Coffee House

Max Clifford’s conviction vindicates the jury system

29 April 2014

The conviction of Max Clifford for indecent assaults feels like a vindication of the jury system, as did the acquittal of the many other showbiz characters charged under Operation Yewtree. One reason I keep raising questions of justice about the current obsession with paedophilia is out of suspicion that those most zealous in their accusations are unhealthily interested in the subject.

This was the case with Clifford himself and, of course, with the newspapers with which he did business. Celebrity culture is, in essence, a form of pornography which incites powerful people to exploit unpowerful people. It acquires an extra twist of perversion when it turns on those it has incited. It should not be allowed that escape route.

GoveThis is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator’s Notes in this week’s magazine. Click here to read for free with a trial of The Spectator app for iPad and iPhone. You can also subscribe with a free trial on the Kindle Fire.

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  • bernie

    He is lucky. In England the way the jury system works you can have jury members who are not even English or Christians or read English or even understand the laws of the land! The jury could have voted guilty just because they did not like what he was accused of, independent of the evidence!

  • Nick Hart

    If by ‘vindicate the jury system’ you mean it proves that it is the only conceivable system of ‘justice’, then no, it does not.

  • swatnan

    No it doesn’t; they couldn’t agree at first and had to be sent away to reconsider.
    It probably means that they delevered the guilty verdict just because they were sickm of the whole affair. How long, how many months? Why can’t we have justice delivered more quickly? We could if we had a Magisterial continental type system, and no Jury.
    Clifford was a b******d and deserved to be found out. I’m not convinced about the other ‘aquitals though. Again the Jury may have got those wrong as well.

    • Andy

      They brought in majority verdicts. I do not agree with these and never have. If all 12 cannot agree then they should acquit.

  • Liz

    The acquittals don’t necessarily vindicate the jury system, everyone knows we have a really low conviction rate in this country and that jury prejudice and beliefs in so-called “rape-myths” about a suitable victim profile are a large part of the cause.

    • Andy

      Conviction rates are not the point, nor of interest. I’m afraid I disagree with you. The problem we have is that it is quite easy for a woman to cry ‘rape’ or ‘sexual assault’ against a man, which they do behind the curtain of anonymity. In the case of Bill Roache, for example, one of his accusers was forced to admit, after her story was shown to be fiction, that she could not be sure the alleged offences ever occurred. Thus a tissue of lies is presented as a ‘case’, thrown out and yet the woman who made these false accusations still retains her anonymity. She should be named, prosecuted for wasting Police time and Roache should be able to sue her for libel and slander. It is time the scales of Justice were rebalanced.

  • Blindsideflanker

    Clifford made it a personal campaign against the Conservative party, I believe boasting that he would bring the Conservative party down.

    So as he made it personal would it be in order for Conservatives to take pleasure in his downfall ?

  • zanzamander

    You should listen to David Mellor ripping into the sexual predator Max Clifford dripping venom as he went on Jeremy Vine’s programme.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold as they say.

    • HookesLaw

      The press which demands to be free of independent regulation was always happy to run with him though. He was good for copy. Assuming he was guilty then was there a press cover up?

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