James Delingpole

There will never be justice if we leave it to lawyers

The big question this week is: ‘Should Giles Coren be bound, gagged, shackled and sentenced to life imprisonment in the torture block of the sexual offenders’ wing of Black Beach maximum security prison in Equatorial Guinea, there to become the plaything of Mad “Mamba” Mbigawanga, the Man-Rapist Giant of Malabo?’ Well, obviously, when you put it like that, the answer’s obvious.

There will never be justice if we leave it to lawyers
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The big question this week is: ‘Should Giles Coren be bound, gagged, shackled and sentenced to life imprisonment in the torture block of the sexual offenders’ wing of Black Beach maximum security prison in Equatorial Guinea, there to become the plaything of Mad “Mamba” Mbigawanga, the Man-Rapist Giant of Malabo?’

Well, obviously, when you put it like that, the answer’s obvious.

The big question this week is: ‘Should Giles Coren be bound, gagged, shackled and sentenced to life imprisonment in the torture block of the sexual offenders’ wing of Black Beach maximum security prison in Equatorial Guinea, there to become the plaything of Mad “Mamba” Mbigawanga, the Man-Rapist Giant of Malabo?’

Well, obviously, when you put it like that, the answer’s obvious. We all hate Coren, those of us who know him, those of us in the media especially, because his very existence is such a maddening repudiation to one of the precious few consolations in this vale of tears: that real talent goes unrewarded.

Look at Jeremy Clarke. OK, so he has a Speccie column rightly worshipped by those in the know, among them Hugh Grant, apparently. But it’s not like Jeremy Clarke’s a household name, is it? He hasn’t got one of those stupidly paid mega-columns in the Mail or the Times. He doesn’t get fish-finger manufacturers ringing him saying, ‘Please Jeremy, please be the next Cap’n Birdseye and allow us to buy you a fleet of BMWs.’ He doesn’t get a 60,000-plus Twitter following just by swearing a lot and telling us what he had for lunch at his latest blowout with his new chum Michael Winner. He doesn’t get paid to go on primetime TV series where all he has to do is eat and get drunk and burp for Britain’s entire male student population to want to give up shaving so that they can all be that little bit more like him.

Coren does, though, and the worst of the many infuriating things about him is this: his success is entirely deserved. Really, I’ve lost count of the number of times where people have been slagging him off and invited me to agree that he isn’t funny and can’t write for toffee and only got where he is because his dad once wrote a bestseller called Golfing for Cats with a swastika on the cover. And I just can’t because it isn’t true. I love Coren’s journalism and the only reason I don’t read it more often is because his fluency and wit and insolent ‘God, you’ve no idea how much I’m being paid to turn out this tosh’ swagger make me so sick-makingly jealous.

But now the bastard’s in deep doodoo and I suppose I should be rejoicing but I’m not one bit, because what’s happening is so blatantly unjust: Coren is facing a jail sentence for having revealed on Twitter the name of a rich, famous footballer who has slept with a woman who is not his wife.

Imagine that, eh? ‘Top footballer plays away from home.’ There’s a story which is going to shake the foundations of British society. No wonder our top judges are bringing the full weight of the law to bear on the journalist who so irresponsibly revealed this earth-shattering secret. I mean, think what a letdown it will prove if the nation’s youth suddenly discover that their sporting idols are not, after all, faithful family men who attend church without fail on Sundays and never swear, drink, take drugs, spit-roast groupies or hold their knives like pens.

Let us compare and contrast it briefly with one or two of the other legal stories which have been in the newspapers: the gay couple who won damages against the Christian hoteliers who, on moral grounds — and as stated on the hotel website — wanted only married couples to share a bed; ‘MK’, an Islamist terrorist from Tunisia given shelter in Britain by the Court of the Appeal lest his deportation create ‘potential injustice’; a 12-year-old girl killed in a hit-and-run by an illegal Iraqi immigrant who successfully pleads against deportation lest his human rights be jeopardised.

What I suggest these disparate stories have in common is this: they are all cases in which the judge reached a verdict diametrically opposite to the one any reasonable other British person would have reached. And the reason the judges got it so wrong in every case was this: every single one of them was a lawyer.

Just as it’s true that anyone who goes into politics is the very last sort of person who should be granted any kind of power and influence over his fellow human beings, so it is the case that lawyers are the very last people who should be in charge of justice. Lawyers, whatever the late Tom Bingham says in his Orwell Prize-winning The Rule of Law, don’t deal in justice. They deal in the legal process, which is something else entirely.

So, to a lawyer, there will seem nothing wrong per se in permitting social services to tear a good mother from her child, or leaving a terrorist free to blow people up or preventing newspapers revealing that an oil company has been dumping toxic waste in Africa or threatening with jail a journalist who uses social media to disclose a harmless fact which is common knowledge anyway. That’s because lawyers take the same view of truth and justice that Pontius Pilate did: they are malleable concepts dependent on which side of the argument you are being paid to represent.

By all means let Giles Coren be jailed. But let it be for the right reasons: because he is a jammy sod who has had it far too good for far too long. That would be fair, that would be real justice — quite unlike the sick bastardised version thereof currently being meted out in a court near you by our warped, depraved, unaccountable, greedy, out-of-control, activist-stuffed legal system.

Written byJames Delingpole

James Delingpole is officially the world's best political blogger. (Well, that's what the 2013 Bloggies said). Besides the Spectator, he is executive editor of Breitbart London and writes for Bogpaper.com and Ricochet.com. His website is www.jamesdelingpole.com and his latest book is Watermelons.

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