Thursday, September 11, 2008
I believe the jury system is a vital defence of our freedom. Nonetheless no human institution is beyond being corrupted & we say that yesterday.
The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage.
Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a "lawful excuse" to damage property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent
.....During the eight-day trial, the world's leading climate scientist, Professor James Hansen of Nasa, who had flown from American to give evidence, appealed.....
.....He was one of several leading public figures who gave evidence for the defence, including Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park and director of the Ecologist magazine who similarly told the jury that in his opinion, direct action could be justified in the minds of many people if it was intended to prevent larger crimes being committed.
The acquittal was the second time in a decade that the "lawful excuse" defence has been successfully used by Greenpeace activists. In 1999, 28 Greenpeace campaigners led Lord Melchett, who was director at the time, were cleared of criminal damage after trashing an experimental field of GM crops in Norfolk. In each case the damage was not disputed – the point at issue was the motive.
Thus the jury were persuaded, again, to release thugs who had caused substantial damage to an innocent & law abiding organisation.
Well sorry the rule of law is not an optional extra. There are circumstances where the individual should be prepared to break the law but when it happens they must expect to face the consequences. If the state is complicit in crime then we live in a very unfree society & that is what has happened here.
There is an emotional but no moral difference between the blackshirts being allowed to attack Jewish shops or southern courts refusing to prosecute lynching & Greenpeace being given writ to attack those they do not like.
The fact that their global warming threat is demonstrably as untrue as the accusation that all Jews were in a worldwide conspiracy enhances the comparison.
James Hansen is a liar who besmirches the name of science. His initial predictions, which if the word of the BBC is in any way to be trusted, has been proven true, have actually been proven wrong. He has been caught faking temperature readings. His NASA appointment is a purely political one.
Zac Goldsmith is a pal of Dave Cameron & the heir of billionaire Sir Jams Goldsmith, who worked to make his money. He uses his money to fund his minuscule circulation Ecologist Magazine which, in turn, is the basis for his claim to expertise.
It seems clear that not only was the court mugged by these "great & good" fascists but that it put up no counter attack. An attempt could easily have been made to dispute the assertions of these liars, indeed on those few occasions when this has been done the result was victory for the sceptics.
As an absolute minimum the government must pay for the damage done (under the Riot Act I think they may well have a legal obligation to anyway.
And if the Conservatives wish to claim to be a party of law & conservative values, Zac Goldsmith must be expelled.
If this precedent is allowed to stand, that destroying property is OK because there is claimed to be a risk to future property from global warming then consider the case of those opposing nuclear power. It is accepted that something in the region of 24,000 pensioners die of fuel poverty annually. There is no doubt whatsoever that we could have power at under half the present price if we went for new nuclear. Thus anybody who explicitly or implicitly supports this result 7 who opposes new nuclear is endorsing the theory that anybody who wants to prevent pensioners dying of hypothermia is entitled to kill them. I suspect they would not be pleased to see what they practice being applied to them.