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Sunday, 7 February 2010

One law for them??

The U.K. news during the past week has featured at least two major stories that seem to suggest that British law is a multi-faceted entity.

Much has been made of the sexual shenanigans of the (now former) captain of the English national footbal team. This gentleman, it has been alleged, has been in an encounter of the very close kind with the former girlfriend of one of his national team-mates. This, in my old-fashioned type of morality, is adultery, and I am not going to make any attempt to defend Mr Terry's activity. However, it is interesting to note that he has had the English team captaincy taken from him - a punishment, I imagine, that means a lot more to him than it would to me!

Now, let's take just one example from the world of the rest of the rich and famous. On Remembrance Day 2008, senior Labour Party politician Nigel Griffiths smuggled a woman - who was not his wife - into the House of Commons, and not only had a 'sexual romp' with her, but actually filmed the hour-long encounter. And what was the punishment that this (dis) honourable gentleman had to face? As far as I can make out, there was nothing (someone please correct me if I am wrong). It is true that he has intimated his intention to stand down from his Edinburgh Parliamentary seat at the forthcoming General Election but, even then, he will do so with a handsome financial severance package, and a pension that will make mine look like pocket-money!

The other issue to hit the headlines was the ongoing saga of members', and Lords', expenses. Only three members of the House of Commons, and one from the House of Lords, have been formally charged with fraudulent activity. However, I seem to recall that there were a lot more than 3+1 who were guilty of similar "creative accounting". I am no more of an apologist for Livingston MP Jim Devine - one of the three - than for John Terry, but his misdemeanour seems to fade into relative insignificance when compared to that of, for example, Barbara Follett, a former Labour government minister who is being told to repay more than £42,000 that was wrongly claimed for items such as security and insurance.

So what is wrong with British justice, and our fabled "sense of fair play"? I am reminded of the wise saying in the Old Testament book of Proverbs: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." (14:34) It is to be hoped that, at the Election, with so many 'standing down' (rather than face the ignominy of losing their seats - with the resultant loss of that severance package!), that the corridors of power at Westminster will be filled with a new breed of politician - those who are men and women of faith and integrity, and who put the Lord at the centre of their lives. Perhaps, then, we might see this nation return to the paths of righteousness from which it has so long departed.


Anonymous said...

What a load of absolute rubbish! From what I can gather, Griffiths is in an unhappy marriage and the despicable behaviour of the News of the World has ruined his career and reputation. 23 years of service to his constituents during which he could count on thousands of votes just because of the help he had given others is all in ruins because of these sleazy hypocrites. Your pompous and self-righteous attitude is beneath contempt. How would you like what you do in private to be made public and your career ended as a result? If the rules say he's entitled to that money, then good luck to him. It's small compensation for the disastrous consequences a flagrant invasion of his privacy has had for him.

Brian Ross said...

You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion - which will be coloured, quite naturally, by your own moral code. I sand by anything that I post on my blog, other than factual inaccuracies which, if pointed out, will be corrected.

CannuckCol said...

You certainly pushed a button there Rev. Seems the old adage 'birds of a feather....." could be true here.

Brian Ross said...

Further to the comment by "Anonymous", may I point out that the point of my post was to emphasise the unfairness with which two very similar, misdemeanours -one still just alleged, the other finally admitted - have been treated.
It also occurs to me that Anonymous's knowledge of Mr Griffiths appears to be very personal. Is "Anonymous" possibly Mr Griffiths? That would certainly explain the intense desire to justify the MP's adulterous behaviour! As to a career being in ruins, it has been reported that he already has a new post lined up with a London-based international education institution. Recalling that this is the "honourable" gentleman who also tried to claim the best part of &4,000 for a television set, DVD player, and DAB radio (I could pick up all three in my local ASDA for less than one-quarter of that!), one wonders if his new role will be in sex education or in economics! Beware, those who open cans - they may be full of worms!