It is reported today in most of the newspapers that prime minister Johnson is to crack down on crime and sentencing of criminals. In fact, he is to sort out the entire justice system, creating more facilities to house prisoners and scrapping the current policy of allowing criminals out as soon as they are halfway through their given sentence.
All well and good Mr Johnson but I fear you need to go much, much further. In another piece today I read that a judge has been publicly reprimanded by a Tory Cabinet Minister for advising a criminal to lose weight and get a job. Well-meaning advice it was too as the man was grossly overweight and had to be helped in and out of the dock, but inevitably this worthy made a formal complaint that the judge had used ‘abusive language.’ His complaint was upheld and now he will doubtless be entitled to compensation, which the taxpayer will stump up for.
On receipt of the allegation, Recorder Julian Malins QC flatly refused to agree that he had done anything wrong. Having stood up for himself, he was given a formal warning by the then Justice Minister and Lord Chancellor, David Gauke. The official public notice from the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, highly damaging to a judge’s career, says that, in reaching their decision, Mr Gauke and the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, ‘took into consideration that the Recorder failed to acknowledge the inappropriateness of his conduct.’
What on earth is ‘inappropriate’ about that for God’s sake?
Mr Malins, an experienced barrister, told reporters that he has no regrets. The defendant involved had appeared in Court forty times in thirty-five years, had accumulated sixty convictions and served several prison terms, including a lengthy sentence for GBH with intent. But on the day he came before Mr Malins, it was for a lesser matter and he was told he could go free. At that point the man interrupted proceedings to say a weight ‘had been lifted from my shoulders.’
Mr Malins replied: ‘You had better not worry about the weight off your shoulders but should rather worry about the weight on your body.’ The defendant then asked the judge to repeat himself, which he did.
Mr Malins, who is five foot ten and weighs just over twelve and a half stone responded to the complaint from this individual by politely telling the defendant in detail that he needed to lose weight and get a job. He explained this was for his own sake and the good of society.
As for the claim of abusive language, Mr Malins says: ‘I reject that suggestion absolutely. On the contrary, the advice which I gave him was sincere, well meant, and, I believe, very good.’
I fear modern Society is becoming more ridiculous by the day. Please can we bring a bit of grown up thinking into our governing bodies. The only thing you can be sure of in this country now is that the state will always rule against common sense.
We have a political class, epitomised by Mr Gauke which, when asked to choose between a learned judge and a frequently convicted criminal, sides with the criminal as if they are on an equal footing. This is patently ridiculous damnit!
The state machine seems to see its job as to negotiate between ‘society’ and ‘offenders’ whose misdeeds are not really their fault, but are explained by poverty, abuse or some other fashionable misfortune. And it reserves special nastiness for anyone who tries to behave as if things were still as they used to be. The householder who defends himself against a burglar is more severely investigated than the offender. The parent or policeman who administers instant justice with a clip around the ear to an unruly child is hauled before the Court for assault. This is because such actions threatens the monopoly of pathetically soft ‘justice.’
Individuals act sensibly at their peril I’m afraid so please take care. If dangerous evil comes your way, do not expect our current establishment to take your side and defend you. If you dare to defend yourself, it will in all probability be you who ends up in the dock.
As for the ‘Conservative’ Party and Ministers like Mr Gauke, can someone remind me, what do they stand for? We are led to believe that a general election is just around the corner. If it comes about, I have no idea as to which box should contain my X. I have nothing against prime minister Johnson. He has yet to prove himself and makes encouraging noises. The alternative would seem to be Corbyn who has repeatedly proved himself to be pathetically useless and politically dangerous.
Or I suppose one could vote for the Lib Dem harpy who is so loudly determined to go against the referendum result, although I shudder when I listen to her fatuous ranting. No, I fear that my vote will almost certainly go to the Brexit party – more in despair than hope I’m afraid. They don’t seem very organised as yet, but they look to be made up of some honourable individuals who might – and only might – bring a modicum of common sense back in British life.
In the meantime, life goes on and my daily trawl through the news sheets does nothing for my wonky blood pressure.