Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Exploitation No More

Hampshire Constabulary has arrested nine people in relation to the alleged sexual exploitation of teenagers. 

But they include a 13-year-old boy from Portsmouth (who is almost certainly younger than any of the alleged victims), and a 14-year-old boy and two 15-year-olds from Havant, as well as two 17-year-old boys and three men aged 21, 23 and 29 from Portsmouth. 

This means that four of the nine people who have been arrested for non-consensual sex could not legally have engaged in consensual sex. How does that make any sense at all? It does not. It simply does not.

The 2001 Parliament contained the worst House of Commons since the 1930s, and 2003 was a particularly bad year even by the standards of that House.

It nodded through the Iraq War in return, on the Labour side, for nothing more than a ban on foxhunting that everyone knew that there was absolutely intention to enforce, and for which neither the Prime Minister nor the Chief Whip voted. On the Conservative side, nothing at all was sought or given, since that party, like the Government and its Labour supporters, had declared itself a branch office of the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, not necessarily in that order.

At the same time, they both nodded through the completely astonishing Criminal Justice Act, which greatly increased Police powers of stop and search, abolished the right of prisoners to appeal to the High Court for bail, extended the right of the prosecution to appeal against the decision of a Magistrates Court to grant bail, introduced conditional cautions that could still lead to prosecutions, requires the defence to detail its case in advance to the prosecution, requires the defence to list its witnesses for prior interview by the Police, give the prosecution the right of appeal against the judge’s decision to terminate the case or to exclude evidence, made possible Crown Court trials without a jury, abolished the immemorial protection against double jeopardy, extended the power of the prosecution to introduce the defendant’s “bad character” (by no means only previous convictions), restricted the right of the defence to cross-examine prosecution witnesses on their own criminal records, permitted the admission of hearsay evidence, and introduced indeterminate sentence of "imprisonment for public protection" for offences that would otherwise carry a maximum sentence of 10 years.

And they both nodded through Harriet Harman of the Paedophile Information Exchange’s Sexual Offences Act. That had two main effects. One was to create various new weapons for the social control of teenagers in general and of teenage boys in particular; watch out for the class element in this case in Hampshire. The other was to classify as rape any heterosexual encounter that the female party then decided at any future time to define as having been so; watch out for that here, too. 

In the last 15 years, this has spawned the insistence that the Police must “believe the victim”, and the practice, recently upheld in the Supreme Court, of informing potential employers that a job applicant  or aspirant voluntary worker has been charged with rape even after he has been acquitted, thereby ending his chance of employment or of voluntary work. Thank you, Harriet Harman of the Paedophile Information Exchange.

Instead of this, we need to reverse the erosion of trial by jury and of the right to silence, and we need to reverse the existing reversals of the burden of proof. We need the abolition of conviction by majority verdict, which, by definition, provides for conviction even where there is reasonable doubt. We need the extension throughout the United Kingdom of the Scots Law requirement for corroborating evidence.

We need to require that the prosecution present its case within 12 weeks of charge, or else that case be dismissed. We need the abolition of the Crown Prosecution Service, so that the decision as to whether or not to charge should be made the Police, while any high street firm of solicitors would have a partner whose specialisms included prosecution, with such work built into the firm’s ordinary caseload.

We need the restoration of the pre-1968 committal powers of the magistracy. We need the abolition of the admission of anonymous evidence other than from undercover Police Officers. We need the exclusion of the possibility of conviction on anonymous evidence alone.

We need the restoration of the provision that no acquitted person should ever have to stand trial again for the same offence, since the previous change to this has now done its job in the Stephen Lawrence case.

We need an end to the secrecy of the family courts. We need the exclusion of identity cards or any thought of them, and the exclusion of control orders or anything like them. We need the abolition of Police confiscation of assets without a conviction. We need the abolition of stipendiary magistrates sitting alone.

We need the repeal of the Civil Contingencies Act, the repeal of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act, and the repeal of the Official Secrets Acts. We need the repeal of one-sided extradition arrangements. We need the repeal of the provision for “no win, no fee” litigation. We need the restoration and extension of Legal Aid.

We need the enactment of the current judicially imposed arrangement on privacy into the Statute Law, with the placing of the burden of proof in libel actions onto the plaintiff, and with the extension of Legal Aid to defamation actions.

We need a return to preventative policing based on foot patrols, with Police Forces at least no larger than at present, and with the restoration of the network of police stations and police houses that placed the Police at the very heart of their communities. And we need the disbandment of MI5 in favour Police Officers who, while highly specialised, were nevertheless part of accountable community policing.

Furthermore, we need to halt and reverse the proliferation of lap-dancing clubs, and we need to apply the technology that is already used for age verification in order to block pornographic websites altogether.

We need to make it a criminal offence for anyone aged 21 or over to buy or sell sex, with equal sentencing on both sides. We need to define obscenity as material depicting acts that were themselves illegal or which was reasonably likely to incite or encourage such acts, with sentencing the same as for the illegal act in question in each case.

We need a criminal offence of sexual activity with any person under the age of 18 who was more than two years younger than oneself, with a maximum sentence equal to twice the difference in age, abolition of different rules for “positions of trust” and for one sex rather than the other, a ban on abortion or contraception for those under 18 without parental knowledge and consent, and the application of the law on indecent images equally to boys and to girls.

We need the removal of any financial liability of male victims for pregnancies resulting from their sexual abuse unless they decided as adults to seek to make contact with their children.

We need the replacement of the existing categories of sexual assault with aggravating circumstances to the general categories of offences against the person such that the sentences could be doubled. There must be no anonymity either for adult defendants or for adult complainants.

We need to reverse even the existing reversal of the burden of proof, rule out the legal possibility of being a specifically sexual assailant below the age of consent, and specify that intoxication was a bar to sexual consent only insofar as it would have been a bar to driving.

We need to outlaw American-style internally administered “balance of probabilities” or “preponderance of evidence” tests to sexual assault allegations at universities or elsewhere, outlaw extradition to face charges that fell short of these standards, and exclude such convictions from any legal standing in this country.

And we need to end the practice whereby the Police and others blocked people’s progress into paid or voluntary work, even though they had been acquitted, by suggesting that they might have been guilty after all.

There is going to be another hung Parliament, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in in it. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

I have spent more than 20 years, since I was just about still in my teens and had never seen the Internet, trying to get the story out about Harriet Harman and the Paedophile Information Exchange. I have paid a terrible journalistic and political price for it, but I have no regrets.

Media that always knew about it simply ignored the whole thing, banning me from their websites and what have you, until a period of no more than two weeks when they needed to distract attention from Patrick Rock. Normal service was rapidly resumed, and it has continued ever since.

No one has done more on this issue than I have. No one. And now, the plan is advancing to make Harman the next Speaker of the House of Commons. Not only would I oppose her election, but, were she already in post, then I would oppose her re-election at the start of the next Parliament.

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