Bruce Anderson (columnist)
Bruce Anderson is a British conservative political columnist, currently working as a freelancer. Formerly political editor of The Spectator and contributor to the Daily Mail, he wrote for The Independent from 2003 to September 2010, and ConservativeHome until 2012.
In his youth he was a Marxist, and it was as a member of the radical organization People's Democracy that he first became involved in the civil rights campaign in Northern Ireland. Anderson participated in the most "dramatic moment in the story of People's Democracy": a four-day 'freedom walk' from Belfast to Derry, which began on New Year's Day 1969. On 4 January he and his fellow marchers were attacked by approximately 200 loyalists at Burntollet bridge, just outside Derry.
Advocacy of torture
Bruce Anderson has been an advocate of torture in ticking time bomb scenarios, even before the 9/11 terrorist attacks brought the question to greater public prominence. In February 2010 he wrote a column for The Independent, arguing that the British government would have not just the right, but the duty, to torture if there was a ticking bomb, and that they should torture children if they believed that doing so would yield information that would avert a terrorist attack:
|“||It came, in the form of a devilish intellectual challenge. "Let's take your hypothesis a bit further. We have captured a terrorist, but he is a hardened character. We cannot be certain that he will crack in time. We have also captured his wife and children". After much agonising, I have come to the conclusion that there is only one answer to Sydney's question. Torture the wife and children.||”|
- Dean Godson, Himself Alone: David Trimble and the Ordeal of Unionism (London: Harper Collins, 2004), p. 311
- Bruce Anderson "We not only have a right to use torture. We have a duty", The Independent, 16 February 2010
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