The Rambles of Neil Monnery

Another pointless voice in the vast ocean that is the interweb

Archive for May, 2011

Laurie Penny was asking for it

with 3 comments

Ok in the words of the kids I ‘epic failed’ today. Whilst reading the excellent piece by David Allen Green in The New Stateman entitled Is it the Sun what lost it? detailing the Ryan Giggs affair and how the newspaper still cannot report the juicy bits that would actually cause people to buy said newspaper, my eyes were drawn to to the headline Ken Clarke was asking for it by the feminist writer Laurie Penny and I was sucked in, clicked on and subsequently read the vitriol she spilled out from her keyboard.

Now we know that rape is more prevalent in men but women also commit rape. Men also commit rape on other men – certainly in prisons all over the world. Rape is not just a problem for the females of this world but say that and you are a hieratic in the eyes of feminists but it is true and this issue needs to be addressed. In this feminists piece she started her summing up with the following:

Ken Clarke’s repulsive, reactionary comments are part of a culture that still misunderstands consent, punishes female sexual agency, and wilfully ignores the scale and prevalence of rape

No Miss Penny I think we all understand that no means no – don’t tar the human species with your brush of superiority. I understand that. Everyone who is reading this blog understands that. Ken Clarke understands that. So this is not a cultural problem. As for ignoring the scale or prevalence of rape – really? Most people will know of someone who has been raped. Most people whilst not having been raped will have seen what it does to the lives of the victims. Whilst rape isn’t exactly an open discussion forum it also isn’t something that the people of the world are exactly clueless about either.

I shall let her carry on in her own words:

Unfortunately, Clarke is no ordinary sexist

*does a double take and interrupts*

Ken Clarke is a sexist? Come again? When was that put out there? Did I miss that memo? Ok so we can all agree that Ken Clarke’s comments were not terrific but by saying that there are different types of rape is that really sexist? Are there different types of murder? Is a mother killing her abusive husband after years of abuse an identical crime to someone who has stalked his victim and beaten them up and then drowned them in a lake? Both are murder in law as they killed someone with full intent to cause death or serious injury but as jurors we would look at those two crimes differently but in law they are identical. I know rape is the debate that we are allowed to have as it is an abhorrent crime but to say Ken Clarke is sexist because of his comments are not just un-just but also wholly inaccurate. Does his comments bear truth that he believes that the male species are superior to the female one? Looking at what he said it clearly does not.

Ok Laurie your turn again:

Clarke made a serious mistake, and he deserves to be seriously sacked – but it will take more than a handful of resignations and high-profile prosecutions to bring an end to a culture of complacency where rape is everyday violence.

Ken Clarke being sacked would do nothing to stop or slow down rape crime. Correct. Bravo. However he should also not be sacked as what good would that do? Is he too liberal on rape or is it just the fact that he thinks that there are different types of rape that bares the brunt of your angst? Did Ken Clarke ever say that he didn’t think rape was a crime? No. Did Ken Clarke ever say that he wanted rapists freed quicker? No. Did Ken Clarke ever say that he has raped anyone? No. Did Ken Clarke say anything that in the cold light of day could be construed as anything other than an opinion which people might disagree with but is perfectly valid.

Rape as I have said before is worse than murder in many ways but just because the Justice Secretary says that all crimes are not the same doesn’t mean that he is insensitive but more like he is doing his job. No two crimes are ever identical. There are circumstances behind every crime that are specific to that crime. To tell all judges to give the exact same sentence for every crime is moronic.

As we know now seven days on Ken Clarke has not gone and is still in office. The piece that was written on that day by Laurie Penny linked above is testament to the reactionary world we live in today and it is a scary place. On Question Time the next night he came across extremely well and a lot better than for example Jack Straw or Melanie Phillips. Ken Clarke might not be everyone’s cup of tea but he has shown very little evidence that he is sexist.

Just because someone says something you disagree with does not make them evil and nor does it make them sexist.

We’ll end with one last point and rebuttal from me. Laurie…

The world is full of rape, and this week, the headlines are full of rape. As the head of the IMF languishes in a New York prison on a charge of sexually assaulting a maid in his Manhattan hotel.

