Marchessini Blog & Forum

UK Prisons

I refer to a recent column by Mary Riddell in the Daily Telegraph (Our crumbling prison system is a disgrace to modern democracy), in which she is labouring under an important misapprehension when she says “crime is falling like a stone”. What happened is that the Blair Government did not like the fact that crime was going up every year, and did not wish to build any more jails, so in the early 2000s they stopped using the police figures for crime, and instead employed an organisation called the British Crime Survey (BCS). This is an organisation based in the Midlands, which surveys about 40,000 homes in the country, and on the basis of their information (including crimes never reported), come up with an estimate of crimes for the year. People might be excused for laughing at this absurd procedure, but this is what our government has been doing ever since. In its first year of operation, BCS came up with a figure of 11 million crimes, as opposed to the police figure of around 5 million. Again, this should have been the cause of much hilarity, but it had a point. By starting from an absurdly high figure, the BCS was able to reduce its number every year, and give people the fraudulent impression that crime was falling. People like Miss Riddell. The fact is that Britain still leads Europe in most crimes per capita, and is second only to Germany in total crimes.

Miss Riddell is quite right that our present system is a disgrace, but that is because our government has refused to accept that crime is growing, and refuses to build any more prisons. The result is a disaster.  Miss Riddell obviously takes the view that the point of prison is to rehabilitate the prisoners. This is, I am afraid, a fantasy. The point of prisons is for one reason, and one reason only, and that is to protect innocent people. In order to do that, people who are dangerous to society must be locked up. The vast majority of crimes are committed by professional criminals, who have no interest in rehabilitation. There is not the slightest solid evidence that “rehabilitation” is possible, but it is certainly not the purpose of prison. The only things criminals are afraid of, by their own admission, are long prison sentences. Miss Riddell is also somewhat naive about Community Justice, which she calls “simpler and cheaper”, but perhaps she is not aware that half of the people put on community service never turn up in court.

I was naive enough to think that when the Conservatives came in, they would change the system, but, of course, they have not. They continue to rely on the BCS and continue not to build any more prisons.


The Ukraine

With reference to an article by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times entitled ‘Help Ukraine seize this chance’, in the continuing debate about the Ukraine, and what to do about it, the Western press never says a word about the Russian side of the dispute. The Russians and the Ukrainians are from the same race (which is called “Rus”, hence the name Russia), and for thousands of years they spoke the same language. Even now, they still understand each other. The Ukraine was an independent kingdom in the distant past, but it has not been independent since the year 1240, when Kiev was sacked by the Mongols. Since then, the Ukraine was conquered by one country and then another, until for the last three hundred years, it has been Russian. It was only made independent by the treaty 20 years ago, when the Soviet Union was dissolved. This did not cause any great unease in Russia, because it was understood that the Ukraine would stay within the Russian orbit. But in recent years, the Ukraine has been flirting with the EU, and also with NATO. Now, would any reasonable person expect that Russia would allow NATO on its borders?

The Crimea had been part of Russia even longer, and the Russian Black Sea Fleet is stationed there. It only became part of the Ukraine in 1954, when Khrushchev (a Ukrainian) after a drunken dinner, decided to give the Crimea to the Ukraine. This too did not worry anybody, because, at that time, all these countries were in the Soviet Union. It is necessary to understand that not only was the Crimea Russian for 300 years, not only was the Russian fleet stationed there, but the inhabitants of the Crimea are mainly Russian. Indeed, 82% of Crimea’s residents speak Russian at home. Most of all, Russian blood had been spilled defending the Crimea. The plebiscite, therefore, to join Russia was not imposed on the Crimeans – that is what the majority wanted.

As regards the Ukraine, in the unchallenged elections of 2010, Mr Yanukovych was elected president. Now, Yanukovych may be no paragon of virtue, but he was elected democratically, and there was no challenge to him for three years. The challenge came when he refused to sign a pro-EU treaty. This challenge was widespread, and lasted a considerable number of months. It is obvious this could not have been done without Western assistance. Eventually Yanukovych was thrown out, and the West put in their own politicians. Since then, there has been an election, and the pro-EU faction is now in charge. Is this behaviour by the West considered democratic? Indeed, why should the Ukraine be a member of the EU? As the Ukraine is bankrupt, and needs enormous amounts of money to get back on its feet, I would think most countries in the EU would not want to have anything to do with them. There was an enormous amount of negative publicity about the airliner which was shot down, for which Putin and the Russians were blamed. But sometime later the Ukraine admitted it was they who had shot it down.

