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Old 15-09-2017, 07:41 AM   #41
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Had Margaret Thatcher ordered the (over) 640 raids upon gay men in order to make examples of them - both for her "Christian Family Values" campaign, and to satisfy puritan and extremist elements within the Church of England?
The campaign was after all intended to be spearheaded by Michael Hames and his teams, and formed the main reason for his appointment.

It should also be remembered that the Spanner operation consisted of two completely separate parts:

1) The 1983 to 1986 original operation (mostly undocumented) of over 624 raids with over 60 potential defendants who were never heard in court;( and believed to have been mostly sourced from "Gay Galaxy" magazine), and involving over 60 alleged suicides.

2) The well documented Spannermen case 1987 - 1990 with 16 defendants (believed to have been a later addition to the first part and differed in that respect by way of intentional incarcerations, with links to/ sourced mostly from visitors to the whistleblower's address).

The total number of cumulative "potential defendants" had been 82, with only 16 charged.
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Had these two sections of Operation Spanner (although both coming under the same umbrella as 1 investigation, with the first and former seemingly being hidden in most respects) actually served two dual and different purposes?

Had the earlier operation been on behalf of the Church of England by the targeting of gay men only , whilst at the same time searching for missing snuff or VIP porn? (over 624 raids 1983 to 1986)

Had the second part of the operation (the documented Spanner) been both exercise on behalf of the Church targeting gay men only, whilst on behalf of the state targeting visitors to a whistleblower's address? (Spannermen 16 raids 1987)
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Old 15-09-2017, 07:43 AM   #42
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Had the first part of the operation resulted in deaths of the accused?

Had the second part of the operation resulted in incarcerations of the accused?

And if so; Would statistics normally be this clearly defined from over 640 raids?

The answer would have to be: "Only if the criteria were different for each part"

The Spanner case embodied more than one distinct set of criteria, and therefore served more than one (and possibly several) distinct intents and purposes.

The commonly adopted and much copied "official" version of events (and that published by Michael Hames) is therefore nothing more than a fiction (and of which we are already well aware of).

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Old 16-09-2017, 10:10 AM   #43
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In addition, the intrusions made by the security services at the address - even after the incarcerations - cannot possibly be explained by the fairy tale of the official story concerning Operation Spanner.

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Old 18-09-2017, 07:36 PM   #44
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"These people in top positions of authority are psychopaths with no empathy, (and who are responsible for the rape, murder and torture of children) are immoral and clinically insane and as a world population we have to address the issue of eradicating these psychopaths from top public offices, because every single bird, every single plant, every animal,and every single child, every man, every woman is at risk whilst these people are in power."
(at 11.50 into the video)
"The child trafficking after Waterhouse continued unabated" (at 29.00 into the video + treatment of whistleblowers)

"The realisation of just how corrupt everything is comes slowly and slowly and slowly, and even with all my experience I hadn't actually expected to be set-up in the way that I was."(at 41.30)
Intelligence insider Andrea Davison, the BBC, VIP Paedophiles,whistle-blowers and more
(from 2015)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkT3iZS8d3g

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Old 19-09-2017, 09:10 AM   #45
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In Operation Spanner, the police had acted pro-actively through the use of gay magazines, to what was claimed __( by police and media)__ to be a child pornography or paedophile ring__________ however, details that emerged during the trial made it clear that this was not a child sex ring, and most of the actions involved were morality offenses rather than crimes.
The accused presented a plausible defense that their acts were consensual and victimless. only to have this dismissed by the judge. The media were thus able to present this as the conviction of a sex ring.


(Thatcher's revenge indeed!)

Intimate Enemies: Moral Panics in Contemporary Great Britain
By Philip Jenkins
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...panner&f=false

This of course refers to the well publicised second part of the operation, although the (extremely unusual) pro-active use of the magazines would apply to both parts.

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Old 19-09-2017, 08:36 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimstock View Post
"These people in top positions of authority are psychopaths with no empathy, (and who are responsible for the rape, murder and torture of children) are immoral and clinically insane and as a world population we have to address the issue of eradicating these psychopaths from top public offices, because every single bird, every single plant, every animal,and every single child, every man, every woman is at risk whilst these people are in power. We need to bring back compassion"
(at 11.50 into the video)
"The child trafficking after Waterhouse continued unabated" (at 29.00 into the video + treatment of whistleblowers)

"The realisation of just how corrupt everything is comes slowly and slowly and slowly, and even with all my experience I hadn't actually expected to be set-up in the way that I was."(at 41.30)
Intelligence insider Andrea Davison, the BBC, VIP Paedophiles,whistle-blowers and more
(from 2015)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkT3iZS8d3g
Correction : Top line should include "amoral and clinically insane" and not immoral.
My apologies
Can't seem to get the right staff these days!

Also (at 56.30) (Talking about the BBC) "The icing on the cake (for the security services and the BBC) is that they make the public pay for this diatribe of goverment propaganda!"
Andrea also discusses Operation Gladio/Tavistock Institute/connections to Nazis in WW2/practices of sacrifice of babies by decapitation and drinking of their blood/
and- (with strong similarities to the Spanner case) the set-up that was used against her in her absence to convict her of a victimless crime that never actually occurred, simply through the covert alteration of a photocopied document by a third party. ( from 36.00 on).


Interestingly the judge used in her case was previously - whilst a lawyer - used against her during the Waterhouse Inquiry.
He also recently presided over Operation Pallial "not guilty" verdicts, and additionally is a presenter for the BBC.

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Old 22-09-2017, 07:21 AM   #47
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OPERATION SPANNER "The Spanner judgement may not be the most absurd in the annals of British law, but it will take a lot to beat it..." (Thompson, 1994: p.234)2

http://www.markedbyteachers.com/univ...f-private.html
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Old 22-09-2017, 07:57 AM   #48
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The false declarations by the police (during the Spanner raids) that they were investigating a murder is a common ploy used against gay men in order to obtain signed statements on information concerning activities, contacts and evidence that would not normally be freely and indiscreetly volunteered. In Operation Spanner, these statements were used to convict the men.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...panner&f=false

(scroll down to following page)

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Old 23-09-2017, 11:40 AM   #49
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1980s: A decade of state-sanctioned homophobia

The 1980s were a period of intensified homophobia, sanctioned from the top echelons of society: the government, church, police and tabloids. It was open season on queers.
The Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher was at war with the LGBT community.
She launched a series of homophobic and sexist moral crusades under the themes of “family values” and “Victorian values”.
Labour councils that supported local LGBT communities with funding and the use of council premises for events were denounced by the Tories.
The LGBT community became a political football. Homophobia was stirred up and exploited by the Conservatives. They appealed to the bigoted vote – and won it.

http://www.petertatchellfoundation.o...ed-homophobia/

So what was the deal with the Manchester Police monitored "Gay Galaxy" contact magazine?

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Old 23-09-2017, 08:17 PM   #50
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So who was this kind Chief of Police who wanted gay men to be able to contact each other with neither inhibition nor prohibition?

Why, none other than God's personal morality spokesman himself, James Anderton who apparently had often received personal messages from his maker; and, lo and behold, as with Margaret Thatcher and Michael Hames (who shall both be discussed later), was also a Christian extremist, homophobe, and of a puritanical mindset.

"James Anderton was appointed Chief Constable of Greater Manchester in 1975 and remained there until 1991, despite his ongoing campaign against LGBT people.Like many homophobes, Anderton claimed to be a God-fearing Christian. Indeed, he came to be nicknamed ‘God’s Copper’ – not so much because he had been a Methodist lay preacher but because he had claimed in a radio interview that, “I have to accept that I may well be used by God in this way.” Doing God’s work included resurrecting an old Victorian law in order to charge gay men in one Manchester venue with ‘licentious dancing’. In this case, licentious dancing simply meant two men dancing together. He also devoted large amounts of police resources to the surveillance of gay men. Journalist Beatrix Campbell claimed that: “Anderton…encouraged his officers to stalk [Manchester’s] dank alleys and expose anyone caught in a clinch, while police motorboats with spotlights cruised for gay men around the canal’s locks and bridges.” In 2011, Manchester historian Jeff Evans told the Manchester Evening News: “I’ve interviewed retired officers who took part in police surveillance of public toilets, lying in the roof space watching men urinate for hours on end.” Unsurprisingly then, the advent of AIDS afforded Anderton the opportunity to step up his bigotry even further. Speaking at a national seminar on how police should interact with people with AIDS, Anderton said: “Everywhere I go I see evidence of people swirling around in the cesspool of their own making. Why do homosexuals freely engage in sodomy and other obnoxious sexual practices knowing the dangers involved?” Whilst the comments brought understandable outrage and condemnation from most people, the Murdoch tabloid ‘The Sun’ applauded Anderton; “Their defiling act of love is not only unnatural, in today’s world it is lethal…What Britain needs is more men like Anderton – and fewer gay terrorists holding the decent members of society to ransom.” As calls for Anderton’s sacking grew, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also threw her weight behind Anderton and blocked calls for a public enquiry."
http://www.gayinthe80s.com/2014/05/1...ames-anderton/