Charged is key term. Innocent until proven guilty. You cannot make a case that the world is full of rape (which it is) and your first example is about someone who has not been found guilty in a court of law. That is just poor journalism. Plenty of people are charged with crimes that they have not done. Plenty of people are found wrongly innocent or guilty of crimes too. We have to let these things play out.

PS: I hate the title of this blog but as you used Ken Clarke in the same terminology I felt like I had to. I feel disgusting.

Edit 30 May: I would like to apologise for anyone who feels offended by the title of this piece. As I wrote originally just above I was not happy with the title but went with it. It retrospect it was not right and as someone pointed out – two wrongs don’t make a right.

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Written by neilmonnery

May 25th, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with

Now let us allow PC Simon Harwood a fair trial

without comments

Ok I know that title sounds surprising but we need to allow the full judicial system to play out before we convict. In the court of public opinion PC Simon Harwood is guilty of manslaughter and there is nothing we can do to stop that. However like everyone who is charged with an offence, the man deserves to have a fair trial with twelve jurors who have open minds and will make their decisions based solely on the evidence put to them in court.

I know I have my opinions and they are clearly the same as the majority. I have little doubt about that. However doctors will have their say and we must wait for what they have to say. One thing I will say though is I cannot believe that other officers are not standing trial with PC Simon Harwood for lying to the inquiry – both the internal and external one about what happened on that day. Had the video not come out of PC Simon Harwood striking Ian Tomlinson then we would have been none the wiser. Fellow officers that day tried to cover-up what may well have been a very serious crime and for that they deserve to face trial for those charges. Had I covered-up a crime and lied to police then I would be facing court so why aren’t PC Simon Harwood’s fellow officers on duty that day in London for the G20 protests?

As someone who has been a juror and a foreman of a jury I can tell you that jury rooms are very interesting places. I sat on two cases and one was a no-brainer where everyone in that room believed that the bouncers had started the fight with the two defendants and not the other way round so we very quickly acquitted the two defendants on all sevens charges. The next case though was harder as emotionally it was harder to remove personal feelings for some from the evidence presented in open court. We were torn for several hours until the Not Guilty part of the room were able to hammer home that we could only use what we were told in open court as part of our deliberations. So from 8-4 we got to 11-1 and still it took several hours to convince the final juror that we had to find the suspect Not Guilty.

Now this wasn’t some piddly little case. It was serious sexual assault against a 10 year-old girl. So you can see why there was a lot of emotional involvement from some jurors. The case was big enough that all the local media were in the courtroom for the verdict. Was he guilty? He may well have been but the prosecution did not convince me (or the majority of the jury) in any way shape or form. The evidence was flimsy and circumstantial at best. I don’t lose any sleep over it because I firmly believe in innocent until proven guilty and the same must be sad for PC Simon Harwood when he comes to trial.

I hope justice is done – whatever that may be. Be he innocent or guilty. What I will say is he deserves the right to a fair trial with twelve good people who will only listen and watch the evidence supplied in court. The court of Public Opinion is not the Courts of Justice and that distinction needs to be made.

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May 24th, 2011 at 10:41 am

Posted in News

Tagged with

John Hemming MP names Ryan Giggs and by doing so abuses his Parliamentary Privilege

with 7 comments

As I wrote yesterday the footballer involved in the injunction case against Imogen Thomas was a fool. Twitter is widely used but to say it has the audience of the majority of people in the UK is foolish. By suing twitter for allowing his name to be mentioned it brought the story into the mainstream domain and it was only a matter of time before a big media outlet thought ‘sod it’ and named him. The Sunday Herald yesterday did not but had a photograph of Ryan Giggs on the front page and made it clear who it was.

So we move on just over 24 hours and John Hemming Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley used Parliamentary Privilege to name him and suddenly the gates are wide open. Sky News are reporting the incident plus his name whereas the BBC are still trying to clarify where they stand legally reporting on House of Commons proceedings.

Now I am torn. I am a trained journalist (I know can you believe it with my lack of English skills?) and had to pass Journalism Law to get said degree. Therefore I know all about Contempt of Court and what was going on with this. On one hand I think that Imogen Thomas can sell her story to the highest bidder as long as whatever she sells is the truth but I also respect the right for Ryan Giggs to have his privacy on this case. So it is a case of who has the greater right – Thomas to sell her story or Giggs for his right to privacy. They are mutually exclusive and clearly in my mind cancel each other out.

