Saturday, 29 September 2018

J'Accuse



There may be ways in which Britain still influences the United States, but they are as nothing compared to the influence the United States has on us.  Few of us follow in much detail political debates in France, almost nobody could name the leader of Latvia or Slovenia. A shared language makes influence far easier. For this reason the French aren’t nearly as interested in #MeToo as the Brits, while many Eastern Europeans find the norms of Western liberalism baffling even bizarre.


Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are completely misunderstood by EU, because they didn’t have the Sixties in the way that we did. Communism meant that there was no sexual revolution. They never experienced mass immigration. Lots of people still go to Mass. To be a Hungarian is to be descended from people who have lived in Hungary for centuries. The culture of these places comes largely from themselves. They are largely immune therefore to whatever comes from America.

But in Britain we will follow on soon enough. I remember laughing at the idea of safe spaces and trigger warnings two or three years ago when I first read about campus politics in the USA, but soon enough it all began to happen here. You most likely won’t find such places in Paris and in Bratislava they would mean literally a place that is not dangerous, but in Britain we are punished because we gave to the New World our language.

It frightens me to see what is happening in the United States today, because all too soon it will happen here. It already is happening here.

The United States is becoming divided in a way that it hasn’t been since the 1860s. It is divided politically, racially and sexually and it is losing the consensus that holds a nation together.

When I studied in the United States I thought the Democrats and the Republicans were more or less the same. Some Democrats were more right-wing than most Republicans and vice versa. I couldn’t quite work out what made someone one rather than the other. It seemed to be a debate about whether you liked Donkeys or Elephants. Not now.

Today there is a cultural war going on between two tribes and they hate each other. They each appear willing to do anything to win this battle. But will they have a country left to fight over when it is finished. Will there be anything to unite in the United States?

Though we share a common language I find Americans frequently hard to understand. I have never felt this more than watching the nominee for the Supreme Court being accused of sexually assaulting someone in the early 1980s.

Just as no British person could seriously stand up and put his hand on his heart while singing the national anthem, so too no British person could either accuse or defend in the way that Americans do. The sentimentality and the sobbing are alien to us.

Like everyone else I have no idea who did what to whom in the early 1980s. I don’t want to judge who gave the better performance. Each gave a better performance than I could have done and I suspect 99% of other Brits. We would have been embarrassed, tongue tied and simply incapable of even remembering what we did or didn’t do in 1982.

This has gone too far folks. This now gets very dangerous indeed. I have written about this a few times, but we keep finding new examples. At some point soon a very serious injustice is going to occur.

We cannot allow a situation to arise where there is a certain class of crimes (sexual), which uniquely among all other crimes require a lower standard of evidence. An uncorroborated witness statement is not going to be enough to convict anyone of anything be it theft, physical assault or murder. Something more has to be required otherwise anyone could denounce anyone of anything.

If it was the case that everyone told the truth, then by definition there would be no need to have trials. All we would need to do would be to ask the accused if he was guilty or not guilty and jail him or let him go according to his answer. The fact that we have trials at all is an admission that people don’t tell the truth.

Just as we cannot have a class of crimes that require a lower standard of evidence, so too we cannot have a class of witness (women) that is deemed to be more reliable than others. Men lie, women lie, people lie. We are all just people.

Someone is going to have to carefully explain to women that if they complain that they have been raped or sexually assaulted, then there has to be some evidence beyond the mere fact that they say it. If there is no evidence beyond the mere testimony then it is simply going to be impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has occurred. This will be the case even if the supposed crime happened yesterday, let alone in 1982.

The madness that has taken over the United States is such that people’s lives are being ruined because of unsubstantiated allegations that go back decades. If we allow this to become the norm then our politics will simply become impossible.

