Gabb, Times, 23_01_16

Sean in The Times re Police Licensing of Sexual Intercourse

20 thoughts on “Sean in The Times re Police Licensing of Sexual Intercourse

  1. Good comments in The Times. I noticed this news item. And in particular, the fact you don’t need to be convicted of a crime for this to happen. It’s a civil penalty. Presumably this man is a danger to women – but, if he done anything serious to a woman, he should be in prison.

    • If he’s done something serious (but not criminal) to a woman, he should be made to compensate her. But no more.

      If what he did was criminal, then the prosecution needs to show mens rea.

      Now I’m the one who’s sounding like a conservative! 🙂

  2. Sean if they tell you that article of Magna Carta has been repealed, please be sure to tell them that Magna Carta was not an act of parliament. They may have repealed the equivalent section of the 1297 confirmation of the charter act, but no part of magna carta itself can be repealed, because it is not a statute.

  3. Please keep this event to yourselves. If it’s noticed across the pond, we’ll want to try it out. And I’m sure we’ll manage to give it some extra political correctness spin in addition. Sssshhhhhh!

  4. [Sexual risk orders] are used when someone has not been convicted of a sexual offence, but the police convince a court it is necessary for one to be made against the person to protect the public.

    Goodbye Magna Carta.

  5. I couldn’t agree more.When are we going to have leaders with the guts to put the police in their place? If there’s less than one chance in a thousand of something going wrong.take the risk!

  6. Effectively, due to the well organised hysteria regarding sex implemented since the 1980s, the normal law has been all but entirely abandoned and is now treated as a crimen exceptum. The basic principles such as innocent until proven guilty, beyond reasonable doubt and corpus delicti are no longer in operation.

    I think the most terrifying example is the declaration a couple of days ago that Poppi Worthington’s father is guilty is raping his infant daughter to death. There has been no trial. All parties are agreed that there is inadequate evidence for a trial, let alone a conviction. So he has simply been declared guilty. Every citizen should be terrified by this development. A judge has simply decided that he is guilty using the “balance of evidence” definition which is suited only to civil disputes and has no place in criminal law as it amounts to no more than the judge’s personal opinion.

    Even as somebody who has been pursuing the Great Sex Hysteria for a couple of decades, I still am genuinely shocked that things have gone this far. Justice in Britain is dead.

  7. Sexual Risk Orders are, I think, relatively new, having been introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which also brought in Sexual Harm Prevention Orders. The 2014 Act is scary and I really don’t know how this kind of legislation makes it through Parliament. Do we still have a Parliament? Lewis Carroll seems to have been making an allegorical prediction when he wrote that trial scene with the Queen of Hearts.

    So I share Ian B’s concern. It’s interesting how easily hysteria can be whipped-up about sex or crimes against women and children, but there is no popular hysteria about generalised infringements of liberty and the vandalism being inflicted on the criminal justice system. This relates to wider issues, as Ian B rightly points out. Rape and sexual assault as crimes are very susceptible to interpretation: often a ‘he said, she said’ type of scenario will emerge, and I’m not sure we can trust modern juries to reach the evidentially correct or just outcomes.

    On the other hand, I am always in two minds whenever I see a media story like this. I think we should be cautious about the media and the way they present these stories, which is very one-sided. We should bear in mind that although the authorities do have some frightening powers, this has always theoretically been the case. Traditionally in England, the principal check on official intervention in people’s lives was the internal culture of official bodies themselves: in particular, there was always a pressure towards reasonableness and restraint and deference to individual liberties and general Romanticised ideas about justice and the rule of law. The risk is that this shared understanding, that government and other official agencies reproduced and enforced, might be diminished by changes in society. However, such is the nature of these powers that, even under circumstances of an ever-expanding state, I think we can take it as given that, at least to begin with, the police and the courts will be cautious about using these powers and will likely reserve them for very exceptional cases that they consider justify it, but that of course is a classic slippery slope scenario.

    It always starts with the worthy cases. The person who is the subject of the media story is probably very dangerous. The preventative nature of the order suggests that he could have some kind of sexually-transmissible disease or a sexual fetish that makes him a serious risk, or whatever. I don’t think we can discount the real problem faced by the authorities that some people are dangerous but can’t lawfully be locked up. The problem is that over time these orders could be used against less dangerous people, unjustly and unfairly infringing on ordinary liberties. More significantly, the use of these orders contributes to an official climate that sees us as clients of the state and encourages an ever more repressive apparatus disguised behind public safety measures.

