Friday, May 31, 2013

Another Day another Rape apology

This time it's Anne Diamond writing in her Local magazine Berkshire Life where (According to the Daily Mail who is first on the scene with the news) she says

Are we dealing with misjudged slap and tickle with a groupie in a dressing room 30 years ago or a more sinister crime? Are we talking about an annoying penchant for fumbling and groping – almost an accepted form of behaviour in a bygone age – or the cynical sexual exploitation of young girls and boys?' and adds 'And what exactly is a youngster when it comes to showbusiness? I’ve seen many young “ladies” dressed to kill, hovering outside stage doors, keen to force themselves on actors and pop stars.’ 


I am not sure if she is talking about Stuart Hall who admitted 14 assaults, including that of a 9 year old, or maybe she is just casually forgetting his guilt? 



Anne Diamond has a regular show on BBC Radio Berkshire which is billed as 'real lives and compelling stories with a human touch'. Is this the human touch they mean? The one that makes apologies for rapists and blames victims? Perhaps because Anne Diamond has worked with several of the people who have been questioned as a result of operation Yewtree she can't believe that they could do these things. Isn't that the case though with a lot of sexual predators - they hide behind their celebrity or their likableness and no one knows what they are like because being a rapist or an abuser isn't something you boast about.

The BBC is currently in the throes of a respect at work review to tackle bullying in the workplace. They may well be advised to take this further and educate all staff, particularly those who are the mouth pieces of the corporation, about the damage of victim blaming and rape apology. 

I love the BBC, I really do. I would not want to speak badly of the corporation but they should not be letting go these chances to make a real statement about the damage these apologists can do. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Going 'public'

So yesterday my blog became part of the Mumsnet blog network. I hardly know what this means other than I sent a link to my blog to mumsnet and asked 'can I be part of your blog network please' and that given my blogging history this could be the most stupid thing I have ever done.

 I used to blog on MySpace (well someone had to) long before Facebook became the fashion, indeed I remember a time when I was all 'pffft, Facebook?, like that's ever going to take off'.  I used my MySpace blog to rant and rave, much of it was about people I didn't really know from a forum I spent too much time on. Long story short my blog got read and distributed and crazy drama ensued. Looking back at it now it all seems very ridiculous and clearly I didn't learn anything from it becuase a similar thing happened to me on Mumsnet a few years later - someone read comments, passed them on, big family fall-out ... yadda yadda - YAWN.


This blog has been quite heavily edited as a result which is a shame because I used it to let go of a lot of angst and bitterness I felt when going through my 'unexplained infertility' diagnosis and then the IVF. Clearly when you are unable to have a baby and every person around you is popping them out there's a lot going on in your head that you really can't say out loud. So I might have written some judgemental or rude things about people along the way. I have tried really hard to find them and edit them or at least take out real names. I have also tried to keep in the stuff that I think is important to say. There are some blogs I have taken out completely because of that time my husband searched for my blog and thought I just used it to moan about family relationships.


Mumsnet have sent me a long email telling me what I have to do next, something about twitter and badges (I think I have done that bit) and surveys and profile pictures. I have no idea how much traffic this is going to generate for the blog, nor how much trouble it's going to get me in, but hopefully someone will read it and maybe someone will like it; if anything I hope the fertility and IVF stuff is useful to anyone going through it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

little savages

A very recent conversation with a facebook friend prompted me to do some research on the psychological damage I might be doing to my son by putting him into childcare. I have to say that now he has been in childcare for over a year I am pretty much immune to criticisms about it; I know the childcare we have is good and that we are luckier than many others who do not have the choices we do and I have had pretty much every argument possible about being a working parent. I respect other people's choice to stay at home with their children, however when people state that my choice to work full time is going to fuck up my child's head it cuts deeply so the only sensible thing to do is try to have a look at if and how I can minimise this damage, or even find out if what they are saying is correct. I want what is best for my family and clearly I don't want to be storing up problems for my child.

