Coffee House

‘Rape as most people understand it’

21 August 2012

21 August 2012

George Galloway got a spade out today and made a statement in which he attempted to clarify his comments about the allegations against Julian Assange. He dug himself a little deeper, saying that ‘what occurred is not rape as most people understand it’. Assange is wanted in Sweden – but not yet charged – on allegations of rape, unlawful coercion and sexual molestation.

Rod Liddle blogs that he thinks Galloway has a point. The law says he does not. There is a lesson to be learned from Galloway’s comments, though, which is that rape is not well understood at all. When he says something is ‘not rape as most people understand it’, this is because society still largely imagines rape as an unexpected attack on a woman walking down a dark alley late at night. By describing what Assange is alleged to have done as ‘bad sexual etiquette’, Galloway demonstrates that he does not understand the legal definition of rape, or of sexual assault for that matter. Neither, he suggests, do many other people. It’s worth reading this helpful list of ‘rape myths’ from the Crown Prosecution Service on this matter.

Lambeth Council has been running a striking campaign on rape over the past year. It was striking because it avoided giving the usual advice to women about not walking home alone. Instead, it was called ‘Know the Difference‘ and targeted young men socialising in the borough. The campaign site says:

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‘We know that not all men are rapists or sexual predators and we in no way wish to suggest that they are. But we know that rapes and sexual offences are being committed in Lambeth by men. We know that there is confusion over the law, particularly around consent. We know that there is confusion about what is acceptable behaviour.’

It is probably worth Assange’s supporters and Galloway taking time to read the section called ‘do you know the difference?‘. Fortunately the leader of the Respect Party, Salma Yaqoob, has a better understanding. She has condemned Galloway’s words this afternoon, saying:

‘Let me be clear, as a politician and as a woman. Rape occurs when a woman has not consented to sex. George Galloway’s comments on what constitutes rape are deeply disappointing and wrong.

‘There are many political issues entwined in the case of Julian Assange. These issues cannot be used to diminish in any way the seriousness of any allegations against him. Any individual accused of a crime, sexual or otherwise, is innocent until proven guilty. By the same token, any individual who believes themselves to be a victim has a right to have their grievances heard in a fair manner and not have their allegations belittled or dismissed. This is the cornerstone of justice.’

There is a question about what sort of disciplinary action the Respect party will take against its MP. Meanwhile, commentators have dismissed Galloway’s intervention as an offensive attempt to garner some of Assange’s limelight. But if there is one thing that is worth remembering, it’s that myths about rape still abound in this country (and, as Todd Akin has taught us, in other western societies, too). Lambeth Council was brave to launch Know the Difference: perhaps the current row is a sign that other councils and police forces need to run similar campaigns.


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Show comments
  • In2minds

    My earlier post was removed so I’ll try this one. Jo Yeates murder suspect Chris Jefferies sued the media and won.
    Whatever you think of the Assange case he has been publicly tried and
    convicted even though no charges have been brought. He has no chance of
    a fair trial now and we used to believe that people were innocent until
    proven guilty. It is also costing a fortune and making our government
    look more foolish than usual.

  • Kevin

    The law says he does not.

    The law says a lot of things about sexual morality. Then fifty years later it says the opposite. I think that is why Galloway might not consider it a guide.

  • William Blakes Ghost

    Let me be clear, as a politician and as a woman. Rape occurs when a woman has not consented to sex.

    Nice to know that the leader of Respect does not acknowledge that men can be raped. as well.

    Perhaps Galloway is not the only one who has questions to answer? But hey whats it matter if women are sexist bigots and misandrists after all in this society being a man counts for nothing!

    When will women realise there are two genders in this country and life is not all about them!

  • Fergus Pickering

    These are not ‘myths’. These are misunderstandings of the law. Rape is a word, not a thing. Do you know the difference between words and things? A thing is that great big heap,of rock outside Cezanne’s house. I it a mountain? Is it a hill? And how many hairs can grow on the head of a bald-headed man. Most men in their secret souls do not consider a lot of date rape to be rape at all. That obviously includes Scarybiscuits. What is his opinion about consesual sex between, say, a boy of eighteen and a boy of twelvs, or ten, or eight? Most paedophiles do not consider the thing they do to be wrong, just illegal. The law is the law and Assange very likely broke the law in Sweden. Galloway obviously thinks that sort of law is bad law. I. as it happens, do not.

