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Day: July 15, 2011

Charlie Gilmour sentenced to 16 months in prison but what good will that honestly do?

The son of the Pink Floyd guitarist will not be returning to university in the autumn to continue his History degree at Cambridge. Instead he’ll be looking out from behind bars as he has been sentenced to 16 months inside for violent disorder during the student protests last year.

Now I really do not know how I feel about this. Is jail really going to stop him doing anything like this again? No it’s not. He’s not going to be doing anything like this again anyway. So is it a just punishment for the crime? Well that is debatable. Wouldn’t it be better if instead of spending a year or so inside he was forced to work unpaid for a year within a charity or charitable foundation where he could do some good?

Whether it be in the UK or overseas I’m fine either way. I just don’t think prison suits every crime but the boy has already clearly learned his lesson and prison will not do anything but punish him. The public will not be kept safe from him as he’s not a danger to the public.

It is cases like these that make me wish Ken Clarke was allowed to fully take control of the justice department and not have to react to knee-jerk public reactions. I think Ken Clarke could do a fantastic job in changing the culture of crime in this country but until we change the philosophy of how we deal with crime we’ll never get anywhere.

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Rebekah Brooks resigns as Chief Exec of News International

So finally Rebekah Brooks has gone. Now that the Murdoch’s have been leveraged into going in front of the Select Committee on hacking there was little use for Brooks in the company. If she couldn’t protect the Murdoch’s then she had no use to them. She was meant to take all the flak but the story has just rumbled on and on and the public seemingly still want blood. Whether the public really want this or whether this is purely a media driven firestorm is a story for another day but it is a question that certainly needs asking and answering.

Whatever anyone says about Rebekah Brooks you have to – at some level – admire her for what she has done. She has dragged herself up from being a receptionist to being the editor of two national newspapers and chief executive of one of the most powerful media organisations the world has ever seen. Not too shabby is it?

Whilst people are rejoicing are saying it is about time (which it probably is) the resignation does nothing to repair the damage that she oversaw whilst in charge at the News of the World. The Murdoch’s will make sure she lives well for the rest of her life I’m sure and the important question is not about her career – which is over in the media industry – but the important question is about whether what she did or oversaw was illegal and whether she will face criminal charges.

Her resignation from News International impacts on this not one jot. Nothing has changed really with her leaving her post. So puts the bottles of bubbly on ice and watch this space to see what happens next. Rebekah Brooks leaving News International is not the be all and end all that some people seem to be thinking…

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