So I googled 'Childcare' and 'Psychological damaging' and a Daily Mail article came up titled Long days at nursery or childminders raising generation of school-tearaways. 'Hmmm' I thought. 'Daily Mail - 'Nuff Said'. I am pretty sure my friend, who incidentally IS a childminder, won't have taken notice of a Daily Mail twist. So I continued my search and came across Doubts over childcare 'expert' feted by Tories in the Observer. 'Hmmm' I thought 'The Observer, my choice of Newspaper but I am bright enough to understand there's always bias whatever paper you read'.


However... Reading on it does become clear that the so called expert is no expert at all and the studies he cites have not found a link between working parents and childhood mental health, in fact they specifically looked at these issues and found no link.


Still... I hear over and over that it has been proven that childcare out of the home is damaging for mental health. So I worry - even if I am the most excellent parent I can be (and I do try) in the time I spend with my son, what if his being in a nursery for 4 days a week is leaving him damaged and broken? Should I give up my job and stay at home with him until he goes to school? Are there ever any cases where children actually gain more from their childcare provider than they would at home?


I am a mother of one with a fairly supportive husband (I say fairly - I think generally we do well though I do a lot of the 'wife work') and an average job that pays less than an average wage. Our childcare bill is about 25% of our combined wage though I do have the benefit of a salary sacrifice scheme which saves us a bit. Our son is in a nursery less than a five minute work from my workplace. Both our salaries are less than the national average but to lose one salary (By me giving up work) would mean that we would not be able to afford to pay all our bills and feed ourselves. By both working we have enough to cover all that and a bit extra. We don't do fancy holidays (MIL lives in Spain so we go there sometimes) and we both drive cars that have had several owners. I don't buy fancy clothes. The basic fact is I don't want to stop working, I like working and I like being financially independent.


So I have found this piece which is American but in some ways hopeful, at least for those of us with quality childcare.  And that is the crux of the matter, isn't it? It's the quality that matters and this applies to parenting as well as to paid childcare. Just as I wouldn't want my childcare provider to dismiss my son's feelings I wouldn't want to parent in a way that rode rough-shod over his emotional wellbeing.  There are many parents who just don't care either way.


Yesterday I took my son to a park near my house. We live in a fairly deprived area and this park is set in a square surrounded by housing association houses. In the short time I was there I witnessed a teenage boy being flung out of a frontdoor into the rain with no shoes while an adult told him to 'fuck off'. I was poised to step in if it became violent, other people stood and gawped. After a while he was given his shoes and then shortly after that he was let back into the house. That is the kind of parenting that causes children to have mental health issues, that causes real damage. Imagine growing up being treated like that year after year. Yet it would be wrong of me to assume that this kind of thing was going on in every one of those houses or that this was happening all day and every day to that child, it was just a snap-shot. Being poor and deprived doesn't necessarily make you a bad parent, putting your child into some kind of day-care setting doesn't mean you are damaging your child. Everything is relative and so many factors come into play when raising children. I hope I never throw my son out into the rain with no shoes; I hope I make better parenting decisions than that. I hope that other people can see through the headlines and realise that childcare decisions aren't always made on a whim.


I am doing the best I can for my son in the circumstances. He is very lucky to go to a nursery near my work that is full of lovely middle class children and has a low staff turn-over. He spends one day a week with my mum and has a very close relationship with her. He has a happy mum and dad that he sleeps with every night, he is still breastfed and he is listened to. We don't shout at him or hit him or isolate him. I hope that any mental health damage that is done by the lovely people who care for him while I work is un-done by the love and respect we give him every day. It's all I can do.