    • Nicholas

      It is very stupid to introduce the ‘p’ word in order to discredit another person’s opinion. But it does not surprise me. We have bad law precisely because of people like you who add two to two and make ten, then shriek hysterically about it. The law should be dispassionate and objective. And, by the way, these are not “misunderstandings” of the law, they are interpretations of it. Case history is all about interpreting law and arguing over those interpretations before a court. Fortunately not everyone thinks “the law is the law” without raising questions about it – otherwise homosexuals would still be being persecuted and old women burnt as witches.

    • Publius

      What is legal one day can be illegal the next. What is right is not necessarily the same as what is legal. And what is illegal may be right, and what is legal may be wrong.

      It’s a shame people don’t study Sophocles as they used to. The Antigone would be a good start.

    • Publius

      What is legal one day can be illegal the next. What is right is not necessarily the same as what is legal. And what is illegal may be right, and what is legal may be wrong.

      It’s a shame people don’t study Sophocles as they used to. The Antigone would be a good start.

    • Publius

      What is legal one day can be illegal the next. What is right is not necessarily the same as what is legal. And what is illegal may be right, and what is legal may be wrong.

      It’s a shame people don’t study Sophocles as they used to. The Antigone would be a good start.

    • Publius

      What is legal one day can be illegal the next. What is right is not necessarily the same as what is legal. And what is illegal may be right, and what is legal may be wrong.

      It’s a shame people don’t study Sophocles as they used to. The Antigone would be a good start.

    • Publius

      What is legal one day can be illegal the next. What is right is not necessarily the same as what is legal. And what is illegal may be right, and what is legal may be wrong.

      It’s a shame people don’t study Sophocles as they used to. The Antigone would be a good start.

    • Publius

      What is legal one day can be illegal the next. What is right is not necessarily the same as what is legal. And what is illegal may be right, and what is legal may be wrong.

      It’s a shame people don’t study Sophocles as they used to. The Antigone would be a good start.

    • Publius

      What is legal one day can be illegal the next. What is right is not necessarily the same as what is legal. And what is illegal may be right, and what is legal may be wrong.

      It’s a shame people don’t study Sophocles as they used to. The Antigone would be a good start.

  • ScaryBiscuits

    The Lambeth Council document also suggests that one might be arrested for wolf-whistling, as point that Ms Hardman glosses over as it hardly strengthens her argument. In fact, it is a disgusting affront to liberty and yet another step on the road to thought crimes. The views of many feminists would have us all living in a totalitarian society and, as women from those societies would testify, that is hardly a system renowned for respecting their rights. Inviting the police into your bedroom is not as good an idea as it initially appears.
    Ms Hardman also makes the logical error of arguing that something is wrong because the law says so. That is not the British legal tradition, where the Common Law is supposed to represent the will of the people, not the other way around and handed down from on-high.
    The law usually distinguishes between levels of seriousness in a crime. Slapping somebody in the face but causing no damage is technically assalt (common assult), as is hitting somebody so hard that that you permanently damage them (grevious bodily harm). The former would not normally attract the the interest of the police unless there are aggravating factors. Most people would find it excessive to extradite somebody for common assult, especially if that gave a high probability of being passed onto the US for a life sentence on unrelated charges. It is time that feminists showed a similar sense of proportion.

    • Nicholas

      I found the Lambeth Council document sinister but typical of the way that local government has moved from serving the people to exercising control over them and manipulating their beliefs. And of course this is invariably from a left wing ideological perspective. The trend seems to be to transfer the sexual harassment protocols of the corporate workplace into everyday life and with criminal rather than disciplinary sanctions. Wonder what the demographics of Lambeth Council are and whether men are under represented in its “work” force?

  • OldSlaughter

    Actually, the law suggests he kinda has a point.

    Rape is rape but not all rape is the same and the law sentences accordingly.

  • OldSlaughter

    Actually, the law suggests he kinda has a point.

    Rape is rape but not all rape is the same and the law sentences accordingly.