There was talk that Imogen Thomas was blackmailing Ryan Giggs and that is why the injunction was granted. This though is not backed up by any steadfast evidence as yet. What I do struggle with is the fact that Ryan Giggs was absolved from the case but Imogen Thomas and her representatives including Max Clifford were allowed to be reported. So Imogen Thomas had her name out there with regards to the affair, she was unable to defend herself in any way in a public setting. So Ryan Giggs was letting her dangle as some harlot whilst he hid behind an injunction.

I am deeply torn. Deeply and gravely torn. I think when all is said and done the injunction was fairly granted but the way Ryan Giggs has handled the situation shows a lack of nous and understanding for the way the public feel. The moment his name was out there he should have dropped the injunction and dealt with the fall out. Continuing to go further and starting proceedings against twitter was never going to go down well and if his advisors didn’t tell him this then they are just thinking about their self-interest and making money off of the Manchester United player.

I do think that John Hemming has abused Parliamentary Privilege as this case is not a story that is in the legitimate Public Interest. It is celebrity tittle-tattle and this is not a Trafigura situation. When it comes down to it unless there is a case where you could say that a story is in the Public and/or National Interest then the right to privacy is at least level to that of freedom of speech and therefore injunctions should be allowed.

Still though Ryan Giggs has been terribly advised and instead of being front page for a day or two and then chip shop paper he has allowed the story to run and run and has dragged his name through the mud for far longer than it ever would have done.

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May 23rd, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with ,

ID cards? You what coalition government? Come again…? I thought we’d all decided they were a naff idea.

without comments

Over in the Technology section of The Telegraph the headline story is one sure to repulse the majority of this nation. As a country we pretty much said rather loudly that we hated the ID Card scheme and we rejoiced when the coalition agreement took one look at it and chuckled before consigning it to history in May 2010. Twelve months on though and they are working behind the scenes to bring in a new ID Card system that the government themselves won’t police but a small number of private firms will – yes folks that is exactly what people want – yugh.

The headline Coalition builds new national identity system sends a shiver down my spine. Francis Maude is the Cabinet Office minister responsible for the cross-government plan and he has dubbed it ‘identity assurance’. Well Francis I can certainly say I’m placated by using a new term. I’m so thick that’ll wash with me as laud your most excellent proposals. It isn’t an ID Card scheme but we’ll all have one central ID login – like say an ID Card – that if fraudsters managed to get hold off instead of screwing us over for one thing, they can screw us over for everything.

There is a reason we don’t have passwords the same for any websites and there is a reason we have separate logins for everything we do. It is called security and if you want to by-pass that to save a few quid then you sir are a numpty. However you cannot take the full blame here as birthday boy George Osbourne thinks that it is a swell idea. Shouldn’t he be concentrating on more important things and does he really think that this will soften the blow of spending cuts? Yeah that is what he said folks. The people of this country will think that thank fuck there will be less police officers on the street when you have a nice central system that would be like a gold mine to fraudsters. We’ll whoop and holler in the street and chant George Osbourne’s name. We might even overthrow the Monarchy to install George Osbourne as President for he is so wise.

What’s that? I’m sounding like I’m taking the mickey? Oh…

National Identity Schemes are bad. The system that Labour proposed was downright dangerous. This system from what little we know might not be as dangerous but looks like it might not be too far off. The people of this country do not want a National Identity Scheme and that is clear. Neither the Tories or the Lib Dems had any type of scheme in their manifesto pledges so if this one sees the light of day then I’ll be extremely disappointed, not wait, scratch that, I’ll be disgusted with the powers that be in this government. Do not poo poo an idea and then quietly do something very similar twelve months down the line. The country hasn’t changed in twelve months so why has policy?

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Written by neilmonnery

May 23rd, 2011 at 11:05 am

Posted in Politics

Tagged with ,

Things I think I think – #SurvivalSunday Special

without comments

Carrying on with my occasional/more than occasional column for all those little tidbits that do not warrant their own blog post. I have called it ‘Things I think I think’. Today we have a #SurvivalSunday special.

