An interesting development for our police force, then. In future they do not have to believe everything someone tells them, in the manner of a particularly credulous village idiot. They may be allowed, possibly encouraged, to exhibit a degree of curiosity in their line of work — have a bit of a think about things, maybe even ask questions. I do hope they are able to cope.
They have been institutionally cretinised for a long while now — ever since Alison Saunders was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions in 2013. She is stepping down when her contract comes to an end in October and is anxious to take
up her new career opportunity as under-manager of a whelk stall in Cleethorpes (I think I’ve got that right).
Saunders was, of course, catastrophic, perhaps as dismal a public servant as we have ever had. Not merely incompetent, but possessed of an evangelistic liberal zeal that sought to turn justice on its head. Under Saunders there was little room for that tired old shibboleth, innocent until proven guilty. In rape cases the defendant was required to prove that he had obtained consent from the supposed victim, and furthermore obtained it being entirely confident that the supposed victim was not drunk, or out of her box on narcotics, or perhaps merely distracted by worrying about whether or not she’d left the oven on at home.
Saunders was never able to answer the question: but what if the man is drunk too? How can we prove that he had given consent? Perhaps he woke up the next morning with dark clouds of regret. It happened to me in July 1985 — I had sex with a midget, the last woman standing in the pseudo-goth nightclub White Trash at three o’clock in the morning. Although I had not thought she was standing at the time; I thought she was sitting. But by this point the alcohol had worked its magic and I reckoned she looked like a rather fetching cross between Gina Lollobrigida and one of the Time Bandits. Next morning, in the cold light of day, when I had to bend over double to reach her bedroom door handle and get the hell out, I thought differently. But no retrospective redress for me, only for the women.
The paradoxes became an absurdity. Sex was suddenly something men did to women, and that’s that. Drunkenness, which is never an excuse in criminal courts, suddenly became one if the female victim was claiming rape. But not for the male. Fortunately, the British public largely refused to swallow this congenital idiocy, this poisoning of justice, and so case after case came to court to be routinely dismissed by juries who showed a hell of a lot less gullibility than the coppers or the DPP. Meanwhile, though, innocent men spent years under suspicion, their lives and careers ruined. The alcohol rule had a special resonance for me as I am 58 years old and no woman will have sex with me unless she is completely blitzed. Now Saunders is gone, maybe I’m back in the game, you lucky ladies.
Saunders was sex-obsessed: her other big campaign was Operation Yewtree, which saw the majority of light-ent has-beens it egregiously hounded cleared of sexual assault charges dating back decades. Ever attuned to fashionable pieties, she also launched a £30 million prosecution of Sun journalists. Not a single conviction resulted.
Still, it is the mangling of the law on rape for which she will be best remembered. She subscribed to the view that the conviction rate for rape was too low, an opinion shared by the liberal media, and especially the BBC. But then, the conviction rates will be low if half of the cases brought by the Crown Prosecution Service — of which Saunders is the head — are patently flawed, the police enjoined to believe what they are told by the ‘victim’ almost without query, and sometimes ignoring evidence that clearly disproves the claim.
As it happens, our rape convictions have actually risen. But with Saunders it was yet another case of liberals approaching the world as they think it should be rather than how it actually is. And when the facts, inevitably enough, do not fit the adolescent hypothesis, the wishful thinking, the rules have to be changed. Incidentally, when Saunders was interviewed — by the Guardian, natch — she exulted in the fact that 60 per cent of the people working for the Crown Prosecution Service were now women. Why, as a campaigner for gender equality, would you be delighted by gender inequality? Unless you were really stupid.
With any luck our coppers will now extend this notion of being a bit curious about stuff to supposed crimes other than rape — such as ‘hate crimes’. It was not on Saunders’s watch that the police were told that if someone reports they were racially abused or discriminated against, then they were, and that’s an end to it. (Another mangling of justice for spurious political ends, to prove that we are a vile racist society.) In fairness to her, I suppose one could argue that she was simply a willing victim of the political mindset of our liberal elite, which will brook no argument and appoints people to positions of great power based solely, it would seem, on their willingness to impose fashionable absurdities on the rest of us. That’s how you get ahead.
Anyway, if you’re in Cleethorpes and Alison Saunders sells you a carton of whelks, head straight for the police station. Explain that you were drunk and that while you did indeed ask for a carton of whelks and handed over your money, you were in no fit state to do so and Saunders had patently taken advantage of you. You had not really wanted whelks. She did not have your informed and sober consent.
Rod Liddle will be in conversation with Fraser Nelson at the London Palladium on 15 May. Tickets are on sale now.