Friday, 19 April 2019

Labor for government is an alarming prospect.


Our Federal Election (Australia)  is on May 18th 2019.  Never have I been so positively alarmed  at the prospect of a particular party winning government.                                       



You see, I have been looking at Labor's 'climate change' policies.  If they win the election, they plan a 45% Renewables target for a start, with the accompanying rise in electricity bills and decrease in reliabilty that South Australia has so well demonstrated.

But also, Shorten wants 50% of cars to be electric by 2010. Now electric cars are expensive, they don't actually save any 'emissions' when manufacture is taken into account, and while they may be okay for a city commute, they are quite unsuitable for country driving.


This 'policy' may not be quite as bad the 'Green New Deal' that got the kybosh in America, but it is not far off.

I find the idea of Labor gaining control in Australia quite alarming.



People, have some sense. Even if you have voted Labor all your life, have a look at them now. They are no longer the Labor that was for working people. Now they are the sort of impractical activists that live in the more plush suburbs of a big city.

So please. the Coalition may be somewhat rotten, but they are still a lot better than the alternative.










Tuesday, 16 April 2019

When is censorship justified? When is censorship not justified?


Pornography:


Censoring some pornography is justified, though we do need some common sense.  Of course anything that shows children being molested, cruelty to animals, or anything that shows coercion being used, should not be shown.

On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with showing the naked body, and I see nothing wrong with showing mutual, loving sex.  With some films, it is an intrinsic part of the story.


And the nude body?  A normal part of art classes, though some of the bodies drawn in art classes are not exactly designed to titillate.




Incitement to violence:

Now that is one thing that should be censored.  But the censors must realize they should not be too broad in their definitions.  Criticism of the behaviour of a group of people is not the same as telling others to attack them.  And when someone is only speaking facts, now that should never be censored.  How can a problem ever be tackled when no-one is willing to talk about it?

Drunkenness, crime, violence and child rape in remote Aboriginal communities is one such problem.  It is a terrible problem. Far too many Aboriginal kids commit suicide.  A great deal of money is spent trying to tackle it, but nearly always, it misses the mark.  How can money be well spent when no-one dares say what is happening?  If a person does dare, then they are accused of 'racism.'

Jacinta Nampijinpa Price is a lady unafraid to speak about it.  She is hoping for election to parliament in May (2019)  and might then have a little more power to do something about it.  Being Aboriginal herself, is some protection against the far-too-effective insult of 'racist.'   But all the same, Price is very unpopular in certain quarters.  She has had death threats.


'Hate speech.

A dictionary definition: (Merriam-Webster dictionary)
Legal Definition of hate speech : speech that is intended to insult, offend, or intimidate a person because of some trait (as race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability)

In many countries, there are penalties in law for 'hate speech.'  The problem is that people are defining hate speech more and more loosely until real problems cannot be spoken of, because someone else will call it 'racism' or 'hate speech.'


But speaking fact is never hate speech.

And there should be NO censoring of opinion simply because the authorities (or the censor) disagrees with what the person says, or does not like the facts that he airs.

Several commentators are facing censorship.

Alex Jones is one who has been removed from social media. His 'Infowars' has been wiped from social media platforms. I found him interesting for a while, for his conspiracy theories, some of them quite absurd, others I judged as possible.

 But maybe one of his theories had too much truth for someone's liking, and he has lost his platform.





Another is 'Proud Boys.' I have never seen anything about this group, so looked them up. They say about themselves, "The Proud Boys confuse the media because the group is anti-SJW without being alt-right. "Western chauvinist" includes all races, religions, and sexual preferences." 
(SJW means 'social justice warrior.') 

On the other hand, Wikipedia says they are "a far-right neo-fascist organization that admits only men as members and promotes political violence. It is based in the United States and has a presence in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom." 

But I take that with a grain of salt, as the media has a record of calling anyone 'far right' who are not deeply Leftist.

Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned from some platforms, and he was not allowed a visa for a planned speaking tour of Australia. (April, 2019)
 He wrote a book, had a publisher, but the publisher decided to drop him, so he had to self publish.

Some commentators have been 'shadow-banned,' which means that their posts reach only a small audience. It is underhanded, as the commentator does not know he is being censored.

