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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Violence as a first choice

While I understand Dragon's Den dragon and entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne's concern over tweets that apparently threaten his daughter, it's interesting that his first reaction was to solicit a violent response.
I offer £25,000 reward for the capture of the coward who calls himself @YuriVasilyev_
Double if his arms are broken first
This, let's remember, is someone who spent 18 months in a military prison for trying to throw an officer off a jetty. Now let's be fair about it, he was reacting to someone demanding money with menaces - £35,000 to "stop us hurting your Hollie Bannatyne" - and it's probably something that most fathers would understand and probably envy Bannatyne's deep pockets giving him the ability to make good on it. Fair enough too, if he'd just left it at the first line. But if the bonus for delivering the perpetrator with arms pre-broken, whether to render him helpless and facilitate further punishment or just as part of the retribution, was meant seriously does it say something about Bannatyne's character? To me it seems less like a TV entrepreneur and more like a, well, I don't know but the opening scene from The Godfather, the one where the guy asks Marlon Brando to have his daughter's attackers filled in, keeps popping into my head. Perhaps similar thoughts occurred to Bannatyne because it seems that the tweet didn't stay up long before it was changed for one that involved a more usual concept of justice.
The self-made millionaire quickly removed the post from his Twitter page, replacing it with another message promising "£30,000 reward for info leading to his arrest".
Still, as I said at the start I find it interesting that the initial reaction didn't mention arrest or hint at police, but instead used the word "capture" and offered extra for broken arms. And the other thing to remember about Bannatyne is he's a reformed smoker, one of the zealot variety, and publicly expresses his loathing for smokers fairly regularly. He's president of No Smoking Day and would happily see smoking banned altogether.
I’ll only be happy if smoking is banned
We should no longer tolerate the minority threatening the lives of the majority.
And we've seen how Bannatyne reacts when confronted with something he finds intolerable. Of course threats to his family, if serious, really are intolerable and I hope that whoever threatened his daughter is caught, charged and convicted - if they also happen to suffer a couple of broken bones while trying to escape arrest or something then that's their problem. But the thought occurs that if you're a smoker it might be a good idea not to light up if Bannatyne or his daughter are in the vicinity, just in case it turns out to be bad for your health.
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