Anderton and Thatcher
http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/wp-c.../skeggs_15.jpg

Margaret Thatcher saved career of police chief who made Aids remarks
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...s-remarks.html

God's copper
https://www.infotextmanuscripts.org/...do-video-8.jpg

Spannermen were prosecuted because their acts "could have spread HIV/AIDS"
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...derton&f=false

"Gas Them" - "Shoot Them All"
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...derton&f=false

James Anderton row documents revealed
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKVHvrlhT0k

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Anderton

So here we have the holy trinity of Thatcher, Hames and Anderton - who all quite openly believed that gay men should be behind bars, (and in private. believed a very much worse fate should befall them) - undertaking an exercise to help gay men contact each other, but leaving a secret toll of over 60 alleged suicides in it's wake from the first part of the operation, leaving the electorate with an expense of many millions of hard-earned taxpayers money, and thereby moving on to a second part of the operation as a partly retaliatory measure for exposure of corruption in North Wales; with the costs thereafter snowballing at ever-increasing rates, and for which the operational accounts "would not be cost-proportionate" to render in parliament.

Although, by all accounts, it would appear to be Ian Donaldson (and not Michael Hames) who was in charge of the raids from 1983 to 1986, it is not so clear as to whom undertook those "tasks".

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Old 24-09-2017, 08:26 AM   #51
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"The realisation of just how corrupt everything is comes slowly and slowly and slowly."
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Old 29-09-2017, 06:55 AM   #52
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Mrs.Thatcher's "Values"

“The past is a foreign country,” it has been said. But it is not an unfamiliar country. One does not need a Victorian grandmother, like Margaret Thatcher’s, to be reminded of “Victorian values.” One does not even have to be English; “Victorian America,” as it has been called, was not all that different, at least in terms of “values,” from Victorian England. And vestiges of those values remain, in memory if not reality.

When Mrs. Thatcher, during her election campaign in 1983, first raised the issue of “Victorian values,” she said that she was grateful to have been brought up by a Victorian grandmother who taught her those values: hard work, self-reliance, self-respect, cleanliness, neighborliness, pride in country. “All of these things,” she said, “are Victorian values. They are also perennial values.”

Well, not quite. Lady Thatcher’s grandmother would not have spoken of them as “values”; she would have spoken of them as “virtues.” Moreover they were not, as it happened, “perennial” virtues. Certainly they were not the virtues of the classical philosophers. The cardinal virtues celebrated by Aristotle–wisdom, justice, temperance, courage–do not appear in the litany of Lady Thatcher’s grandmother. Nor were her virtues Aristotle’s (although some of them might be subsumed under his categories). “Family values” (an expression Margaret Thatcher also used) do not figure among the classical virtues. Plato, of course, would have utterly rejected them, as he rejected the very idea of the family. And even Aristotle, who gave the family the distinction of being “the first community,” did not go so far as to elevate what we would regard as family values to the rank of virtues (except, perhaps, household management, which was largely a matter of finances and property).

This is not to say that the Victorians would have spurned any of the classical virtues. On the contrary, they would have approved of them. If they did not assign to some of them (courage, perhaps, or such lesser virtues as munificence or magnanimity) a high priority, it was because they would not have thought them the most essential virtues for most people in their own times. They may even have thought them more appropriate to a heroic, aristocratic age than to a bourgeois, democratic one.

Nor were the Victorian virtues the Christian ones–faith, hope, and charity (the latter in its original meaning of the love of God)–although, again, the Victorians would not have belittled these virtues. The Victorian virtues were more domesticated than the classical ones and more secular than the Christian ones. (Not entirely secular, however, as witness the familiar terms used to describe them: the “Puritan” or “Judaic-Christian” ethic.) But whatever their lineage, those virtues were deemed essential, not only for the good life of individuals but for the well-being of society.

And they were “virtues,” not “values” that the Victorians cherished. It was not until the present century that morality became so thoroughly relativized and subjectified that virtues ceased to be “virtues” and became “values.”

This transmutation is the great philosophical revolution of our time, comparable to the late-seventeenth century revolt of the “Moderns” against the “Ancients”–modern science and learning against classical philosophy. Yet unlike the earlier rebels, who were fully conscious of the import of their rebellion, the later ones (with the notable exception of Nietzsche) seemed almost unaware of what they were doing. There was no “Battle of the Books” to sound the alarm and rally the troops. Even the new vocabulary–“values” in place of “virtues”–which was so radical a departure from the old, and which in itself constituted a revolution in thought, passed without notice.

This is all the more curious because the inspirer of the revolution and the creator of the new language was acutely aware of the significance of it all. It was in the 1880s that Nietzsche began to speak of “values” in its present sense, connoting the moral beliefs and attitudes of a society. He used that word consciously and repeatedly, to signify what he took to be the most momentous fact in human history. His “transvaluation of values” was to be the final, ultimate revolution, a revolution against both the classical virtues and the Judaic-Christian ones–indeed, against the very idea of virtue, of a transcendent morality.

When early in the twentieth century, shortly after Nietzsche’s death, the sociologist Max Weber borrowed the word “values,” he had no such nihilistic intentions, which is perhaps why he did not comment on the novelty of the term, still less attribute it to Nietzsche (although we know that he read Nietzsche and was much influenced by him). Instead he used the word matter-of-factly, as if it were part of the accepted vocabulary and of no great moment. Perhaps for that reason, because it seemed so familiar and unthreatening, it was all the more effective, for it was absorbed, gradually and unconsciously, into the ethos of modern society, as it was absorbed into the vocabulary.

***

“Values” brings with it the assumptions that all moral ideas are subjective and relative, that they are mere customs and conventions, that they have a purely instrumental, utilitarian purpose, and that they adhere to particular peoples–or, as we now say, they are race-, class-, and gender-specific. So long as morality was couched in the language of “virtue,” it had a firm, resolute character. Philosophers might argue about the source of virtues, their relative importance, or the relation between moral and intellectual virtues, between classical and religious ones, or between private and public ones. They might even, like Montesquieu, “historicize” virtues by attributing different virtues to different peoples and polities. But for a particular people at a particular time, the word “virtue” carried with it a sense of gravity and authority, as “values” does not.

Values, as we now understand that word, do not have to be virtues; they can be beliefs, opinions, attitudes, feelings, habits, preferences–whatever any individual, group, or society happens to value, at any time, for any reason. One cannot say of virtues, as one can of values, that anyone’s virtues are as good as anyone else’s, or that everyone has a right to his own virtues. Only values can lay that claim to moral equality and neutrality. This impartial, “non-judgmental” as we now say, sense of values–values as “value-free”–is now so firmly entrenched in our vocabulary and sensibility that one can hardly imagine a time without it.

To speak of Victorian values (as I sometimes do, out of deference to common usage) is not merely a semantical anachronism; it is a distortion of the Victorian ethos. For the Victorians understood them as “virtues,” not “values.” Most Victorians even believed them to be, as Margaret Thatcher once said, “perennial virtues”–or if not perennial, then, for their own time and place at least, sufficiently fixed and certain to have the practical status of “perennial.”

For the Victorians, these virtues were fixed and certain, not in the sense of governing the actual behavior of all people all the time (or even, it may be, of most people most of the time). Plato and Aristotle did not assume that of their virtues; nor did Augustine and Aquinas of theirs. But all of them did believe that they were the standards against which behavior could and should be judged. The standards were firm even if the behavior of individuals did not always measure up to them. And when conduct fell short of those standards, it was deemed to be immoral–bad, wrong, evil–not, as is more often the case today, as misguided, undesirable, or (the most recent corruption of our moral vocabulary) “inappropriate.”

***

The shift from “virtue” to “values” has had other unfortunate consequences. Having displaced virtue from the central position it once occupied, as the defining attribute of the good life and the good society, we have relegated it to the bedroom and boudoir. When we now speak of virtue, we no longer think of the classical virtues of wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage, or the Christian ones of faith, hope, and charity, or even such Victorian ones as work, thrift, cleanliness, and self-reliance. Instead virtue is now understood in its sexual connotation, as chastity and marital fidelity. Leo Strauss once remarked that one of the great mysteries of Western thought is “how a word which used to mean the manliness of man has come to mean the chastity of women.”