Even ordinary people, like myself, run the risk of being accused of 'violating the standards' of facebook if we dare to talk of unpopular subjects.  With the increasing censorship, facebook is already becoming less relevant.  It may soon go the way of 'Myspace.'   But right now, because so many people use it, one can still learn things that are happening across the world, things that print and TV media will consider either not newsworthy, or the 'wrong' message.  



Censorship by 'shouting down.'

It has become a standard tactic now to 'shout down' speakers whose views other people do not wish to hear.

Bettina Arndt was shouted down when she tried to demonstrate that the story of a 'rape culture' in colleges was actually nonsense.






Censorship by the threat of job loss:

A basic teaching of Christianity is that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. Also that if one accepts Jesus Christ as your saviour, and you 'repent,' then you are saved from hell.

Israel Folau is a Rugby player, but also, he is one of those Christians who firmly believes in this teaching, would prefer that others not go to hell, so he tells them to look to Jesus.

So he posts a meme on Twitter:
"WARNING Drunks Homosexuals Adulterers Liars Fornicators Thieves Atheists Idolaters, HELL AWAITS YOU. REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES." 

In other words, he repeats Christian teaching.
For that, his sporting contract, supposed to be worth $4 million, has been terminated, though he does have one more day to appeal the decision, (as at 17/4/19.)   Maybe he will sue - discriminination on the basis of religion.) 


Dr. Peter Ridd called for better quality control of science reports. He said that 'peer-reviewed' papers are not necessarily any more than friends approving what friends say. This man is a scientist and it is his own area of expertise. He lost his job.
(https://davepellowe.com/dr-peter-ridd-on-academic-freedom-the-great-barrier-reef/)

He took it to court, and on the 16th April, 2019: a court ruled that his loss of job was 'unlawful.' But I cannot imagine that he will be very comfortable in that work environment (James Cook University) if he goes back.

Climate Scientists are at real risk of losing their jobs if they don't play along with their colleagues in the 97% Consensus pretence.


Censorship by the threat of legal action:

The notorious 18c  is still in force in Australia.

Explanation:  Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, deals with offensive behaviour "because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin" in Australia. It is a section of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

This awful law provides for the punishment of anyone who 'offends' someone else, and whether it is 'offence' rests with the accuser.  It has been used to severely punish those accused. Even if the accused person is eventually cleared, it is liable they have been broken financially and emotionally.  It is a very effective punishment, whether or not there is any actual crime.

Other countries now punish blasphemy, usually using the laws against what they call 'hate speech.' (http://prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2677

Australia may do that as well, quite soon.  Labor speaks of adding 'religion' to the Racial Vilification laws.

And one dare not question whether a man is a woman merely because he takes hormones and declares he is a woman. In Canada,  a chap called Bill Whatcott, was fined $55,000 for just that.


Censorship by exclusion: 


Germaine Greer
This one is most noticeable when a speaker is 'disinvited'  as Germaine Greer was disinvited from a Festival of Writers. That was a couple of years ago.

More recently, comedian Barry Humphies was disinvited from a Comedy Festival, and the 'Barry Award' named after him, discontinued.

Bjorn Lomborg is a scientist who has run afoul of conventional climate theory, not by disputing it, but merely by saying that we need to look at better ways of treating the threat than by wrecking the economy.  He has lost speaking engagements and has been excluded from discussion.

Many more, of course, are not invited to events in the first place.  When a person is excluded and ignored if they dare to mention unpopular views, in whatever context, most will simply keep quiet.  Maybe it is part of the reason that some elections have had unexpected results in past years, like Brexit and like the election of Donald Trump to the American Presidency. People may have learned to keep their mouths shut,  but they can still vote the way they choose.  (Long live the Secret Ballot.)  


One man who has been 'unpersoned' for speaking unpalatable facts is Tommy Robinson. 

Even to say his name is liable to evoke a bitter, spitting hatred from those who oppose him.  The authorities are trying very hard to silence him, and he has been removed from facebook, from Instagram, from Twitter, and from You-tube.  The videos he has made are disappearing, which is why I have included links to several here.  (They may have gone before you try and find them, of course.)

