Ken Clarke Is Sorry (But Not For The Right Reason)

Ken Clarke has managed to get himself in the news for rape. And this is at a time when Dominique Strauss-Kahn is in the news (Former leader of the IMF – you know, the band that did You're Unbelievable*), so it's no mean feat.

It was a classic piece of PR suicide. The Government had a new plan to give people who plead guilty up to 50% off their sentences. Like a Blue Cross sale of crime.

Instead of being honest and saying, "We're doing it to save money. If you plead guilty and save us the expense of all that court nonsense we'll let you out early. You scratch my back... Bosh!"

But someone had the idea using the example of a rape to make us think it's a nice, kind, warm and fluffy piece of legislation. By giving incentives for guilty pleas it would spare some victims of rape the horror of the trial.

All good spin so far. That was till he want on the radio to talk about this. The host pointed out that with a 5 year sentence, 50% off, good behaviour and early release programmes that guilty rapist could be out in just over a year.

Now, instead of saying, "We have a legal system where judges can pass sentences to make sure what you just described never happens," he phrased it more like, "I don't think you get 5 years for a proper rape."

"A proper rape," "a serious one," "you know, a good, old-fashioned, jumpers for goal-posts..." OK, he didn't say the last bit but he might as well had. What an idiot.

Don't get me wrong, there has been idiocy on both sides of this argument. On the day it happened there was someone on the news who actually said, "I think it's terrible that Ken Clarke can say that some rapes aren't as serious as others. All rapes are serious. Some are even more serious."

Since it all kicked off her has apologised on nearly every TV show going. (I'm still waiting for him to pop up on The Weakest Link. "Ken, what R is a crime with no varying degrees of severity?")

He went on Question time and said: "I obviously upset a lot of people by what I said and I'm sorry if I did, by the way I put it."

But you know what, not once has he said sorry for trying to use our empathy for rape victims to sell us their idea to save money in the courts and prisons, freeing up much needed cash for duck houses and moats no doubt.

>Read the source story

* Not really. If you see Dominique Strauss-Kahn don't shout "You're Unbelievable" at him, it won't help his trail.


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