  • Jimmy R

    Galloway’s Law:- Section 1. Nobody who hates America can do any wrong. Section 2. If the facts indicate that somebody who hates America has done wrong then Section 1 immediately applies.

  • anyfool

    Galloway is speaking to his constituents in Bradford.

  • John Guest

    It doesn’t matter what Galloway says about this, Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden, under Swedish Law. The Swedes have requested his extradition, which they are perfectly entitled to do. After a long battle through the courts, extradition has been granted – so that Assange can be questioned as is required under Swedish law! Galloways definition of rape is utterly irrelevant, as is mine and anyone other than the Swedish Legal System. Sweden is a democracy, with an independent judiciary. Mr Assange is reluctant to go before them – so he has jumped bail and therefore committed a criminal offence here in the UK. Arrest awaits him.

    • dalai guevara

      All correct John, it does not matter what we think as it is down to the Swedish authorities to pass judgement on an alleged matter in their jurisdiction..

      However, it has triggered a debate in Britain which surely is a welcome side effect.

      I for one have learnt that commencing with petting of my gone-to-sleep partner after previous consensual intercourse could be classed as sexual molestation, as consent was not yet again seeked. It is a truly bizarre world we now live in.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        One disturbing element of the Assange case is that in fact he is only being asked to make himself available for questioning, which could take place in the UK with Swedish police travelling here, or by video link. It is hard to see any reason why a person should be extradited to another country simply for questioning in relation to a crime.

        This actually puts us all at risk of being extradited anywhere because an overseas agency wants to ‘question’ us. If the Swedes wish to arrest him on suspicion of having committed a crime then that is one thing. But extraditing him to answer questions is something else. I do not like the man at all, but what is allowed to be done to him can easily be done to us all.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        One disturbing element of the Assange case is that in fact he is only being asked to make himself available for questioning, which could take place in the UK with Swedish police travelling here, or by video link. It is hard to see any reason why a person should be extradited to another country simply for questioning in relation to a crime.

        This actually puts us all at risk of being extradited anywhere because an overseas agency wants to ‘question’ us. If the Swedes wish to arrest him on suspicion of having committed a crime then that is one thing. But extraditing him to answer questions is something else. I do not like the man at all, but what is allowed to be done to him can easily be done to us all.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        One disturbing element of the Assange case is that in fact he is only being asked to make himself available for questioning, which could take place in the UK with Swedish police travelling here, or by video link. It is hard to see any reason why a person should be extradited to another country simply for questioning in relation to a crime.

        This actually puts us all at risk of being extradited anywhere because an overseas agency wants to ‘question’ us. If the Swedes wish to arrest him on suspicion of having committed a crime then that is one thing. But extraditing him to answer questions is something else. I do not like the man at all, but what is allowed to be done to him can easily be done to us all.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        One disturbing element of the Assange case is that in fact he is only being asked to make himself available for questioning, which could take place in the UK with Swedish police travelling here, or by video link. It is hard to see any reason why a person should be extradited to another country simply for questioning in relation to a crime.

        This actually puts us all at risk of being extradited anywhere because an overseas agency wants to ‘question’ us. If the Swedes wish to arrest him on suspicion of having committed a crime then that is one thing. But extraditing him to answer questions is something else. I do not like the man at all, but what is allowed to be done to him can easily be done to us all.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        One disturbing element of the Assange case is that in fact he is only being asked to make himself available for questioning, which could take place in the UK with Swedish police travelling here, or by video link. It is hard to see any reason why a person should be extradited to another country simply for questioning in relation to a crime.

        This actually puts us all at risk of being extradited anywhere because an overseas agency wants to ‘question’ us. If the Swedes wish to arrest him on suspicion of having committed a crime then that is one thing. But extraditing him to answer questions is something else. I do not like the man at all, but what is allowed to be done to him can easily be done to us all.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        One disturbing element of the Assange case is that in fact he is only being asked to make himself available for questioning, which could take place in the UK with Swedish police travelling here, or by video link. It is hard to see any reason why a person should be extradited to another country simply for questioning in relation to a crime.

