miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
I've been chatting to Martin Robbins recently and I share his incredulity that the blogosphere isn't aflame with outrage over the plans to include blogs, either by conspiracy or cock-up, depending on who you believe, in the Leveson Royal Charter.

Here are four blogs posting about it:


Frankly I am unsurprised that Sunny Hundal is putting his faith in the DCMS to 1, do what it told him it would and 2, not cock up the implementation. Sunny, bless him, has always had a touching faith in people that drove me mental even in the days when I used to post at LC. What excuse does everybody else (other than Martin and Index on Censorship) have, though?

I admit, I have been internet-shy the last few days because of the furore over That Woman, but I would have thought I'd have at least heard a squeak from the Lib Dem blogosphere. Were any of you invited to these meetings? Or are we just waiting for the other shoe to drop before we build up a proper head of outrage here? I'm genuinely perplexed.
miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)
So, the reason the CPS didn't prosecute him wasn't for lack of evidence. In which case, what was it? I think this blog post probably has it spot on. But, with regard to the way a lot of people are talking about this, there is one thing that's leaving me very disturbed, and that's the number of people who are othering Savile.

You can tell he was a paedo, look at him! goes the refrain. Well, if you could tell he was a paedo, why didn't you do something about it? The answer, of course, is that you couldn't. You couldn't and you can't tell what someone's criminal proclivities are by looking at them. You can't say that someone is a theif because they wear a stripy jumper and have a "mum" tattoo, you can't say someone is a serial killer because they have greasy hair, and you can't say someone is a paedo because they like the bling.

Of course, the reason people reach for this crap is because if you can Other Savile, you don't have to admit that there might be others like him, perhaps people that you know. Uncle Bob isn't like that, look at him he's normal; Auntie Joan is just friendly, there's nothing weird about it... And this is why people who report don't get believed, and the rape culture continues.

I know this is a big ask, but can we not just treat individual cases as individuals? And look at the evidence for each case instead of making stupid assumptions of guilt or innocence based on stereotypes? And let people be tried under due process rather than in the court of public opinion?

Yeah, I know, too big an ask... :(
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
Do you know what really annoys me about this privacy argument? The number of people complaining about "unelected judges making up law".

Firstly, to talk in generalities, the three arms of any legitimate government are the legislature, the executive and THE JUDICIARY. Judges are MEANT to interpret the laws they are given by the legislature, and they are MEANT to fill in the gaps when people have a dispute and the legislature hasn't legislated for that particular dispute. Just because we have a fucked up slightly unbalanced system in this country where the executive effectively controls the legislature and has carte blanche to do what it likes does not mean the system would be made better by having the executive control the judiciary as well.

Secondly, to speak to this specific matter, when I did my initial degree in the mid nineties, we discussed how the forthcoming Freedom of Information Act meant that we would need a corresponding privacy act, or there would be all sorts of problems, especially given the vagueness of the provisions of the forthcoming Human Rights Act. If, FIFTEEN SODDING YEARS LATER we still haven't got a privacy act, that is NOT the fault of the judges. Judges have to adjudicate on the case before them whether there is statute or not. If there IS statute then they are bound to use it, but if there ISN'T... If parliament doesn't want "unelected judges making up law" they should pull their bloody fingers out and enact something.

Of course they won't, because it's too much of a hot potato, and it's far easier to do nothing, and when a flare-up happens sit back on your comfy green/red benches and whine about "unelected judges making up law" because most of the mainstream media, and therefore the public, are so ill-informed in legal and constitutional matters that they'll just swallow it and parrot it back to each other.

In summary: anyone who whines about "unelected judges making up law" can safely be dismissed as talking total bollocks, probably to score political points.

And that's not just the wine talking (please excuse any drunken typos).
miss_s_b: (Default)
Some people will find this entire entry triggery. I apologise for that in advance, but I think what I am putting here needs saying. I've put the worst bits behind a cut.

Sometimes a person fails through lack of empathy; this is not their fault, necessarily, although it can be if they do it wilfully. But mostly, it's just that they haven't really thought about what it would be like to be another person. There has been a lot of vilification of Ken Clarke today for comments he has made about rape, and I find the revulsion that he has triggered in many people entirely understandable. But then, I have been raped. I suspect Ken Clarke hasn't. And I further suspect that most of the people who think the way that he seems to on the matter of rape have not been raped either. It seems to me that most of the people who think that way have only considered the physical ramifications of a rape: if you are forced to have sex against your will by someone you have never met, there is much more likely to be the use of a weapon and much more likely to be serious physical injury, therefore that is worse than so-called "date rape".

This takes no consideration of the psychological effects of rape whatsoever.

