CONDEMN A LOT MORE AND UNDERSTAND A LOT LESS
We had decades of child sex abuse and immorality by Jimmy Savile. No-one persisted with their complaints to ever ensure that the man was stopped. I think, the pendulum then swung in the opposite direction and, in recent years, we have seen celebrities, establishment figures even in their 90s and the dead, too accused of sex abuse from decades ago. Even the demented, the dying and the dead are all eligible for investigation into their sex crimes in their youth and, then prosecution of some kind.
How can you get to the truth of the accusations when not just years but decades has elapsed since the alleged incidents? Do you not get a mixture of mischief makers, misremembering, exaggeration, fantasists and, of course, genuine complaints. But is it not one person’s word against another person’s? How do you get justice done for the complainant/victim/survivor and the accused when you have to decide who to believe from not an ounce of evidence to weigh in the scales of justice?
It had to be a difficult judgement over the balance of probability when it came to long dead Bishop George Bell. The Church of England believed the complainant/victim/survivor and paid her £15,000. Peter Hitchens was not exactly thrilled! I suppose the Anglicans felt that they had to give the benefit of the doubt to the complainant, in the present atmosphere. An atmosphere of being seen to be strong in finding people guilty and punishing hard. If you give the benefit of the doubt to the accused, you are seen as being a namby pandy, wishy washy, a weak, pathetic liberal. Only might and strength are respected between peoples and, on the world stage between nations.
It seems to me, as though decision makers and the Police are over-compensating for their careless and unbelieving attitude for decades by going overboard now - since the Savile abuses came to light. From under-reaction to over-reaction. We never seem to be able to get things right and to act proportionately and sensibly. But, then, how can you possibly tell who is telling the truth when decades have passed and there is no evidence? Is justice pot luck?
Does time temper justice if justice tempered with mercy no longer does?
Should there be a statute of limitation, as some countries have?
Is there ever a danger of a witch hunt? Have the Savile abuses and inaction awoken memories and anger in those who have been sexually abused by him and many others? Understandably, they now want something done to assuage their feelings and to give them closure.
Sex abuse victims are now given full attention. Men are under suspicion more than ever before of predatory behaviour or luring girls and women. Yet, from what I see, the foreign victims of UK wars of (often) aggression in our 102 consecutive years of war in foreign lands, get little attention. We do all we can to keep these refugees out, in fact and to forget the whole ghastly business of migrants fleeing war, poverty and environmental degradation. We convince ourselves that all that is nothing to do with us because we are in no way responsible! We have been groomed to accept that and, that our aggression is sadly essential in a fallen and failed world but, anyway, we are the good guys getting rid of Communists, evil dictators, jihadists and extremists. We are the knights in shining armour and the millions of victims of our aggression have to put up with it for the greater good. We, certainly, have no responsibility for them.
Over the Adam Johnson case, I heard on the ‘Jeremy Vine Show’, one caller talking of national hysteria over sexual activity between young people. Another caller mentioned decision makers wanting to be seen doing much better on sex abuse cases than they did over Savile (my over-compensating pendulum swing) .
Is not uncovering a cover up or, exposing abuse or, misuse of public money or, malpractice or maladministration or any wrong-doing by others an honourable endeavour?
Hence, since the 1980s, I have been doing what I regard as exposing misdeeds and uncovering dereliction of duty. From the KBH motorway bypass alongside a fast rural trunk road and main line railway to today. Today, thirty years on, I am trying to get the trains back on that same line further north that is not used. It would bypass Brum and take some road and rail congestion out of their Grand Central Shopping Centre and basement station, as well as our Black Country.
Hence, my writing exposes:
- Idiocy in dismantling first the tram network and then the rail network, failure to mothball the rail lines and, failure to correct their stupidity in 50 years.
- Failed to build the W approach tunnels when Westside was being built in the 1990s.
- Failed to build the E approach tunnels when the Bull Ring was being rebuilt in the next decade.
- After 50 years, 78 Km of unused or goods only, double track rail lines alongside or near congested roads in the Black Country and Birmingham.
- Further 58 Km from Walsall to Derby via Lichfield is still not available for passenger trains.
- 2 important rail curves still not built - after 50 years.
- Failed to link the Merry Hill monorail to the main line railway and to open it at the same time.
- £750 m (all rail money?) for Grand Central Shopping Centre with the main line station tagged along as an afterthought and stuck in the basement.
- Now, a plan for, possibly, transport money going for subsidising the M6 Toll to further reduce the amount of money for urban Beeching rail reversals in the Black Country and Brum.
- The W Midlands Combined Authority remains corruptly biased towards road schemes; secondly, towards super expensive tram extensions in Birmingham city centre; thirdly, £12 m for a second rapid transit mode to duplicate the first, trams. What little money is left over may then go to Brum rail schemes.
- Beeching rail reversals continue to be the forgotten, the sad Cinderella of the Midlands, as traffic choked roads and rail lines get ever worse as the populations rises.