Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dishonest and Hysterical

The Sun is working itself into a lather this morning; the opinion column says it all:-
PAEDOPHILES are the lowest of the low.
Any police chief who disagrees should be stripped of their badge and sent packing.
We are astonished at the naivety of Chief Constable Terry Grange.
He says that sex with children between the ages of 13 and 16 is a grey area.
There is nothing grey about this area. Sex with anyone under the age of 16 is illegal.
Grange says his remarks were aimed at 16-year-old boys having sex with their 15-year-old girlfriends.
But anyone in such a position of authority should know better.
His comments are not only ridiculous; they are downright dangerous.
Paedophiles are sick people.
They crave justification for the evil they do.
Many teenagers are at their most vulnerable precisely from perverts who exploit that grey area described by the Chief Constable.
The law should be there to protect the young from those who would prey on them.
There is no excusing Grange's outrageous and irresponsible remarks.
They play right into the hands of the manipulative scum who abuse our children for their sick pleasure.
He doesn't just carry out the law of the land - he IS the law of the land.
He should be sacked this morning.

Any judge or magistrate knows that the age gap is crucial in cases of under-age sex. The police and CPS have protocols for these cases, mostly reasoning that the law does well to keep its big flat feet out of this area. A 17 year-old boy with a 14 year-old girlfriend is not a paedophile. Most teenage girls would not be seen dead with a boy who was not a couple of years older than themselves, and there is street kudos to be gained from a 'cool' 18 year-old, especially if he has a car. 14 year-old boys are awkward, insecure, shambling, sniggering creatures (trust me, I used to be one) and it is hardly surprising that girls, who grow up faster, look to older boys.
Of course there comes a point at which the age gap is too wide to be proper. That point is not rigidly defined, but anyone looking at a particular case will know it when he sees it. The Chief Constable's point is a sensible one, and is no more than a restatement of current practice. He is right to say that the word Paedophile should be reserved for those mature adults with an interest in pre-pubescent children. Over-use has now so devalued the word that it is used as an all-purpose playground insult, following in the ignoble footsteps of 'spastic' 'retard' and the rest.

A Sun graduate traineeship is among the most coveted in journalism. The paper recruits the brightest and the best. The journalists know as well as I that the opinion piece above is, bluntly, bollocks. How very cynical, to employ educated people to construct deliberately misleading articles calculated to pander to the mob. Yuk.

PS - is a Chief constable really the law of the land? Are you quite sure about that, over there in Wapping?

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