How laudable starting points can make slaves of us all
In the 21 months since I posted to protest the innocence of footballer Ched Evans (then serving a sentence for one of the more ludicrous rape verdicts in history) the article has become far and away the most visited ever at The Slog. At the last count, some 1.1 million readers have been there. Yesterday at 11.40 am, an Retrial Court in Cardiff found him not guilty.
Sadly, I don’t think the decision to clear Ched Evans is a turning point. I think the socio-political madness on the subject of rape has become far too embedded in a whole young generation’s mind to coax it gently back to common sense and a level playing field in a hurry.
But just as with the BBC celeb “child abuse” cases, as more decisions come through, the penny will drop with a growing number that the wholly understandable desire to protect genuine victims from mob rule and courtroom trauma has now gone too far. And eventually – one day long after I’ve disappeared into the air in a spiral of smoke – the profoundly bad and mad science of radical feminism that helped cause the original Evans verdict will also be consigned to history.
Admissibility of this or that piece of evidence is a tricky, complex subject in English Law at the best of times, but never more so than in cases of historical abuse and adult rape. A few of us knew, for instance, that the woman who brought this charge had a documented history of hotel encounters spookily identical to the format (à trois) and ‘come-on’ wording of sexual events that got Evans and his friend into trouble. Further, she had done the same thing two days before and two days after the Evans encounter.
That doesn’t prove Evans thought he had consent in this case. But without collusion, two other men came forward to say she had tried the exact same modus operandum to threaten them. It was, therefore, more than enough to cast a shadow of doubt; and in English Law, a shadow of doubt cannot be left. In Scottish Law, there is the third verdict of Not Proven. I’ve always found that unsatisfactory for all parties: but people should now, at last, sit down and think about whether the surface of adult sexual chess really is level or not.
Rape law in general today – along with political correctness, paedophilia cases, divorce, economic models and political mores – is another classic instance of a real problem we have as a societal species: we are never happy with a middle road, and so the happy medium is constantly dismissed in favour of extreme positions. In time, neuroscientists will tell us how and why this happens, and not too long afterwards neuroanatomists will show us the little nodule-based synapse that triggers it. But it is a problem of both micro and macro significance: one day, I think, it might even annihilate us.
If you’ve never watched a rape victim enduring cross-examination, then I don’t recommend it. It was captured with gripping finality in the last episode of Channel 4’s National Treasure last week – surely Robbie Coltrane’s finest hour to date as a serious actor. (I was surprised, to be honest, that it was allowed to air in the same week as the Appeal Trial)
Before such an ordeal, in times past the raped woman was often treated as if she was trying it on at the police station (always by men) and then subjected to a hail of rabid aspersions by the sort of sociopathic prosecutor one meets far too often. Before and after the case, lurid headlines would appear, and outside the Court – day after day – there would be that odd mob of old biddies in headscarves and lumpy clothing screaming abuse. As often as not – even if the rapist was convicted – there would be whispers for the rest of her life that she was “gagging for it”.
But now that Evans’ innocence has been declared by a second far better advised and informed jury, where is the real justice for him? Two years in prison – and disgraceful harpies threatening every club that wanted to employ him – have left his career in tatters. Nearly 28 years old now, he has lost over five year’s earnings….and bear in mind, he wasn’t a global star, but he wasn’t a bit-player either: what with salaries, transfer shares and sponsorship deals, he could easily have cleared over a million Pounds during that time.
It is time, I would contend, that both genders in our culture grasped the fact that, with sexual freedom – some would say power, comes a need for a sense of responsibility in how you flex it. I’d love to write ‘inevitable need’, but that’s the problem: behaving in a responsible manner or else is what we’d like to see. But the ‘or else’, far from being inevitable, is highly unlikely.
Some of this is to do with the Law, but most of it is to do with education generally, and family civics specifically.
Few regular readers of this blog need reminding that I think pc in almost all its forms is a gigantic pain in the backside: it invites adherents to accept bad science, and nurtures the fascist element in every controlling ideology: I believe, I’m right, you’re wrong and you’re a moron for being so wrong.
But it took off for a very good reason: in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the vast majority of white West Europeans were openly racist. The first time I saw Stevie Wonder live in a Manchester club, a bloke nearby at the bar asked his mate “who this coon is we’ve come to see”. His mate replied “he’s a darkie keyboard player and he’s blind”. “Well ‘e’ll be no fucking good” the first one replied, “I’m goin’ to get me money back”. They laughed, and a third bloke cut in, “will if nowt else, ‘e can tune the fuckin’ pianer”.
Funny, but nasty. Funny today because it sounds so crass. But all of us have that wariness of what lies beyond the tribe. So in came the Race Relations Act. Over the years, education about social sensitivity – effectively, early pc – made a huge difference to attitudes.