Overridingly, the question is what right does the West have to interfere in any country which is not threatening us in any way? What business is it of ours what happens in the Ukraine? Indeed, how dare we interfere? A lot of Russian blood was spilled defending the Ukraine in the Second World War. I am not aware of any British or American blood being spilled. It is true that German blood was spilled, but they were going in the wrong direction.


French Letters

With reference to an article in Times 2 by Adam Sage (The trial of a man – and of France’s old sexual order) dated 12th February 2015, about Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the columnist suggested that there has been a shift in French attitudes to sex, but did not mention what the results of this shift have been, namely, a drastic fall in the incidence of sexual relations.

In a survey taken 35 years ago, married couples were found to make love about twice a week, or eight times a month, which is what most people would have expected.  A recent survey, however, found that they now make love once a month – that is quite a fall.  Similar surveys in Germany have the same results.  The birth rate has fallen so much in Germany that the government is paying people to have babies.  In England, at the time of the last World Cup tournament, young men were asked what they would like to do – make love to the woman of their dreams (not their girlfriend, but the woman of their dreams), or watch the World Cup on television.  95% chose to watch the World Cup.  Fifty years ago, the figure would have been the opposite.  Men’s average sperm count has fallen from the previously normal 75, to 55.  That is quite a fall.  In order to have babies, they must have a minimum count of 35, so we have fallen halfway to not being able to have babies.

The columnist said that there has been a shift away from the idea that “sexual relations occur when men want it”.  But what is perfectly clear is that sexual relations cannot occur when men do not want it.  It is men who have the penises, and if they are not aroused, then nothing will happen.  Women, on the other hand, can perfectly well have intercourse without having any particular desire to do so.  So such a “spectacular shift” simply means there will be much less intercourse.  Together with that, is the fact that the loss of frequent intercourse gives the consequence that the quality of intercourse will suffer.  In order to be a good lover, it is necessary to have frequent intercourse.


British Rapists

With reference to an article by Richard Ford in the Times (Britain leads Europe on sending rapists to jail) dated 12th February 2015, with respect, that is a very misleading statement. What Britain leads in, is in sending alleged rapists to jail. The reason that many more people go to jail for rape in England than in Europe, is because there are different laws for rape in every country, and the English rape law is more anti-men than the law in the rest of Europe.

In the Common Law, there were two requirements for rape – the woman had to be “unwilling”, and the man had to use “violent force”. Most people still assume this is the case. But in England, many years ago, the requirement of “violent force” was deleted from the law, and is now not required. That means that almost all cases of alleged rape are simply the woman’s word against the man’s. It is for this reason that so few allegations of rape come to court, and of those that do, about a half are acquitted. But it also means that men are convicted of rape for flimsy reasons. For example, there was the recent case of the footballer, Ched Evans, convicted of rape because he made love to a girl who was drunk, who had already made love with his friend, and was lying in bed without any clothes on. The point is not whether or not this conviction was legal under British law; the point is that in other countries in Europe, Mr Evans would not even have come to trial.

Many women in this country have been persuaded by Feminists that if they have a sexual encounter with a man that is not satisfactory, then that must have been rape. The result is a flood of allegations to the police, without any evidence. Nevertheless, the Director of Public Prosecutions is trying to change the law so that even more men will be convicted of rape. It does not seem to occur to her, and to other Feminists, that women often lie.


The Perversion Of Rape

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Alison Saunders, wishes to make changes in the rape law. It seems that she is not interested in how many men are actually guilty of rape, but simply in increasing the number of convictions. To do so, what she is proposing not only flies in the face of logic, but demeans women – they are considered not to have free will – they are considered to be weak and unable to say “No” – they are considered to be irresponsible – and they are considered to be completely incapable of any effort of self-preservation. Yet, at the same time, Feminists claim that women are equal to men. That is obviously a contradiction in terms. But Mrs Saunders goes even further; she blames all of women’s bad behaviour on “society”. That is straight out of a Marxist text book, and flies in the face of freedom and free will. Finally, she claims that consent to sexual activity is “clearly defined”. Obviously, she has not had much sexual experience.

