Max Clifford

I’ve just heard that Max Clifford has been found guilty of various crimes. Because I no longer read the newspapers, I’m rather hazy about the nature of his offences. But I feel obliged to say something, so I’ll say this:

1. I have always found Mr Clifford repulsive. He is one of the creators – or perhaps just one of the main beneficiaries – of the manipulative, PR-driven media inflicted on us since the 1980s. I hate public relations people. I hate their smooth evasions of every question, and their pin-stripe suits, and their fixed belief that reality is something they can make up as they go along. If Mr Clifford is now coming to a bad end, I feel no particular sympathy for him.

2. On the other hand, though he probably is guilty of what the Jury found against him, all of these crimes seem to have taken place a long time ago. I believe there should be a three year limitation on all criminal proceedings that turn on oral testimony – three years from the alleged date of the offence, or, when the complainant was a child at the time of the alleged offence, three years from when the complainant turned eighteen.

For this reason – and assuming I am right about the dates – I grit my teeth and proclaim Mr Clifford a victim of injustice.


  • I am rather sympathetic to Mr Clifford. I’ve never liked the man, but I have a feeling he is yet another victim of a witch-hunt. Maybe he didn’t always behave like a gentleman to some women – many men don’t, and without a certain degree of male sexual determination none of us would be here – but if he crossed the fuzzy line into criminality, where have the complainants been all these years?

  • I expected a conviction with this one. Partly because Clifford is, as noted in the post, not a character who inspires much sympathy, and that includes his trading on the peccadiloes of others who may have preferred their own bedroom antics remain private. But we must remember HL Mencken’s wisdom-

    “The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”

    Of course, we are already far beyond the beginning anyway.

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