    This is why, despite my caution about reading too much into these stories, this is a general issue on which I am at one with libertarians. I think we need to be rigid in our defence of basic standards in the criminal justice system, because it goes to the heart of the relationship between the state and the individual. Regardless of what somebody is alleged to have done, punishment must only be after a judge, or preferably a jury, has been convinced of the accuser’s case beyond reasonable doubt. This is such an elemental principle, that it should hardly need mentioning, except perhaps to inquisitive children, but it seems that some very important grown-ups are ‘children’.

      • Well it looks like Plod have decided that from now on they’re not going to take “no” for an answer, when it comes from a jury.

        The particular circumstances are not really the issue. What matters is that the State has taken this power upon itself.

        • Yes Ian, but as my local MP reminded me over a year ago when I sent him a letter about an entirely different matter, in which I made much the same point you have just now, we must remember that the courts are independent of the state. The man lectured me on the rudiments of the British constitution, like I was some ingĂ©nue or backward peasant from a village in outer Siberia.

          Strictly speaking, the state is not, directly, an actor here. The orders are pursued by the police and (I would assume) their in-house lawyers, who are supposed to be under civilian supervision and operationally independent; and, are granted by the courts, who are supposed to be independent of the state, following arguments from barristers who are meant to be part of an independent and autonomous profession. They’re all independent, see?

          The incredible thing is that all this was once true. It’s not just a romantic Burkean myth, the system really was quite scrupulous. But it’s all just fantasy now. I would agree that only a very naive person would now believe that judicial independence still exists in anything other than the most routine legal cases, or that the legal profession is still independent of the state; and as for the operational independence of the police, supervision by civilians and the Peelian Principles, I need not elaborate further. How somebody becomes an MP believing these things, I really couldn’t say. On the face of it, it’s a challenge to Darwinian theory, but maybe the ‘fittest’ (i.e. most successful) in our era are the averagish intelligent types who are just bright enough to do such jobs, but dim enough not to really question or challenge anything.

          I do think the particular circumstances matter, because the media can misrepresent things grotesquely and we could be grabbing the wrong end of the stick here. I agree with the overarching points about this, but it could be that there is a good reason in this particular case for making the order, and it might not relate to his acquittal.

    • I agree with a rigid approach to the rule of law. In particular, it is worth insisting on the traditional definition of rape – something like jumping on a woman and having sex with her while a knife is held to her throat. Of course, a reasonable definition may take in some less obvious scenarios. But the official definition appears to have absorbed the whole of what used to be called “taking advantage,” and probably somewhat more.

      This is, by the way, an argument against the Cultural Marxist hypothesis. One look at the present hysteria over sex, and Marcuse would have scratched his head in surprise – much as Marx might not have endorsed the collectivisation of the Ukraine. These laws aren’t made by the lefties, but by a coven of mad women and their girlie-men accomplices.

      It makes you wonder of those Edwardian Tories didn’t know a thing or two when it came to female suffrage.

      • I’m not sure how much of it really is hysteria and how much is just media and press invention and hyperbole in which incidents of ‘hysteria’ are concocted. One of the things that interests me, and I think this is worthy of further examination, is how the Establishment now use rhetoric about victimhood and weakness as a method of achieving and maintaining power. It’s almost like power is now ticketed by dead letter sentimentality, which seems paradoxical. Contrast this with the strength and power projected in the rhetoric of Shakespeare’s King Harry at the Battle of Agincourt, which was a quite different way of addressing weakness and underdog status, and much more consistent with what you expect from strong men. The strong men of our age are, as you say Dr Gabb, the ‘girlie-men’: Tony Blair and his People’s Princess, etc. It’s very strange, but does it play into a human facility of some kind, or is it just a way of deflecting real concerns by taking advantage of individuation to deploy emotional bullying and enforce conformity? Whatever it is, I think the inversion is interesting and perhaps tells us something about the underlying moral valuations of our time.

        So I think hysteria is not organic, or at least, I’m not convinced this is the way real people behave. It’s really about control. I’m reminded of the supposed ‘hysteria’ in the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana. As I argued on a different thread [I think it was re.: Bowie], the public’s sentimentality wasn’t really hysteria in my opinion. I think it was more a disguised protest about the general ethics of the press. The decontextualisation of it as ‘hysteria’, largely by middle-class commentators and journalists, was just a way of dismissing the concerns of ordinary people.