Co-sleeping

I co-sleep. My son is two and four months and we have slept in the same bed since he was ten days old. We would have done it from day one but he was in special care so the first time he slept with me and my husband was the night before we left hospital. It was the first time he got all his feeds from my breast; up to then I had expressed so he could have my milk from a bottle and I fed him from the breast whenever I was able. When we emerged from the family room the day we took him home the nurses commented on how we hadn't needed to ask for a bottle during the night. We didn't tell them that rathe than put him in the crib they provided we had him in the bed with us where he could feed whenever he wanted. When we got home me and the baby went to bed and that's where we were when midwife arrived to man-handle my breasts and give me bad advice about breastfeeding. Fortunately we saw a much better midwife later in the week and our breastfeeding journey continued without incident. Within a week we had stopped giving him bottles and he still breasfeeds now.

I am 100% sure that our breastfeeding journey was so successful because we co-slept from the start and I am also certain that the lack of bond I felt when he was in a crib in the special care unit was significantly improved by lying skin to skin in our big comfortable bed.

The re-hash of old research that has been released this week makes it sound like babies who co-sleep are going to die. The reality is that some babies will die whatever you do, some babies will not. Co-sleeping can be done safely and scare tactics like this just infuriate me, particularly when they make the risks sound much higher than they really are.

UNICEF explain it so much better than I can.








Saturday, May 25, 2013

Crimewatch creator Nick Ross admits he would not be able to stop himself raping a woman

Or at least he seems to suggest that there can be aggravating circumstances that make men rape. Yes, here we go again folks - another voice comparing women to stolen laptops, cars and wallets and trying to blame them for being too drunk, too under dressed, too free with their movements. Women you say, on the streets, doing everyday things, just walking about? Asking for it.

I read This article in the Daily Mail (sorry) today and was rendered speechless for a long time, then I got angry - really fucking angry. I am angry because the implication is that as a woman I should expect to live in a society where I will be raped just because I am a woman, just because I am exercising my right to walk from one place to another, just because I drink alcohol, just because I am not covered in all the 'right' places and because input myself in the wrong place. Just because I have a vagina.

And then, after I am raped I am expected to have a long think about my actions and decide if perhaps I wasn't really raped because possibly something I did made me get raped, and perhaps expecting to be taken seriously in court is not the best way to seek justice. Perhaps it was not 'proper rape' particularly not if I was drinking and definitely not if I was friendly or nice to the rapist at any point and again not if he wasn't particularly violent about it. Because we all know that putting a penis into an unwilling vagina is not always a violent or aggressive act, right?

I am insulted on behalf of all the men who do not rape, who would never rape. The men who can be around very drunk people and not for one second see it as an opportunity (or and invite) to rape. All the men who pass people in the street who are showing their legs and don't think about raping them. All the men who would help someone in distress rather than hurt them.

I think Nick Ross is a prick. I hope he never works again. I hope someone finds a way to educate him, fast, because he is a very damaging stupid man.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Smoker kate Garraway tells women to be aware of fertility drop

Apparently Kate Garroway didn't mind being made up to look like a pregnant seventy year old because she thinks it will help women be more aware that fertility dips as you get older. No, really.
here she is in the campaign photo for GetBritainFertile which wants women to think about having children eralier rather than when they have run out of the energy needed to run around after the kids.
 

GetBritainFertile is a campaign by the pregnancy test manufacturer first response and the poster is fueled by the kind of misogyny we see in women hating press like the Daily Mail. Although first response claim this is a campaign aimed at men and women there is no corresponding male poster and from what I can gather the questions they asked on the yougove poll (which annoyingly I can't find) were geared towards asking people how they felt about older motherhood, not older parenthood. Apparently 70% of over 55 year olds who were questioned "opposed and [are] uncomfortable with the idea of women having babies at 40".  Apparently it's the increased risk of health problems for mother and child that makes them uncomfortable, yet statistically these risks are still small.

