No, I don’t see it really

Theresa May has warned that giving suspects anonymity will hamper police investigations after Sir Cliff Richard won a landmark High Court privacy battle against the BBC.

The Prime Minister said that publishing the name of a suspect “enables other potential victims to come forward” in some cases and therefore “strengthens the case against an individual”.

I do understand the argument. Just as I also understand the one where anonymous accusers, who stay anonymous for life – in the absence of conviction for false accusations – might be tempted to accuse out of malice and thereby cause problems for those publicly named.

Given human nature I regard the second as the greater risk of the two.

Where accuser gains privacy protection, so should accused.

19 comments on “No, I don’t see it really

  1. Still, you’ve got to admire the unerring accuracy of Treeza’s reverse-Midas touch.

    Five minutes after a popular and sympathetic national icon is vindicated against a bloated, multi-billion pound state media empire (that hates Treeza’s guts) and our worthless, shitebag police (widely despised by even the most law-n-ornery of Tory voters these days), Treeza chooses to attract negative attention to… herself.

    Can we put “Womp, Womp” on her headstone?

  2. This is one of those “you know porn when you see it” issues.

    I don’t have a problem with them reporting the story and naming him, but they went way
    OTT. It didn’t need overhead helicopters filming the police search and to be lead story.

  3. ‘The Prime Minister said that publishing the name of a suspect “enables other potential victims to come forward” ‘

    That’s certainly an interesting use of the word ‘potential’, there.

  4. Is May some elaborate art project to create a persona of complete uselessness in public life? One designed to say the wrong thing on every occasion?

  5. Rob – I supect Putin is behind this. How else to explain why a woman you wouldn’t hire as a receptionist is our Prime Minister?

    She can’t even get political set pieces right. Who are Cliff fans? Overwhelmingly, they’re older women. If you drew a Venn diagram there’d be a good overlap with Tory voters.

    Plus, you’ve got a lot of men increasingly alarmed at the way random blokes off the telly can be hounded through the courts for years on flimsy accusations that very obviously won’t stand up in court – but the process is the punishment. Also a lot of Conservative voters in that demographic.

    So what does Treeza do? If she was one of those rats scientists offer treats and mild electric shocks to try to train them to navigate mazes, she’d be a crispy rodent by now.

  6. How the Beeb quaffed the Bolly at their parties to celebrate the Murdoch press getting roasted. Leveson, obviously, would never be used on the Beeb.

    How the Beeb giggled at the ritual humiliation of the Gay Who Wouldn’t Come Out. The enforcement arm of the State had conspired with the Media arm of the State to debag the blighter. What larks!

    Then suddenly, it all turns to dust. And this is a blow at the freedom of the media! The wonderful theatre of the helicopter shots occasioned by something a bloke down the pub said, are an invasion of privacy. The Beeb it seems, cannot publicise a matter in the national interest!

    And, worst of all, as a Beeb spokesperson explained, this is a victory for purveyors of fake news! When the public turn to trusted sources like the Beeb and are deprived of seeing hordes of the military (they don’t look like The Bill) invading the home of an aged celebrity, how will they know what is fake news?

    A sad day indeed for freedom of the press, the freedom to get revenge on the Gay Who Would’n’t Come Out.

  7. Tommy Robinson is rousted for allegedly–not actually –doing that but it WAS ok pre-trial to ask who were the other VICTIMS of the old white slebs? The VERY word VICTIM pre-supposing that the accused is GUILTY. Not to mention that Plod talk about possible compensation in these “trawls”. Just in case they only get replies from general nutters, sleb freaks, attention seekers etc,

    You wouldn’t want to leave gold-digging female psychopaths out.

  8. Yes

    “enables other potential victims to come forward”

    Publicising ‘Nick’s’ allegations worked out well didn’t it?

    Is there anyone with a commonsense brain cell left in the justice system?

  9. There’s a terminology problem here. For me at least. Are you a suspect before there is proof of a crime? Can an accusation of a purported crime many years ago trigger anything more than an investigation, a fact-finding exercise? And given the shaky nature of any historical assertion without actual evidence why should anyone’s name be made public. There should be some protection for the object of the investigation until a little further on in the process, maybe when a charge is made.

  10. starfish: ’Is there anyone with a commonsense brain cell left in the justice system?’

    If so, I’m sure natural wastage will soon see the PC PCs rid of them.

  11. Sauce for goose; sauce for gander.

    ‘The Prime Minister said that publishing the name of a suspect “enables other potential victims to come forward” in some cases and therefore “strengthens the case against an individual”.’

    Or…

    The Prime Minister said that publishing the name of an accuser “enables other people previously falsely accused by that accuser to come forward” in some cases and therefore “strengthens the case that the accuser is a serial liar.

    That works too.

  12. “enables other potential victims to come forward”

    Yes, all those ‘victims’ previously terrified into silence by Cliff Richard. Cliff Richard.

    This was tabloid-level sensationalism by snobbish bastards who claim to despise tabloid-level sensationalism. At least you aren’t forced by law to buy the Sun.

  13. As with others, I can see both sides of the argument. But when any man (and it seems to be universally men) is accused of “kiddy fiddling” then there seems to be a big dose of “shit sticks” – and note how you never see “big news” stories (front pages, headlines on TV) about how the accused didn’t do it.
    Only today, I was reading in one of the papers how he’s ended up having to avoid some situations to avoid suggestions along the lines of “there he goes again”. So just the accusation and process is effectively a punishment.

  14. “The Prime Minister said that publishing the name of a suspect “enables other potential victims to come forward” in some cases and therefore “strengthens the case against an individual”.”

    Why should it? Why does someone coming forward for a separate crime strengthen the case for another crime? Either you have a case for a crime, or you don’t.

    The problem with this sort of thing is that what you get are half a dozen cases prosecuted together which makes the jury think there must be something going on. It loads the jury against the accused.

    If each case against Rolf Harris had been prosecuted separately he would have walked. A couple were clearly fantasists, attention-seekers and liars.

  15. What Bloke on M4 said.
    Normally previous convictions may not be mentioned during a trial so that the jury can only look at the evidence presented.
    One of the cases against Rolf Harris was that he was accused of attacking a girl in Cambridge while he was demonstrably in Canada and his response was “I’ve never even been to Cambridge” so someone found he had once been to Cambridge in a different year during a whistle-stop tour when he didn’t know where he was so he *must* be guilty.
    I find it quite easy to believe that several pop stars took advantage of groupies in any year since the pill was invented, but that is not the same as saying every pop star ever has raped an innocent.

  16. “Why should it? Why does someone coming forward for a separate crime strengthen the case for another crime? Either you have a case for a crime, or you don’t.”

    What you worry about is actually how things are. Allegations can be viewed as mutually supportive now due to a change in 1997/8. Previously there had to be “striking similarities” for crimes (alleged) to be tied together, which goes back to the “Brides in the Bath” murderer.

    Problem was it was loosened so much that it became pretty much “anything vaguely similar” (this has been going on in residential care and schooling for 30+ years incidentally).

    So Plod just collected huge quantities of allegations and didn’t bother to check them. In the Roache case, one of the allegations was something like “I’m sure he assaulted me but I can’t remember anything about it”. So you end up with legally allowed “no smoke without fire”.

    Hence no evidence required, just numbers of allegations. This is why Plod was so keen on the helicopter ; it wasn’t PR ; it was to encourage the nutters and compo chasers to make up stories.

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