But then the Act became, variously, an industry, a scam and an abuse of free speech. Worst of all, for some ethnicities it became an excuse – even a demand. Employers, police and even juries became less likely to fire, arrest or convict.
So we have gone from one extreme to another….and in my view, we still haven’t cracked the problem of how to get citizens of all ethnicities and cultures to accept that, with the power of equality comes responsibility.
Worst of all, the gulf between resentful older whites and young radical/Left robotic anti-racists is wider than it was when we started.
For decades, the police were clueless about how to deal with paedophiles. They knew perfectly well that over three-quarters of it was in the family. And they also knew that in its most developed form, it bred serial killing.
Far worse than that, however, they knew that in certain cultures and professions, it was an easy hiding place for perpetrators. But they turned a blind eye – for reasons that ranged from misguided pc to the ‘unmentionable’ nature of the crime. Worthy investigators – some of them bloggers – began to unearth the more creepy hiding places available. For three years, on and off, I ran several posts myself about inner city failing cultures where there was, without question, a trafficking industry in damaged kids – notably, Plymouth, Bristol, Rotherham, and Stafford.
This centred around the Secret Family Courts, but it was the socio-cultural failure in those areas that had created the traffic in the first place. In a nutshell, family life had crumbled, but there was no genuine community to come to its aid: there was only Big State, and loopy psychiatric ‘expert opinion’ ripping kids out of families to be buggered in the Care system.
Some shrinks did this for money, some because they too had allowed correct attitudes to overrule sound behavioural science.
The real problem started when the tabloids got hold of the theme and created mobs running around in all directions seeing ‘sickos’ everywhere. This simply wasn’t so, but the more conniving elements among Care system residents realised that inventing sexual abuse stories could be a very fat meal ticket. Self-defined ‘investigative journalists’ like Mark Williams-Thomas built a career on ‘flushing out’ people being smeared as ‘paedos’.
After that, the entire subject became a madhouse: Labour ordered the screening of 13 million people, and for its own reasons the unholy alliance between the Met Police and Newscorp began to take the BBC apart as a den of iniquity.
What got lost along the way was first, understanding what a core paedophile actually is and does; and second, how rare the actual incidence of them is. But in this broo-haha, entirely innocent men from a more gropey era had their lives smashed to pieces, while others with zero history of child or under-age abuse were mercilessly condemned in a mass Trial by Tabloid. In the end, rank bad journalism from the BBC over the McAlpine accusations sealed its fate: in my view, it has never recovered….and was easy meat when the corporate State of Camerlot began its sleazy infiltration of the organisation.
Now, at the end of all this – as I predicted 18 months ago – Sir Cliff Richard is having a damn good bash at levelling the playing field again. But the sexual blur between paedophile >> abuser >> rapist remains blurred….and this is exactly how the vixen wing of man-hating feminism likes it.
This was what did for Ched Evans in the first Aberwrstwyth trial. It also banged up Stuart Hall, Rolf Harris and many less well known victims. Yet the treatment of women by society and the Law was an entirely worthy place to start. The desire to obliterate racism ticked the same box. And after the Soham murders, there was well-based concern about the safety of our children.
But the outcome has been, in every instance, a bitter war between irrevocably opposed positions.
Paternal rights of access to their kids in particular – and divorce law in general – has suffered the same fate. Women were marital chattels with no rights a century ago. A total of fifteen key laws in the following decades wiped that slavery out. But then the Sisters who’d gone into Law decided it wasn’t enough….and equally, their male counterparts saw rich pickings in making a ‘settlement’ as ‘fair’ (aka as complicated) as possible. When you’re paid £150 an hour, complicated is good.
What we have seen is some ludicrous awards to women (often where the couple have no children) and an increase in the ambulance-chasing expectations raised by divorce law ‘specialists’. The last time I raised the issue at a supper party was four years ago, and it really will be the last time I do it: the resultant debate didn’t so much break the ice as most of the crockery.
And so on to economic models and political divisions.
Immediately after the Second World War, Britain got a much-needed dose of legalised egalitarianism. Both in the UK and the US, essentially FDR-style mixed economies flourished, and the labour rights of employees were largely accepted.
But then trade unions became too big for their boots, and incredibly undemocratic: yet another idea with an excellent starting point ruined by the priests who came later.
The Labour hegemony of the time failed to listen to the national mood on both sides of the Pond. It led to Reagan, then Thatcher. The entirely sound idea was to free up the more entrepreneurial growth end of the economy and “burn miles of red tape”. So popular (albeit brainlessly populist) was this formula, both the US Democrats and British Labour had to wheel out psychopathic actors like Clinton and Blair.
The resultant neocon model that is the Western world’s norm these days is not only eating its own heart – consumption growth – without anaesthetic at a terrifying rate: it has also encouraged the ‘No Turning Back’ nutters of Camerlot and the Mayflower.
