The gag order was cancelled when the second trial was not proceeded with – the prosecution said something silly about leaving the papers on a train, or the dog eating them – whatever. The victim(s) were, unsurprisingly, more than a little miffed, but the official response was “tough”.
So Australians were then allowed to know what the rest of the world already knew, that Pell had been found guilty at the first trial by a unanimous jury. His rich and powerful friends and colleagues immediately screamed that they didn’t believe it, that their mate George wouldn’t do anything like that, that the jury was corrupt and so on, ad bloody nauseam. They were a little stunned when most Aussies and the official Roman Catholic church told them to shut up and respect the court, the jury and the victims. Pell immediately applied for an appeal (three points, one of which was that the jury’s verdict had been unreasonable! The arrogance of the man!).
Today Pell was sentenced to 6 years in prison, with a minimum of 3 years and 8 months to be served before he could apply for parole. The Judge was scathing about Pell’s lack of remorse and his refusal to accept his guilt.
The initial appeal hearing will be in June, but for now it’s back to his cell for George. Once regarded as the third most powerful man in the RC church, earmarked by many as the next pope in waiting, regarding himself as cast iron and far too senior to be troubled by the laws of men, he’s finally got his comeuppance. How are the mighty fallen!
Perhaps this will “encourager les autres”. Je m’en doubte. 😢
Suppression Order to protect the Guilty Party
On Tuesday, a jury in the State of Victoria (in Australia) unanimously found the accused guilty of the crimes alleged by the prosecution. The presiding Judge immediately issued a gag order covering the accused, the crimes, the verdict and probably the great-grandmother’s knitting patterns, applicable to everyone and everything Australian, on pain of indefinite imprisonment for Contempt of Court.
To quote a well-known American tennis player, “You have to be joking”. Who does the Judge think he is and what century is he living in? The world knows all the facts (and the Judge’s name, which will rapidly become the butt of all current affair jokes, I predict). Cnut (Canute) had more chance of succeeding.
In other news, the Pope yesterday removed his only Australian Cardinal from the nine-member Committee of the inner circle of Catholic Enforcers.
I can’t help thinking I’m an egalitarian. The word seems to connote more or less what I stand for, morally speaking. It cements the aims of all those who want to lift our species out of the life old Hobbes described as natural: ”solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. But ever since the Americans crystallised the principle – ‘all men are created equal’ – plenty of gainsayers have ensured that some are more equal than others. They have used pseudo-science, pseudo-religion and pseudo-economics to justify their belief in the subjugation and humiliation of other races and creeds. Not to mention politics where we witness so-called social democrats identifying members of their clubs who have unsuitable views about equality.
Of course the best strategy for my opponents is to deny the principle – which in their book gives them licence to deny their hypocrisy, their dressed-up inhumanity, their sense of innate superiority. Their tribes just play their cards more skilfully, they’ll say; and devil take the hindmost. But I can’t hope St Peter will deal with them in the end; so many of his adherents agree with their flawed conclusions. I just want them to know they can’t fool everyone with their arguments.
What we need to know is whether you’re going to meet our African correspondent in the flesh. And if you do, will you reveal anything to help us guess how real his Chariot persona really is? Intriguing stuff, eh?
I came across a Grauniad leader this morning – and had to read it twice. Is this about Denmark, with the happiest people in the world?
I suppose the biggest difference a non-Dane notices over there is that most of the folk in the shopping centres (except perhaps in the few cities) are discernibly descended from Scandinavian stock. Compare that to most British towns. But there is another major difference. Since WWII we have grown used to seeing and living cheek-by-jowl with incomers of all races and persuasions; they are part of our landscape. I hate the word ‘integration’ but I would say they play a part in our society which most of us recognise and no longer resist, as we did at first. But the Danes are still where we stood after WWII! Hence the existence across that small country of 56 ‘ghettoes’, as described in the article, linked below.
After my second reading, I have had visions of PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen playing our favourite Viking, King Canute (never mind the spelling), as portrayed in fake news as a megalomaniac resisting the waves. I hope I’m wrong.
Your mates, the House of Windsor, have shown the world that the game is up. The centuries of polite condescension practised at arm’s length from popular culture came to an abrupt end amid uncomfortable glances and nervous grimaces. The gates were flung wide. No Trojan horse was required. Come on in, no contest. Canterbury had no reply to Chicago. Gospel trumped the choir boys. Oscars outnumbered Garters. Not an MP or General or billionaire in sight. Just our daily tweeters: George, Idris, David and Victoria. If Diana was the people’s princess, Harry is the champion of the chavs. Bring on the clowns? They are already here.
Ratha Yatra, Brisbane style
When I saw the headline in the local paper, I thought we must have done something rather well if we’d achieved such an exalted status. But no, nothing to do with us. Just an annual event that’s been running for about 5,000 years or so. And even for the past 5 years in Brissie, I find.
It’s a celebration within Hinduism which has caught on in many cities around the world, possibly because of the Beatles’ early fascination with Krishna, and a jolly good thing it has, in my ‘umble opinion. You can look it up in Wiki, or on this local site.
Unlike many other religions, which are so often associated the screaming of dire imprecations and much frothing at the mouth, Hinduism likes to look on the sunny side of the street, so notice that everyone is smiling broadly, and entering into the spirit of the thing. Which seems magically to make pulling a four-ton chariot a pleasant task. Good on ’em! Here’s the article in the Brisbane Times which caught my eye.
Boadicea is in Japan for a while, but she’ll be back soon. I hope.
I’ve mentioned before that the Danes are a precocious bunch, especially at this time of the year. Celebrations start on 23rd – known as ‘little Xmas Eve’ -and continue until after the noisy New Year bashes. Hence my bah-humbug picture.
But hey! (happy seasonal retort) Backside and I wish all you intrepid Charioteers the holidays you wish for – for yourselves and your families. Ding dong as merrily as you like, deck your halls and save a glass for poor old Santa!
And a Good Brexit in 2018!
I think it would be fair to say that Britain has not always dealt with Ireland fairly or squarely. Think famine and the Troubles. But I have always wondered why the Protestant Sect in the north has been allowed to create endless mayhem when it has been obvious that the best solution would have been a united, independent Ireland. There are enough precedents around the world that would support the idea.
Of course it won’t happen but I’ve had anough of the tail wagging the dog over there. And now the Republic wants to impede progress with Brexit. Typical.