Ms Garraway has been interviewed several times by the Daily Mail in recent years, mostly talking about having kids as an older woman. In her most recent she says
‘I had my second child at 42 and never questioned at the time that it might be too old’ she says. ‘But I do look back now and realise that leaving pregnancy late can be a risky bet as diminishing fertility can stack the odds against you. 'That’s why I agreed to become Ambassador to the campaign - I want to alert women to start thinking about their fertility at a younger age than our generation did. They should get prepared and make informed choices early so there is no chance of sleepwalking into infertility.’

Previously she has talked about wanting four children, then just wanting a third, then the realisation that her fertility had dwindled making another one almost impossible. I can't help but wonder if her regret at not starting a family earlier has somehow powered this drive to educate feckless career women? She claims to have empathy for those who are unable to conceive without help yet clearly she was able to fall pregnant fairly easily, twice. So now she has fallen into that trap of wanting to tell other women to get a move on, to not leave it too late. ... and all because she was unable to have a third child at 45? Maybe her intentions are good but no one wants a mother of two children lecturing them on how hard it is to get pregnant.

I absolutely agree that it is worth being aware of fertility and how age can effect it, my own story of 'unexplained infertility' and IVF shows that it is not always easy to get pregnant when you are older. However I don't think this kind of poster sends out a positive message, it just screams out that 40+ mothers are old and knackered and bad. Of course no one is asking Kate Garroway how she felt her smoking before and during pregnancy might have effected her fertility and the health of her children.






Here's a blog about it.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Don't complain, I could have raped you instead.

How would I feel about my son or my husband if they spent parts of the day putting their hands up women's skirts or fondling their breasts - uninvited and unwelcomed? Would I think 'oh well, it's just what men are like' or 'the women probably dressed in a way that meant he couldn't help himself'. If I had a daughter would I want them to have to walk around in streets where it is just accepted that unwanted violation of their bodies is normal behaviour and that most likely they have brought it on themselves because of the way they are dressed? Would anyone? If I raise my son to have respect for other people's personal space does that mean I am on a moral crusade? Has the world actually gone mad?


People talk about the actions of men in the 60s and 70s and say 'it was just the norm back then' and expect everyone to be forgiving and understanding about the fact that women and girls were regularly molested, as if no one ever minded or cared back then. Well the women and the girls did mind, they just weren't taken seriously. They were expected to take it as some kind of joke, a bit of horse-play, just a bit of fun. Women back then knew that no one would take them seriously, infact the Jimmy Savile case has shown that no one took them seriously at all.   This isn't about rape being more serious than groping - that's just a red herring used by rape apologists to allow men the freedom to keep on sexually assaulting women. This is about unwanted violation of a person's body. It is about men (because this is what we are talking about here - men fondling breasts) thinking that they have a right to touch, hold, grab, jiggle about any body part attached to any female if they damn well please. It's about teaching women that they don't have any right to their own personal space, that they are just a piece of meat that can be poked and prodded and touched and that complaining will fall on deaf ears. No one is going to help you or understand you or support you or believe you because you are not worth it. This is about telling women that the way they present themselves is going to determine if they are violated and that they should put up and shut up because there are far worse things. In other words don't complain about a bit of fondling when I could have raped you instead. Women are supposed to be grateful that they haven't been raped, they have only been sexually assaulted. 

 It's also a massive insult to men. It tells women that men have no self-control, they don't need to have any respect for other people, they can take what they want when they want it and anyone who complains is just being a shrieking PC lunatic who is making a mountain out of a mole-hill. It tells women that they have no right to their own personal space, that any man who chooses can touch them and not expect to be reprimanded in any way. None of the men I know think it is acceptable to violate another person, none of the women I know think they should just accept that they will be touched by strangers if they go outside.

I have a son, I want him to grow up knowing that making another person feel uncomfortable or violated by touching them inappropriately is not the a good way to behave. I don't want my niece to grow up having to accept that whenever she walks out of the house (or even when she stays inside) she will have to sweetly put up with men touching her because they feel they are entitled to. I don't know anyone who would go on national Radio and suggest that it's OK to fondle 9 year old girls, that it's just a bit of fun and those children should just accept it as such. That's what 'comedian' Kate Copstick said today on The Jeremy Vine show. Presumably she is just a rent-a-mouth who is more concerned about increasing her media profile than talking sense but i am shocked that someone would say such a thing.

