Gary GlitterAugust 21, 2008 Tim WorstallLaw, Sex19 CommentsI proposed a column on this subject to this newspaper. Carol Sarler\’s done it rather better than I would have done. previousMuhammed CohennextThe Olympics and sportsmanship. 19 thoughts on “Gary Glitter” Letters From A Tory August 21, 2008 at 10:22 am I hardly think putting people on the sex offenders register is ‘making them pay again’ for their crime – isn’t it a simple case of helping to protect the public? http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com JuliaM August 21, 2008 at 11:57 am Yes, it is. Sarler’s an idiot. JuliaM August 21, 2008 at 12:01 pm “…had his crime been other than fiddling with little Vietnamese girls, had he instead been convicted and imprisoned for, say, drug smuggling or a gang-related killing spree, he could return to Britain without a shred of further official intervention in his life.” There’s no compulsion to smuggle drugs or kill other gang members – it’s either a spur of the moment thing, or a carefully planned business. So, yes, we don’t need to maintain a ‘gang register’ or ‘drug sales register’. But a sex-offendor register? Yes, that we do need. So long as we are careful about who goes on it. David Gerard August 21, 2008 at 12:35 pm They could always send him to the Moon … but they don’t want him either. JuliaM August 21, 2008 at 12:52 pm “Glitter’s new single, “Thank Heaven For Young Women With Photographic Identification Certifying They Are Of Legal Age,” is to be released on Jonathan King’s record label.” Lol! 🙂 David Gerard August 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm The hardest part was writing it without using the words “paedophile” or “child molester” once. Peter Risdon August 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm There’s another possibility: that paedophile behaviour is a part of the complicated spectrum of human behaviour and falls into no discrete categories, not simply mad, nor merely bad, nor exclusively anything else. Stephen August 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm There’s no compulsion to smuggle drugs or kill other gang members So you agree with the “mad” thesis. Why then the “bad” response? JuliaM August 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm “So you agree with the “mad” thesis. Why then the “bad” response?” Because it’s possible to be both. llamas August 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm Look, the current brouhaha has nothing to do with whether Glitter/Gadd is mad or bad. What it has to do with is scoring political points with the likes of Daily Mail readers. Britons have been whipped into such a frenzy about this fortunately-very-rare crime that they see imaginary abusers behind every lamp-post. In this climate, there is nothing easier for the Home Secretary to do that to make a big play about just how tough they’re going to be on this man, just as soon as they get their hands on him. No suggestion for what the UK Gummint should do with him is so extreme that it will not be immediately fallen upon by the baying mob as being insufficiently harsh. For the HS – it’s a no-lose proposition. She could express the desire of HMG to hand him in chains from the London Eye, and voters would yell that it wasn’t enough. There is no longer any rational debate on anything connected with this issue in the UK – the mob has taken over. In many ways, the UK is where the US was 20 years ago, when the hysteria over ‘satanic ritual abuse’ took off. It is to hope that the UIK can also shake off this ‘extraordinary popular delusion’. It’s almost as if the glorious impotence of the UK criminal justice system to deal with a tidal wave of serious and frequent crime has been somehow crystallized into veer-more-extreme demands for the most ghastly retributions against these fortuantely-very-rare criminals, for who no punishment for either their past acts or their assumed future acts is considered too extreme. Glitter/Gadd has done his time in the UK for offences committed in the UK, and is already on the register. The Home Secretary’s statements amount to Dean Wormer’s threats to apply Double Super Secret Probation – we’re going to Put Him On The Register – Again! He has likewise done his time for offences committed outside the UK. I have my doubts about the reliability of his convictions in those foreign lands, but let them stand as though proven. What all this vapouring amounts to is punishment for crimes which have not yet occurred. What the HS is saying, in effect, is that she is going to decide that some UK citizens are to be placed on what amounts to state arrest – forever. The sentence handed down by a court for crimes committed means nothing – if she so decides, your actual sentence is life at the pleasure of HMG. And, it should be noted, the ‘crime’ that she proposes to punish with these new powers – may actually not be a crime in the places where it would take place. In effect, she is saying ‘ we are going to punish you, for a crime that you did not yet commit, in a place where it is not a crime, because it would be a crime if you committed it here in the UK’. Seem like the rule of law to you? llater, llamas Mr Potarto