One of the earliest of his videos that I saw (now gone from my facebook page) is a lengthy one he made relatively early in his career.  It was the video of a speech he made, and it was about an hour long.  In it, he spoke of the way his London suburb of Luton had been harmed by the influx of Muslim immigrants, though not by earlier immigrants of various races and nationalities.  He speaks of some of the original residents being intimidated into leaving, so the area became more and more filled with Muslim immigrants.  He speaks of a Veterans' March being harassed by Muslims, and the way that Jihadis were recruited in his own neighbourhood.


He speaks of Muslim 'grooming gangs'  using non-Muslim girls for sex.  He told of  two fathers trying to get the police to rescue their daughters from the flat where they were being abused.  One of the girls was just eleven.  But instead of doing anything to rescue the girls, the fathers were threatened with being in 'breach of the peace' or some such thing. That was years before the problem of grooming gangs was acknowledged and some of the culprits finally brought to justice.


It includes a short video of a march of a large number of Muslims chanting 'UK, go to Hell,' and 'British Police, burn in Hell.' And yet,  it is Robinson who is harassed by the police and by the British Establishment.

This is that video: I suggest you watch and listen while you can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YQ94jFg_4A

That he criticized the police and that he speaks of the protection that these gangs had, has probably contributed to the way that the police and others in authority have tried to bully him into silence.


Robinson is speaking from experience.  He is speaking of what he has seen and heard. He saw those recruiting for Islamic Jihad. A portion is shown on his video.

 He speaks of a Muslim terrorist who blew himself up - 'He lived three doors down from my auntie.'  He speaks of a girl who went to school with him.  'Now she wears a burqa.'

Robinson has, indeed, broken the law on occasion. He is not a saint. But I think he might be a bit of a hero.  So few have dared to speak of the problems that large-scale immigration brings with it, especially when there is such a large cohort of immigrants that stick together, and do not adhere to the norms usually regarded as civilized behaviour.

He is, in no way, a racist. Colour and race is not an issue for him.  What he is definite about is that those who live in Britain should adhere to its laws.



He says: "THE LENGTH IN WHICH THE ESTABLISHMENT ARE GOING TO TRY AND COMPLETELY SILENCE ME IS BOTH PHENOMENAL AND SCARY, NOT JUST FOR ME BUT FOR THE NATION AS A WHOLE. THIS IS NOT JUST AN ATTACK ON ME, THIS IS A TACTFUL ATTEMPT AT SILENCING THE HUGE MAJORITY OF THOSE WHOSE VOICES I REPRESENT."


His final removal from You-Tube as well as all of the others might have been prompted by the video he called ‘Panodrama.’ It was an expose of how the BBC had tried to undermine him - 'Tommy Takedown' was its working title.  It is all on tape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnBRlL6_Eg0&fbclid=IwAR0wztiKl7Tv4s34vw7OSsI03dobi220hJDNhdhIW0nSzmvlzhSPZRPQsZw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dU7uSABbaM&fbclid=IwAR1sIuJfAOBnrfxDha0loIebDMKsC6Wm0QY2xan5RZZXumo9bRQ3-Qkq75Y ‘Panodrama’

I had a link to the original video, but that has gone from my f/b page. Maybe the above videos are still around because they only show the video on a large screen and the crowd watching closely. Robinson has a very large number of supporters.

Other videos I had on my facebook page have also been removed. It is why I have made this blog post. People should not be silenced when all they do is expose the facts. It is criminal what they have done to silence and to punish this man.

Tommy Robinson has been 'depersoned' as much as the authorities have been able. He has been imprisoned on feeble grounds. His family's address has been publicized, in spite of the full knowledge that it would put them in danger.   One day, he may very probably be killed by Muslim criminals, maybe in a prison when he next 'breaches the peace.'


He says that most people judge on headlines, and he asks that people look further, beyond the headlines.





Some of his videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnBRlL6_Eg0&fbclid=IwAR2Zg62yFlVG35GZCydajWUl_EaC6A5BOtHq7ieOTlQBXyNTeo-Ot93ktqY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dU7uSABbaM&fbclid=IwAR1n2MEx-0xN-5O8YgjIT_QLr8K5u8egzs158OSw-wYA6it7YQU6lZ5DJRo

https://www.tr.news/over-5000-join-tommy-robinson-on-telegram-overnight/?fbclid=IwAR0GQwlY8kjS8WEeykvu0gynimhukRiAXaSGDDo8GaZIBIzStxR9uS5vUEM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnBRlL6_Eg0&fbclid=IwAR3ItwafERN3korEvOj-fphzIsBAAtc3fs23TJ7cqXCsqOb5Z-oBLGgMmAg

https://www.facebook.com/johan.vrie.39/videos/412190799599006/UzpfSTYzMTk4NjE4NjpWSzoyMjYyNzczMDU3MzI5NjI3/?multi_permalinks=2262865960653670%2C2262773057329627%2C2261678980772368&notif_id=1555016417417126&notif_t=group_activity



