This is interesting

A campaign to pardon nearly 50,000 men convicted under a 19th-century law for homosexual activity is being delayed amid concerns in Whitehall that a small number of paedophiles could be included.

The problem being that under the old law no distinction wsa made, as we would now, between over 16s and under 16s. Ang given the current paedo craze, well, umm…..

However, there’s something quite different here. The argument being put forward is that as these men did nothing morally wrong under current law therefore they should be pardoned. Well, test that assertion how you like.

But doesn’t that mean that anyone at all convicted under a law that we no longer have deserves a pardon? We no longer have conscription thus all who avoided or evaded deserve a pardon? We no longer have Schedule A (is that the right phrase for income tax on the imputed rental value of an owned home?) so those convicted for evading it get a pardon?

Where does one stop with this?

21 thoughts on “This is interesting”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    One stops where the lobbying stops. Where there is no lobby determined to shame White heterosexual cis-males for their past behaviour, there is no pressure to pardon anyone. Where there is, the bureaucracy will cave into the pressure.

    People who dodged tax have no Social Justice Warriors campaigning for them.

  2. “But doesn’t that mean that anyone at all convicted under a law that we no longer have deserves a pardon? ”

    No, only that anyone convicted under a law we now believe it was morally wrong to have ever had should be pardoned.

    I don’t think anyone believes that minor changes in the tax structure are (generally) made for moral reasons, so no, tax evaders aren’t ripe for pardons.

    Conscription is more of a grey area, because whilst it’s generally morally wrong, one could make a reasonable argument that it was not morally wrong during the Second World War.

    Where it gets really interesting is when we look at laws which are just plain stupid, rather than directly immoral. The war on cannabis would be an example there. Is it moral or immoral to break such laws?

    All that aside, we should certainly applaud the government for adopting the principle that if a law is immoral, the right thing to do is to break it.

  3. @Dave, conscription is a grey area because it was a valid morally at the time – agreed. But homosexuality could be argued the same way too as a valid moral case – for the time. We should never look back on history and apply our current moral codes on it and declare it wrong.

  4. Presumably any law was made because at the time it was thought to be right, then repealed because it was thought to be wrong. This is simple special pleading as part of campaigning, and nothing to do with some sort of moral correction.

    Ursula Kemp, convicted of witchcraft in Essex in 1582. Where’s her pardon?

    They’re sure going to be handing out a lot of posthumous pardons and apologies for the paedohysteria, some decades from now.

  5. I don’t think anyone believes that minor changes in the tax structure are (generally) made for moral reasons

    Except for Ritchie and most of the Progressive Left, that is. Have you paid your fair share?

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’d had have thought this one was fairly easy. We have the principle that it is better that 12 guilty men go free etc and none of these people were convicted paedophiles, so pardon them all.

    Personally I’d rather the past was left alone, its like all these apologies that keep being made, meaningless posturing that make difference to what happened.

  7. It’s a load of bollocks, isn’t it?

    Are we going to pardon everybody who was convicted of witchcraft and everybody who got “done” by the taxman under tax rules that have since changed?

    Nah, because people guilty of those things don’t have the prestige gay rights groups now command in our society.

    Buggery has been decriminalised for half a century now. And rightly so. But even if it was a stupid law, the men prosecuted under it were guilty. They knew the law, and they chose to break it. They don’t deserve a pardon.

    As for Turing, he was treated poorly after the war. So was Tommy Flowers. So were the rest of the Bletchley Park folks. The British Government doesn’t understand the concept of gratitude.

    In Turing’s case, that wrong has been put right, as far as it’s possible to do so. He’s already been pardoned for his crimes, and he’s been showered with posthumous praise and attention for his achievements – much good it’ll do him now.

    Instead of pardoning sex criminals from 100 years ago, can we go after the thousands of child-rapers currently at large in Rochdale, Bradford, Oxford, Bristol, Manchester… ?

    Anyone?

  8. SBML>

    “We should never look back on history and apply our current moral codes on it and declare it wrong.”

    That’s (presumably) your opinion. It’s not an answer to Tim’s question.

    Ian>

    You think Ritchie actually believes that nonsense? Would you like to buy some magic beans which will grow into a bridge made of gold bricks?

  9. Steve: “It’s a load of bollocks, isn’t it?”

    Yes. Yes it is. Why do we have people employed by the state (indirectly, by us) wasting time & resources on it?

  10. In The Past there were many examples of stupid laws, beliefs and practices.

    Unless you believe that we’ve reached some sort of perfection as a species, then it must also be true that future generations will be boggled by us also.

    Therefore, stop wasting time on ancient history and start worrying about what we’re doing right now that future generations will find offensive or worse.

  11. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Surely the purpose of anything like this is to redress a grievance held by the original victims to whom this law applied. Are any of them still alive and unpardioned? If not, then who is benefiting from it? If no-one, then it is meaningless sentimental clap-trap. And anyone who says he is benefiting from it needs to have that claim subjected to scrutiny. It’s also incredibly arrogant to think we can speak for past generations.

  12. Where does one stop with this?

    Well, you *don’t*.

    If someone was convicted under a previous law that no longer exists – that means that current society doesn’t see what they did as *wrong* and there’s no real reason to keep them locked up.

    As far as potentially pardoning ‘pedophiles’ . . .

    1. That’s, as a matter of law, not a hard thing to sort out. Would the relationship be illegal *today* (ie one above and the other too far below the age of consent)? well you miss out on the first round.

    2. What happened to Blackstone’s Formulation? It would,to me far, be more important to get these people out of jail/clear their names (I assume they’re *in* jail or why worry about potential pedos *that are already free*) than to worry about if a few child molesters are cleared in the process.

  13. Relevant here: shortly after realising how disastrous the Vietnam war was, the Seppos pardoned everyone who dodged the draft for that one.

    Agammamon: nobody is still in jail. These were crimes that were abolished in 1967 and for which the prison sentence was at most a few years. The issue is symbolic for the dead, although possibly relevant for a few of the living (old fellow who fails enhanced CRB check and can’t help out at the Scouts, etc).

  14. So Much for Subtlety

    johnb78 – “Relevant here: shortly after realising how disastrous the Vietnam war was, the Seppos pardoned everyone who dodged the draft for that one.”

    How is that relevant? We can argue about the morality of homosexuality, but those that campaigned for Pol Pot to come to power were not only traitors, they were complicit in the genocide that followed. They were, are and always will be as guilty as it is possible to be. We hanged people like that in WW2. In a just world, they would have been too.

    “The issue is symbolic for the dead, although possibly relevant for a few of the living (old fellow who fails enhanced CRB check and can’t help out at the Scouts, etc).”

    It is about bullying the heterosexual. Nothing else.

  15. SMFS:
    1) the US did, as a matter of fact, pardon Vietnam draft-dodgers. That’s a factual statement, not a question of right or wrong.

    2) that’s a bizarre response to my point. A now-77-year-old man who had sex aged 22 with another 22-year-old man, will still, fifty years later, have a criminal conviction that will be exposed for jobs that require an enhanced CRB check. So he is denied from helping at the Scouts, whereas his colleague who married a 22-year-old woman when he was 22 is completely permitted.

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