        This actually puts us all at risk of being extradited anywhere because an overseas agency wants to ‘question’ us. If the Swedes wish to arrest him on suspicion of having committed a crime then that is one thing. But extraditing him to answer questions is something else. I do not like the man at all, but what is allowed to be done to him can easily be done to us all.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        One disturbing element of the Assange case is that in fact he is only being asked to make himself available for questioning, which could take place in the UK with Swedish police travelling here, or by video link. It is hard to see any reason why a person should be extradited to another country simply for questioning in relation to a crime.

        This actually puts us all at risk of being extradited anywhere because an overseas agency wants to ‘question’ us. If the Swedes wish to arrest him on suspicion of having committed a crime then that is one thing. But extraditing him to answer questions is something else. I do not like the man at all, but what is allowed to be done to him can easily be done to us all.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        One disturbing element of the Assange case is that in fact he is only being asked to make himself available for questioning, which could take place in the UK with Swedish police travelling here, or by video link. It is hard to see any reason why a person should be extradited to another country simply for questioning in relation to a crime.

        This actually puts us all at risk of being extradited anywhere because an overseas agency wants to ‘question’ us. If the Swedes wish to arrest him on suspicion of having committed a crime then that is one thing. But extraditing him to answer questions is something else. I do not like the man at all, but what is allowed to be done to him can easily be done to us all.

  • Adrian Drummond

    Anyone you has seen the Australian TV documentary “Sex, Lies and Julian Assange” will know that he has been set up – and not even by the women involved. The supposed rape accusations by the Swedish authorities are a disgrace. I suggest anyone who has a contrary view, watch the documentary before commenting. You’ll be quite shocked how this has turned out.

    • Fergus Pickering

      So an Australian TV documentary is the truth, is it? Who made it What are their politics? If it’s Oz TV then it’s left. And the left will support Assange. At least the male part of it will. The women might be of a different opinion of course, but you know how it is with women.

    • Andy

      That is irrelevant. Assange has had his day in court – rather too many days actually – and the validity of the European Arrest Warrant has been tested right up to the Law Lords (aka Supreme Court). He should go to Sweden. The matter of what occurred between him and those women is now a matter for a Swedish Court of Law. You and Assange can muddy the waters all you like, but those are the facts.

      However one is given to wonder how you think this matter should be resolved ? Assange is wanted in Sweden. There is a valid extradition warrant for him. He has jumped bail. He is now holed up in an embassy claiming asylum, although the concept of asylum in diplomatic premises is not recognised in UK law nor International Law, even if it is throughout South America. The UK has followed the law, as we would do if you were wanted for extradition to Sweden on allegations of rape. So should Assange have more rights than you or I ?

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

      • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

        As far as I can see Assange is not ‘wanted’ in Sweden at all. The Swedish police want to question him, that is very different indeed. And they could do it in London very easily. The European Arrest Warrant should never be applicable in the UK, it is just another string in the bow of subverting British sovereignty.

        The Law can have no legitimacy when it undermines the rights of British ctizens and those subject to British laws. If the Swedish police want to question Assange then in this limited aspect of his sorry history I am on his side and they should get on a Ryanair plane and come here.

  • james102

    “When he says something is ‘not rape as most people
    understand it’, this is because society still largely imagines rape as an
    unexpected attack on a woman walking down a dark alley late at night.”

    And that is the problem.

    In a secular democracy laws that conflict with what society “images”
    it is have no democratic legitimacy.

    Laws that do not reflect majority culture are like edicts of
    a colonial administration and so we either recognise we need a number of
    different sexual assault crimes, which do not at present exist, or expect these
    types of disagreement.

  • TonyB58

    I watched George Galloway’s podcast and found it an interesting experience and actually found myself in agreement with him despite the strong whiff of hypocrisy in places.

  • Judy

    For anyone who thinks there’s no rape involved in English law where a man has sex with a sleeping woman, here’s an article by a barrister specialising in rape cases.

    And for good measure, it may have been published in the Staggers, but here’s a very clear summary and crushing take down of all the myths about Assange’s legal case put about by him, his supporters and people like Galloway, by David Allen Green, a practising solicitor with an outstanding track record in fighting the misuse of the courts by the rich and powerful with something to hide.

