Monday, 4 June 2018

Sleeping Dogs Lie

So Andrew Newton has still been living in this country under the extremely unusual name of Hann Redwin, by which he has been known to the public record since 1994. He has even been ringing in to Jeremy Vine for advice on how to get mould off his acrylic shower curtain. But the Police thought that he was dead? Pull the other one.

You could not write, certainly not with the expectation of getting it past an editor, such details as that Newton went to Dunstaple instead of going to Barnstaple, or that Jeremy Thorpe was married to the ex-wife of the Queen's cousin, or that Noman Scott's wife's sister was married to Terry-Thomas, or that George Carman's second wife had left him for George Best; Carman's son from that marriage has, by the way, been a Lib Dem parliamentary candidate twice in recent years. You might just about get away with the first of those and with one of the other three, but even that would be unlikely. Yet they are all true. The only disappointment is that John Le Mesurier was "not the actor".

There are serious points here, though. Thorpe's dislike of Emlyn Hooson was not just that of an English toff for an uppity Welsh grammar schoolboy, although there was that. Thorpe had taken a Third in Law and never been more than a moderately successful barrister, whereas Hooson had taken silk at 35 (so that he is still one of the youngest QCs ever), he was a member of the Bar Council, and so on.

And George Deakin is still alive. The protection against double jeopardy was a vital liberty the abolition of which was of only questionable value even in the Stephen Lawrence case. That abolition ought to be reversed, and it certainly ought not to be given effect in this instance.

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