Let’s imagine I am scared that Jeremy Corbyn might become the next Prime Minister. Well what is to stop me searching for some woman who he went to school with or who he went on demonstrations with twenty, thirty or forty years ago. Eventually I might be able to discover one who is willing to say that in 1982 he groped her, or assaulted her or raped her. If only her testimony is enough to convict Mr Corbyn then my worries about him becoming Prime Minister are over. It isn’t even necessary that he should ever have met her. It’s only necessary that she says she did and that everyone believes her. Because women never ever lie.

The philosophy of law that we gave to the United States was founded not merely on the idea that everyone was innocent until proven guilty, but more importantly that we had a standard of proof that meant it was highly unlikely that the innocent would be convicted. This is what reasonable doubt is about. We have long believed that it would be better that ninety-nine guilty people went free than that one innocent person was unjustly convicted.

It is this above all that #MeToo would like to overthrow. If the testimony of any woman in a sexual case on its own is enough to convict any man, then men will have no defence whatsoever against any woman who accuses them of sexual assault or rape. How many men out of our one hundred will be unjustly convicted? Ten? Twenty? Who knows? If women are allowed to convict on the basis of their testimony not merely about what happened yesterday, but about what happened in 1982 then no-one will be safe from accusation. Any political rival, any job rival, any ex-boyfriend or divorcing husband can be destroyed not merely on the basis of what he did yesterday, but on the basis of what he did decades ago. Feminism has long since ceased to be about equality it is female supremacism.

Men and women need each other. We cannot live in a society where without any other evidence we can accuse each other of crimes that will send us to jail for years, prevent us from gaining a new job or which will allow us to take revenge at will. It will poison the foundation of human society by making the relationship (love) that builds nations lose all sense of trust.

The United States Supreme Court is perhaps the most respected court in the world, but if someone can be prevented from serving because of mere accusation without any other evidence then it too will lose its foundation. We base our whole way of life on judging according to evidence not denunciation. It is this that distinguishes us from tyranny. 

We moved from theocracy towards enlightenment when we decided that science required evidence and that justice was not determined by ordeal. But just as we cannot determine guilt or innocence based on whether a witch sinks or floats, so too the ability to perform before a tribunal does not by itself tell us what is truth, nor indeed does the ability to pay for an expensive, clever lawyer. If the law is not about discovering truth based on objective evidence then it has fundamentally made no progress from trial by ordeal, because this is what we are witnessing.  For this reason I accuse the law.   

If Mr Kavanaugh had been a Liberal, there would have been no accusations. There are accusations only because he is a Conservative and Liberals dislike how he may change the balance of the Supreme Court. But if the left can succeed with such tactics, then the right will use them next time in which case who will dare to stand for anything? We in Britain gave the United States it’s language and its law, but it would be better by far that we all spoke Polish than be infected further by this injustice. J'Accuse.

58 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. You are right that this evil is more favoured by left than right. But our media's sycophancy to America is more fwvoured by right than left, and because of it, a violation of the presumption of innocence by it, upon us all, has gone witbout our media's attention all our lives.
    To all foreign visitors including from its supposed special allies, US border control gives a different worse ebtry status to folks who have ever been arrested, regardless of no conviction following hence of innocence, is allowed to judge character from it, and asks "Have you ever been arrested or convicted?" as one single yes-or-no question.

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    1. Indeed its a trial I try to avoid as much as humanly possible these days. Who wants to be somewhere where they give you the impression they don't want you.

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  3. Au contraire, there has been great interest in #MeToo in francophone countries, not without adverse consequences for certain masculine persons. I begin to suspect that ... but I will refrain from the slightest hint of ad hominem.

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  4. By the way, I couldn't let Ulster Covenant Day pass without inviting all thoughtful and well-informed persons to consider what happens when the English principle of parliamentary sovereignty crashes into the Scottish principle of popular sovereignty.

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    1. I can offer no substantive proof on this, but I'd say it's unlikely that Scots would fall over themselves to become a republic with our current political rulers to choose between. There are perhaps a few who'd nominate themselves to the status of Empress or even Quine, but I think they'd have few backers.

