Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Simon Jenkins

I have complained about Jenkins in the past, he is a man who has been so wrong headed on certain issues that he honestly shouldn't be in a position to write a major newspaper column. I certainly wouldn't be happy about employing someone who was an HIV/AIDS denialist.

But as he is here, he occasionally speaks some sense. The only thing is, his articles are often constructed on half truths. Read this article. A shocking story no? A judge sentences a woman to prison for 4 years for a late term abortion, an act of desperation and panic. Worse yet, we discover that other women have been imprisoned for shoplifting and drug muling. Surely something is wrong here!

Hmm. Then read the comments, which point out that this late term abortion was at 39 weeks. Its a pretty extreme view of being pro-choice that thinks a 39 week old foetus isn't basically a human being at this point. Yes, maybe the punishment was still to harsh, but thats surely an example of the legal system. Its simply actively misleading to write an entire article on this subject without mentioning that what the mother did was basically infanticide. Perhaps Simon Jenkins is arguing that infanticide should not be punished that harshly, but that is not clear in the text.

Another point, well made, below the line, is that there is no evidence in the article that men are not punished for the list of crimes women are in prison for. Do men get off for similar crimes? Maybe, but theres no evidence at all presented in the article. To justify the claims of judicial machismo one actually does require evidence, but Jenkins and evidence have sadly often been loosely connected.


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