I'd like to put forward four scenarios for your consideration, dear reader, and then there will be a poll. I'd like you to answer for yourself in the poll because obviously, none of us can know how another person will react. As always, if you don't have a Dreamwidth account you can log in with openID (any google, blogger, yahoo, myspace, wordpress, flickr, or lots of other accounts can function as an openID) here.

cut for triggeryness )
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 26

Which scenario do you think would have the worst PHYSICAL effect on you (tick all that apply)

View Answers

1 (3.8%)

17 (65.4%)

15 (57.7%)

15 (57.7%)

Which scenario do you think would have the worst PSYCHOLOGICAL effect on you (tick all that apply)

View Answers

11 (42.3%)

9 (34.6%)

3 (11.5%)

22 (84.6%)

Which scenario do you think would have the MOST LONG-LASTING effect on you (tick all that apply)

View Answers

5 (19.2%)

5 (19.2%)

1 (3.8%)

25 (96.2%)

Which scenario do you think would have the worst OVERALL effect on you (tick all that apply)

View Answers

2 (7.7%)

3 (11.5%)

2 (7.7%)

26 (100.0%)

my answers )

I can understand what people are saying when they say that you can't classify rapes; that each rape must be considered on a case by case basis, and that ranking types of rape is wrong. I can understand it, but I don't fully share that view. I do rank types of rape. I classify them and I rank them. The problem is that I give far more importance to the psychological damage caused by rape, and therefore my rankings are radically different from the rankings of those who only consider the physical damage caused by rape.

For me, I can conceive of cases of date rape that would be less awful than some forms of stranger rape, for example if if a stranger rape happens in a place where you previously felt safe, like your home. But if all other elements of the crime are equal (level of force applied, etc.) date rape is a lot worse than stranger rape. Where I do agree with those who say you can't categorise rape is that each case should be considered on its own facts, and no case of rape should automatically fall into one sentencing bracket or another.

But then, I think that about ALL crimes.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
Ken Clarke is a long-time political operator, and as such has attracted many labels. The one currently doing the rounds is Liberal Tory, and this is the one being chucked about in the press as a reason why Lib Dems are/ought to be supporting him in his role as Justice Minister, and his proposed reforms to the justice system.

With all due respect to our journalistic cousins, I submit that this is the wrong reason to be supporting him. The reason we ought to be supporting him is not his political convictions and background. The reason we ought to be supporting him is that, alongside his many other experiences and qualifications, he is a QC. He knows the justice system, knows how it works (and doesn't), and has contacts in the profession from whom he can gain current insights.

If you're a Lib Dem, you should be a supporter of evidence-based policy making (as opposed to policy and ideology based evidence selection). Ken Clarke might be a Tory - and my belief is that if you're going to call him a Liberal Tory, he's a Liberal Tory, rather than a Liberal Whig who is in the Tory party - but he is a person who is well-qualified and experienced to make evidence-based judgements in the field of the justice system.

The fact that a lot of the judgements he is making are in accord with the sort of stuff I have believed since I did my law degree only make this easier for me.

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The Blood is the Life!

Saturday, June 20th, 2009 10:50 am
miss_s_b: (Blogging: Dreamwidth/LJ - Make Love Not )
Fresh Squeezings from the veins of the internet:
  • One of my current favourite blogs is Crust of the Grouch ([syndicated profile] crust_of_the_grouch_feed). Grouch is a non-aligned political commenter. The text of her comments tends towards the pithy, so she won't overwhelm your f-list with essays like some. But the best bit is that she's an artist, and therefore each post has a satirical illustration of some kind. The one that jumped out to me today is here.

  • Count Packula, Prince of Markness documents what happens when the twitterverse applies itself to a Daily Fail poll. Basically, hilarity ensues.

  • The European Court of Human rights has SENSE shock! Via Feminist Law Professors ([syndicated profile] feministlawprofessor_feed) comes the news that the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously found that a state violated the human rights of the applicant and her mother in failing to protect them against domestic violence. Hurrah!

  • Of all the fallout from my resignation from Liberal Conspiracy, this is the bit that makes me saddest. Aaron was the person who convinced my to write for LC in the first place, and although he might not have the purity of liberalism some of my fellow Lib Dems would like to see, he's a good man, and his heart's in the right place, even when his typing fingers aren't. Hope the sanity break does the trick, sweetie.

  • Today's Lib Demmery: Mr Quist is one of many commenting on the Michael Brown thing today. Honestly, other parties have SHITLOADS of dodgy donors. We have ONE and nobody will ever let us forget it... And Lib Dem Voice has a post illustrating the importance of literacy. Nob = posh person. Knob = cock. Spelling is important!
And now for today's meme:

If your comment to this post includes the words Peter Cushing lives in Whitstable I will ask you five questions. You must then answer those questions and make a similar offer on your own blog.

[livejournal.com profile] sideshow_meg asked me the following five questions:
  1. If you could buy anything, what would it be?
  2. What did you want to be when you were little?
  3. What is your favourite tv show?
  4. What is your favourite alcoholic drink?
  5. Where would you like to travel if money was no object?
and the answers are under the cut )

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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