This mutation in the word “virtue” has the effect first of narrowing the meaning of the word, reducing it to a matter of sexuality alone; and then of belittling and disparaging the sexual virtues themselves. These virtues, chastity and fidelity, have been further trivialized by the popular conception of Victorians as pathologically inhibited and repressed. Thus “Victorian values” have been associated with piano legs modestly sheathed in pantaloons, human as well as table legs referred to as “limbs,” and books by men and women authors dwelling chastely on separate shelves in country-house libraries.

In fact, these were not the normal (or even abnormal) practices of real Victorians. They were often the inventions of contemporary satirists (writers in Punch, for example), which have been perpetuated by gullible historians. “The woman who draped the legs of her piano,” one historian solemnly informs us, “so far from concealing her conscious and unconscious exhibitionism, ended by sexualising the piano; no mean feat.” In fact, it is this historian who has sexualized the piano and has imposed his own sexual fantasies upon the Victorians.

http://www.aei.org/publication/from-...-values/print/

Mrs. Thatcher seems to have stumbled on the phrase ‘Victorian Values’ as a rallying cry, by accident, conjuring the phrase out of nowhere, and launching it on its public career in the course of an interview with ‘Weekend World’ (January 16,1983).11 Only those who are privy to the secrets of the television studio will know whether it was an inspiration of the moment, or a premeditated plant. However that may be, it was a rhetorical trope which seemed both to thematise her causes and to give them a retrospective dignity. In the following weeks she elaborated it, invoking on the one hand ‘the Puritan work ethic’ on the other a leitmotif of the election campaign - ‘family values’. Her followers added inflections of their own. Thus Mrs. Winterton, the candidate for Congleton, who ‘agreed wholeheartedly’ with Mrs. Thatcher’s Victorian Values, interpreted them benignly as ‘thrift, kindness and family values’. On the other hand, Dr. Rhodes Boyson, Minister of Statefor Education, and himself an ex-headmaster (and an ex-historian), argued that they meant a return to strictness.
He said parents did not want their children to be taught ‘deviant practices by proselytising homosexuals’. What parents want is for their children to learn discipline, self discipline, respect, order, punctuality and precision . . . Parents expect their children to be punished when they step out of line . . . No discipline, no learning. Good old-fashioned order, even Victorian order, is far superior to illiterate disorder and innumerate chaos in the classroom.

(Page 12 - 13 )
https://www.britac.ac.uk/sites/default/files/78p009.pdf

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Old 29-09-2017, 07:07 AM   #53
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Thus, it would seem - at face value at least - that the state, the church and the police regarded private and law-abiding homosexual practices as "stepping out of line".

However, state interventions and malevolent intrusions into those lifestyles - incorporating various inflicted punishments together with heavily publicised and intentional media misrepresentations thereof, is quite another matter altogether.

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Old 30-09-2017, 07:45 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimstock View Post
The false declarations by the police (during the Spanner raids) that they were investigating a murder is a common ploy used against gay men in order to obtain signed statements on information concerning activities, contacts and evidence that would not normally be freely and indiscreetly volunteered. In Operation Spanner, these statements were used to convict the men.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...panner&f=false

(scroll down to following page)
Had this been the modus operandi throughout the Operation right from the very start, up until the Spannermen raids in 1987?

Should that have been the case, for what purpose had (seemingly unused and perhaps occasionally self-incriminating) statements been taken prior to the Spannermen raids?

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Old 30-09-2017, 08:21 AM   #55
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Had Mrs.Thatcher started to implement her "Christian Family Values" campaign against gay men with (what later became) Operation Spanner commencing by the start of her second premiership in 1983?

And should that have been so, what else does this also tell us?

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Old 30-09-2017, 09:18 PM   #56
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VICTORIAN’ was still being used as a routine term of opprobrium when, in the run-up to the 1983 election, Mrs. Thatcher annexed ‘Victorian values’ to her Party’s platform and turned them into a talisman for lost stabilities. It is still commonly used today as a byword for the repressive just as (a strange neologism of the 1940s) ‘Dickensian’ is used as a short-hand expression to describe conditions of squalor and want. In Mrs. Thatcher’s lexicon, ‘Victorian’ seems to have been an interchangeable term for the traditional and the old-fashioned, though when the occasion demanded she was not averse to using it in a perjorative sense. Marxism, she liked to say, was a Victorian, (or mid-Victorian) ideology; and she criticised nineteenth-century paternalism as propounded by Disraeli as anachronistic.
(1 of 21pdf)

‘Victorian Britain was a place where a few got rich and most got hell’, Mr. Kinnock, then shadow minister of education, told the Labour Club at Workington. ‘The “Victorian Values” that ruled were cruelty, misery, drudgery, squalor and ignorance’.
(5 of 21pdf)
https://www.britac.ac.uk/pubs/proc/files/78p009.pdf

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Old 30-09-2017, 09:43 PM   #57
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Margaret Thatcher interview (excerpt) from Weekend World, January 16th 1983: (prior to the 1983 election)


Brian Walden

All right Prime Minister let me swing away from the economy now, to ask you something rather more general but I think very important. Politics isn’t all about promises and pledges and rates of inflation and percentages. A great deal of it is about vision. People have to get a feel of what they’re being offered and why they’re being offered it. Now, in your case, I happen to personally believe that this is rather more important both for good and for ill—as far as the Conservative Party is concerned—than it has been with most Prime Ministers for a long time, so can I ask you—What sort of Britain do you eventually want? And give you some benchmarks to go at. Am I wrong when I say that what you seem to be looking for is a more self-reliant Britain, a thriftier Britain, a Britain where people are freer to act, where they get less assistance from the State, where they’re less burdened by the State, is that the sort of Britain that you want to bring about at the end of your Premiership?

Margaret Thatcher

Yes, very much so. And where people are more independent of the State. I think we went through a period when too many people began to expect their standard of living to be guaranteed by the State, and so great protest movements came that you could, by having sufficient protests, sufficient demonstrations against Government, get somehow a larger share for yourself, and they looked to the protest and the demonstrations and the strikes to get a bigger share for them, but it always had to come from the people who really strived to do more and to do better.

Brian Walden

All right, now you know, when you say you agree with those values, those values don’t so much have a future resonance, there’s nothing terribly new about them. They have a resonance of our past. Now obviously Britain is a very different country from the one it was in Victorian times when there was great poverty, great wealth, etc., but you’ve really outlined an approval of what I would call Victorian values. The sort of values, if you like, that helped to build the country throughout the 19th Century. Now is that right?

Margaret Thatcher

Oh exactly. Very much so. Those were the values when our country became great, but not only did our country become great internationally, also so much advance was made in this country. Colossal advance, as people prospered themselves so they gave great voluntary things to the State. So many of the schools we replace now were voluntary schools, so many of the hospitals we replace were hospitals given by this great benefaction feeling that we have in Britain, even some of the prisons, the Town Halls. As our people prospered, so they used their independence and initiative to prosper others, not compulsion by the State. Yes, I want to see one nation, as you go back to Victorian times, but I want everyone to have their own personal property stake. Property, every single one in this country, that’s why we go so hard for owner-occupation, this is where we’re going to get one nation. I want them to have their own savings which retain their value, so they can pass things onto their children, so you get again a people, everyone strong and independent of Government, as well as a fundamental safety net below which no-one can fall. [Churchill] Winston put it best. You want a ladder, upwards, anyone, no matter what their background, can climb, but a fundamental safety net below which no-one can fall. That’s the British character.

Brian Walden

Shall I put to you the argument that I think is most likely to be put against that, and by the way I’m bound to say an extremely frank and revealing statement of your basic attitudes. But a lot of people will say, ‘Well, it’s all very well Mrs Thatcher talking about Victorian values and citing self-reliance and all these excellent things, but that isn’t going to give us equality. If we’re going to have those sorts of values we’re going to have a more unequal, or at least an equally unequal society than the one we’ve got at the moment. Thatcher will never give you equality’. Now what do you say to that?

Margaret Thatcher

That nations that have gone for equality, like Communism, have neither freedom nor justice nor equality, they’ve the greatest inequalities of all, the privileges of the politicians are far greater compared with the ordinary folk than in any other country. The nations that have gone for freedom, justice and independence of people have still freedom and justice, and they have far more equality between their people, far more respect for each individual than the other nations. Go my way. You will get freedom and justice and much less difference between people than you do in the Soviet Union.

Brian Walden

All right, then that’s your view on equality. What would you say to those people who are not necessarily equalitarians, but say, ‘The trouble is, Mrs Thatcher, we don’t find your vision compassionate enough. You’re not—you’re too concerned with various economic regenerations and all the rest of it. You don’t appear to have sufficient compassion, either in your character or in your Government.’ Now what would you say to that?