Why Barbarah Hewson has lost touch with reality

this by Barbara Hewson has made me so angry.

Here's why:

"I do not support the persecution of old men. The manipulation of the rule of law by the Savile Inquisition – otherwise known as Operation Yewtree – and its attendant zealots poses a far graver threat to society than anything Jimmy Savile ever did."

What does age have to do with anything? Everyone gets old, does being old mean that you should no longer be responsible for the crimes you have committed? Jimmy Savile is dead, he never got to pay for his crimes - YES... CRIMES, because that's what they were and he would have known it. Having sex with someone, mollesting someone, doing something to someone against their will is a crime. Having sex with someone beneath the age of consent, even when consent is clearly given, is a crime.

"Now even a deputy speaker of the House of Commons is accused of male rape. This is an unfortunate consequence of the present mania for policing all aspects of personal life under the mantra of ‘child protection’".


Neither you nor I know if he is guilty but every victim should feel that they are able to seek legal justice and every person accused should be given the opportunity to prove their innocence. Your job is not to speculate on if someone is likely to have broken the law, it is to prove or disprove.

"We have been here before. England has a long history of do-gooders seeking to stamp out their version of sexual misconduct by force of the criminal law. In the eighteenth century, the quaintly named Society for the Reformation of Manners funded prosecutions of brothels, playwrights and gay men."


Oh those terrible Do-Gooders, going about the place doing good. How dare they. We are not talking about Oscar Wilde here! Comparing outdated laws against homosexuality, which have since rightly been changed, to perfectly reasonable sexual consent laws is just stupid.

In the 1880s, the Social Purity movement repeatedly tried to increase the age of consent for girls from 13 to 16, despite parliament’s resistance. At that time, puberty for girls was at age 15 (now it is 10). The movement’s supporters portrayed women as fragile creatures needing protection from men’s animal impulses. Their efforts were finally rewarded after the maverick editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, WT Stead, set up his own secret commission to expose the sins of those in high places.

After procuring a 13-year-old girl, Stead ran a lurid exposé of the sex industry, memorably entitled ‘The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon’. His voyeuristic accounts under such titles as ‘Strapping girls down’ and ‘Why the cries of the victims are not heard’ electrified the Victorian public. The ensuing moral panic resulted in the age of consent being raised in 1885, as well as the criminalisation of gross indecency between men.

The Social purity movement was flawed because of religion and religious morality. However they were right to suggest that the age of consent was far too low. You are mixing up women and children here. Some children of 10 may have hit puberty but not all will and even those who have are unlikely to be mature enough to give informed consent regarding their bodies and sexuality. This is why the age of consent should remain at 16 - there are too many variables to support a drop to 13. The Social purity movement resulted in a lot of debate about prostitution and sexual exploitation which was much needed. Anyone who is forced into something is in a fragile position and though some feminists might believe that prostitution should be a viable economic choice for women it predominantly involves the exploitation of women. Of course women need to be protected by the law. Children need to be protected by law. People need to be protected by law.

"By contrast, the goings-on at the BBC in past decades are not a patch on what Stead exposed. Taking girls to one’s dressing room, bottom pinching and groping in cars hardly rank in the annals of depravity with flogging and rape in padded rooms. Yet the Victorian narrative of innocents despoiled by nasty men endures."

This is not about the BBC. This is not about comparing terrible abuses. If a person feels that they have been violated then they have a right to seek justice where the law has been broken. I do not want to live in a society that thinks I am a piece of meat that can be manhandled every time I step outside my door, or even behind closed doors. Why would anyone think this is an acceptable way for me to have to live? I don't want to be groped in cars, I don't want my bottom pinched. Who in their right mind would promote this as an acceptable way to treat people or stand by and idly let it continue?


