A veteran of the English Criminal Bar was trashed in the UK press over a blog post he wrote about consent and rape. David Osborne, who has been practicing law since 1974, warned that recent reforms to the way police and prosectors handle rape cases (which I wrote about here) have “serious consequences for all involved in casual sex”:
For the past ten years or more, a politically driven agenda has been thrust down the throats of court users about the deplorably low percentage of rape allegations that lead to conviction.
The lawyer, who was pilloried by women’s groups, said the touted “deplorably low” conviction rate actually shows the system working as it should:
most of those accused of rape are acquitted, not simply as a result of the brilliance of my advocacy, but because the jury did not believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim did not consent.
Osborne, who had his age of 71 reported while his detractors didn’t, warned that trials in drunken consent cases will now to be pursued on the basis that the man must be guilty. He thinks the chief prosecutor behind the reforms
has decided, or rather it has been decided for her, that anybody who makes an allegation of rape must be believed, and everything possible in the trial process must be bent towards the conviction of the accused.
Rape campaigners took exception mostly to his outrageous plea in favour of female autonomy—a bête noire of gender hucksters:
I have always found it distasteful and unattractive the suggestion that as the victim was blind drunk she was therefore unable to give her consent to sex, or more to the point, she gave her consent which she would not have given had she been sober. In my book, consent is consent, blind drunk or otherwise, and regret after the event cannot make it rape.
Trial by media
The left wing Mirror tabloid ran the story on its front page. The feminist seat-warmers piling in to comment included Rape Crisis “spokeswoman” Katie Russell, who was outraged at Osborne over his
unwillingness and inability to grasp the simple legal principle that consent must be freely and fully given by someone with the capacity to do so, he has merely illustrated the desperate ongoing need for measures to improve the criminal justice system for sexual violence survivors.
With characteristic chutzpah, Russell calls women who have drunk sex with men and then retroactively withdraw their consent (which Osborne is obviously referring to) as “survivors.” She then ignores the substance of Osborne’s point, which is that a woman, contrary to what feminists claim, can consent whilst blind drunk. No mention is made either by her or by the Mirror, of the following passage from Osborne’s blog:
It is also right to add that the converse is true, namely that if a woman does not consent, blind drunk or otherwise, it would be rape if sexual intercourse takes place. That is what the offence of rape is all about.
Osborne appeared on TV to defend his claims in a debate with the Mirror columnist Alison Philips, who relied on talking points about “vast number of rapes that happen every year” with “only a tiny number end up in a conviction.” She even engaged in outright False Rape Accusation denial:
There’s no way that men are falling prey to these women who are dressed in short skirts and getting drunk and then waking up and trying to say they didn’t consent. That’s absolute nonsense.
To his credit, and in comparison to the usual castrated capitulations of public figures when found in breach of prevalent moral dogma, Osborne has stuck to his guns. He did so in both his TV appearance and on his blog, where he warned again of a “real prospect of a miscarriage of justice if the prosecution are allowed to move the goalposts as Alison Saunders is suggesting.”
Moral neophilia and the myth of progress
There is little to be gained in further analysis of the wailings of the professionally aggrieved, who went for the old lawyer like hungry dogs. However, one particular meme stands out. Katie Russell of Rape Crisis, in the laboured prose of the socially maladjusted internet feminist, said in the Mirror:
On top of this, it is outrageous and depressing that someone practising law in the 21st century should be so unabashed about airing such baldly misogynistic and victim-blaming views.
Women Centre [sic] “national lead” Clare Jones hit a similar note:
It’s appalling. We are deeply shocked that even today, in 2015, someone can seriously suggest that the violent crime of rape could be provided with a complete defence if a woman was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time.
The Mirror also quotes a tweet response to Osborne’s TV appearance:
Rape is NEVER justfiable. What anyone wears/drinks is totally irrelevant. Such archaic views in 2015 is incredibly worrying.
The supposed obsolescence of existing morality is central tenet of the Social Justice mindset, which says: “your morality of is defective, and should be replaced with my new, improved version of it.” Historian Neil Cameron calls it “Moral Neophilia,” the epithet forming the title of his 2014 essay on Philip Rieff, a sociologist and scholar of Freud.
To Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), the rejection of existing values in favour of new ones, determined by SJW consensus as superior, is “progress.”
Reading Cameron’s summary, it seems Rieff argued civilisation to be underpinned by cultural interdicts, or taboos, which define what members of a civilisation are compelled to do. Rieff was against the 1960’s neo-Marxist “liberationism” which sought to scrap these interdicts. He framed the attacks on such cultural interdicts as “egoistic transgressions,” which, if they increase in scale and are not resisted, gradually usurp the old order. Sound familiar?
The Canadian historian explains how Rieff plotted western culture as a progression through archetypes—the classical political man, the religious man, the economic man, and the final archetype of the psychological man. Beyond ideals and illusions, the latter is “at best a narcissist, at worst a thug.”
His children, raised without repressions, regard all authority as illegitimate. For Rieff, these were the slogan-touting hippies and dropouts of the 1960s counterculture. In modern times, they are the Social Justice Warriors.
The SJWs who clog up the ranks of NGOs and government bodies continue to perpetrate transgressions against the cultural interdicts inherent in the legal system, e.g. the subversion of the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard of proof and criticising the police for investigating false rape accusers.
They wish to eradicate the common sense of experienced men like Osborne, who are hardened to sob stories of regret rape and the allure of trendy morals. The desired outcome is the penetration of SJW morality, of which Alison Saunders’ “rape myths” are an example, into common use. A solution to this dire predicament is found Cameron’s closing of his essay on the (distinctly unfashionable) Rieff:
Transgressions need to be resisted; otherwise they will destroy culture and civilization altogether.