August 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm “I hardly think putting people on the sex offenders register is ‘making them pay again’ for their crime – isn’t it a simple case of helping to protect the public?” Depends on the register. Using this website: http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/nsor/search_index.htm I can see there are two level 2 sex offenders in my town. I can see their names, their pictures, their addresses, identifying marks, details of their convictions and sentences. Fascinating stuff. It also gives me the make, model, colour and licence plate numbers of their cars so I can keep an eye out for them driving past my house. Now, do you think these men are able to just quietly get on with their lives like a released murderer would? Mr Potarto August 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm “But a sex-offender register? Yes, that we do need. So long as we are careful about who goes on it.” Since when has this Government ever been careful about who goes onto registers? llamas August 21, 2008 at 6:34 pm Building on Mr Portato’s comments: Once upon a time, in the US, an employee was browsing the state SO register. She was concerned that there might be a SO living near her and her young children. What she found – was one of her male co-workers. Complete with every possible identifying datum, including a photograph. There was no question but that it was him, and no other. The description of the crime of which he had been convicted was standard – 2° CSC, which is decided on a ‘cafeteria plan’ of circumstances, so it could cover quite a wide range of offences. And then she made sure that all her co-workers knew about it. And the resulting mess was just frightful. He lost his job, of course – in the US, most employment is at-will, so he had no real recourse. So now his wife and children just lost the breadwinner of their family. The at-work turmoil was just unreal to behold – at least one employee managed to turn this into a claim of workplace harrassment. There were cliques, and factions, and people transferred out of that group – it was just an unholy mess. Noone benefitted a lick by this. His crime was 20 years and more old, he had a spotless record since then. The circumstances of his crime were such that they might give many readers here a ‘there but for the grace of God . . . ‘ moment. I’m not saying that there should not be a SO register – I’m just saying that it may not be an unalloyed good. llater, llamas Kay Tie August 21, 2008 at 6:46 pm “So long as we are careful about who goes on it.” And being careful is a hallmark of this Government, isn’t it? I mean, there’s no way check boxes would get in the way of treating people justly, is there? I know of a case – I won’t say how – where a kid victim of child abuse is now, aged 13, sexually abusing his siblings. It’s a very common pattern, I’m told. Thus, in the name of thinking of the children, we ought to also put all the victims of child abuse on the offender’s register, no? Ray Rigby August 21, 2008 at 10:45 pm “So long as we are careful about who goes on it.” “So long as we are careful about who goes on it.” Mmm, yes, like someone with an underage stick drawing on their hard drive:- http://professorsapient.blogspot.com/2008/05/would-sketched-stick-figures-depicted.html john cramer August 22, 2008 at 2:19 am It has got all the men on the run though – hasn’t it. that is why you all are righteous. Just in case someone might think you approve of upsetting the kiddies. Should make pedophiles wear a star on their arm – but that has already been spoken for. JuliaM August 22, 2008 at 8:51 am “Thus, in the name of thinking of the children, we ought to also put all the victims of child abuse on the offender’s register, no?” No. Because of that tricky ‘innocent until proven guilty’ thing. Though NuLab are doing their best to reverse that…. diogenes1960 August 22, 2008 at 2:37 pm at the risk of causing massive offence, just where do you draw the boundaries of paedophilia? My current paramour lost her virginity at the age of 12 – because she was hormonally precocious (wearing a bra and menstruating). She does not see herself as a victim of paedophilia. In other words, what is a paedophile? Is it possible to select one age and say that, on one side of that age you are a child and on the other an adult? This is real-life and the law cannot be relied upon to get it right. Or on the other hand you can continue to read the Daily Mail and be informed by its deep philosophical insights. Tim adds: This is an excellent post on precisely this point. http://brackenworld.blogspot.com/2008/08/nonce-baiting-frenzy.html Kay Tie August 23, 2008 at 12:43 am “No. Because of that tricky ‘innocent until proven guilty’ thing.” But the people on the register haven’t committed any future crime yet, and so are innocent too. The point of the register is to hold a list of people who are a higher than normal risk of offending. Hence victims should go on the register too. I’m deeply concerned how all this “protection” is spiraling away into de facto “do not work” and “do not travel” lists. Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.