Margaret Thatcher

Compassion isn’t determined by how much you get together demonstrations in the street to protest to government that government, which is other tax-payers, must do more. It’s determined by how much you are prepared to do yourself. Of course we have basic social services, we will continue to have those, but equally compassion depends upon what you and I, as an individual, are prepared to do. I remember my Alfred Roberts father telling me that at a very early age. Compassion doesn’t depend upon whether you get up and make a speech in the market-place about what governments should do. It depends upon how you’re prepared to conduct your own life, and how much you’re prepared to give of what you have to others. [end p30]

Brian Walden

All right, now I think we’ve learnt from you this morning in very clear terms what the resolute approach means. It means that your options on the general election are open from June onwards, you haven’t pre-empted them. It means that you feel that the pound may well rally and you don’t think it’s going to have a great impact on inflation. We’ve learnt that you’re still very, very firm on nuclear weapons and that you feel that it’s the Russians that must make the concessions. We’ve learnt on the economy that you more or less intend to adhere to what you’ve been following through. Can I ask you a very last question, for unfortunately a very brief answer. What do you say to those people, and there are some you know, who say, ‘The ends are all splendid, it’s the means, does she have to be so bossy, does she have to be so strident, couldn’t it all be done much more emolliently and consensually?’ What would you say to them?

Margaret Thatcher

Consensually, anyone who’s had any convictions has always put those convictions. There would have been no great prophets, no great philosophers in life, no great things to follow, if those who propounded the views had gone out and said ‘Brothers, follow me, I believe in consensus.’ No Brian, no.

Brian Walden

So it’s going … it’s the tough approach, verbally as in every other way?

Margaret Thatcher

No, it’s the sincere approach.

Brian Walden

All right …

https://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105087

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Old 01-10-2017, 07:33 PM   #58
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No Perfect Families: Margaret Thatcher’s family contradicts her morals and family values

"Broken families, they’re called. Like they’re somehow deficient – a shattered part of a socially-approved whole. Single mums, because we think women shouldn’t have the right to have families without a man. It wasn’t too long ago that unmarried mother was in vogue and in America unwed teenage mother is still an acceptable term. We don’t use words like partnered mums or married fathers.

In the Nineties the Tories were all for slut shaming single mothers (especially unmarried mothers) until a couple of top Conservative politicians were found to have created single parent families and one of them had been a single mother while she was a teenage student. Single mothers and their families were a social threat. Michael Howard suggested unmarried (but not married) mothers should have their children adopted. The Back to Basics campaign might have flopped, but the media (fuelled by the Institute of Economic Affair’s series of biased publications) had picked up the scent of easy meat. They stuck their teeth in and they haven’t let go since. This attitude survives today with an emphasis on teen mothers.

The scandal of Tories themselves being single parents or having children with single parents caused a stir at the time but really it was inevitable because breakups and divorce are common. But what’s really interesting is the fate that awaited the family of Margaret Thatcher, who advocated returning to Victorian values. At this time she’d recently been ousted. Her son Mark gave her her favourite granddaughter, Amanda Thatcher, around this time. Margaret Thatcher must have looked on with approval at the Major Government’s continuation of her agenda.

But fast forward to 17th April 2013 and her daughter Carol Thatcher turns up to her funeral – on national television – with a partner. She’s in a relationship with a man she isn’t married to. Yes, so are the rest of us, but it’s an interesting twist in the story of the Conservative Party’s idol. Margaret Thatcher and the Major government had stigmatised lone mothers and “illegitimate” children, yet here was her own daughter flaunting her unmarried status on the BBC. If Carol Thatcher gets pregnant, she’ll be an unmarried mother.

Margaret Thatcher’s grandkids Michael and Amanda Thatcher were (according to news reports) brought up in America after their mother emigrated following the breakup of her marriage to Mark Thatcher. So Margaret Thatcher’s grandchildren were raised by a single mother who was also an immigrant, while their father was far away in another country and would have had minimal contact with his children (especially considering that Facebook, Skype and MSN were not around when the kids were growing up).

Margaret Thatcher’s story doesn’t just prove that people who use “family values” to stigmatise or even eradicate family forms they don’t like (instead of valuing all families) are hypocrites – we knew that. It proves that discriminating others just hurts ourselves in the end. You never know if the groups you hate will be the groups that your children or grandchildren fall into. The Thatcher family story could also be a lesson for those who are against equal marriage and are sure their descendants won’t be gay.

It speaks to the way injustice and prejudice work that Margaret Thatcher’s family isn’t considered broken, dysfunctional or a social threat. Amanda and Michael aren’t considered to be the “underclass” (see Murray 1989; 1993) and Carol isn’t seen as promiscuous or irresponsible.

It’s a good thing- if perhaps slightly ironic- that the Thatcher funeral brought all this into the public eye for the first time. It forces right-wingers to come to terms with the reality that there are no perfect families and single parents exist in all families. Nobody’s immune, not even the Iron Lady and not even the most respectable or most bigoted. The sight of Amanda Thatcher, child of an immigrant single mum, making that speech about Margaret is a beautiful image. Even if it might be a troubling image for some. And Carol Thatcher flaunting her partner in front of the world’s cameras – would she have been able to do that in the early Nineties? To do it without shame. Without inviting comments from the media.

Maybe, despite Thatcher’s best efforts, we have progressed after all – and her family has benefited from that progression. As they paid their respects to her, their lifestyles silently mock the sexual morality and family values of a leader who was Conservative in more ways than one."

https://slutocracy.wordpress.com/201...family-values/

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Old 02-10-2017, 09:07 PM   #59
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Lord Mustill's objections (in the Spanner Case Appeal) at the long-established criminal law being re-interpreted to include acts that are judged as repugnant or immoral (but not criminal) in order to secure convictions.

"Ultimately, the judge said the legislation itself was not designed to be brought to bear on a group of consenting S&M enthusiasts:

“I ask myself, not whether as a result of the decision in this appeal, activities such as those of the appellants should cease to be criminal, but rather whether the Act of 1861 (a statute which I venture to repeat once again was clearly intended to penalise conduct of a quite different nature) should in this new situation be interpreted so as to make it criminal. Why should this step be taken?

“Leaving aside repugnance and moral objection, both of which are entirely natural but neither of which are in my opinion grounds upon which the court could properly create a new crime …”"

https://www.legalcheek.com/2015/04/t...ng-judge-dies/
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(On the subject of Law being used by judges to impose religious morality).

In a recent press conference held by the Lord Chief Justice [1], Frances Gibb of The Times asked the following question:

“Do you agree with [judge and President of the Family Division Sir James] Munby’s recent comments that it is no longer the job of judges to impose morality in the courts and that Christianity should no longer hold sway over other faiths?”

The reply given by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, was:

“We are a court where we have to apply the law and the law is essentially a secular law and so, yes, I do agree as it is our duty to apply law which is secular law, we should do that. I think in the past where judges have taken views in relation to what is not law, they sometimes get themselves into difficulties.”

Did the Lord Chief Justice have any particular cases in mind? Are there specific criminalised behaviours which he believes might require reconsideration?
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Barely a single student of the criminal law has forgotten the facts of this piercing case.[Spanner] If there is just one case that retains a firm grip on the collective student memory, it tends to be this one.

Chapter 2: Some context (before we get tied up in other details)

We live in an advanced liberal democracy in which unelected judges openly admit to making law.

For many, this is a cause for concern. After all, judges are only human and despite their sworn oath to “do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this Realm without fear or favour, affection or ill will” [6], it is inevitable that just once in a while even our most competent and conscientious judges will get things wrong and succumb to their own personal biases and preferences.

Normally this would not matter too much because there exist abundant “checks and balances” by way of, for example, appeal to higher courts. And ultimately our sovereign Parliament could step in and democratically remedy any deficiencies, or so the theory goes.

Coincidentally, as I type this article, the very first “same-sex” marriages are taking place in the UK [7]. This new direction of travel towards a more humanistic and inclusive society is welcome as far as the author is concerned and contrasts markedly with the oppressive view of homosexual behaviour espoused by the Wolfenden Report in 1957 [8], which revealed that the function of the criminal law in relation to homosexual behaviour at the time was:

“to preserve public order and decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive or injurious, and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation and corruption of others, particularly those who are especially vulnerable because they are young, weak in body or mind, inexperienced, or in a state of special, physical, official or economic dependence.”

So, back in 1957 – four years after the elucidation of the structure of the DNA molecule [9] – the UK was still trapped in a pre-Iron Age conception of human sexuality.