*I am gutted. Seriously gutted that Blackpool have gone down. I know it is a cliché but they have been a breath of fresh air for the league. They couldn’t defend for toffee and tried to overcome that legitimate deficiency by scoring goals. In all honesty their squad wasn’t good enough and I think that gives them even more credit for the way they played. They will be missed.

*Unlike Birmingham. Birmingham are a dull football team who thought they had done it all when they were gifted the Carling Cup by Arsenal. The new owner was said to be willing to put in £70million this summer but now they have been relegated I suspect that won’t happen (not that it was likely to happen anyway mind you). On paper with that chairman, Birmingham should walk the Championship at a canter but I just don’t see it.

*In this day and age how on Earth can players not know what is going on at other grounds? When Wolves scored their second it meant Birmingham had to score again but they didn’t seem to know this. They kept playing with no urgency like they were safe. Was bizzare.

*Wigan stayed up and in all honesty that disappointed me. I know this sounds bad but I don’t like the Wigan in the Premier League story one jot. They play in front of small crowds week in week out and wide open empty sections of stands. Every other Premier League town or city gets fully behind their club and the people of Wigan just don’t. I have visited the stadium and seen Pompey win 0-2 there with goals from Benjani and Glen Johnson so it holds good memories (I wasn’t there the year we stayed up thanks to the Matty T penalty and Benjani goal off his chest) but they just seem like a pointless club (Yes I’m an arrogant so and so…)

*Wolves had their worst 45 minutes of the season at the worst possible time but they just about did enough. I like Big Mick McCarthy so am happy they stayed up but boy were they lucky. They will be down there again next season just like Wigan will be.

*Was great to see my boy Michael Owen score again. He honestly still has it in him to be a top class Premier League striker. He’ll score 15-20 goals a season for a good Premier League club. Not sure who would be a good fit but a club like Villa with their creative players certainly wouldn’t be a bad one. Would he go to his childhood club Everton?

*Arsenal. Oh Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal. Talk about a season collapsing but this has been sad to see. Arsene Wenger needs to spend money this off season to make the move from playing great stuff but falling short to being winners. Heck if Michael Owen would go there he’d be a great addition. They are so close but the past two months has been painful to watch.

*Last but not least yet again Jeff and the boys have shown us that great TV can be had just from watching blokes watching TV. Soccer Saturday and Soccer Special are wonderful programmes and not just the in-game action but the discussion pre-match is first rate and a great prequel to the games. Soccer Saturday yet again the class of the Football watching TV.

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Written by neilmonnery

May 22nd, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Things I think

Tagged with

How to ruin your public image by an unnamed footballer

with one comment

So a famous footballer in the Premier League had a six-month long affair with a Big Brother star called Imogen Thomas. Now in the context of what footballers get up to it isn’t even a scandal. The tabloid media would have a bit of a frenzy for a couple of days and the situation would die down. The public wouldn’t really care as having an affair isn’t a big deal in this day and age – whether you are famous or just an average Joe.

However the footballer in question decided that he didn’t want this story to come out. Fair enough in one way as he had a family whom he didn’t want to suffer. He didn’t think about that whilst screwing the Big Brother contestant senseless for months but that is not the point as we all know. He is famous so he believed he could have his cake and eat it.

So he got a superinjunction. The newspapers couldn’t report a thing. He got away with the affair and his wife was none the wiser. He could carry on with his life with no repercussions. Perfect. However something happened – the story got leaked. People on twitter talked openly about it and they talking about seemingly the right person. The footballer in question hasn’t publicly denied it and that speaks volumes.

So what does he do next? He sues twitter for breaking the superinjunction. Yes seriously. Considering only a small percentage of the country uses twitter his name still wasn’t really in the public domain but by bringing attention to the situation it has caused the casual observer to ask around and find out how it is. The name is now very much out there and they aren’t talking about the affair as no-one cares but they are talking about the superinjunction and the decision to sue twitter.

