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Saturday, 21 May 2011

Privacy, the law and moral turpitude

Many years ago an outraged acquaintance who had bought ¼ oz of what had been sold as cannabis resin but was probably in reality an Oxo cube asked whether he could take action in the County Court to recover his money. No lawyer I, but I knew full well that English law of contract or tort provided no protection for those who came to law with other than 'clean hands'. Thus not only drug deals but gambling debts were not contracts recognised by the legal system. Neither may a prostitute go to court to recover a bilked fee, though the 'shoplifter' may face criminal charges instead. English law has always been based on moral absolutes. Strictly speaking, the doctrine of 'clean hands' applies specifically to those who seek equitable reliefs but it's a good phrase as shorthand for Ex turpi causa non oritur actio or 'from a dishonourable cause an action does not arise'. 

It was in 1775 that Lord Mansfield set out the doctrine that governed English civil law; "The principle of public policy is this; ex dolo malo non oritur actio. No court will lend its aid to a man who founds his cause of action upon an immoral or an illegal act. If, from the plaintiff's own standing or otherwise, the cause of action appears to arise ex turpi causa, or the transgression of a positive law of this country, there the court says he has no right to be assisted."

However, between the eighteenth and the twenty-first century has arisen in England a moral relativism that not only permits but protects in some cases what we used to term moral turpitude. If we permit inverts to marry, how can we deny civil justice to adulterers? If buggery is legal, why not the moving images that depict it? And since buying sex is not illegal, why should the law not extend its shield to soccer players spit-roasting whores or rent boys in their hotel rooms? And so we have a stampede to law by the wicked, the depraved, the morally corrupt, the sleazy, the odious and the despicable all demanding the full force of law in protection of their flagrant immorality. 

This is a gross abuse of law. In large part it has arisen from the Human Rights Act passed by Labour in 1998, but also from the intellectual weakness of our senior judiciary; the most distinguished of the realm's legal minds are collectively more bereft of talent now than for generations past. There's a mass of difference between a liberal society turning a blind eye to deviant or perverted behaviour and such behaviour being protected by law, a difference recognised instinctively by readers of the 'Sun' but not by the Master of the Rolls. 

The law must change, and must change backwards. The shield of the injunction and the superinjunction must be available only to those who come to the law with clean hands. No longer must the depraved, the unnatural wantons, the perverts, the degenerates and the low, mean scrapings of the moral universe be able to gag comment, reporting or discussion of their turpitude by buying law. 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Clarke, date rape and unlawful carnal knowledge, and DSK

Having read the transcript of Clarke's unfortunate interview on R5, it's clear that much of the fury is down to a misunderstanding. Clarke was making the point that the fully consensual but unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl of 15 by a boy of 17 is classed as rape under English law. The US calls it statutory rape. He was trying to say that sentences for such cases were short, whilst sentences for violent rape were long, but because they were both the same offence, the average rape sentence appeared too short. It was a perfectly sensible point to make. His error was in terming underage carnal knowledge 'date rape'. Several times. Legions of frizzled harridans heard only Clarke saying that date rape was less serious than violent rape.  

Clarke is an amiable old dog who was trying to use common words on a channel used by common people. He was using a vocabulary not his own and got it wrong. This makes him a bit of an old buffer who needs to stick to legal language, not a ravening Atilla leading hordes of despoiling beserkers. This isn't the reason he should resign.

There are further revelations to come about DSK I think. Rapists are serial offenders, and this is because rape is not about sex but about power. Rapists are not men unable to obtain sex. Such men may deliberately target women made vulnerable by social and economic powerlessness - illegal immigrants, non-language speakers, those from cultures where the police are not allies - as being least likely to report it. I'll bet that right now the DA is quietly offering green cards to any Mexican, Haitian or Dominican women violated by DSK who now come forward, for if he is indeed a rapist then such women will have been his previous victims. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Another £500 Mr Osborne? Get stuffed.

Mr Osborne hasn't had the courtesy to tell me personally, of course, but he's just taken another £500 of my money and given it to the Portuguese banks. No doubt my hard-earned wedge will provide a decent lunch for a couple of Lisbon bankers, or buy a night in a Brussels hotel for one of them. Together with the £500 he's taken from each of five of my neighbours, we've even funded a decent suit for one of them. 

Given that the ECB is bankrupt, and every respectable financial commentator believes the Greek, and probably Portuguese and Irish governments as well, will default, making this 'loan' more of a gift, two questions are in my mind. Firstly, for how much longer will Osborne throw my money into this blatent Ponzi scheme? And secondly, how much longer will I stand for it? 

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful

I am not wealthy or well-connected nor am I powerful. Like millions of us, I'm an ordinary English yeoman who labours daily, respects the law, strives not just to avoid evil but to do good and take my social and democratic responsibilities seriously. There is scant reward on Earth, one may think, for us - but this is not quite the case.

Richard North is absolutely spot on. With a hot bath running, a clean ironed shirt and linen to don, the benison of freshly-brewed coffee and the first cigarette of the day at my side, I am fortunate indeed compared to Strauss-Kahn, who right now is lying sweating, unbathed and itchily awake in his piss-stinking Rikers Island cell fearful of the clashing noise, the flourescent glare of the always-on lights and the threats and shouts, screams and sobs of his fellow prisoners.  

