But we\’re talking about hippies here

While the police may claim that they did have stringent policies and that a couple of rogue officers fell in love while on the job, the sheer number of sexual relationships between activists and undercover officers looks like something more than a coincidence.

No, I don\’t think so really.

We could use the existence of many affairs as evidence of something going off the rails if, within the grouping we\’re examining, such affairs were unusual. Among the Amish perhaps.

But to use the existence of casual sex among hippies as evidence of something unusual is probably going a little over the top really.

22 comments on “But we\’re talking about hippies here

  1. There is a seemingly serious thread in the comments to the piece that tries to categorise this as rape.

    It is surely ethically dubious, and must be very upsetting fo the women to discover the deception, but actually, legally speaking, rape?

    Is it just me or is there an increasing tendency for the left to ignore the law as it actually stands and instead pronounce everything they disagree with as illegal (not just this but most of House of Murph)?

  2. ‘It must be a horrifying experience to discover that your partner is not the person they say they are’

    Is she serious??

  3. isn’t this the same notion of sexual assault that got the wikileaks guy? When short term shag number 2 confided in short term shag number one that she was worried about getting the clap on account of split/no condom and the probability that young Julian was…err… a serial shagger, the local police helpfully construed it as assault. Regret dropping you knickers? No worries, we can represent it after the fact as sexual assault , rape if you are lucky.

  4. Gary@1, quite right, it is not legally speaking rape, no matter how ethically dubious we find it.

    As for the writer of the Guardian article, who says, “the sheer number of sexual relationships between activists and undercover officers looks like something more than a coincidence”, and ” It is surely inconceivable that the authorities didn’t know, or that they didn’t at least tacitly approve of, sexual relationships as part of the methodology of police spying”, it seems to me entirely conceivable that people may end up having sex if they are mutually sexually attracted and spend some time together.

    She does not present any figures relating to the number of sexual relationships between activists and undercover officers and their peers (iow, there is no evidence for her claim it is anything out of the ordinary), and her assertion is based on a claim made by undercover officer Mark Kennedy, who also said that “Everybody knew [environmental activism] was a very promiscuous lifestyle… You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you’ll stand out straightaway.”

  5. “Is it just me or is there an increasing tendency for the left to ignore the law as it actually stands and instead pronounce everything they disagree with as illegal (not just this but most of House of Murph)?”

    It’s certainly not just you..,

  6. And remember, the writer of the article is a lawyer, presumably interested in drumming up more business. She may not believe what she writes at all.

  7. What’s starting to piss me is that back when I was doing the hippy thing, Summer of Love® & all that, I never actually got any of this casual sex. Heard about it but never actually got any.
    I either want a refund on my Glastonbury tickets or special consideration for a career in police undercover work.
    I know my rights.

  8. One sex manipulating the other for sexual favours (or by sexual favours)? Shock, horror. You reckon it is a one-way street? ged oudda here!

    I remember finding out from a friend that it was really fun teasing me and keeping me hanging on and virginal (and that by a 16 year old when I was 15). It was the talk of the local convent school. Humilliating? You bet!

    Seduced by a ‘friend’ to upset someone else by making them jealous. Yeah, as well. Should I go to the police? I’ve been used.

    Sex withheld until I comply with other demands. Yup, been there, done that too.

    Have I always been told the truth by potential or real partners. Sometimes, yes, sometimes no. Have I been truthful and pure in motive? Mostly. I must be stupid!

    Good grief, both sexes have been at this game for as long as we have existed.

    We can all be noble or not. It depends.

    And I have to believe that women are nobler than men and only have sex for lurve or exclsuively’ because I fancy you’!!!

    OK. Whatever.

  9. In this guardian article I think the language is unduly inflated.
    Though I have my suspicions about the level of affairs amongst the Amish.

  10. I can’t see how the police did anything wrong – wouldn’t it look suspicious if they were turning down sex? They wouldn’t want to, ahem, blow their cover…

  11. What some people seem to think is that legal consent is predicated on not being deceived, but of course it depends on the nature of the deceit.

    If you lie to a woman that vaginal penetration is necessary for a surgical operation she cannot give legal consent.

    If you convince a woman that her breathing problem will be solved if she performs oral sex on you, she cannot give legal consent.

    If you lie to your identical twin’s wife that you are him, she cannot give legal consent.

    (the above examples are based on real cases)

    In short if someone cannot give legal consent if they are deceived “as to the nature or purpose of the act” and/or they believe you are another person known personally to them.

    (Also, people have confused this, for some reason, with transmission of an STI – that wouldn’t fall under a sexual offence but GBH.)

    To be fair, please note that yesterday’s protest alleged not rape but misconduct in public office – that seems a much more reasonable charge. It is other people who are, IMV, manufacturing outrage about alleged rape and destroying the meaning of the word.

  12. Your second example makes me bristle, but I can’t quite put my finger on why. Perhaps I lack sympathy for the terminally gullible. It also reminds me of the leprechaun joke.

  13. @Matthew. I guess what the second example is getting at is some people are incapable of giving consent i.e. the mentally incapacitated. I buy that.

  14. Matthew,

    The case was R v WILLIAMS [1923]. Williams was a choirmaster at a Presbyterian church. It was arranged that he would give singing lessons to two young women, aged 16 and 19. He convinced the 16 year old that her breathing wasn’t right and her singing would be improved if he performed an ‘operation’ on her – he did that on two separate occasions. (He sexually assaulted the 19 year old.)

    Williams would later appeal against the rape conviction but his appeal was dismissed. The court held that “where a girl … is persuaded that what is being done to her is not, the ordinary act of sexual intercourse but is some medical or surgical operation in order to give her relief from some disability from which she is suffering, then that is rape although the actual thing that was done was done with her consent, because she never consented to the act of sexual intercourse. She was persuaded to consent to what he did because she thought it was not sexual intercourse and because she thought it was a surgical operation.”

  15. Gary,

    @Matthew. I guess what the second example is getting at is some people are incapable of giving consent i.e. the mentally incapacitated. I buy that.

    No, that is a separate matter: “a person consents if he agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice” (s74 SOA 2003). A person with a mental disorder (or someone who is inebriated) may not have the “capacity” to give legal consent.

    My examples related to the nature or ‘quality’ of the consent (such as it was) – all three victims had the capacity to consent.

  16. Ah, that’s an entirely reasonable conviction. There’s two points that make it reasonable for me:

    1) He was in a position of authority.
    2) He represented the act as not a sexual one, but a medical procedure.

    I had in mind the guru types who convince girls that to achieve spiritual nirvana they need to have sex with the guru – but they don’t pretend it’s not sexual.

    It now reminds me of the joke about a man going in for a prostate exam and wondering why he can feel one hand resting on each shoulder.

  17. @ukliberty/mathew

    Right, but in no way could the undercover officer be misrepresenting the sexual act as a medical procedure or something (unless they saw it as a blow to The Man*). So no rape as suggested in the comments to the original article but not in the article itself.

    * sorry -couldn’t resist!

  18. I agree with Pete. When I was at university back in the early 1980s the casual sex thing was seriously hampered by constant TV adverts telling impressionable young women (at least I hoped they were impressionable) that we were all going to die of aids. Almost thirty years on and happily married, I now drive a range rover and now apparently I am going to kill everyone a second time. I feel persecuted..

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