People are saying how incredibly dumb he is to sue twitter and it would be very interesting to see how it all pans out. By starting legal proceedings all he has done is confirm that it is him who has taken out the superinjunction. If it wasn’t him who people were discussing on twitter then why sue?

Had the story come out there and then weeks ago it would have blown over by now but all he has been successful in doing is drag his misery out. He wanted to protect his privacy but instead he has allowed the public to make a mockery of his privacy. Whoever his lawyers are must be rubbing their hands in glee. He has an extremely long road to win in court and yet the longer the situation drags on the worse he looks in the eyes of the public.

Football having an affair is a short-term non-story. Football suing Social Media for telling truths about him is a long-term legit news story.

Who said footballers had nothing between their ears?

Note: There is some conjecture over whether this was a regular injunction or the fabled ‘superinjunction’. Either/or the point remains the same but if it is just a regular injunction then apologies for the inaccuracy.

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Written by neilmonnery

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:43 am

Posted in News

Tagged with ,

Things I think I think – Ken Clarke Special

without comments

Carrying on with my occasional/more than occasional column for all those little tidbits that do not warrant their own blog post. I have called it ‘Things I think I think’. I suspect it somehow won’t have the impact of my previous piece but here is a Ken Clarke special.

*Firstly I forgot just how great it was to have my ramblings read by so many. It has been what two and a half years since I left my previous role as a Sports Editor to do what I do now. Since then I think apart from the odd piece over at betting.betfair.com I haven’t written anything that has been read by more than 100 people. Yesterday my blog on Twitter/Ken Clarke was read by just under 2,000 people. Funny thing is when I sat down to write the piece it wasn’t going to be in that format. Still it caused some debate and that is all a writer can ever want.

*Also I learned that despite what I thought, underage sex is not rape until it goes down to a 13 year-old. I did not know this and I wouldn’t be surprised if many others didn’t. One thing thing out of this whole Ken Clarke affair is that I think many of us learned that sex with a 14-15 year-old is classed as unlawful sex and not rape.

*Great for Ken Clarke that Melanie Phillips was on the Question Time panel last night. She thinks we should cut all overseas aid and let the rest of the World fend for themselves. What a fucking bitch. Just when I thought I couldn’t hate a Daily Mail columnist more she goes and says that. Will there ever be a Daily Mail columnist I like? (Martin Samuel excepted as he’s one of the better sports guys out there).

*I thought Ken Clarke was much better last night. This whole situation might well have developed just because Victoria Derbyshire got Ken Clarke tongue-tied in his BBC Radio 5live interview. Once again showing the power of a journalist/broadcaster to make an interview say things they did not mean or want.

*You know that rumour that Ken Clarke stormed out of The Daily Politics studio on Wednesday? Talk about hype. The video showed him getting up with his cup of tea and strolling out to do a one-on-one interview with Nick Robinson. Is that really storming out? Going to do an interview with the same company?

*Ken Clarke’s odds to be the next cabinet minister to leave his post have be wild in recent days but he is drifting – and now drifting quite fast. He’s sitting at between 7s and 8s depending on which bookie you go to and he was as short as 1/2 at one point on Wednesday. Chris Huhne is the runaway favourite again and if you can get Evens on him then you are doing well. Andrew Lansley is a very tempting price at 8s-10s. Very tempting indeed.

*Shami Chakrabarti was clearly the star of the show last night. Question Time needs more articulate people on the panel and quite honestly so does the House of Commons. On the panel and in Westminster so many words are exchanged just for political point scoring. Why can’t MPs in the main just say what they think and not tow the party line?

*Lastly that Melanie Phillips. Yeah what a fucking bitch. Seriously cut all overseas aid? What planet does she live on? Yes I know things aren’t perfect over here but the thing is there are billions of people in the world who have it so much worse and we should help. Humanity doesn’t end at Dover. Bitch.

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Written by neilmonnery

May 20th, 2011 at 10:51 am

Posted in Things I think

Tagged with

Ken Clarke – a trial by modern social media

with 27 comments

Judge: ‘Ladies and Gentleman of the twittersphere have you reached a verdict?’

Twittersphere: ‘Yes your honour – we find the defendant guilty of endangering the lives of women and think he should be out of a position where he can endanger any women post haste’

Judge: ‘Don’t men get raped too?’