In addition, Parliament would not decriminalise homosexuality until 1967 [10], instead preferring to continue relying on “Judeo-Christian” values as providing an acceptable normative societal standard.

That standard, enforced on pain of stigmatisation and criminalisation, can be summed up neatly by the following anti-humanistic verses from the Bible:

“The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, […], liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine…” [11]

And:

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” [12]

Chapter 4: The moral of the story

One blogger has summarised the outcome as follows:

“When judges start to use their own morality to decide cases, they start to usurp the rule of law. Whether the decision or the ratio was correct or not, the motive was entirely wrong – the appellants were effectively charged with offences contrary to Lord Templeman’s personal morality, not the law of England and Wales – and that is something which should not be tolerated.” [13]

And according to another commentator, Natalie Connor:

“The circumstances of SM have been misunderstood by the courts […] – SM does not involve ‘assaults occasioning ABH’ at all, and is in fact a legitimate form of sexual expression, deserving of privacy rights, where the law should not purport to interfere.” [14]

Why did this judgment become such a whipping boy and a cause célèbre?

In the second article I will explore how other related cases were decided and whether there is any evidence to support the accusation against their Lordships that their judgment was informed by hetero-normative bias leading to what some have claimed were homophobic comments.

I will also explore whether there is any evidence to identify the pervasive presence of the established Church in this judgment. Did it matter for the purposes of the judgment that Lord Templeman was a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament, or that Lord Jauncey was a committed member of his Episcopalian Church? Do the use of words such as “evil” and “cult” point us to reasonably asking whether we are all subject to the vicarious rule of the Church through a biased judiciary?

When Lord Lowry stated in his judgment that “…homosexual sado-masochism…[could] scarcely be regarded as a ‘manly diversion’…”, was he overstepping his unelected remit by letting his personal bias run amok through his judgment (contrary to his oath), or was he honestly and diligently “binding and tying” the common law to pre-Iron Age values because that is just what good judges did in the 1990s?

Finally, I will explore the difficulties encountered when attempting to ascribe the R v Brown judgment to other theories (Moralism or Utilitarianism), and I will employ the conclusions to shed some light on why the judgment has caused so much controversy.

https://lawyerssecularsociety.wordpr...r-perspective/
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R v Brown – twenty four years on, a critical secular perspective (part 2)

In his second and concluding article about the notorious case of R v Brown, LSS member Dr. Peter Bowen-Walker makes the case for a secular legal system.

In Part 1 the attention of the reader was drawn to comments made recently by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, who opined that the courts were largely secular in nature and that where in the past judges had allowed religion to influence their reasoning they may have “[got] themselves into difficulties".

This concluding article argues that the controversial judgment in R v Brown [1] can be better understood if it is viewed as one of those judgments where unconscious religious bias clouded the normally objective and rational views of respected judges.

Viewed from a secular perspective, the intemperate moralistic and paternalistic language, the comments on seemingly irrelevant but emotive matters (such as bestiality), the clearly expressed indignation and disgust of their Lordships, and the unjustifiable catastrophising (despite lack of evidence), can all arguably be explained by the culture-shock experienced by these “establishment” men when their “establishment” morality was offended.

When the socio-cultural milieu of these judges is considered, it is evident that religion, and in particular the Anglican religion (with its homophobia and arguably irrational views on sex) played a role, and still does play a role, in the day to day lives of judges and the courts despite recent pronouncements to the contrary.

It will not be argued that their Lordships were explicitly homophobic or biased, but since the decision in R v Brown eventually came to be decided as a matter of public policy and on what was “in the public interest” rather than through an interpretation of the black letter law, then what “maketh the man” (the underlying values and unconscious biases) matters.

It will be argued that when it comes to matters of public policy and what is “in the public interest”, judges should respectfully adhere to a basic principle of the rule of law, and not their seemingly religiously-inspired instincts, namely they should find in favour of the defendant not the Prosecution and therefore not criminalise people where there is an unsettled point of law. It is clear in the case of R v Brown that their Lordships were on the cusp of making such a libertarian-inspired decision but – by a narrow margin – I will respectfully argue that their fear, prejudice and irrationality got the better of them and that three of the five judges resorted to making a moralistic judgment. Where did this prejudice come from? From a secular perspective it could be argued it came from the omnipresence of the State religion in the lives of our “establishment” figures and in the day to day workings of our courts.

To recap Part 1

R v Brown was a case which appeared before the House of Lords in 1993 in which a number of gay men were found guilty of causing ABH during sadomasochistic (SM) sexual activity.

The activity had in fact been ongoing for more than ten years and the participants had “positively wanted, asked for, the acts to be done to them” [2], and all had consented to being involved.

No complaint was ever made to the police, who only became interested because of unrelated enquiries which drew the SM activities to their attention.

The video material seized by the police documenting the SM activity was originally interpreted by them as “snuff” videos depicting the murder of individuals during the course of sexual violence [3]. It is now known that this was incorrect, but in fairness, this was clearly an understandable early consideration which of course justified further investigation.

However, the enquiry went on to cost an estimated £4 million [4] and some critics have argued that this expenditure may account for the determination (and possibly creativity) of the authorities to proceed with the prosecution, to save face and justify the cost. Support for the veracity of this claim can even be found in several passages from the judgment itself which questions as “adventitious” the use of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (OAPA) as a “statute…clearly intended to penalise conduct of a quite different nature” [5], [6], [7].

The men were found guilty at first instance of various offences (mainly ABH). The verdicts were upheld on appeal, but the sentences were reduced [8].

The main question certified for consideration by their Lordships was whether the fact that all the participants had consented to taking part in the SM activities provided a defence against the charges of ABH.

The answer was a 3:2 “no”; a close call which ossified the law and which has been widely criticized for what was perceived to be hetero-normative bias (or to be more forthright, homophobic bias). Since then, the judgment has been criticized further because of the other unintended and unforeseen consequences it has had.

When the case was appealed in the European Court of Justice, the charge that the judgments had been motivated by homophobia was dismissed [9]. The European judges held the convictions were safe and within the wide margin of discretion available to a member state to protect health or morals.

Nevertheless, the language used by their Lordships indicated, if not direct homophobia, then possibly indirect homophobia, and at the very least a deep seated “discomfort” with the lifestyles of the defendants and the material they were asked to consider in the course of their judgment.

Indeed, in a commentary on this judgment, Carl Stychin concluded the law “pathologises gay male sexuality” [10]. Examples of the language which revealed the shock and resulting moralising include the following:

Lord Templeman: SM is “degrading to body and mind”; “society is entitled and bound to protect itself against a cult of violence”

Lord Jauncey: “rather curious activities”

Lord Lowry: “[SM’s function is] to satisfy a perverted and depraved sexual desire. SM homosexual activity cannot be regarded as conducive to the enhancement or enjoyment of family life or conducive to the welfare of society. A relaxation of [the law] can only encourage the practice of homosexual SM, with the physical cruelty that it must involve (and which can scarcely be regarded as a ‘manly diversion’)…”

Lord Mustill: “It is sufficient to say that whatever the outside might feel about the subject matter of the prosecution — perhaps horror, amazement or incomprehension, perhaps sadness — very few could read even a summary of the other activities without disgust”; “If repugnance to general public sentiments of morality and propriety were the test, one would have expected proceedings in respect of the most disgusting conduct to be prosecuted with the greater vigour”; “Thus, whilst acknowledging that very many people, if asked whether the appellants’ conduct was wrong, would reply ‘Yes, repulsively wrong’.”; “Leaving aside repugnance and moral objection, both of which are entirely natural…”

Lord Slynn: “Nor is it necessary to refer to other facts which are mentioned in the papers before the House which can only add to one’s feeling of revulsion and bewilderment…”

According to evidence gathered by the Law Commission [11], the consequence of the R v Brown judgment has been inter alia to lead to uncertainty concerning the law in this area, with many respondents indicating their surprise that some SM activities are illegal.

It was contended that the oppressive effect of the judgment had also led to at least one death [12] and that it stigmatizes and vilifies the not insignificant numbers of SM practitioners. Whilst it is difficult to obtain statistics for the precise numbers of people who engage in SM, studies have indicated that between 5 and 22% of the population [13] may be involved to some extent (including members of the judiciary [14] and some well-known individuals [15]). Another concern expressed was that it exposed people to the risk of blackmail [16].

Furthermore, the law as it currently stands was believed to have led to the hindering of police investigations [17] because potential witnesses are reluctant to come forward.

