After Thomas Mair was given a whole life sentence for the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, even the most anti-Labour and anti-EU pundits had to admit that this was an open and shut case: a far-right activist, a white supremacist, had killed his local MP in the belief that he was a patriot. He had stabbed and shot her. He intended to kill her, and in this he succeeded. There were no redeeming features to the case.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
As a result, whatever spin has been put on Mair’s state of mind, and the press’ desire to absolve themselves from any responsibility for the murder, it has been admitted that he did the deed, he was appropriately nicked, he was given the benefit of due process, there was no problem with Mair’s ability to plea, he was given the benefit of a trail before a jury of his peers, and after due deliberation they decided that He Done It.
This statement of the totally obvious, unfortunately, has for some reason not reached the reassuringly upmarket part of Manhattan inhabited by (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who has been given a platform by the piss-poor Murdoch bankrolled website Heat Street to claim that Mair did not receive a fair trial.
At first, Ms Mensch is quite rational: “Jo Cox’s murderer, Thomas Mair, has been convicted in a court of law”. But then she comes off the rails, claiming “But some people and journalists who support Remain have used the result of the trial to tell me that I should disavow tweets I made about Mair and Cox during the Referendum”. Wrong. She is being told that she got it wrong. The referendum choice of her accusers is irrelevant.
But do go on. “My arguments about Thomas Mair and his trial still stand today … How can that be? Mair was convicted after being found to be fit to stand trial; he was evaluated psychologically first … The evaluation did not find Mr. Mair’s mental illness as being so advanced that he could evade criminal responsibility. That is literally all we know about it”.
There’s more: “I would argue that parts of Thomas Mair’s trial seem, at least on the surface, to be unfair, based on his mental health issues, and others, I would argue, raise the question of a miscarriage of justice - at least in so far as it would seem the accused did not receive a fair trial”. And then she pulls her masterstroke.
“There is, however, an absolute gulf between sanity for the purposes of criminal responsibility and mental illness. You can be both sane, and suffer from extreme mental illness. Only at a certain level of mental illness do you lose responsibility … It was the judge in the trial, then, and not the court-appointed lawyer, who had the job of guarding Mr. Mair’s rights. And he appears not to have done so”. Ready for the payoff?
“Thomas Mair was mentally ill but competent and the judge, I believe, played to the gallery by making the trial what it never ought to have been - a comparator of the characters of heroic Jo Cox and racist Thomas Mair”. Yeah, right.
Thomas Mair was rightly found guilty of a brutal murder and has been sent down for the rest of his life. And just how much credibility Louise Mensch’s opinions rate can be seen from one of those Tweets she declines to disavow. Replying to Mair’s statement at his preliminary hearing, she trilled “Wibble Wibble I’m A Hatstand”. Louise Mensch is plain flat wrong once again. And to think they allowed her to become an MP.