After such an extended break from blogging, you will be deeply disappointed that I restart with something as mundane and trivial as Jeremy Clarkson. I have defended the man in the past, because I much enjoy Top Gear and consider that much of what he has been criticised for in the past had been an amusing winding-up of the po-faced of the kind I employ myself. But nasty, indeed vicious bullying of a subordinate should always be a sacking offence.
That did not ought to be the question, though. He hit someone and they had to go to hospital. Where are the police? They are incredibly fond of sweeping up scores of teenagers for thought crime, but here we have an actual violent assault that spills blood, and it seems completely out of the question the perpetrator is brought to account. Why is that? I had a personal experience a couple of years ago when I was very mildly hurt – less than young Oisin – in an assault, and the police insisted on arresting the perpetrator despite my repeated requests to them not to do so. They told me rather firmly that the idea that it is the victim who has a say in pressing charges, is a myth. Why was Clarkson not arrested?
I cannot in my mind dissociate this from the non-arrest of Jimmy Savile for his crimes, despite their being well-known and reported at the time. That seems to link in to the wider paedophilia scandal, and the question of why no action was taken even in the most blatant of cases when there was compelling evidence, such as that of the extremely nasty Greville Janner MP.
But then I think still more widely as to why, for example, Jack Straw has not been charged with the crime of misfeasance in public office after boasting of using his position to obtain “under the radar” changes in regulations to benefit commercial clients, in exchange for cash. I wonder why a large number of people did not go to jail for the HSBC tax avoidance schemes or the LIBOR rigging scandal, which involved long term dishonest manipulation by hundreds of very highly paid bankers.
At the top of the tree is of course the question of why Blair has not been charged for the crime of waging illegal war. The Chilcot Inquiry heard evidence that every single one of the FCO’s elite team of Legal Advisers believed that the invasion of Iraq was an illegal war of aggression. Yet now the media disparage as nutters those who say Blair should be charged.
Then I think of all the poor and desperate people who get jailed for stealing comparatively miniscule amounts in benefit fraud, or the boy who was jailed for stealing a bottle of water in the London riots.
The conclusion is that we do not have a system of justice in this country at all. We have a system where the wealthy and governing classes and those associated with them enjoy almost absolute impunity, broken in only the rarest of cases. At the same time those at the bottom of the pile are kicked hard to keep them there. There is no more chance of justice against those in power in the UK than there is of the killers of Nemtsov being brought to book in Russia.
But what has really scared me is this thought. This situation has been like this my entire life: and I have reached the age of 56 before I realised it. A very great many people have still not realised it at all.
What does not scare me is this. I realise that if the system of justice is completely corrupted, then there is no obligation on me to follow the laws of the state. In fact it would be wrong of me to do so. I must seek my ethical compass elsewhere than in the corrupt power structure which weighs so hard upon the people.