She suggests that women, who were incapacitated through drink or drugs, may be considered to have been raped. A lot of people – both men and women – like to have had alcohol or drugs before making love. Clearly, Mrs Saunders would make all the men rapists. Regardless of how much drink or drugs anyone has had, they chose to have it, and, therefore, the consequences are their own responsibility. She also suggests that if a man has a “position of power” over a woman, and she agrees to go to bed with him, that is rape. In other words, women have no free will, no will power and are unable to say “No”, if it is to their advantage. Mrs Saunders does not seem to understand that if a woman says ‘Yes’, it does not matter if she really wants to or not. Once she has said ‘Yes’, there can be no rape. Similarly, she mentions “dressing provocatively”. If a woman does that, she obviously does it because she wants to excite men. There can be no other reason. But again, Mrs Saunders whitewashes the woman, and says that “society is to blame”. I hope that her boss, the Attorney General, will consider that such changes would be pernicious, unlawful, and would further damage the relationship between men and women, which is gradually being destroyed.


Responsibilities of Women

I was interested in a recent article in The Times by Alice Thomson (“We’ve only turned a page in the war on sexism”). I am sure that her views are sincere, but I must point out, however, that some of her assertions are in conflict with reality. One of the most important laws of human life is that one can do what one wants, as long as one is prepared to accept the consequences. But, if I understand Miss Thomson correctly, she is suggesting that women should be able to behave irresponsibly, without any painful consequences. This is contrary to human experience.

For example, she says that women should be able to wear what they like. Of course, they can wear what they like, but they cannot avoid the consequences of their attire. Since time immemorial, women (and men) have dressed to indicate their rank and their intentions. If a woman today deliberately dresses in a vulgar, sexy way, the only conclusion one can draw is that she wishes to attract men. There is no other reason for dressing like that. So she is either a tart, or a cock teaser. Suppose three women walk into a pub; one is conventionally dressed, the second is wearing a skirt up to her crotch, and the third is topless and wearing only a pair of pants. Do you think the men in the pub would have the same reaction to all three women? And would refrain from touching them?

Miss Thomson also mentions drink. Of course, women are free to drink if they wish to, but there are unpleasant consequences to drinking, not only for women, but also for men. Since time immemorial, young men often tried to get girls a little tipsy, to make them more amorous. Respectable girls resisted this, knowing that it could be dangerous. Today, women seem to feel they must drink in order to be like men. In previous generations, you rarely saw a woman drunk in public. Today you see many. By drinking, they are making themselves targets for men, which suggest that they are willing. Otherwise, why get drunk?

Miss Thomson alleges that “harassment” is a part of daily life for British girls. I would suggest, with respect, that she is being somewhat inconsistent. In the past, men were brought up to think that women were fragile little flowers, and that it was their duty to protect them, and look after them. But today, women are pretending that they are the same as men, and can do the same things as men. There is no longer any reason to protect them, or to look after them. If men and women are the same, how can there be “sexual harassment”? Men do not complain of sexual harassment – why should women? Is that logical? She also mentions that many girls send naked pictures of themselves to men. One cannot be “pressurised” to do that. You either choose to do it, or you do not. What opinion will young men have about girls who send them nude pictures of themselves? If girls do this, how can they complain about “sexual harassment”.

Finally, Miss Thomson mentions that women who work should not have guilty feelings about it. One’s feelings are, of course, a personal matter. But it is a fact that women who work spend very little time with their children, so it is natural for them to feel guilty. Women are always free to do what they like, but they must accept the consequences. They cannot have it both ways.


