Tuesday, December 18, 2007

John Redwood: A prat splitting hairs on rape

Every so often it is useful to be reminded of why I hate much of what John Redwood stands for. His latest blog posting gives a couple of those reminders.

First of all, he argues that corporate manslaughter should not have been introduced as an offence. Don't get me started. He defends businesses and says none of them want to kill people in order to increase shareholder value. Oh my goodness. Tell that to the relatives of the victims of the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise, which was aptly named.

Secondly, he gets going on "date rape";

They decided to set date rape alongside stranger rape. Again, none of us want men to rape women, but there is a difference between a man using unreasonable force to assault a woman on the street, and a disagreement between two lovers over whether there was consent on one particular occasion when the two were spending an evening or night together. Labour’s doctrine of equivalence has led to jury scepticism about many rape claims, in situations where it is the man’s word against the woman’s and where they had agreed to spend the evening or night together. Young men do not want to have to take a consent form and a lawyer on a date, just as young women have every right to go on a date and to say “No”, having it respected.

What a prat. For a more informed critique of this, I rely on these comments from the Guardian:

A spokeswoman for Rape Crisis said: "Rape Crisis is outraged that John Redwood should be making such uninformed statements about the nature of 'date' or 'acquaintance' rape and we are particularly concerned with the language he's chosen to use."

Heather Harvey, manager of Amnesty International's UK Stop Violence Against Women campaign, said: "There's very little difference between rape by a partner and rape by a stranger - both amount to sexual violence and both can leave a woman deeply traumatised. Instead of splitting hairs, Mr Redwood should concentrate on the real issue, the appallingly low conviction rate for rape in Britain."

No comments:

Post a Comment