Mr Bumble is being vindicated

Dickens made this worthy gentleman demur when told that “the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction.” Undaunted, Mr Bumble replies, “If the law supposes that … the law is a ass.”

This shows that even in Victorian times laws governing relations between the sexes were fraught with dissent. I wonder how those corseted ladies and top-hatted gentlemen would feel about today’s Walpurgisnacht.

One can venture a guess how Nick Ross feels about it. Befuddled and scared, would be a safe bet.

For many years Mr Ross presented BBC’s popular show Crimewatch, and he wisely used the time to gather much material for his book Crime, which is just out. No doubt he expected laudatory or at least decent reviews. What he got instead was tarring and feathering, a punishment so severe that one would think Mr Ross had committed the eponymous offence.

Indeed he has, if we regard any display of common sense as a crime. Here’s what Mr Ross wrote: “Half of all women who have had penetrative sex unwillingly do not think they were raped… they led him on, they went too far, it wasn’t forcible, they didn’t make themselves clear… They feel it is a long way removed from being systematically violated or snatched off the street.”

Sounds sensible, but not to Jo Woods, a trustee of Rape Crisis: “I feel absolute fury.” And not to Jacqui Hames, who co-presented Crimewatch with Ross for 16 years: “…struggling to match the man I know with the comments!!!! What on earth is going on?”

I can tell you exactly what’s going on, Jacqui: a man has shown a modicum of sanity in a mad world. Tarred and feathered? Why, the culprit must be put away for life, and then only because we no longer have the death penalty.

Yet if we all took a pill and recovered our mental faculties we’d see that, according to the shrill critics, rape is the only crime that’s supposed to have no gradations whatsoever. This is indeed a startling addition to the history of jurisprudence.

Just look at other crimes against the human body. If, for example, a chap throws a couple of punches at another chap in the King’s Head, the offence would probably be classified as affray.

If one of the punches closes the victim’s eye and the other knocks a tooth out, it’s ABH (Actual Bodily Harm).

If the victim falls awkwardly and breaks his arm, the pugilist is looking at GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm).

If instead of throwing punches, the first chap grabs a knife off the bar and plunges it into the other chap’s belly, it’s attempted homicide.

If the victim actually dies, it’s unlawful killing.

If the attacker doesn’t use the knife immediately but waits for the other chap in the car park and then kills him, it’s murder.

The lawyers among you may question a point or two, but not the general idea. Which is, there’s assault and there’s assault. They’re not all the same.

This goes for any other crime I can think of: for instance, a burglar breaking into an old woman’s flat and nicking her hearing aid won’t be treated in law with the same severity as a burglar who breaks into The National Gallery and steals a Vermeer.

Yet here we are, expected to believe that a man who gets into bed with his girlfriend and after some inventive foreplay fails to realise that this once her ‘no’ actually means ‘no, is as culpable as two degenerates who snatch a woman off a bus, rape and beat her viciously and leave her for dead. One would think that nobody would be so stupid as to put forth this proposition.

Nobody is. Stupidity has nothing to do with it – the problem, alas, is much deeper than that.

Any modern state desperately wants to conquer, which is why it wants to divide. And destroying the traditional interplay between the sexes is the most important part of this divisive strategy.

Dickens’s contemporaries would be appalled at the tricks today’s state employs to this end, those same tricks we’ve been brainwashed to take for granted.

Abortion on demand (and on the taxpayer), encouragement of cohabitation, regarding homosexuality as not just legal but as a perfectly valid choice, no injunction against public displays of secondary (and sometimes primary) sexual characteristics, same-sex marriage, test-tube babies eventually making a man redundant, eagerly awaited human cloning making both a man and a woman redundant, acceptance and encouragement of out-of-wedlock births – what would Mr Bumble say?

Regarding any sex without permission as equally criminal falls into the same category. A drunk man copulating with a drunk woman, with neither of them remembering much of it the next morning, may or may not have committed a crime against the woman – it’s a matter of opinion.

What is a matter of fact is that the man has committed a crime against the state, by transgressing against the ethos the state is trying to impose. Such crimes are always punished with greater certainty and severity than any crime against an individual.

Thus a serial burglar who has burgled 100 houses and got caught on the 101st, having stolen £1,000,000 worth of goods all told, is likely to get off with a slap on his wrists. A man who has evaded the same amount’s worth of tax will surely go to prison for a long time.

Affray motivated by sheer thuggery will earn the perpetrator a fine, at worst. The same action accompanied by racial or religious invective will land him in prison. Why, since the victim’s nose would bleed just as profusely in both instances? The answer is simple: in the first instance the thug strikes a man in the face; in the second, he strikes against the state’s ethos and therefore the state.

It’s the same everywhere. In New York, for example, only the killing of a policeman is classified as first-degree murder. In the old days, when a human life had an absolute value, murder was murder, regardless of the victim’s occupation.

Nick Ross has betrayed himself as a normal, sensible man. Such a crime never goes unpunished these days – the state can tolerate burglaries, muggings and car crime. It’s only appeals to sanity that are seen as a direct threat to its power.

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