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    2. The Ulster Covenant, a fascinating episode with which no well-informed person can possibly allow themselves to be unfamiliar, affirmed loyalty to the House of Saxe-Coburg. However, the leaders were ready to transfer allegiance to some other House should this prove advantageous- the Hohenzollerns, for example.

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    3. Should a new Scottish Covenant get rolling, perhaps it might adopt a similar bifurcate strategy. But, given that the Hohenzollerns are no longer on any thrones, to whom should the Covenanters de nos jours be ready to transfer allegiance?

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    4. For some among us, I suspect, Francis II and the House of Wittelsbach, as heirs-general to the House of Stuart, would be strong candidates.

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    5. Your philosophical argument might get traction from the Historical Society at Glasgow Uni. It will fly well over the heads of the typical punters who wouldn't know a Hohenzollerns if he approached them for directions to Betty's Bar, near the Trongate.

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    6. Even if a thirsty Hohenzollern were left to wander the streets of Glasgow undirected, I'm wondering how candidates from some of the Scandinavian Royal Houses might far.

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    7. What would we say to inviting a Bernadotte, say, to be King or Queen of Scots?

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    8. However, we should remember that Scottish pipe bands have been seen (and heard) in the parade along the Karl-Johan on the 17th of May, and that Scottish Ministers appear on Norwegian TV speaking in that country's language. Should the next Scottish Covenant plump for a cadet branch of the Norwegian Royal Family, the Government might consider joining the Nordic Council.

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  5. One correct way to judge the who-influnces-who-the-most question, is to realise that Britain may be more influenced by the US than vice versa (language excepted), but has more influence on the US than any other country

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    1. Quite how anybody who knows of the Suez débâcle (even, such as me, remembers it) can suppose that the UK has any influence over the USA quite, quite defeats me. Soyons sérieux!

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    2. I would have said that UK influence on the US pre Trump was negligible, post Trump its absolutely zero. Anyone thinking we could influence that balloon is quite wrong.

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    3. This is certainly the impression I get from looking at reputably news outlets in the USA.

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  6. Simon the president of the US is the son of a Scots woman..that's a rather large UK influence is it not?

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    1. In what way, precisely?

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  7. If Mr Kavanaugh had been a Liberal, it's unlikely (even at the tender age of 17yrs) he'd have become an 'active' member of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity.

    His statement reads he “always treated women with dignity and respect”. When he was in his frat year, initiates of DKE walked around campus with flags made of women’s underwear.

    This bizarre behaviour is unlikely to encourage women to warm to him, should his nomination to the SC be rubber stamped. There are other activities his fraternity were eventually banned for at Yale, but decency forbids me from listing them here.

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    1. Thank you for bowing to decency. American friends have given me a lot of information on the goings on of some of these fraternities, and, as you say, had he been a liberal [stet] then it is far less likely that he would have been invited to join. What struck me, however, was the inept way in which he dealt with the accusation. Such a display of petulant forensic inarticulacy was dispiriting, to say the least: *not* an adornment to the Bench

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  8. We're going to arrive at a situation where any politician / judge / civil servant / celebrity can be brought down simply through making a sexual allegation stretching back decades.

    Nicola Sturgeon touched my knob.

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    1. When we get independence we'll be cutting unionist commentators knobs off in public....Just so you know....

      If you comment on the Scotsman we'll be doing it live on STV.

      Ross Thompson will get a live on TV brain transplant, carried out by Monica Lennon.

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    2. I recommend a cup of camomile tea, and somewhere dark and quiet to lie down for half an hour.

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    3. "When we get independence...."

      Okay, I'll set my watch for just after the heat death of the universe then shall I? ;0)

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    4. By the way, Running, I can't help thinking that the word before 'knobs' needs an apostrophe.
      Be that as it may, one would hope that independence would be celebrated in some more decorous fashion - e.g. by providing succour to distressed inebriates in George Square.