The Evans Case

There was an article recently in The Times by Libby Purves (Without the rule of law we will all be losers – 11th January 2015) about the Ched Evans case. As I happen to be a lawyer, I would comment on this case from a strictly legal point of view. The facts are slightly different from the ones mentioned by Miss Purves. It seems that Evans, his sister, his brother-in-law, and a football friend, Clayton McDonald, had gone out on the town. At a certain point, McDonald said that he felt tired, and was going back to the hotel. He then hailed a cab, but before he could get in, a girl he had never seen before, asked him which way he was going, and could she get a lift from him. Naturally, he agreed. This girl was, of course, the alleged victim. Now, at that point, having entered a taxi with a strange man in the middle of the night, and both of them drunk, the girl had given up responsibility for her behaviour, and could no longer be “raped” by the man in question. McDonald took her to his hotel, to which she agreed; he took her up to his room, to which she agreed; and then he made love to her, to which she also agreed. No rape took place.

At this point, the second part of the story begins. McDonald rang Evans, told him he had a girl in his room, and suggested he come over. It is at this point that the two stories diverge. Evans said that when he arrived, he found a girl in bed, with very little in the way of clothing on, who had just allowed his friend to make love to her. So he asked her if he “could have a go”. Not very gentlemanly, but certainly not rape. And, he claims, she agreed. Her version is that when she woke up in the morning, she could not remember anything, and wondered where her clothes were. Now, these two different versions are not contradictory. It is perfectly possible that she said ‘yes’ to Evans, and could not remember anything in the morning. Obviously, everybody had had a lot to drink. The point is, whichever version you accept, there could not be any rape, because the absolute indispensible requirement for rape is that a woman be “unwilling”. Well, in his version, she was “not unwilling”, nor in her version was she “unwilling”. If she could not remember what happened, then she could certainly have agreed for him to make love to her.

That is why the court decision was unsound. The jury did not like the behaviour of these two footballers, and wanted to punish them. They could not punish McDonald, because it was so clear that the girl had been willing, so they punished Evans, who was no more guilty than McDonald. Ungentlemanly behaviour is not rape. Rape has been a very serious offence since the beginning of time. It was the last offence for which there was a death sentence in the UK (apart from murder), and it still is punishable by many years in jail. Regardless of whether they were, or were not, “bad boys”, they were not rapists.

That is why Evans has appealed, and why he does not apologise, because in his view he did not do anything against the law. In the context of the facts in the case, the reaction of the football clubs is absurd. Even convicts who have actually committed rape can usually go back to their former occupations. Why not football, which is not exactly a gentlemanly occupation?

And as for being a role model, I would suggest that 99.9% of the country had never heard of Ched Evans before this case.


Not Predatory But Naughty

With reference to a recent letter in The Times by Janice Turner, entitled ‘Let’s explode the myth of the predatory schoolgirl’, she is quite right when she states that there are not many “predatory” schoolgirls, but there are many “naughty” schoolgirls. In the Rotherham scandal recently, the girls involved were 13, 14 or 15 years old. They had skipped school, wandered about the streets, allowed strangers to pick them up (men who were twice their age), accepted cigarettes and alcohol from them, and rode in their cars. They, therefore, could not expect the men they met to behave like gentlemen. Of course, the behaviour of the Pakistanis was disgusting, but, by their standards, and by the standards of most of the world, these girls were tarts.

Miss Turner states that “decent men” resist temptation. Whatever her definition of a decent man is, the fact is that when a girl shows that she is available, very few men will resist. That is why, since time immemorial, women have been brought up everywhere in the world to protect themselves from men, and not to encourage them.


Homosexual Confusion

A recent correspondent in the Daily Telegraph considers it a “disgrace” that the Church of England can claim exemption from carrying out same-sex marriages. Perhaps he is not aware that only last summer, the Archbishop of Canterbury stated that homosexuality has always been a sin, and continues to be a sin, in the Anglican Church.



With reference to a recent column in The Times by David Aaronovitch, the interesting thing is that despite the volumes of press comment that there has been about “Charlie”, no one has actually stated what the furore is all about. What it is about is blasphemy.

In this country, blasphemy was a crime for thousands of years, and was only repealed as a crime seven years ago. As long as blasphemy is a crime, there can be no problem about insulting religion.

But now that blasphemy is no longer a crime, there is a gap between free speech and insults. Of course, in this country, blasphemy only referred to Christianity. In Europe, there has never been a blasphemy laws against the Moslem religion. Indeed, it is unheard of for Moslems to object to statements made in the newspapers of other countries. That comes from giving them too much money, and too much power.

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