Twittersphere: ‘No they don’t. Only women. Ken Clarke is endangering women and deserves to be sacked immediately’

Judge: ‘Just checking if you read the proposals that he is putting forward?’

Twittersphere: ‘Of course we did what do you takes us for? Reactionary morons?”

Judge: ‘So you know that there is already a plea bargaining deal in law where judges can – can not have to – reduce sentences by up to a third in any case with receipt of an early not guilty plea?’

Twittersphere: ‘Plea bargaining wha…?’

Judge: ‘Plea Bargaining. That is what these proposals were all about’

Twittersphere: ‘No it wasn’t. It was all about Ken Clarke thinking rape wasn’t important and how he wants to let rapists out after 15 months’

Judge: ‘Who told you that?’

Twittersphere: ‘That is what Ed Miliband said in PMQs and Margaret Hodge backed up those thoughts on The Daily Politics Show afterwards’

Judge: ‘Ah I see. Well you have to remember that they are both using Clarke’s comments for political point scoring and they might not exactly be 100% on the mark with their comments’

Twittersphere: ‘What do you mean? Politicians never lie and certainly not the Labour ones. They think rape is serious and because of that they must know exactly what they are talking about’

Judge: ‘Everyone thinks rape is serious’

Twittersphere: ‘Ken Clarke doesn’t’

Judge: ‘When did he say that?’

Twittersphere: ‘Yesterday’

Judge: ‘Where did he say that?’

Twittersphere: ‘I’m not sure. I saw it on twitter’

Judge: ‘So everyone on twitter only deals in facts, not opinions or conjecture?’

Twittersphere: ‘Err…’

Judge: ‘Well he never ever said rape wasn’t serious and nor did he say he wanted to let rapists out of jail willy nilly’

Twittersphere: ‘Are you sure? The media seemed to be saying otherwise’

Judge: ‘I’m sure’

Twittersphere: ‘Oh. He must have said something to cause the furoré’

Judge: ‘The whole crux of the issue is he disagreed with BBC Radio 5Live Presenter that Rape is Rape’

Twittersphere: ‘Sack him. How dare he. All rape is as bad as every other rape. Rape in rape. Sack him. How would he like it if he was raped? Sack him. He should resign. Sack him!’

Judge: ‘So you disagree that there is a difference between a 17 year-old and 15 year-old having consensual sex and a masked man bursting into a home and raping an unsuspecting victim?’

Twittersphere: ‘Well I never said that…’

Judge: ‘Well you kinda did actually. Both are classed as rape in law’

Twittersphere: ‘Oh I see. Well he still shouldn’t have said it. Sack him’

Judge: ‘So what are you saying?’

Twittersphere: ‘Isn’t it clear? We think Ken Clarke should resign immediately or be sacked. His comments that all rape isn’t equal is deplorable and people with those thoughts cannot be allowed to govern and put the lives of women in danger’

Judge: ‘So all rape is rape and anyone that even questions this is insane’

Twittersphere: ‘Yes. Finally you are getting it’

Judge: ‘Do you know or did you ever have sex with anyone before you were 16?’

Twittersphere: ‘That is none of your business judge’

Judge: ‘Well did you or do you?’

Twittersphere: ‘Well not me personally but when I was in Year 11 at school I may have known of one or two people who had sex where one of them hadn’t turned 16. Only one or two mind you’

Judge: ‘Do you class the older members of that sexual act as rapists?

Twittersphere: ‘Of course I don’t. You are an idiot judge. How dare you.

Judge: ‘The law does. That is what Ken Clarke was saying albeit in a dumb way’

Twittersphere: Well Ken Clarke is right then. You are the idiot judge. Claiming that when my 15 year-old girlfriend gave me a blow job after a GCSE Maths exam behind the bike sheds makes me a rapist’

Judge: ‘So you are saying Ken Clarke actually was on to something’

Twittersphere: ‘Wait. No. You tricked me’

Judge: ‘I’m just trying to clarify what Ken Clarke was actually trying to say’

Twittersphere: ‘Oh, but he did say that judges will now be ordered to give a 50% discount on all rape sentences if the defendant pleads guilty right?