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    5. Hopefully that will be enough to confuse the infernal independence foot soldiers.

      Loving the 'Scottish' Labour debacle at the moment, if the Maybot dancing was not cringing enough we have Labour MSP's having a real uncivil war on Twitter.

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  9. While Aldo is ingesting his camomile tea, Running, I hope that I can persuade you from conceiving notions which could easily, emanated through the ether, enter the brain of one of the weaker brethren or sistren and present itself to their consciousness as a Very Wonderful Idea.

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    1. Indeed stranger things have happened. I'm sure at one time someone in the Tory party said the idea of exiting the EU would be a "Jolly Jape"....

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    2. A jolly jape and a wizard wheeze it certainly will be for those possessing substantial funds outside UK jurisdiction, or a carte de séjour, or both.

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  10. On a serious note, every fair minded woman in the world ought to be terrified for her son, her father, her brother. Your loved one can be denied the chance to fulfil their potential in life, simply because someone made an unfounded allegation, blew something out of proportion, or made an issue of something that was uncontroversial at the time and has only since become controversial due to changes in the culture. You are far more likely to fall victim to this persecution if you are a man. The only people who can stop this are women - stand up to your irresponsible 'sisters' and stand up for your fathers, brothers and sons.

    And, by the way, if Kavanaugh does get nominated, I might just celebrate - by having a few beers! :0)

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    1. As I explained before i had a very good friend in a very dodgy situation previously that ended up with him being locked up for a whole weekend, white suited and up on court on Monday....

      Turns out girl concerned had previous luring people back to hotels then changing her mind in the morning once she spoke to her policeman boyfriend. CCTV showed them together outside etc and so the whole thing is some mental thing....

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    2. It is important that we all resolve to act justly, and to observe due process

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  11. If it could be shown that Mr. Kavanaugh had used a private email account for public purposes, then his opponents could start a campaign à la Fox TV for him to be locked up.

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    1. After the Tory conference I have changed my mind on this whole independence thing and will be voting Tory in the next election.......Who knew the PM was so charismatic and not just a scheming old Tory willing to do absolutely anything to keep her job.

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    2. And I will eat beetroot, read Elliot, and listen to Mahler.

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  12. This sorry episode illustrates very nicely [stricto sensu] the truth not universally acknowledged that injustice tends to give rise, not to justice, but to more injustice.

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  13. The FBI has come back and said Kavanaugh did nothing wrong. I expect he'll be on the supreme court within weeks.

    I suppose I also must retract my glee over Alex Salmond. It feels great when one of your own opponents goes down to all this "me too" stuff - but the price to be paid by society as a whole is simply too high to tolerate. If Salmond is cleared - and if there is no hard evidence then he should be cleared - then he should be welcomed back into political life. We'll beat him with arguments and votes - smears are unnecessary.

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    1. Imagine how your outlook and life much change if its you who is accused......

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    2. You are right, Running, to be concerned at the approach of the UKSC to issues of Scots Law. Where the Supreme Court of Canada has taken great care to take the differences between the two systems into account, the equivalent institution in the UK has suffered an occasional mauvais quart d'heure when attempting to tackle Scots legal issue. On reflection, I should not be surprised were UK mishandling of a Scots legal matter to prove the catalyst that internationalizes the matter of Scotland.

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    3. Were I the subject of investigation and, like Judge Kavanaugh, had been denied my right to being interviewed by the investigating agency, I would be outraged. Such a flawed process would entirely lack credibility.

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  14. However, I do not expect that the decline of the Supreme Court of the United States, once held in high esteem throughout the Common Law world, will cease, even if the Senate should refuse to confirm Judge Kavanaugh's nomination. It will take a generation to undo the harm wrought under Chief Justice Scarpia's, er, leadership.

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    1. I've personally given up on the US, I won't return.

