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British Coalition Government Breaks Promise on Anonymity Before Charge for Targets of Rape Investigations

August 6th, 2010 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

The Brave New World of Tory/Liberal Democratic coalition governing in the U.K. didn’t last long.  The government is still in its infancy, but it’s already reversed itself on the issue of anonymity for rape defendants prior to charge.  Oh, I know it said it would pass legislation extending anonymity, but that was when it was asking for votes.  Now that they’ve got them, why bother?

Here’s one article on the subject (The Guardian, 7/25/10).

Apparently there’s been consensus among members of parliament since 2003 to extend the same anonymity to those named as rapists that the law now extends to women who say they’ve been raped.  The new government was supposedly poised to make that consensus the law of the land until Labour and Tory female MPs stopped it.

To no one’s surprise, they trotted out the old, discredited notions to do so.  About the change, former “Equalities” minister

Harriet Harman said it could reduce the number of convictions for rape by sending out a signal that women are not to be believed.

The only problem with that notion is that it’s patently absurd.  Such an extension of anonymity does no such thing.  It would do one thing and one thing only; it would preserve the good name of a man against whom there’s insufficient evidence of guilt, or outright proof of innocence.

To pretend that granting anonymity means that rape claimants are disbelieved is as absurd as pretending that granting anonymity to rape victims means that we believe that those charged are per se guilty.  Again, it means no such thing.  It means only that we want to protect from public scrutiny the woman who presumably has gone through a terrible ordeal.

Maybe someone should remind Harman that a signifcant number of rape claims are false.  She seems to think they’re not, or maybe she just doesn’t notice the ones that are.  Whatever the case, as a matter of simple fact, some women who cry rape should not be believed because they aren’t telling the truth.  We don’t know whether they are until sufficient investigation has been done, during which time keeping the accused’s name confidential should be a matter of common decency – a concept alien to the likes of Harriet Harman at least when it comes to men.

Let’s not forget that identifying those targeted by false claimants has real consequences.  Only last week I wrote about the case of Leyla Ibrahim who’d falsely accused two teenage boys and one young man of rape.  They were never charged and indeed, it’s Ibrahim who’s behind bars for her fabricated claims.  But however innocent, they were still punished, not by courts or juries using due process of law, but by their neighbors.  One boy described his public humiliation and the threats he received as “torture,” while another had to move to another community where he could be, yes, anonymous.

Make no mistake.  That’s the type of abuse of boys that Harriet Harman and her ilk find entirely acceptable. 

But the anti-male crowd didn’t stop with one unsupported claim.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow minister for women and equalities, said the government’s proposal was a retrograde step. “The government is pushing ahead with these controversial plans which could prove so damaging for rape convictions without any formal consultation.

No formal consultation?  Actually, it’s been agreed on for the past seven years, before which there was a good bit of consultation.  But why let facts get in the way of a good whine?

To top it all off, there’s the most outrageous claim of all.

Louise Bagshawe, the novelist and Conservative MP for Corby, said: “Singling out rape in this way, ministers are sending a negative signal about women and those who accuse men of rape.”

To which Cooper chimed in,

The government has failed to give any reason why rape should be treated differently to any other crime.

I’m not making that up, friends.  Those are direct quotations.  Stated another way, the same women who would scream bloody murder if rape weren’t “treated differently [from] any other crime,” are now upset by that very treatment.  The difference of course is that the particular special treatment could conceivably benefit men.  But their argument is such bare-faced hypocrisy that it takes the breath away.

These people’s frank dishonesty results from only one thing – tolerance.  For many decades now the misandric dishonesty of radical feminists has gone largely unchallenged.  The most blatant falsehoods are allowed to stand unrebutted.  Indeed, they’re published as fact and as sensible opinion.  In a sane world, in a responsible public forum, they’d be excoriated for the patent nonsense they are now and always have been.

But far from chucking them out with the other refuse, they now receive respectful hearings at the highest levels of government.  If little children displayed a similar disrespect for basic honesty, they’d be punished and taught a lesson.  When Harriet Harman does it, governments break promises to the men who put them in power.  

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