Evidence was also given to the Commission that the current law might endanger the safety of SM practitioners because many felt unable to access information and to educate themselves of the dangers due to the stigma or risk of prosecution, and were compelled to turn to practicing risky activities unaccompanied [18], [19].

Other evidence suggested that on the rare occasion medical assistance might be required, people could be deterred from seeking help.

In addition, evidence was given that the current law was in fact given a “low priority” for enforcement by the police [20], but has it attained the position of being a “dead letter”?

This latter question is perhaps partly answered in the affirmative by the outcome of the recent case of R v Lock [21], in which a man was found not guilty by a jury after “contracting” with a woman to engage in SM activity which resulted in her suffering ABH. Of course, being found not guilty is not the same as the activity itself being lawful according to the letter of the law.

So despite the “public policy” reasons cited in the judgment, the benefits to the public at large do not appear to have been realised. Indeed, it could be argued that very significant problems and undesirable consequences have resulted as a direct consequence of the way the law fell to be decided in R v Brown.

The general position

Provided no harm is caused, SM activity in private between consenting adults is not unlawful.

The law concerning the application of unlawful but non-fatal force against a person arguably falls along an inelegant continuum. The law in this area comes from several acts and common law principles, the most significant one being the OAPA which has been widely criticized (including in R v Brown) as difficult to interpret and as “piece-meal legislation”, and covering a “rag-bag of offences” [22].

The spectrum begins at one end with an offence arising from the mere reasonable apprehension of the deployment of unlawful force; then, to the actual infliction of force resulting in no harm; then, to the use of force resulting in some harm (which can be a mere mark, or bruise (ABH)); and finally, to force resulting in serious harm (GBH). A person performing any of these acts is committing an offence, and the law rightly protects citizens from such unwelcome intrusions and harms.

Yet, if the law were to be left at that, many desirable and indeed vital activities would be rendered unlawful, such as surgery or hair-cutting. So the law has developed a number of mechanisms to widen the ambit of activities involving the application of force by one person against another, to remove the constraint of the starting point and to enable them to proceed in the public interest. Consequently, the law identifies a number of “exceptions” to the general rule which permit, with the valid and informed consent of the person, that physical force can be applied against them lawfully.

The activities included within the “exceptions” list are there because of the workings of public policy: the activities are considered to be of benefit, or in the public interest. The activities include some predictable ones but also some rather surprising ones:

Boxing and martial arts [23]
Religious flagellation (whipping/flogging) or mortification [24]
Tattooing and even branding one’s wife’s buttocks with one’s initials using a hot knife (deemed to be of the same species of action, see R v Wilson [25])
Ritual male genital mutilation (circumcision)
Heterosexual sado-masochism causing harm of a trivial and trifling nature (provided it is not long lasting) within the context of a marriage
Ear/eyelid/lip/genital piercing, provided it is for decorative purposes and not sexual gratification [26]
Having a haircut [27]
Surgical intervention (such as amputation, mastectomy, etc.) [28]

In addition to the defence of consent being available for the above activities, consent can also be given as a valid defence to “running the risk” of being harmed in the following circumstances:

Consenting to the risk of contracting a potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease (such as HIV) during intercourse [29], [30]
Consenting to the risk of injury during potentially dangerous contact sports [31]
Consenting to the risk of serious injury during potentially dangerous “manly diversions” and rough horseplay – the “belief” that consent was given is enough (it doesn’t even need to be a reasonable belief: just an “honestly held” belief is sufficient [32], [33])
Consenting to the risk of injury during dangerous exhibitionism (driving a motorbike through flames, knife-throwing displays and team acrobatics, etc.) [34]

So the law is construed so as to attempt to protect people from being subjected to unlawful physical interventions and assaults, but it is flexible enough to accommodate activities and actions which society might deem necessary or desirable. The list of “exceptions” is not a closed list and judges are at liberty within the constraints of the doctrine of precedence to widen the list.

It was precisely this – a request to include consensual homosexual sado-masochistic sex within the list of “exceptions” – to which the defence of informed consent by sui juris adults could be deployed in the event of harm that R v Brown was concerned with.

When the lists above are considered (together with the rule of law principle not to criminalise where the law is unclear), it may therefore seem surprising that their Lordships refused to invent a “consent” defence for homosexual sado-masochistic sex. This is especially so, given the warning by Lord Devlin who stated “…a law that appears to be arbitrary and illogical, in the end and after the wave of moral indignation that has put it on the statute book subsides, forfeits respect.” [35]

Surprising that is, until the personal biases (informed by prevailing social context) are recognised and considered.

Criticisms of the judgment in R v Brown

The judgment in R v Brown has been widely analyzed, and it is fair to say it has been widely criticized. One criticism made of the prevailing judgment was that the bar for the availability of the defence afforded by valid consent in the context of homosexual SM was set at too low a level (below ABH), which rendered the defence of consent unavailable to the defendants in this case.

Another criticism made was that the judgment was too moralistic and that it was informed by underlying homophobic or hetero-normative values held by the judges. One commentator waspishly stated the outcome of the case was as a result of the acts being “contrary to Lord Templeman’s personal morality, not the law of England and Wales” [36]. Another blog opined that the judgment was “unpleasant” and followed a homophobic “witch-hunt” pursued by the police [37].

A third criticism is that because of the way all common law develops, the area of law surrounding consent is something of an illogical and disconnected mess requiring reform. Their Lordships themselves pointed out that the appropriate authority for such a task was Parliament and not the judiciary. Looking at the disconnected and seemingly ad hoc list of exceptions, it is easy to understand the court expressing this reservation.

Both the Law Commission and the Government in 1998 published proposals to reform the OAPA. The Law Commission’s suggestion would have seen consent become available as a defence in cases of SM provided the harm was not “serious”. However, sixteen years or so later nothing has been done. Clearly the Government lacks the will or the courage to change the law, despite it being generally held to be confusing, lacking in coherence and causing a number of serious and undesirable consequences.

What factors influenced the reasoning of their Lordships? Do they keep the common law relevant today?

1. Homosexual SM was to be viewed as a form of violence where harm was intended or caused, and not as a sexual matter.

This contrasted with the availability of the defence to married heterosexuals if one of them inflicted ABH on the other (e.g. when branding a wife’s buttocks with a hot knife), which was held to be a private matter and as such, prosecution was not in the public interest [38]. Notwithstanding, consent would fail as a defence even in a heterosexual SM encounter which led to ABH if the activity itself was illegal (see R v Donovan [39], which involved the defendant spanking a 17-year old girl for sexual gratification), or if the harm was serious [40].

This position has been widely criticised for failing to understand the meanings ascribed by participants of SM activity as intrinsically a form of sexual expression and not violence [41], [42]. This further highlights the general criticism leveled at the judiciary in general that their incredulity and incomprehension stemmed from their being drawn from a certain narrow socio-cultural (or religious) mindset class, and being “out of touch”.

2. The proposition that SM was “essential to the happiness” of some people was denied by their Lordships because no evidence to support this was adduced (although a report available to the judges produced in 1963 by Prof. Hart in response to the Wolfenden Committee proposal had stated that laws restricting sexual behaviour “may create misery of quite special degree” because sexual impulses formed such a strong part of each person’s day to day life that their suppression could affect “the development of the individual’s emotional life, happiness and personality” [43].

At the time of the judgment SM was classified by psychiatric experts as a “paraphilia” (atypical sexual disorders considered a form of mental health problem) [44], whereas today this is only the case if the person is distressed about their atypical sexual interest or if they can only derive pleasure from another person’s distress or suffering [45].

Modern scientific thinking is understandably anxious to separate genuine mental disorders of a sexual nature from violent sexual acts which are better described as rape etc, and which should not be given the cover of a mental health diagnosis [46]. Were the judges influenced by the prevailing psychiatric thinking (despite their Lordships’ lamenting, unlike Parliament they had no access to external experts and reports etc)?

3. Homosexual SM posed a “proselytisation” danger to young men and could lead to their “corruption”.

In relation to this point, the appeal court judgment noted that one of the participants, “K”, had moved from the homosexual SM scene to “settle into a normal heterosexual relationship”. However, beyond that comment, the judgment seems to descend into an exercise of “catastrophising” which was then used as a reason to justify taking a paternalistic preventative approach by refusing the defence of consent.

This can also be seen in relation to their Lordships’ concerns about the perceived difficulty of “foretell[ing] the degree of bodily harm which [could] result” during SM encounters. Homosexual SM activities were also said to carry with them “obvious dangers of serious personal injury and blood infections”, with HIV/AIDS being specifically mentioned.