Being interviewed on his bans.

https://www.facebook.com/johan.vrie.39/videos/412190799599006/UzpfSTYzMTk4NjE4NjpWSzoyMjYyNzczMDU3MzI5NjI3/?multi_permalinks=2263859657220967%2C2262865960653670%2C2262773057329627%2C2261678980772368&notif_id=1555016417417126&notif_t=group_activity


About the bans, this one by Avi Yemini 5th April 2019

https://www.facebook.com/sargonofakkad100/videos/547378355793798/UzpfSTYzMTk4NjE4NjpWSzoyMjU3OTg5NTI0NDc0NjQ3/

https://www.tr.news/breaking-tommy-robinson-banned-from-snapchat/?fbclid=IwAR14VTkUa3-WNjjIg1cTER83JF5qor_RYZvUvEK7K3HlVQPml6bqaxVXPOU


20th April, 2019,   Robinson says in an email sent to those on his mailing list:
"So I have been completely censored, de-platformed and pretty much erased from the face of the online earth by the establishment, the giant corporations and the so called 'powers that be'. Sadly things have got to such a level now that the general public and any innocent folk who even dare to simply just mention my name are now being penalised and met with a level of censorship which is no different to that of a communist dictatorship!!

This is absolutely insane and scary at the same time. The threat is absolutely real and is clearer now for everyone to see than it has ever been before. Even for those individuals who hate me with a passion it has become excruciatingly painful for them to now even remotely agree with me on what is happening and the ultimate effect that this level of censorship is having both now and in the future."




Some censorship is justified.  But the censorship of those who are only trying to tell us what is happening in the world is not only unjustified, it is criminal.  










Sunday, 31 March 2019

The glorification of the hijab

In Western society these days, you see the hijab praised as a symbol of modesty.  It can also be a fashion symbol, and certainly, it can be attractive. The hijab frames the face, and makes the wearer look a little exotic, a little special, even more beautiful.


It takes little searching to find images of beautiful women wearing hijabs.  I even saw an image of a  beautiful woman, eyes heavily made up, wearing a niquab, ie the face is  covered, only the eyes visible.




I saw an item on TV of how more women with hijabs were taking part in professional sport.  I have seen a poor little school girl, arms and legs covered with dark fabric,  a hijab, and the normal school uniform on top.  She looked quite silly.

Those in power seem to be trying to normalise the hijab.  Politicians try and include a woman in hijab standing close, assuming it will convey how wonderfully tolerant they are.  News items like to include a girl or woman wearing a hijab, whether or not it is relevant to the story. Even most of the advertisements we see on TV manage to include a woman in a hijab.  They are trying to make it normal and accepted.


I have even heard people refer to the hijab or even full veiling, as 'empowering.' 


Ilham Omar, American politician, says that it means 'power, liberation, beauty and resistance.'







After the attack on a New Zealand mosque,  their Prime Minister, Jacinta Ardern, chose to wear a hijab as a symbol of solidarity, 'to bring people together,' she was saying.




And she encouraged other New Zealand girls and women to do the same. 











There is even a World Hijab Day, supposedly to foster understanding and tolerance for those Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab.  It was started in 2013, so this year, 2019, was its 6th year.  Some schools encouraged their female pupils to take part, and there were Muslim volunteers who showed the girls a selection of hijabs they could model.  Probably most of the girls thought it fun.


BUT WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE SAYING HERE?

The hijab is not a fashion accessory. It is not the practical wearing of a headscarf on windy days.

No.  The hijab is a statement that women are inferior to men, and must conceal themselves in order not to tempt the poor, pure men into temptation.

In some cultures, they go further.  After the Iranian revolution, the women were forced to wear the chador,  and in Afganistan, when the Taliban took over, they forced women to envelop themselves in  a burqa.  Even in places like Indonesia, women are under pressure to cover more of their bodies.