    • Nicholas

      Actually that article, far from being a “crushing take down” raises a number of concerns about the way European law and Swedish law is taking precedence over English common law. Even the prosecutor admits “There is no easy analogy to be drawn with the English criminal procedure”. Also the use of the word “interrogation” in respect of what is termed a preliminary investigation is inappropriate. Even Wiki defines interrogation as “interviewing as commonly employed by officers of the police, military, and Intelligence agencies with the goal of extracting a confession or obtaining information.” This might be good for TV drama with maverick cops and cartoon bad guys but it is not good for English common law. There is a real tendency in this country to elevate “suspect” to “guilty bastard” and to pre-judge cases on the basis of untested allegations. I think that is wrong and goes against centuries of tradition intended to protect those accused from malicious or frivolous allegations as well as the abuse of authority by those charged with investigating crime. New Labour meddled so badly with our criminal law that we now have much bad law and badly eroded safeguards against injustice. It seems that in the determination that no guilty person should go free the risk of incarcerating the innocent has become disregarded as an acceptable consequence. This trend is part of a broader development that presumes guilt rather than innocence and that can countenance outrageous infringements of privacy such as the blanket surveillance of law-abiding citizens. I realise that there will be those who love this – it has always been so.

      And I wish it were possible to raise and discuss concerns about the law highlighted by this case without people foaming about being an “Assange apologist” or supporter.

    • james102

      It is not really about what a law say or does not say but
      whether laws that conflict with the majority’s cultural values have legitimacy.

      We could have a law such as they did in National Socialist
      Germany that certain groups wear identifying badges on their arms, would it
      have legitimacy?

      This is what undermined the Macpherson recommendations
      concerning the definition of a racist incident it has simply never been
      accepted by the majority.

      We may need to sub-divide the various acts that are covered
      by the crime of rape so they come more in line with our culture’s values, this will
      also almost certainly increase conviction rates.

      • Publius

        James102 writes: “We could have a law such as they did in National Socialist
        Germany that certain groups wear identifying badges on their arms, would it
        have legitimacy?”

        James, according to what you have said above, such a law would have legitimacy if it was what the majority wanted.

        Which is surely why defining law merely as the wish of the majority strikes decent people as somehow inadequate.

        Wrapping it up in phrases such as ‘cultural values’ (whatever that means) doesn’t really get around this.

      • Publius

        James102 writes: “We could have a law such as they did in National Socialist
        Germany that certain groups wear identifying badges on their arms, would it
        have legitimacy?”

        James, according to what you have said above, such a law would have legitimacy if it was what the majority wanted.

        Which is surely why defining law merely as the wish of the majority strikes decent people as somehow inadequate.

        Wrapping it up in phrases such as ‘cultural values’ (whatever that means) doesn’t really get around this.

      • Publius

        James102 writes: “We could have a law such as they did in National Socialist
        Germany that certain groups wear identifying badges on their arms, would it
        have legitimacy?”

        James, according to what you have said above, such a law would have legitimacy if it was what the majority wanted.

        Which is surely why defining law merely as the wish of the majority strikes decent people as somehow inadequate.

        Wrapping it up in phrases such as ‘cultural values’ (whatever that means) doesn’t really get around this.

      • Publius

        James102 writes: “We could have a law such as they did in National Socialist
        Germany that certain groups wear identifying badges on their arms, would it
        have legitimacy?”

        James, according to what you have said above, such a law would have legitimacy if it was what the majority wanted.

        Which is surely why defining law merely as the wish of the majority strikes decent people as somehow inadequate.

        Wrapping it up in phrases such as ‘cultural values’ (whatever that means) doesn’t really get around this.

      • Publius

        James102 writes: “We could have a law such as they did in National Socialist
        Germany that certain groups wear identifying badges on their arms, would it
        have legitimacy?”

        James, according to what you have said above, such a law would have legitimacy if it was what the majority wanted.

        Which is surely why defining law merely as the wish of the majority strikes decent people as somehow inadequate.

        Wrapping it up in phrases such as ‘cultural values’ (whatever that means) doesn’t really get around this.

      • Publius

        James102 writes: “We could have a law such as they did in National Socialist
        Germany that certain groups wear identifying badges on their arms, would it
        have legitimacy?”