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    2. I like that they have refused to go down the liberal, European road. They do have some crazy ideas but we tend to be crazy in the opposite direction. We refuse to allow a law abiding 30 year old man with a family to keep a pistol in a safe. We allow tarts to have several abortions in the same clinics in which women are being treated for infertility. Our ideas aren't so great.

      I'm glad our supreme court isn't like the US one though, with judges affiliated with political parties. Can you imagine a 6-5 conservative majority voting down, say, indyref2 for example? 😂

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    3. Might yet happen....UK Supreme court over ruling Scots Law is somewhat of a joke.

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    4. I hope, Running, that you won't give up on the USA. We must remember that a majority did *not* vote for the disgrace to his country currently installed in Pennsylvania Avenue, and that countless good and brave people are resisting.

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    5. Trump's twitter tirades aside, he is actually one of the better presidents to have served in my lifetime. Obama tried to turn America into Europe and failed. George W Bush - carnage. Clinton - allowed the economic reforms that led to the crash, failed to tackle Bin Laden. George H W Bush - war, recession, broken promises. Reagan I rate quite highly but he suffered from probable dementia whilst still in office.

      Trump really does measure up quite well to all of them, daft comments and vanity aside.

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    6. Wasn't the Supreme Court backed by the vast majority of Scottish MPs when it was set up about a decade ago? That was before Scotland went all "freeeeduummb!!" and we still had a supermajority of Labour MPs. So its reasonable to assume that Scotland endorsed the court as it is presently constituted.

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    7. Old ones are the best......It was rubber stamped by London stooges so its OK....

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    8. Scottish politicians elected, by Scots, to represent Scottish seats. If those are simply "London stooges" then I can respond to that by calling your lot "SNP stooges". It doesn't really get us anywhere.

      The reason why the Spanish constitution is such a powerful weapon of the Spanish unionists is because Catalonia voted for it. Well, our politicians voted for the Supreme Court - and for primacy of UK law. We can't really get out of it now. We backed it.

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    9. The MP's in question were members of a British party who were also in power in London. This meant they did what they were told to do by their bosses in London, over what may have been better for their constituents.

      So decisions made in London....

      Did "WE" back it ? Seems that changing your mind is somehow only allowed down south....

      We also agreed that decisions on devolved areas cannot be legislated on by WM without Devolved government consent. Then WM decided it did not fancy that in the Brexit process, are only one side allowed to wave the rules ?

      You are in fact making a reasonable case for Independence there Aldo, keep it up.

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    10. You cannot cry we agreed this so it must be so . All the while your own group are riding a coach and horses through lots of agreements and at the same time taking SG to court....No high horse for you...

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    11. RM, we, first and foremost, elect members of parliament. Their political affiliation is a secondary consideration. We elected MPs who then backed the supreme court upon its creation - and that is all that matters.

      As far as devolution goes, we agreed that devolved matters cannot 'usually' be legislated on without devolved government consent. That single word changes everything, as you are well aware. One hardly needs to be a lawyer to see that.

      These are only arguments for indy if you already support it. If you're an existing no voter then you already accept Scotland to be a semi autonomous region within the United Kingdom and none of this will alter your opinion.

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    12. Just wait till they abandon devolution, you'll still be backing it based on some BS around whats best for Britain..... Whats good for London is Good for Britain Usually....Or something like that.

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  15. Mea maxima culpa.
    Through a bizarre slip (unlikely to be of the Freudian variety), instead of 'Rehnquist' I typed 'Scarpia'. Can't think what came over me.

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  16. Without the kind of balanced and technically flawless strategy deployed in Canada, the SCUK could easily perpetrate that one thing worse than a crime - a blunder.

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  17. A brief envoi ...

    We must conclude that Effie does not regard the Welsh as British. In Wales, it is not uncommon for people to place a hand on their heart during the singing of 'Hen Wlad fy Nhadau'.

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