attack Cox to feed into the general propaganda of the pro-EU side of the Brexit referendum that portrayed leavers as racist far right know-nothings. It is much more plausible that the security services thought that Mair would not do anything more than engage in a public protest or perhaps a bit of criminal damage, and they seriously misjudged the situation. It  would be very damaging if that was the case, and they had been forced to admit such a thing in the witness box.

What is the chance of the British elite behaving badly? Well, consider the case of the Liberal MP Cyril Smith. Smith admitted to the then leader of the Liberal Party David Steel that, when involved with the Cambridge House boys’ hostel, he had both spanked boys with their pants down and conducted what he euphemistically called medical examinations on the boys. Steel took no action and Smith remained within the Party and an MP.   

One thing is certain about this case, we have not heard anything like the whole truth about it. We are being asked to believe that a politically motivated killer of his own volition steadfastly failed to use his capture and trial to send a political message to the public.

It makes no sense.

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