Thursday, 21 February 2013
Dumb Britain and the Vicky Pryce jury-a symptom of a society that has lost its way.
A major UK news story today concerns the trial of Vicky Pryce, ex wife of disgraced MP Chris Huhne, who had to resign and faces prison after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice to avoid facing his responsibilities.
The Judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, dismissed the jury basically because they were so dim they couldn’t follow simple instructions or, apparently, understand plain English.
A sample of the questions they put to the judge are as follows.
Jury- Can you define what is reasonable doubt?
Mr Justice Sweeney said: "A reasonable doubt is a doubt which is reasonable. These are ordinary English words that the law doesn't allow me to help you with beyond the written directions that I have already given."
Jury- Can a juror come to a verdict based on a reason that was not presented in court and has no facts or evidence to support it either from the prosecution or defence?
"The answer to that question is firmly no," said the judge. "That is because it would be completely contrary to the directions I have given you for anyone to return a verdict except a true verdict according to the evidence."
I think that people in my country are generally getting stupider, to the extent that jury trials are possibly not such a great idea any more, ending as they so often do with someone who was obviously guilty on the evidence being acquitted. Whether this relates to hard working professional and self employed people doing their best to avoid court service so those on benefits, in government jobs or retired (who don’t lose money by taking time off for weeks) end up doing disproportionately more, I don’t know. But I have my suspicions.
On the radio discussion about this today, examples were given of jurors saying things like ‘I’ll change my vote if we can get this over faster’, ‘Oh dear, we’ll ruin his life if we find him guilty, and ‘He has such a nice face I’m sure he can’t have done it.’
One could offer many opinions as to why people are getting less logical and more emotional. A lot is probably down to overdosing on junk TV and getting their ideas about God from stand up comics and trashy literature like The Da Vinci Code instead of the words of Jesus, but I think the fact itself is hardly debateable. When opinion polls suggest that the Labour politicians who crippled this country’s economy, sold off our gold reserves at the bottom of the market, took us into a costly, pointless and illegal war in Iraq, ran up a £100,000,000,000 debt and created a housing and transport crisis by bringing in 3 million immigrants (given we have 3 million unemployed) being put back in power in 2015 without any apology or change of direction, I don’t think anyone can put up much of a case for sanity and sound judgment as national traits. Not that the Tories are much better: they were once, but have had to dumb policies down to meet the electorate's expectations of free money, regulations for everything and other goodies for ever.
But what this splendidly daft question ‘Can a juror come to a verdict based on a reason that was not presented in court and has no facts or evidence to support it either from the prosecution or defence?’ made me think of was of course evolutionism, i.e. the Darwin Mythos.
Anyone who, like me, has carefully read Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ will be struck by the author’s frequent use of phrases like ‘I have no difficulty in imagining...may we not believe?...I can hardly doubt...it would be rash to assume that this may not have happened...could have...may have...might have...MUST have!...’ and by the plethora of excuses for absent evidence. There is a whole chapter devoted to the reasons why the admitted absence of the numerous intermediate fossils the theory required doesn’t really matter. Darwin also wrote ‘I have nothing to say about origins.’ (meaning in this context how life began). Dead right there mate. Darwin uses all kinds of confabulation, invention, non sequitur and bluster to get round the stone cold science facts that life only comes from life and that variation is demonstrably limited within the species envelope.
Origin of Species should be studied by all politicians and criminal defence lawyers as a masterpiece of evasion, obfuscation and sophistry. It is a masterpiece in presenting a case without relevant evidence, of imagination leaping over logic and triumphing over common sense, philosophy trumping fact. The verdict that we evolved by natural selection acting on chance mutations from a common ancestor that jumped up from a muddy puddle struck by lightning, and before that from an explosion which turned nothing into everything, including perfectly balanced cosmological constants (any one of which would abolish life if it was slightly different) depends on prior philosophical conviction, not evidence that has been presented. And if it all seems vanishingly improbable, as it does, then just imagine zillions of universes and it must have happened in one of them. Never mind why.
Well, I don’t expect to find sound political or criminal judgment in a nation which accepts such a flight of fancy and is willing to sell its Christian inheritance with all its inestimable benefits and historical basis for it.
The cookie of western civilisation is indeed crumbling, and we’ve seen nothing yet. When men and women who have enjoyed the benefits of Christianity reject it, they lose the hard won accumulated wisdom of centuries that they took for granted as welling up from their natural state but which actually derived from a Judaeo Christian heritage.
Lots of people have had a good laugh about this particularly dumb jury. Another news item today was about how other European countries such as Holland were laughing at us for getting into such a panicked state about the horse meat in cheap processed meat meals recently. These things individually don’t perhaps count for much, but like individual spots of rust on a bridge or a skyscraper they indicate that structural integrity is threatened by a failure of maintenance. Final collapse may still be some time off, but it approaches.
Darwinianism is foundational to secularism, which is replacing Christianity in my country. Secularism will fail as a foundation for a succesful society, it is intellectually weak and depends on too many false assumptions about human nature. We already see this in hundreds of little incidents like those cited above. Islam waits to fill the cultural and societal void left by the abandonment of Christianity. Then we’ll see about ‘ignorance and intolerance’.