The most extreme form of covering is dreadfully restrictive, until the women looks like a parcel, a non-person.

This sort of garment is a real limitation on freedom.  She cannot even see clearly, so trying to cross a road is hazardous - if, that is, she has the freedom to leave the house.  In many Islamic cultures, women are slaves in all but name.



So wearing a hijab might make you feel good, virtuous maybe, demonstrating to the world what a wonderfully tolerant person you are? 



But it is not virtuous to wave chains at those slaves who have no choice.

Women in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arabic countries, can be beaten, or even imprisoned and tortured if they defy the strict dress code.

It is happening and it is happening now.




Beating women in Afghanistan


Now, a rational person might think that instead of forcing women to look like parcels in order not to tempt men into sexual indiscretion, it might be better to ensure the men learn self control,  and if they do commit sexual crimes because they were 'tempted,' throw the men in prison, not the women.  Because while the hijab is not particularly confining, the more extreme forms of veiling are akin to carrying your prison around with you. It is a wicked thing.








And lastly, the hijab is a symbol, not just of the oppression of women, but a symbol of an ideology that declares that non-believers should be put to death.

There are numerous verses in the Koran that say just that.



DO NOT WEAR THE HIJAB.  Do not encourage those who would put women in chains. 

And for those who call themselves 'feminists,' and yet tolerate this rot, then you had best stop calling yourself a feminist because you are no such thing!











Thursday, 21 March 2019

Where have all the photos gone?


We take more photos now than we ever did.  They cost us nothing;  we just use our digital camera or mobile phone or other device and snap away.  Sometimes we put it online, but very often it merely stays on our computer or phone.  One day we realise there are thousands of photos, and yet almost none that we can simply and easily browse through.

Technology changes, computers crash, and maybe one day, we can find our photos gone.  But photos are our history.  They are important, and while we don't need thousands, we should keep some, if not for ourselves, for our descendants.

And this is why I think we need to revisit photograph albums.

I started thinking about this when I inherited some old photo albums from my parents.  But the photo corners, (remember them?)  had lost their stickiness, and photos were falling out.



I had other albums, more recent, the type with sticky pages.  But they don't last even as long as the ones with photo corners do.  The pages crinkle and they, also, lose their stickiness.  They needed redoing if I was going to keep them.

I did not keep all of those albums with their photos.  Mere 'just scenery' did not make the cut for redoing and keeping, and neither did one with a lot of  pictures of a very young baby.  Tiny babies tend to all look the same to anyone except for their doting mum. Those photos are now in an envelope, not discarded.  The landscape photos have been mostly thrown out.



We are so lucky now.  Old photos can be scanned, sharpened, the contrast increased, lightened or darkened, irrelevant bits cut off,  even people you no longer like, cut out.  Old coloured photographs that have turned reddish and faded can be improved.

Camera - slides,  (50s)
 Brownic Box Camera (50s)
Instamatic (60s)   















Slides can be printed, though it costs a lot if you want to do many.  And yet, for some, it is worthwhile. I have some charming images that have been taken from some slides from the 50s.





Left:  I think that child has a daisy chain around her ankle.



Right:  unknown kids

There are older photos, sometimes of poor quality, but important, all the same.


There are those even older, from the 20s and 30s.  These tend to be black and white, yellowed,. and often very small.  And even these can be improved, a precious memory of ancestors.










This photograph is quite poignant  - the pensive child holding the baby, a baby who looks sick or maybe half starved.

(In case, you were wondering,  the baby grew up to be an uncle, if not a father.)

The albums that belonged to my parents have been redone, putting it all in one album.  It became like a biography, the story of two people, linked for many years in life.   





The last photograph is a picture of the place where their ashes were combined and scattered.  The dates of their births and deaths are noted.

It is a biography in pictures. 


Another person I know did a similar thing with his old pictures.  The photos are old (60s)  but the album is new.   





So think about your photos.  Make sure and print some.  I know that special occasions such as the birth of a new babe,  and weddings, of course, are often celebrated with a ferociously expensive professional album.  Since we can all take good photos these days, so easily, and then amend them if necessary, I regard that as somewhat extravagant.  Nice, but not necessary. 