What is strikingly different today is how Britain’s law-enforcement apparatus has been infiltrated by moral crusaders, like the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). Both groups take part in Operation Yewtree, which looks into alleged offences both by and not by Savile.

Expecting women to be able to go about their daily lives without being touched up, manhandled, violated, raped and sexually abused is not a moral crusade. As a mother I will be teaching my son not to touch up, manhandle, violate, rape or sexually abuse women. Does that mean I am on a moral crusade? Thank goodness for organisations like the NSPCC who help children who are being violated, why would someone not want these children to be helped?

These pressure groups have a vested interest in universalising the notion of abuse, making it almost as prevalent as original sin, but with the modern complication that it carries no possibility of redemption, only ‘survival’. The problem with this approach is that it makes abuse banal, and reduces the sympathy that we should feel for victims of really serious assaults (1).

Just because you are unable to feel sympathy for victims of abuse doesn't mean that others don't. It is precisely because of people like you that we NEED these pressure groups. We need to fight people like you who want to normalise abuse, who appear to want to allow people the right to violate other people's bodies and to take what isn't theirs. Suggesting that they seek to expose abuse only so they can keep going as an organisation is just ridiculous.

But the most remarkable facet of the Savile scandal is how adult complainants are invited to act like children. Hence we have witnessed the strange spectacle of mature adults calling a children’s charity to complain about the distant past.

Seriously? You think that crimes have a shelf-life? That people should just get over whatever abuses they have suffered? Just pull themselves together and allow their abusers to get off scott free not to mention that they will probably continue to abuse other people just like Savile did? If anything - when victims are seen to be taken seriously it encourages other victims to speak up.

The NSPCC and the Metropolitan Police Force a joint report into Savile’s alleged offending in January 2013, called Giving Victims a Voice. It states: ‘The volume of the allegations that have been made, most of them dating back many years, has made this an unusual and complex inquiry. On the whole victims are not known to each other [sic] and taken together their accounts paint a compelling picture of widespread sexual abuse by a predatory sex offender. We are therefore referring to them as “victims” rather than “complainants” and are not presenting the evidence they have provided as unproven allegations [italics added].’ The report also states that ‘more work still needs to be done to ensure that the vulnerable feel that the scales of justice have been rebalanced’.
Note how the police and NSPCC assume the roles of judge and jury. What neither acknowledges is that this national trawl for historical victims was an open invitation to all manner of folk to reinterpret their experience of the past as one of victimisation (2).

Jimmy savile is dead. None of the victims are going to ever see proper justice handed out to their abuser, he was able to get away with crimes for so many years because his victims did not think they would be believed. Now we are taking victims more seriously it is more likely that other victims will speak up earlier and sexual predators like Savile will be stopped. Of course more work needs to be done so that victims of all abuses can feel like they will be taken seriously rather than automatically assumed to be making it up.

The acute problems of proof which stale allegations entail also generates a demand that criminal courts should afford accusers therapy, by giving them ‘a voice’. This function is far removed from the courts’ traditional role, in which the state must prove defendants guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Victims should be believed and supported. The accused should be given the opportunity to prove their innocence. At the moment so few rape and sexual abuse cases even reach court in the first place.

