Criminal Politics

Kenneth Clarke

Kenneth Clarke

Justice Minister, Kenneth Clarke, seems to have made a bit of a gaffe on the subject of rape and immediately there are calls for his resignation.

I would have thought the fact he’s an arrogant, out of touch oaf would have been good enough reason but that aside, why can’t politicians of all colours just debate an issue without trying to knock the others at every opportunity.

Maybe, in this case, it’s because the opposition’s position on sentencing isn’t that different – see an excellent comparison on Dizzythinks.

But getting down to basics, are there indeed different types of rape?

Of course there are. The act itself is obviously evil and should be punished as such (bits removed from the perpetrator in the case of repeat or violent offenders) but looking at the perpetrators and the risks to the public there is a big difference between someone who commits a date rape (especially when alcohol/drugs are involved with either party or signs are misread) and a hooded, bush lurking knife wielder who will attack at random and repeatedly.

The news yesterday featured a victim who was raped by someone on early release from another sentence – that guy obviously presented a danger and shouldn’t have been let out with his tackle in place but I’m sure there are others who regret their actions, won’t re-offend and are safe to let out after a realistic sentence because contrary to popular feminist beliefs, most men do have feelings and emotions and aren’t just out for as much sex as they can get, whatever the price.

So should Ken Clarke resign over this? I don’t think so – he should (and I believe has) apologise for expressing what he said in the way he did and state clearly what he actually meant.

If the Justice Minister isn’t allowed to speak without fear of being asked to resign, all we will get is Party propaganda repeated. But with that freedom must come responsibility, so when someone released early commits a violent offence, the buck should stop at the Minister’s door.

Maybe then, the responsibility issue would flow down the chain and the reason people serve proper sentences would be because that is the right thing to do, not just a result of political point scoring.


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One Response to “Criminal Politics”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Rape is a terrible thing. but Mr Clarke should not resign over his rape comments. Yes, of course, there are differing types of rape. It was how stupidly he said it. Opened his big mouth before thinking.

    However I wish he would retire becuase of the many silly things he comes up with,including discounts for criminals pleading “guilty”.

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