        Likewise, I think the whole ‘sex crimes’ thing is possibly another example of the way the media and press have refracted the genuine issues of ordinary people. I don’t think the ‘sex’ issue is hysteria. I think it emeges out of a socially-liberal society that most provincial people are actually quite uncomfortable with: not just the safety of children, but also parenting, sexual ethics and personal standards of behaviour, and homosexuality, which most ordinary people (including me) are very uncomfortable with. The underlying theme, I think, is moral confusion. Nobody seems to be giving a steer. I have much to say about this, but for now, I would summarise the problem this way: ordinary people are not ‘liberal’ and don’t want free moral chocies. Rather, they need stability in their lives. Everybody wants freedom, but freedom doesn’t necessary mean having free choices about everything. What we have at the moment is a socially and economically anarchic model of capitalism: a fusion of late 20th. century social liberalism, academic postmodernism and 19th. century Gladstonian liberalism, and that provides a backdrop, creating this climate of moral confusion, dislocation, alienation and disrespect for authority.

        We may be on the same page with the Cultural Marxist hypothesis. I attacked it quite aggressively a few years ago elsewhere online (possibly I commented on it here somewhere), but my views about it have since become a bit more nuanced. I’m not sure we can dismiss the role of Cultural Marxism just on the basis of what members of the Frankfurt School are thought to have believed or otherwise. I accept that most adherents of the hypothesis are fairly unsophisticated in the analysis they apply, which I think is the root of the problem, but the point is that the hypothesis can explain lots of things if you see the Frankfurt School as a starting-point, rather than as some kind of ethnic or academic clique who formulated a blueprint for society. The latter conceptualisation of it is very crude and probably explains why some cultural conservatives come to an intellectual dead-end, and find their hypothesis is insufficiently supple and can’t explain the complexity of things.

        Regarding female suffrage, as you will know, there was plenty of opposition from women at the time, some of whom (the conservative ones) predicted what would happen, others (the anarchist ones) arguing that giving women the vote would not change the realities of the system, and if anything would entrench patriarchal society, due to the conservative nature of women. I would agree with the anarchist argument against female suffrage. As I see it, feminism is just female nature and represents a dialectical ‘push’ against the patriarchal system. It’s women reaffirming male rule by challenging it. Giving women the vote is civilisational suicide, because it then makes the entire society subject to female nature politically. The problem is that the goals of ideological feminism seem to have aligned with those of capitalism, a perfect storm, with the result that women got the vote, then expanded into the workforce, and now are calling the shots over men. One result of this, as you rightly point out, is an emphasis on SexCrime™, and we also have ThoughtCrime™.

        I confess I take a traditional view of male and female roles. I think men should be men, and women should be women. I’ve always been slightly confused as to why most women would want the vote or have careers of the kind that men have. Of course, there will be exceptional women, but shouldn’t a healthy and mindful woman desire to get pregnant and bear children? I hope we have lady guests here can give us the female point-of-view on this, but it is something that genuinely baffles me. The mirror image of it would be a man who wants to get pregnant. That’s how nonsensical it is. I think the real problem is that feminism does not reflect organic human relationships and it fails to acknowledge the biological basis of gender roles.

      • There’s an awful lot of lies told on the subject of rape, e.g. that it’s very difficult to get a conviction. In fact, if all other things are equal, it’s far easier to “prove” someone guilty of rape than of any other crime. You can get a conviction and send someone to prison for ten years without even any incontrovertible proof that a rape occurred in the first place.

        If it were equally easy to convict someone of murder, you could do it without a body or any other proof that the person was dead, without any weapon being produced as evidence, etc. The “victim” could be alive and well for all anyone could tell.

  8. I’d suspect this case involves a member of a vibrant community. If it doesn’t, the vibrant communities are certainly very harmful to traditional freedoms. Why else do you think New Labour imported so many of them? Libertarianism is a pipe-dream under the best of circumstances, but the more heavily enriched a nation, the less it will approximate even the vaguest libertarian ideals.

  9. Sean, there is no hysteria over sex. It’s quite simple: it’s the women’s rights people trying to find proof of female oppression, which is not the same thing as a hysteria over all sex as such. Of course, this does make navigating the sexual revolution awkward: people have come to believe in their right to have sex in the alley-ways, but there is always the chance of a hard-to-disprove allegation against you that will spoil your life. But people like that man with the 17 children have never found the sexual revolution opposed to his having his oats and then getting us to pay for the results.

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