But what about all the other photos that just stay on your phone?  It is important that at least some are printed.  And the most important should be printed in black and white as well as in colour. Black and white photographs last longer.


I started wondering if my photograph albums were akin to the 'scrapbooking' hobby that became fashionable some years ago.  But a quick look at some sites dissuaded me.  The scrapbooks I saw were not the sentimental mementos of important occasions that I had envisaged, but a quite sophisticated art form.  

You don't have to be an artist.  Just make sure you have some photo albums to browse through.  

Old fashioned?  Doesn't matter.  One day you will be pleased you took the trouble.














  







Friday, 15 March 2019

"Beyond Reasonable Doubt."



One of the foundation principles of our court system is that a person may only be found guilty if the verdict is 'beyond reasonable doubt." Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said that "it is better than one hundred guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer." (Some sources say a thousand guilty persons rather a hundred.)

And this principle still applies in our courts - except, it seems, when the crime is a sex crime, especially against children. Now, to rape a child is obviously one of the vilest of crimes, but even then, there should be a presumption of innocence, not a presumption of guilt.

The most recent example is the case of Cardinal George Pell, Catholic priest, accused of a crime that happened many years before, and finally convicted on the word of one man. (There was a second alleged victim, but he had already died, and had previously stated that he was not molested.)



Now this particular crime that was supposed to have occurred was so unfeasible as to be ludicrous. (Molesting two boys he found in the sacristy, when he was supposed to be somewhere else, so were the boys, who would have been missed, and Pell, as the presiding priest, always had an attendant with him as long as he wore the vestments. Plus it was in a time frame of just 6 minutes, it was in a place where people were coming and going, the door was not locked, and Pell had around four layers of heavy ceremonial garments to raise before any action could take place.)

I try and imagine the scenario, and think of him trying to raise said heavy garments, and then probably tripping and falling while the boys laughed at him and walked out of the open door!

As I said, it is not feasible. All the same, in December, 2018, the 12 members of the jury found him guilty, and in March, 2019, he was sentenced to six years in prison.


There is a pending appeal. Maybe the scales of justice might be looked at more closely this time.


I think that George Pell was found guilty because he was a Catholic priest, and we know now that far too many Catholic priests abused children. But Pell was not on trial for being a Catholic priest, he was not on trial for turning a blind eye to abuse that he may have known was occurring, and he was not on trial for taking part in coverups.



Other people have been found guilty of crimes that were not the ones for which they were tried. I suspect that Rolf Harris was found guilty because known paedophile, Jimmy Saville, died before he could face punishment, and all of those powerful people who had to have known and turned a blind eye never faced punishment at all.

Harris was accused of several different crimes, some of them sounding quite minor.

The most serious crime he was accused of,  was committing a sex act when a girlfriend of his daughter was visiting - in the room they shared. He was found guilty even though the only evidence was her word. That girl, once grown up, initiated an affair with him, but that was no crime on his part. Was she a reliable witness? I hardly think so.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-27907511

The prosecution must have known how weak their case was, and so they brought in 'witnesses of bad character.' I have never heard of that before, and am astonished that it was allowed. All the same, it was pretty fairly established that he was a bit of a sleaze. But a criminal and a paedophile? I don't think that has been established at all.




He was recently released. This is a picture of him with his wife Alwen. It is another reason I think him probably a good person. Most rich and famous men routinely exchange a wife for younger and more beautiful models. Harris did not.







Another case: John Francis Tyrrell was convicted of abusing a boy at Geelong's St. Joeph's College. The offending was supposed to have occurred in 1965 and 1966, it was it was a very long time before the complaint was made, and there were 'improbabilities' in the evidence.

It was appealed, and the ruling was that the verdict was unsound and was overturned. (March, 2019)
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/court-frees-priest-jury-verdict-unsound/news-story/953f14381a21e710eaff795773cc66f1

I think the same thing will happen with George Pell, though not with Rolf Harris.  I think that Harris is feeling he is too old to fight, and besides, there were too many accusers.  Note that those who made complaints against Rolf Harris were often rewarded with money, as are those who make complaints against various institutions who have tolerated abuse.


Here is another instance of a person being found guilty on the word of just one person.