Given the widespread fear in the 80s and 90s of HIV, and given the prevalent homophobia [47], (the infamous Clause 28 was passed in 1987 [48]), it is little wonder that these matters would have been uppermost in the minds of their Lordships. But it has since been held, in a heterosexual context, that a person can consent to running the risk of contracting a fatal sexually transmitted infection [49]. Moreover, for this reasoning to stand, it required that their Lordships ignored the fact that the appellants had been engaged in these activities for some ten years, and that no evidence was adduced to indicate any of the participants had suffered the type of harm or infections which exercised their Lordships. No comment was made on why homosexual SM encounters could be justifiably assumed to pose more of a danger to participants than heterosexual SM encounters.

The case of R v Slingsby [50] also later suggested that, in fact, heterosexuals could participate in sexual activities which the participants didn’t believe were risky (“fisting”) and that consent was a defence, despite accidental blood poisoning resulting in the death of one of the participants.

It is little wonder that people today remain a little confused as to the law in this area given that judgments appear to be peppered with illogical, potentially prejudicial, certainly outdated and arguably conflicting paternalistic and moralistic reasoning.

4. According to their Lordships, public policy (not law) required that society be protected unless there was a “good reason” for the harm [51].

Since public policy reasoning is often no more than an exercise in judges imposing their own personal and moral values on the resolution of the cases in front of them then, I would respectfully suggest they should have been guided by one of the principles of the rule of law: namely, in the exercise of “criminalising”, the balance should fall in favour of the defendant and not the Prosecution if there is doubt. In this case, even the judges pointed out that Parliament would be the appropriate forum for resolving questions concerning the legality of SM. But despite their own reasoning they decided “against inventing a defence of consent” in this context.

Interestingly, no evidence was presented to the court that indicated SM was an activity growing in popularity, and they dismissed the fact that the participants were discreetly (secretly in fact) involved for a decade with no complaint from the general public.

5. That “the difference between ABH and GBH can not be applied by a jury” so they would not be able to “determine acquittal or conviction”.

Doesn’t the same issue arise in relation to the application of the OAPA in normal assault cases?

6. Drink and drugs were involved in securing the consent and increasing the enthusiasm of the participants.

Whilst this was a fact, the construction of the OAPA makes no mention of alcohol or drugs being an element in the offence of ABH and whether consent was good. Indeed, in other cases, such as R v Aitken [52], alcohol was involved but its significance was de-emphasized as merely an element in the context of rough horseplay or manly diversions. On this issue of the role of alcohol in vitiating consent, there appears to be little logical consistency in how it is applied and this may point more to the judges casting around for reasons to support their decision rather than them resolving difficult issues by a true construction of the law.

7. The SM practices of the appellants were held to be “degrading to body and mind”.

These comments appear to reach out to the “harm” principle as a means of justifying the judgment on liberal principles, but just as there was no evidence of SM being essential to the happiness of practitioners, so too there was no evidence that SM was any more dangerous to the bodies or minds of the participants than other activities held to be lawful, such as boxing, religious flagellation or consenting to the risk of contracting HIV by having sex with an infected person.

8. At one point in his judgment, Lord Templeman stated: “Cruelty to human beings was on occasions supplemented by cruelty to animals in the form of bestiality”.

Whilst bestiality is indeed an abhorrent crime which should rightly be condemned on animal welfare grounds and on public health grounds [53], [54] (to prevent zoonotic diseases entering society), this statement conflated another illegal act with the issue which was actually under consideration. Bestiality was illegal by virtue of s.12 Sexual Offences Act 1956 and would have had no significance in determining the certified question. But it does serve to emphasize the degree of moral indignation and inflamed sense of disgust the judges were having to grapple with. Perhaps this sheds some light on the psychological state of mind of their Lordships, who had been exposed to graphic descriptions in the course of their deliberations?

9. Adding further weight to the point that their Lordships were by this time quite disgusted by the subject matter under consideration, they went so far as to comment that the “activities of the appellants (were not) exercises of rights in respect of private and family life”.

It was just too much for their Lordships to equate what they had read about with “family life”. On balance, the ECtHR accepted that private and family rights could have been engaged but that the State had acted within its margin of appreciation in how this was applied [55].

10. Homosexual SM was held to be a “cult of violence” and an “evil thing”.

A reader could be forgiven for thinking these comments – in the context of consensual activities – were more likely to emanate from a Bishop than a Lord Justice.

Indeed, it is the contention of the author that religion played a far greater role in the outcome of this judgment than has been recognized. It is not contended that their Lordships were explicitly biased, but instead that their worldview, values and outlook were informed and guided by the nation’s Christian or Anglican state religion and its pervasive influence.

Evidence of the established church in the law? (Vicarious rule of the church)

Even if evidence can’t be conclusively provided that the judges were influenced by religion directly, the following associations their Lordships had with religion are a matter of public record:

The Register of Lords’ Interests for 1996 held “nil” returns for all their Lordships, but in the 2003 register [56] the following entries were made:

JAUNCEY OF TULLICHETTLE, Lord –

Office-holder in voluntary organisations – Chancellor of the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane in the Episcopal Church in Scotland

Trusteeships – Ex Officio trustee of two charitable trusts providing: holiday accommodation for clergy and their families

SLYNN OF HADLEY, Lord –

Membership of public bodies – Prior, Priory of England and The Islands Order of St. John

Lord Templeman also served on the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament between 1992-2001 [57] and was described as showing “bias and ineptitude” and a lack of understanding of “the seriousness of the problem facing the church” in relation to the ordination of women in the Church of England [58].

In a recent speech, the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, made the following comments (emphasis added):

“Only a little over a century ago, in 1905, a judge in a family case could confidently opine that the function of the judges was “to promote virtue and morality and to discourage vice and immorality.” So the purpose of the law was the enforcement of morals. And that morality was, of course, Christian.”

“Standing back from the detail, three features […] are striking. First, enthusiastic adherence to the view that the function of the judges was to promote virtue and discourage vice and immorality, secondly, a very narrow view of sexual morality, and, thirdly, the dominant influence wielded by the Christian churches.”

“The moment at which the world changed can, in fact, be identified [..]. The last hurrah of the ancien regime was […] the famous – or infamous – decision in 1961 of the House of Lords in Shaw v Director of Public Prosecutions, for it marked the end, even if not recognised at the time, both of the ancien regime in matters sexual and of the pretension of the judges to set themselves up as guardians of public morality.“

“Judges are no longer custos morum of the people, and if they are they have to take the people’s customs as they find them, not as they or others might wish them to be.”

“We live, or strive to live, in a tolerant society increasingly alive to the need to guard against the tyranny which majority opinion may impose on those who, for whatever reason, comprise a small, weak, unpopular or voiceless minority. Although historically this country is part of the Christian west and, although it has an established church which is Christian, we sit as secular judges serving a multi-cultural community of many faiths, sworn to do justice ‘to all manner of people’. We live in this country in a democratic and pluralistic society, in a secular State not a theocracy.”

“Religion – whatever the particular believer’s faith – is not the business of government or of the secular courts, though the courts will, of course, pay every respect to the individual’s or family’s religious principles.”

“Within limits the law – our family law – will tolerate things which society as a whole may find undesirable.” [59]

To a secularist like myself this speech was well received but, predictably, not everyone agreed [60], [61].

Even a cursory glance at the day to day workings of the courts today might suggest that they are not as secular as Sir James might rightly hope they are. For example, when judges are sworn in they take two oaths which are together known as the judicial oath; both involve the phrase “I, do swear by Almighty God that…” [62]

Jurors are regularly sworn in with an oath that begins “I swear [by almighty God/by Allah/by Waheguru/on the Gita] that…”; and witnesses and defendants regularly pledge to tell the truth via a similarly “Godly” formula provided for in law [63].

At the start of the legal year judges are invited to a church service in Westminster Abbey, a tradition which “dates back to the middle ages when judges prayed for guidance at the start of the legal term […] The […] service […] is conducted by the Dean of Westminster […] and includes prayers, hymns, psalms and anthems; the Lord Chancellor reads a lesson.” [64]

Add to this the twenty six Bishops (or “Lords Spiritual”), who are involved in making laws for people of all faiths and none, and who at one time rubbed shoulders with our most senior judges in the Lords, and it is not difficult to see why Sir James Munby’s speech was received with some wide-eyed skepticism.

So do we have secular courts or not, and did the secular nature of courts really come to exist overnight in 1961 in a punctuated equilibrium, or has there been a gradual and imperfect creep towards a more secular and inclusive judiciary?

In the opinion of the author the R v Brown judgment certainly puts us on notice that religious ideas could conflict with modern values and ways of living and that there is a danger that judges could reach less than values-neutral conclusions, especially when they are compelled to conclude on the basis of public policy and what is in the public interest.

