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.