        James, according to what you have said above, such a law would have legitimacy if it was what the majority wanted.

        Which is surely why defining law merely as the wish of the majority strikes decent people as somehow inadequate.

        Wrapping it up in phrases such as ‘cultural values’ (whatever that means) doesn’t really get around this.

      • Publius

        James102 writes: “We could have a law such as they did in National Socialist
        Germany that certain groups wear identifying badges on their arms, would it
        have legitimacy?”

        James, according to what you have said above, such a law would have legitimacy if it was what the majority wanted.

        Which is surely why defining law merely as the wish of the majority strikes decent people as somehow inadequate.

        Wrapping it up in phrases such as ‘cultural values’ (whatever that means) doesn’t really get around this.

    • Adrian Drummond

      What evidence have you got – other than hearsay – that Mr. Assange has had sex with a sleeping woman without her consent?

      • SimonToo

        But that is one of the specific allegations for which his extradition was sought under the European Arrest Warrant. See the judgment on Assange’s appeal to the Divisional Court, linked at the start of the post and highlighted “law”.
        Pedantically, of course, it is hearsay until it can be proved a true copy of the judgment, but were you being that precise in your use of “hearsay”?

        • Adrian Drummond

          I watched the documentary “Sex, Lies and Julian Assange” by Australian TV and was shocked at how these allegations have been contrived into the current situation. The real tragedy is being obscured and its not helped by articles such as this. And to answer your question, perhaps not. But how else to describe peoples’ knee-jerk reaction to their emotive feelings on rape and views picked up via the main stream media? And that includes Isabel Hardman who should know better.

  • john cronin

    Hardly surprising as Gallowank has now officially joined a religious cult whose founder was a paedo.

  • Archimedes

    Obviously, Galloway is an idiot and put this across poorly, but in English law we do distinguish between murder and manslaughter, it seems reasonable to suggest that there should be a similar distinction in the case of rape.

    • Archimedes

      Oh, and by the way Isabel, you’re dead wrong about Lambeth council being brave to run that campaign. Everyone knows the bloody difference, there are just the idiots that think they can get away with it: I don’t see how running a patronising campaign like that does anything but exonerate the idiots from the full culpability of their own actions – by suggesting that it’s a legal technicality rather than a behavioural thing.

      • Sarah

        Not you Archimedes. You waded in to support a man who said these allegations were horse sh*t. By, wait for it, channelling the “you need a good man/shag” line of argument. Let’s just be crystal clear about your attempts to muddy the waters about what constitutes rape.

        • Archimedes

          I don’t believe I did, Sarah darling. I’m quite sure, yes – quite sure, I waded in to tell you that sticking dirty needles into men at your clinic is not, strictly speaking, polite: to paraphrase Wilde: “it seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of clinical life which reminds one of the worst excesses of the French revolution, and I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to?”

          • Sarah

            No Archimedes darliya, you waded in to suggest being shagged would cure a woman’s anger about rape. Didn’t you darling.

            You then went on to suggest doing some housework would cure a woman’s anger about your comment that being shagged would cure a woman’s anger about rape. Didn’t you darling.

            You then went on to patronise said woman by calling her darling, didn’t you darling,

            So in summary, you layered sexism on top of sexism on top of misogyny. And sprinkled it with cowardly dishonesty.

            Didn’t you darling.

            • Archimedes

              But wi’d ne-wer patwonise you, pumpkin.

              I un-der-stand you – from the heart: the madness, and the unfairness, and the pain, and the rage – and how it all just becomes too much, and it feels like the world is caving in on you — and you just can’t deal with any more — and — and — and…

            • Nicholas

              misogyny – misandry. Two sides of the same coin and you are the pot calling the kettle black. Every single one of your comments on this site is sexist and misandrist, “Sarah”, and every time a man disagrees with you it gets worse with sarcasm and personal abuse thrown in. You clearly have a problem.

  • johnny come lately

    Am I on Lambeth Social Services page?

  • Halcyondaze2

    I’m afraid I don’t give a hoot about the latest hot air from this attention-seeking loud-mouthed dhimmi. I care almost as little about Isabel Hardman’s views on the matter.

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