Liberals, Lecturers and Legal Reporting

Nothing like a bit of alliteration for a handy title!

‘Liberal’ is a much used word these days, but I fear its meaning has been twisted somewhat. The dictionary tells me that the word means ‘willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas.’

Huh! The modern – usually self-proclaimed – ‘liberal’ seems to be the exact opposite. They don’t accept any view that differs from their own. If you don’t agree with them, you must be wrong. Take the current furore over Margaret Court for instance. When I was a boy, I thrilled to this Australian lady’s exploits on the tennis court and longed to watch her in action – we did not have television in those days. Her tally of grand slam titles still has not been equalled.

Soon after retiring from the game, she embraced religion and became a pastor in a denomination I had never heard of. In that capacity, she has spoken out against homosexuality and same-sex marriage and that has brought the liberal elite down on her in slavering droves. She is due to be honoured this week at the Australian Open tournament but the Aussie lawn tennis association qualified their honour by saying the Ms Court’s views were entirely her own and not the views of the association. Why mention that at all? Surely the honour is for her tennis career, not what she thinks or says.

The verbose and volatile john McEnroe has now joined in the vituperation being thrown at this icon of her sport and if I was in her shoes, I would probably tell them all to get stuffed.

She was a great tennis player – probably the greatest female player ever – and is entitled to her own views, which let’s face it are shared by a large percentage of humanity. She deserves every honour the tennis world can bestow on her and if people do not agree with her views, they should just accept them as being different to their own. That is what being liberal is about – at least according to the dictionary definition.

Talking about the misuse of words, I see that Squeaker Bercow is now a ‘professor’ of politics at a London university. The ex-MP for Buckingham has become a part-time professor of politics at Royal Holloway, University of London, and delivered his first lecture to parliamentary studies students last week.

Those poor unfortunate students! Members of Parliament became used to sitting through his self-indulgent and wordy lectures in the House of Commons, but they volunteered. What have the students done to deserve this horrible little man?

His initial lecture came one day after his most senior former official, Lord Lisvane filed yet another bullying complaint against him and Bercow responded by accusing Boris Johnson of ignoring a ‘centuries-old tradition’ that ex-Speakers are elevated to the Lords.

Only if they deserve it and this pompous clown surely did not deserve any sort of honour after his disgracefully biased tenure of a honourable position.

A university spokesman said: ‘Professor Bercow will work with undergraduate and postgraduate students on a part-time basis and will contribute to teaching across the curriculum.’

I hope they are prepared to pay through the nose for his services. After all, this was the first speaker in two hundred and thirty years not to be offered a peerage immediately on retirement and only last week it was revealed that he spent more than a thousand quid in taxpayers’ cash on a two hundred and fifty mile return taxi ride from Westminster to Nottingham. That really has to be taking the mickey, but his total travel bill in his final year as Speaker hit thirteen thousand, six hundred and twenty seven pounds. Have the university considered his expense claims I wonder.

For all his dismal failure as a speaker and his appalling record on bullying and taking us all for philanthropic fools, this man is now a professor at a prestigious university. Why didn’t any of these establishments of learning offer Ronnie Biggs or the Kray twins similar roles, perhaps lecturing on violent crime?

I was amused to see that new research by Cambridge University has confirmed what all good coppers know and what I’ve been saying for years.

A visible police presence on foot reduces crime. One does not need to be a professor of anything to see that. The Cambridge research showed that just four fifteen-minute patrols a day on some of the capital’s most crime-ridden Underground platforms reduced reported crime by twenty-eight per cent in patrolled locations, while it rose by sixteen per cent on platforms without patrols. Will anything happen? I doubt it.

Meanwhile, a major newspaper has just published on its front page as hot news, the fact that police have given up pursuing the serious crime of marijuana possession. 

Oh wow! I wonder what ace reporter is angling for a Pulitzer prize with that bit of non news.

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