What this infantilising of adult complainants ultimately requires is that we re-model our criminal-justice system on child-welfare courts. These courts (as I have written in spiked previously) have for some decades now applied a model of therapeutic jurisprudence, in which ‘the best interests of the child’ are paramount.
It is depressing, but true, that many reforms introduced in the name of child protection involve sweeping attacks on fundamental Anglo-American legal rights and safeguards, such as the presumption of innocence. This has ominous consequences for the rule of law, as US judge Arthur Christean pointed out: ‘Therapeutic jurisprudence marks a major and in many ways a truly radical shift in the historic function of courts of law and the basic purpose for which they have been established under our form of government. It also marks a fundamental shift in judges’ loyalty away from principles of due process and toward particular social policies. These policies are less concerned with judicial impartiality and fair hearings and more concerned with achieving particular results…’

Oh bollox - take a look at the figures for how many rape and sexual assault cases actually make it to court, then take a look at how many accused rapists are actually found guilty and then tell me that judges are attempting to achieve particular results. Aside from that, when Arthur Christean was writing about Therapeutic jurisprudence he applies it to the accused NOT the victim. That the accused is given support and help to change their behaviour. In an ideal legal system the victim would receive help and the guilty person would be rehabilitated.

The therapeutic model has certain analogies with a Soviet-style conception of justice, which emphasises outcomes over processes. It’s not difficult, then, to see why some celebrity elderly defendants, thrust into the glare of hostile publicity, including Dalek-style utterances from the police (‘offenders have nowhere to hide’), may conclude that resistance is useless. But the low-level misdemeanours with which Stuart Hall was charged are nothing like serious crime..

Stuart Hall admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls, aged from 9 to 17. These are not serious crimes? Wow, thanks for that. Oh and guess which crime got to lie on file? Yes - the rape charge.

Touching a 17-year-old’s breast, kissing a 13-year-old, or putting one’s hand up a 16-year-old’s skirt, are not remotely comparable to the horrors of the Ealing Vicarage assaults and gang rape, or the Fordingbridge gang rape and murders, both dating from 1986. Anyone suggesting otherwise has lost touch with reality.

Robbing an old lady of her pension in the street is in no way comparable to the great train robbery either but one would hope that the person robbing the old lady would be given some kind of punishment if found guilty or if they admitted their guilt. The only reason you mention the Ealing Vicarage rape is because the victim was a virgin and the daughter of a vicar, and there you were complaining just a few minutes ago about moral crusades. And anyway - why are you getting your knickers in a twist about crimes from 1986? Don't you know that was 27 years ago? I am sure the victims are over it by now - do stop persecuting their assailants!

Ordinarily, Hall’s misdemeanors would not be prosecuted, and certainly not decades after the event. What we have here is the manipulation of the British criminal-justice system to produce scapegoats on demand. It is a grotesque spectacle.

Ordinarily you say, well isn't it good that what we view as ordinary is changing so that victims can feel that they are being taken seriously? A scapegoat for who? Can you scapegoat yourself? Stuart Hall knew what he did was wrong, he entered guilty pleas. Are you suggesting that after his guilty plea the judge should just let him off because he's old? Don't worry - I am pretty sure that's going to happen anyway.

It’s interesting that two complainants who waived anonymity have told how they rebuffed Hall’s advances. That is, they dealt with it at the time. Re-framing such experiences, as one solicitor did, as a ‘horrible personal tragedy’ is ironic, given that tragoidia means the fall of an honourable, worthy and important protagonist.

So you are saying that they said 'no' but he carried on anyway and that's 'dealing with it'? In my eyes it makes it so much worse. And stop being silly about the semantics.


It’s time to end this prurient charade, which has nothing to do with justice or the public interest. Adults and law-enforcement agencies must stop fetishising victimhood. Instead, we should focus on arming today’s youngsters with the savoir-faire and social skills to avoid drifting into compromising situations, and prosecute modern crime. As for law reform, now regrettably necessary, my recommendations are: remove complainant anonymity; introduce a strict statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions and civil actions; and reduce the age of consent to 13.

Ah ha! Here it is. Silly me, we must stop people from being victims, tell them to modify their behaviour so they don't get attacked because it's their fault if they do, right? And on top of that you think lowering the age of consent to 13 will mean that fewer poor old men will be persecuted because their victims will be over the age of consent so it won't matter so much, even if they have said 'no'?

You are an idiot.