The R v Brown subject matter of homosexual SM was obviously a challenge to the emotional equilibrium of their Lordships, who were clearly neither homosexual nor SM practitioners. Indeed, such people and practices were quite alien and disgusting to them.

Chan & Gommer theorised that Lord Templeman had been caught up in the “phenomenon of group behaviour” as a consequence of which researchers have:

“shown that simple identification with a group (the ‘in-group’), however meaningless, is enough to arouse hostility towards and cause actions to be taken against an ‘out-group’ – people who are not in the ‘in-group’ and classified as such. At the highest extent, this can mean dehumanising out-group members in order to justify aggression towards them, often by perceiving their structure of values as different and wrongly so. This then, might explain Lord Templeman’s strong and horrified language declaiming sadomasochism as “evil” and “breed[ing] and glorify[ing] cruelty”. [65]

To help readers better appreciate the stifling moralistic culture which dominated the social circles of the senior judiciary around the time of the R v Brown judgment, and to help shed some light on the prevailing hetero-normative prejudice they clearly felt comfortable colluding with, the following quote may assist:

“Until 1991, unmarried men and women – including gay and lesbian lawyers – were excluded from entering the judiciary. Unsurprisingly, homophobia, or at least a strong perception of it, still lingers. According to recent research by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal group Interlaw, 70% of LGBT lawyers believe there is prejudice within the selection process for judicial office.” [66]

Indeed, even as recently as 2013, Lady Hale was inspired in a judgment to write:

“Sexual orientation is a core component of a person’s identity which requires fulfilment through relationships with others of the same orientation… [Homosexuals] were long denied the possibility of fulfilling themselves through relationships with others. This was an affront to their dignity as human beings which our law has now (some would say belatedly) recognised. Homosexuals can enjoy the same freedom and the same relationships as any others. But we should not underestimate the continuing legacy of those centuries of discrimination, persecution even, which is still going in many parts of the world.” [67]

If there is any doubt in the minds of readers that there are still influential voices within political and legal circles who want to see Christian principles and values inform the actions of our establishment leaders they need only look at the comments made by the previous Attorney-General, in which he recognised that Christianity remains a “powerful force in this country” [68]. This comment follows hard on the heels of comments made inter alia by the Prime Minister [69], Eric Pickles [70] and Baroness Warsi [71], all of whom have promoted religious influence and visibility in one way or another [72]. The new Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, went so far as to state her mission in Parliament was not to serve her constituents but to “remember the word of God and serve the Lord.” [73]

So there is little doubt that our judges, whilst independent, work in a system where the established church is not a quaint trace of history but a real presence, determined to be heard and to have an impact on our laws. Is it really any wonder therefore that judges sometimes allow their religion to get them “into difficulties” (as the Lord Chief Justice suggested)?

Would it be fair to allow their Lordships to carry the burden of responsibility alone for this judgment and its effects?

Clearly not, because there are many other actors in this drama who could have acted differently, but who were also probably informed by their personal biases (be it the prevalent homophobia, sexually repressive religious values or simply traditional family values). For example, the police and prosecution authorities didn’t have to proceed to prosecution and needn’t have worked so hard and so creatively to fit the activities of the men so tenuously to the OAPA.

Also, despite some twenty years having now elapsed since the judgment, the legislature has made no effort to remedy the defects widely identified in this judgment. Are they simply intimidated and embarrassed by the topic or do they really believe that homosexual SM should remain stigmatized and peripheral with all the attendant dangers and problems? If it is accepted that the legislature are as religious as many of them seem to keep telling us, there is little chance their personal biases will permit them to act to remedy the confusion in the law in the interests of liberal law-making.

In fairness to our most senior judges, our higher courts are constrained in their ability to seek assistance from experts, to commission reports and to request research be conducted before making a decision. Perhaps if this right were granted to our senior courts, together with the necessary resources, they might be assisted on rare occasions to make more fully-informed rulings which served the best interests of society according to the best evidence. This would avoid the veracity of stinging rejoinders such as the law being made “according to the morality of Lord Templeman”.

“Judges are not moral or intellectual giants, prophets, oracles, mouthpieces, or calculating machines. They are all-too-human workers.” [74]

Based on this starting point Chan & Gommer [75] argue that “too often judges are put on a pedestal of rationality, and as a result, we lose the opportunity to discover and understand what human factors affect judicial decisions.” Once we break through the reluctance to critically analyse the decisions made by our courts we can appreciate why some judgments, like R v Brown, appear so strange alongside other judgments and why they attract so much attention and criticism.

Chan & Gommer also state:

“…the law is written, interpreted and applied by human hands and human minds very much affected by morals and emotions…The consequence [being] that judges and legislators, whether they know it or not, will draw upon their unconscious reservoirs of experience, social norms, morals, emotions and urges when making their decisions.”

This author questions whether in cases which turn on public policy matters, and which therefore introduce questions of morality and moral judgment, unelected judges should be asked to explicitly explore and guard against any risk that they harbour bias or prejudice derived from their religious beliefs.

In a mature, secular democracy like our own, our lawmakers should guard against promoting one set of superstitious values above another. They should ensure our (otherwise decent) establishment and legal system are purged of influences which can lead to institutional bias, rather than unashamedly nurturing bias by promoting one religion or another.

Without doubt, the only approach to legislating and legal interpretation which can fairly accommodate everyone in society is a secular approach. Modern judges know it, and actively say it, and anachronistic judgments might now benefit from being re-examined through a secular lens.

Isn’t it now time for the ratio in R v Brown to be reconsidered? The moralistic and paternalistic language indicates that some of their Lordships did not decide rationally, impartially and with secular heads, but rather that their judgment appears to have been informed by high emotion and disgust, and it seems to many to have the hallmarks of being influenced by outdated religious values.

The fact remains: R v Brown isn’t a judgment that is widely respected. Indeed, one author commented: “One cannot help but view their Lordships’ public policy-based reasoning as an unconvincing façade for interventionist judicial moralism”. [76]

Every student of law knows the case of R v Brown, not because of its wisdom, humanity or because it elevates the human condition, but because it is cited as an example of case law which sits uncomfortably with other cases. In addition, the whole area of consent has been opined to be ad hoc, confusing and in need of reform. The judgment itself is highlighted because of its shrill language and ultimately inappropriate moralising. Our law is better than that, but it is only better when it meets the test of fairness and impartiality, and avoids bias.

A strictly secular approach to judicial reasoning and decision-making is a safeguard our best and most senior judges recognise.

https://lawyerssecularsociety.wordpr...ective-part-2/

Last edited by grimstock; 03-10-2017 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:01 AM   #60
grimstock
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So, as we can see from the above, the Spanner case was more heavily influenced by religion over matters of law, and the law was thus used in an inappropriate manner in order to convict the men. However the Church of England has the power to amend by way of "measure" Common Law where, for instance religious matters (in this case religious morality or influence) may be perceived to be under threat.

The following statement, (quite apart from that made by Lord Mustill)
"Would it be fair to allow their Lordships to carry the burden of responsibility alone for this judgment and its effects?
Clearly not, because there are many other actors in this drama who could have acted differently, but who were also probably informed by their personal biases (be it the prevalent homophobia, sexually repressive religious values or simply traditional family values). For example, the police and prosecution authorities didn’t have to proceed to prosecution and needn’t have worked so hard and so creatively to fit the activities of the men so tenuously to the OAPA."
- would also indicate that the purpose of the Spannermen case (from 1987 on) was to criminalise and incarcerate the men.


And recalling from earlier, "The media were thus able to present this as the conviction of a sex ring."

And therefore the questions as to why should these actions have been so required arise, (unless of course you are aware of the related facts).

The end result had been a demanded requirement in 1987 prior to the raids and arrests.

The case had thus been "reverse engineered", thereby leading to inevitable conflicts with other case law.

The fact that the offences were initially related to "morality" , and were not at the time viewed as criminal offences, would indicate the Church of England influence over the Courts -
with both matters being criminalised under the OAPA, and the eventual judgements. That the case was also investigated and arrests/charges brought by the General Synod's "Witchfinder General" leaves nothing to doubt. They had not been concerned so much with Obscene Publications, but more with personal sexual activities between consenting adults.
The claims of "Satanic Paedophile Sex Ring making Snuff Movies" plastered all over the msm front pages in big letters during the trial had been their failed attempt to gain public sympathy and support that became an obvious misnomer to anyone who had actually been witness to any of the hearings; their numerous false justifications for both the intended and eventual incarcerations could not withstand scrutiny of any depth at all.

Last edited by grimstock; 10-10-2017 at 07:32 AM.
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