What started as laudable socialism and developed into mixed-economy social balance lurched headlong into laissez-faire. Today, the Labour Party has lurched back into IS-style hardline socialism. Yet again, two armies of hatred face each other.
The desire for more sovereign and economic independence for the UK within the European Union began in the late 1980s, when it became clear to some Brits that the corruption, waste and federalising instincts of Brussels were beginning to show that Ted Heath had either lied to the People about the European Community…or been misled by them. (Heath too, as it happens, has been the source of constant rumour about having been a paedophile. He was not: he was a homosexual whose leanings were largely repressed).
What began as UKip culminated in a referendum forced upon David Cameron by his own right wingers. The result – a narrow decision in favour of Brexit – was marred by three things: the murder of Jo Cox, the incessant, stereophonic lying on both sides, and the Remaindeer reactions to those things plus the outcome.
In 1975, there was a substantial majority to stay in the EEC. I was part of it. I wanted a community dependent on each other and thus unable to even countenance the idea of military conflict.
But like a trade union on a larger scale, gaining more power merely fed the appetite of the federal extremists in the EU. Yet again, the later priests destroyed the ideal most citizens wanted – even though it was obvious that Delors had only ever had one aim: a United States of Europe.
Since 2008, the EU has been an agent of division, and a nurturer of political extremism. Now this has arrived in Britain. Here too, every political division has been soundbitten and tabloidised, and Brexit plus its aftermath have shown this to an at times hilarious degree:
An idealism about Peace and a genuine concern about the direction being taken by Brussels-am-Berlin have, in just forty years, turned European and UK politics into the sort of anarchic bile-spitting not seen anywhere since the mid 1930s.
You may wonder by now how we got from Ched Evans to Brexit. But for me, the commonality is clear: the adoption of good ideas by ideological power-freaks will always result in lurches, perversions, and serious conflict.
I’ve written this before, but it bears repetition:
Philosophy investigating new possibilities opens the mind, and opens doors. Ideology recycling old catechisms closes minds, and closes ranks.
To offer some summations from the examples I’ve given today,
+ If Europe would drop the federal ideal, reform the commission to increase direct democracy and revert to being an economic community, I would vote to be part of it
+ If divorce law takes into account the net worth each partner brings to the table, then beyond child support that should be what they take away
+ If England would take the monetary donor support model out of politics entirely, I think we would rapidly see new Parties staffed by those with better, ideologically-free, ideas
+ Perhaps the requirement for both genders is to give far more respect to – and put greater investment into – the raising of children. This is not about role-reversion, it is about having a healthier, more balanced life
+ I think serious women should give more thought to whether they can really enjoy the freedom to be a slut (in the contemporary use of that word) as well as freedom from unwanted sexual attentions of an abusive nature. Some men are crap, some women are greedy, and they are not going to change. Get over it
+ All citizens of soi-disant democracies should investigate a more radical separation of the media, policing, political, judicial and health communities. (I’m talking mutualisation where appropriate, not privatisation)
+ Stronger communities, more balanced families and more socially/civically eclectic education will increase constructive consensus, as well as training all individuals to think for themselves.
+ Reform and regulation of a great many legal and accountancy practices is now long overdue. If nothing else, I suspect a good 75% of Western electorates would now accept that companies and citizens must contribute to the running costs of a community according to their ability (and duty) so to do. Trickle down wealth and ‘no such thing as society’ are just bullshit, and should be binned
+ Let us never forget that the raw material we’re dealing with here is a species whose average brain is far too big and brutal. A few decades of mores do not equal a rewiring job. That is just rank bad science.
Ideologies produce extremes. Extremes hinder science and offer bad policy options to make their sick ideology feel better. Bad science produces injustice and conflict that exacerbates social division.
This inevitable process put Ched Evans in jail, still leaves Rolf Harris in jail, has left 1950s born female State pension facing destitution, elected a popular minority government using mad economics and bad maths to pauperise those outside the élite, split the Labour Party, and set British citizens against each other in a manner that makes real resistance to corporatism almost impossible.
It is important on the individual, community and State levels. That’s why the Ched Evans case has captured the attention of the British: they sensed that the verdict was wrong. That’s why Brexit became such a divisive issue: both sides knew that Britain and the EU are both basket cases….but the ideological chasm led both sides to deny it.
We will never make a level playing field as long as both teams contain nothing but Homo sapiens. Pragmatism and philosophy should now be applied to the best Benthamite approximation of ‘level’ – not tired ideology that insists on the voyage to perfection.
There is no perfection because we are nothing special. Ultimately, we should all stay long in humility, while accepting that – as the 3% will only take advantage of that – they need to be stopped by those with community values in their heart and soul.