Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Lord Rennard Saga Continues..

First of all, the old legal adage in the UK that a person is innocent until proven guilty counts. Also the keenness of Rennard's friends to defend him is in one respect, commendable. I know that difficult scenario, and being prepared to do so, believing that the accused is innocent in the face of public opinion is brave. However, that is no excuse for obnoxious and patronising attitudes, such as we have seen from Lord Carlile, and indeed Michael White's recent piece in The Guardian (although with Michael White, he is not, as far as I am aware, defending Lord Renard, he has been guilty of diminishing the accusations made), nor is it to be used as an oppurtunity to attack the person or persons making the accusations!
Lord Rennard faces not only serious accusations, but initial findings have shown that, while proof is lacking, he may well be guilty. It would be better therefore if, instead of making legal threats, he makes an apology that is acceptable to all concerned. That said, I don't think it is as simple as that, and events may have moved swift to the point where that may be extremely difficult


Tom said...

You simply don't get the presumption of innocence do you? I do not understand how you, Clegg and Michael White can fail to see the absurdity and immorality of asking someone to apologise for actions he denies. Nor can I see how Michael White diminishes the seriousness of the allegations when he points out (a) the progress made on women's rights and (b) that the continued existence of FGM and slavery might be more of a worry than someone propositioning women who are not interested in him and then taking their 'no' for an answer.

The LibDems have treated the matter very seriously in accordance with their rules. A QC no less has investigated and adjudicated. I am sure all the LibDem politicians concerned would have been happier with a guilty ruling so that they could posture about their support for women's rights. You, Polly Toynbee and others are apparently less constrained by facts. You are ready to traduce the innocent if it allows you to play your immoral game of pitting one group in society against the others.

Paul Burgin said...

Tom, I do get the presumption of innocence. However this is a situation where guilt cannot be proven, but the evidence points in direction towards him being guilty. The last sentence of Michael White's article diminishes the seriousness of the allegations, although I agree that times have changed for the better. That does not mean however, that we should accept bad behaviour! As for the taking no for an answer! How do you know? And what do you know of the case! What is concerning in all this, is that at the centre of it all is a concern that there may have been an abuse of power! In other words, a Lib Dem activist who wants to go places in the Party being propositioned by a powerful and well-connected figure within that said Party! As for facts I take them very seriously, that is why I take into consideration the ruling that he may well be guilty but it cannot be proven, nor am I ready ready to traduce innocent people, and pitting one group in society against others! I do however, expect people to adhere to social decorum, decency, and morality!