Judge: ‘No’

Twittersphere: ‘But…’

Judge (interjecting): ‘What he said and what these proposals were set to do was give judges more leeway in every criminal case. The initial interviewer Victoria Derbyshire used rape as it is the most emotive of all cases to illistrate her point and that is where this all stems from. Judges can chose the length of sentence in any criminal case from a set of tariffs. Under these proposals a defendant could in the most extreme circumstances get an extra 17% off their sentences for an early guilty plea. Clearly anyone getting a slightly softer sentence would satisfy any judge that they were full of remorse and there were extreme mitigating circumstances.’

Twittersphere: ‘So all rapists won’t be free in 15 months ready to rape again?’

Judge: ‘No’

Twittersphere: ‘Oh that isn’t what I thought. Can you ask us again what we think of Ken Clarke?’

Judge: ‘Sure. Ladies and Gentlemen of the twittersphere have you reached a verdict?’

Twittersphere: ‘Yes your honour – we find the defendant guilty of endangering the lives of women and think he should be out of a position where he can endanger any women post haste’

(Judge bangs head on desk)

End Scene 1.

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

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Written by neilmonnery

May 19th, 2011 at 10:23 am

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , ,

Comment Fail

without comments

Oh I’m an idiot. When I migrated my website from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog I was fiddling around with a lot of widgets. One of that was a comment verification tool. I wondered why I hadn’t had a single comment on my blog since the move and the reason is painfully clear – I screwed up the plugin. Well I have deactivated the widget and all is right with the world (well the blog) for now.

I suspect very few noticed or cared but if you want to lambast me for being an idiot now you have your chance.

Apologies.

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May 18th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Posted in General

Tagged with

Ken Clarke proves that the British people cannot have a serious debate on rape

without comments

This isn’t going to be popular.

Ok let’s get this out there. I have never been raped therefore I don’t know a thing about it and don’t deserve an opinion. If you agree with that stop reading.

And I’ll begin.

Rape is in my opinion the most disgusting crime out there. It is in my opinion worse than murder because the victims will never fully recover and have to live with the consequences. However having said that I do believe that what Ken Clarke has said today is true that rape is not just rape – there are many different levels of every crime. As he said on BBC News late this morning when the presenter really felt he had Ken Clarke dangling that there is a difference between a 16 year-old and a 15 year-old having consensual sex and someone forcing themselves upon someone in a dark alley. Both are classed as rape in law.

The proposals he is putting forward are not just about rape. He is proposing that judges be allowed leeway to halve sentences in any case on receipt of an early guilty plea. The current laws dictate that judges be allowed leeway to reduce sentences of up to a third. Therefore the proposals are about a possible 16-17% reduction in sentences in the most extreme cases. However people should understand that the judges are not forced to do this and as every case is different and judges decide on sentence length for a variety of different reasons.

Ken Clarke did not say that rapists deserve to have their sentences lessened. He did not say that once. However the media have decided to latch on to rape as it is the most emotive crime out there so he was further questioned about it. There is a difference between violent rape and statutory rape in my opinion. I agree with Ken. He did not once say rape wasn’t a serious crime but that is how the media (and the Labour Leader) will spin it.

Ed Miliband just said in Prime Ministers Questions that these proposals and I quote ‘will lead to rapists having their sentences halved’ and that is quite frankly a lie. There is a difference between the words ‘will’ and ‘could’ and it is rather an important distinction.

Sadly I fear that this incident has showed that there are issues that we cannot have a serious debate on. The public are too entrenched in their position on certain things (i.e. any changes to the NHS) and anyone who proposes anything that might rock that boat is evil and clueless. Ken Clarke’s proposals might not be great but they certainly are not what is being reported by the media and what the people of this country are discussing. We already have a plea bargaining deal in the UK but if you were the listen or read the media then you wouldn’t realise that.

Ed Miliband has called for Ken Clarke to be sacked today. You never know he might well be. The thing is though is that if he’s  sacked, it will not be for his proposals but for the way the media have whipped up into a frenzy and reported it in the most sensational way possible. It is kinda sad…

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Written by neilmonnery

May 18th, 2011 at 11:15 am

Posted in Politics

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