Lord help me, but the knowledge that one of 'them' is getting his comeuppance fills me with cheer. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

What a crock from Cameron

"Oh God, not in the face or the balls" is the real soldier's prayer. Unfortunately, the nature of today's weapons mean that maxillofacial injuries are surprisingly common; the heat from a high velocity projectile alone is enough to melt the fat under the facial skin like wax, and the part of the body most necessarily exposed in battle is the head. 

Which is no doubt why Cameron has chosen, along with the coloured wristband and free Oyster card I predicted HERE, to announce that the British compact with its armed forces will consist of ... enhanced IVF treatment for soldiers injured in the balls.

The conversation between Liam Fox and his Mandarin must have gone something like:

"So what about a dedicated Maxillofacial injuries unit?"
"Not a good idea, Minister. Corrective surgery takes many years at huge cost. Best to lose such obligations amongst general NHS rationing"
"So what about psychiatric care? Surely we can offer that?"
"Again, Minister, an enormous cost and an open ended commitment. Definitely not recommended."
"So what enhanced medical care can we afford?"  
"IVF is a good choice, Minister. For troops who have suffered genital injuries"
"How so, Humphrey?"
"Only 36 servicemen have suffered severe genital injuries in the last two years. Most of them are unmarried. Half of the rest don't want children, so we calculate that only six will take up the IVF offer. We can do it for £100k a year." 
"Excellent work, Humphrey."

Perverting the Course of Justice

From the Crown Prosecution Service's website:

Perverting the Course of Justice
Offence: Indictable, Common Law
Relevant sentencing case law
concealing evidence - 4 months to 18 months, possibly longer if serious crime
Concealing evidence.
R v Francis-McGann [2003] 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 14.

Speed camera case. Appellant was an army captain. He phoned the police to say that the vehicle had been exported, and subsequently sent a letter to the police. Convicted after trial. Sentence of three months imprisonment upheld.

No pressure on Kier Starmer, mind you ...

The military compact

If we're really serious about granting those who face unique risks special privileges, we really don't have to invent any new ones. A military compact that

  • Provides heavily subsidised places for the children of servicemen at boarding school
  • Allows retirement from active service at 55
  • Provides a final salary pension scheme
  • Subsidises and preserves regimental and service museums
  • Maintains specialist military hospitals
  • Provides adequate aftercare for veterans

would really just be restoring the special treatments that successive Labour and Conservative governments have both had a record of dismantling. Or perhaps Dave just wants to replace real benefits with something wholly tokenistic, like a coloured wristband and a free Oyster card?

And when fools and idiots still talk about politics as a 'career' and Party HQs would still fill the House with those with absolutely no life experience beyond playing politicians, Cameron could start by guaranteeing a place on Open Primary longlists for service veterans. Or perhaps he's rather not have independent and experienced minds in place of obedient but jejune lobby fodder?

Sunday, 15 May 2011

You d i r t y old man!

So, Msr Dominique Strauss-Kahn flees his $3,000 a night hotel for the supposed security of an Air France flight, leaving, we are now told, not only his mobile phone but also a liberal splattering of what NYPD are calling his 'DNA'. Strauss-Kahn, bollock-naked and 'visibly excited' was chasing a hotel maid down a corridor, police allege. After a gross physical assault he imprisoned her in his hotel room as a presumed prelude to rape. 

Without Strauss-Kahn in next year's French Presidential contest, polls are showing the votes would be spilt about a third each between Marine Le Pen, Sarkozy and a nonentity candidate of the left. The prospect of Sarkozy being knocked out and a run off between Marine and the lefty will be getting rightist Kermits very excited tonight. Though not, one hopes, as excited as the foolish Msr Strauss-Kahn.   

A simple immigration strategy

Will Hutton in the Observer this morning struggles to defend the left's support of mass immigration against a popular and Europe-wide reaction against some immigration. Yet again, he trots out that old canard that immigration increases Europe's GDP. Yes, of course it does, but unless it also increases each nation's per capita GDP then its a negative and pointless change. 

In 2007, Channel 4 commissioned an important report from the ippr that analysed immigrants by country of origin and whether they were net contributors to or takers from the economy; in other words, whether they increased per capita GDP or decreased it. Some were clear; immigrants from the US, Australia, NZ, France, India and suchlike were positive, immigrants from Somalia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and so on were negative. Many were neutral, such as Nigeria. It isn't a conclusive document or one upon which the UK can base immigration policy - for each immigrant must be treated as an individual - but it usefully identified all the 'heads of proof' that a coherent immigration strategy needs:-

  • Is the immigrant healthy, with no pre-existing chronic medical condition?
  • Is the immigrant educated and fluent in English?
  • Will they obtain employment immediately in a occupational group for which there is a shortage of skilled or qualified Britons?
  • Are they willing and capable of integrating into a liberal Western capitalist democracy?
  • Are they capable of financially supporting all dependants, including housing, medical and educational costs?
  • Do they hold fixed and immutable beliefs that are incompatible with national security? 

If they pass these tests, the chances are that their presence in the UK will make us all marginally better off. 

Until the left come to terms with a hard-headed, nation-first approach to immigration policy based on sound economics and free of taste discrimination they will continue to flounder.