Maggie Fitzpatrick,
NOT guilty of anything
Actress Maggie Kirkpatrick was found guilty of molesting a girl fan decades before. The only evidence of guilt was that of the woman, now grown. This was a judge only trial, not a jury trial, which makes it more incredible that she was found guilty.  That judge even made a deliberately humiliating order that a DNA test be performed, whether the prisoner cooperated or not. The case was in 2015.

Fitzpatrick played the part of a prison guard in a TV series. 'The Freak' as she was known, would molest prisoners with the excuse of conducting body searches.  It would seem impossible that a judge would confuse an acting role with the actor, but surely that must have been what happened.

Luckily for Kirkpatrick, the finding was overturned on appeal.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/12038401/Prisoner-actress-Maggie-Kirkpatrick-cleared-of-abusing-girl-in-Australia.html

And yet, while the guilty finding was widely and loudly publicised, I only discovered the 'Cleared' verdict by accident, much later.  Even now, with an internet search, the 'Cleared' article comes in at No. 6 on a search, while there are 5 before that, with the 'Guilty.'  How is that fair on poor Maggie?

It is like the media love to make people appear guilty, and any 'not guilty' verdict is a disappointment. 


Geoffrey Rush, well known actor, was accused of acting inappropriately while filming 'King Lear.'  The newspapers relished this, publishing a picture of him in costume,looking quite evil,  and labelled it 'King Leer.'  Rush sued them, and they thoroughly deserved it!  

Extra note added 15/4/19.  Rush won his defamation case.  

There has never been a criminal case, and yet Rush appears to have been judged guilty by the newspaper.



You cannot establish guilt 'beyond reasonable doubt' on the word of one person. 

Even if that person is not knowingly lying,  then they may have forgotten details, or an incident may have occurred with another person and they became confused. They might even have dreamed it, or maybe it was a 'recovered' memory elicited by a psychologist.  (The idea that 'recovered' memories can be relied upon has long since been discredited.)

Because any complaint of sexual misconduct is almost automatically believed these days, it is being used more and more often for political purposes.

Last year, Brett Kavanaugh was nominated for the US Supreme Court. They have an odd system in America;  it seems that anyone in Congress can question the nominee, in detail, about whatever they want.  Almost at the last moment, there was an accusation made public.  A woman named Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her during a high school party, many years before.  There was no corroborating evidence, and some evidence against it ever happening.  All the same, Kavanaugh nearly lost the nomination because of it.

It is my bet that next time Trump nominates someone for the US Supreme Court,  it will be a woman, simply because it is less believable that a rape might have taken place. The case of Maggie Kirkpatrick, of course,  shows that it can still happen.  

There is another factor that may make it more likely that accusations will be made, that of monetary gain.  If there is a likelihood of 'compensation,' whether from a rich man like Rolf Harris (maybe only formerly rich now)  or from compensation schemes set up after the Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse (Australia)  there will be always people putting their hand up to make an accusation.  And if the accusers are automatically labelled 'brave,'  and if there is not likely to be any nasty cross examination, why not?  Pell's accuser was not even named.

Some accusers will be genuine.  I know there were victims in the small country town I grew up in.  I only recently heard that the local doctor took on the Catholic heirarchy to try and get rid of the rotten priest.  He succeeded only in having him 'moved on' to abuse somewhere else.

So it does happen.

But after many years, memories become unreliable.  Some accusers will simply misremember - maybe blaming a high profile priest instead of the lowly one who did actually abuse him.

It is so easy to accuse.  Maybe too easy. And it is becoming more and more common, for many reasons, justice for some, maybe revenge for an unrelated crime, for example, a cruel care giver.  Money for others, and, of course, it is so effective in discrediting a political opponent.  



I even wrote a book with that theme, published a couple of years ago. It was one of the Penwinnard Stories, 'Mutty's Fort.'

These are set in a Boys' Home, and one boy set out, quite deliberately to bring down the manager.  In my book, the complaint was specific, and the manager was able to prove his innocence with a  strong alibi.  If the accusation had been made years later, and no date names, would the poor manager, who did his best for his boys, have would up with a long prison sentence?
Probably.


And the mud does stick, whether found guilty or not.  It is unfair.

My conclusion and my plea:

DO NOT JUDGE ANY MAN OR WOMAN GUILTY ON A MERE ACCUSATION.

There must be guilt 'beyond reasonable doubt.'


(and if you want to buy my book, you are, of course, welcome.  Available from online booksellers.)