The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, and especially the verdict of 20 years for sex trafficking, makes me wonder just how independent our courts are.
Speaking of Britain and the US, the two countries I know well, I’m convinced that their courts are indeed more or less independent – of the government, that is. I don’t think either Biden or Johnson can enjoy the Putin prerogative of predetermining the defendant’s guilt and deciding on the punishment in advance.
But there exists – or rather doesn’t exist – another judiciary independence, that of the zeitgeist. This is especially vital with the jury system common to both countries, where 12 jurors, none with any legal training, pass a verdict.
Jury selection is a critical aspect of any trial, but no matter how adept the counsel are at that, they can only choose from the available pool of humanity. And that pool has been poisoned by a flood of dumbing-down, brainwashing information, with every byte forming that all-important zeitgeist.
Neither the judges nor the bodies sending down sentencing guidelines are immune to that influence either. And when it comes to sex crimes, their thinking is shaped by the inordinate significance attached to sex crimes nowadays.
The current definition of a sex crime is elastic, showing an endless capacity for expansion. After all, hate crimes against women, with the sex variety as their subset, are no longer perceived as victimising a particular woman. They deliver a blow to womankind, that oppressed minority that incongruously outnumbers the majority.
Thus having sex with a woman who was at first willing but then changed her mind in mid-stroke will be punished more surely and severely than, say, beating a man within an inch of his life or, for that matter, betraying one’s country.
And even planting an unwanted kiss on a woman transcends the trivial significance of the act as such. It’s not just frisky behaviour and awful manners, but a hate crime against all women.
Such miasmas penetrate the zeitgeist and soon begin to dominate it. This creates a ridiculous imbalance between crimes and commensurate punishments. Juries and judges draw in lungfuls of the zeitgeist and decide that rape is the worst thing that can happen to a woman even if she suffers no physical damage in the process.
Most young women today will agree with gusto. Worse than being murdered? Yes. Crippled for life? Definitely? Blinded? But of course.
Their mothers probably, and grandmothers definitely, would have found such questions idiotic to the point of insanity. For today’s lot, they go to the very core of the matter. And when today’s lot sit on the bench or in the jury box, they act accordingly.
This explains the draconian sentence given to Ghislaine Maxwell. I must stress that what concerns me here isn’t this thoroughly objectionable woman, but the small matter of justice.
In the US and Britain, many people committing manslaughter get away with sentences considerably smaller than 20 years. A bunch of thugs can break into an old couples’ house, beat them both up and rob them of every valuable possession. In the unlikely event the criminals get arrested, tried and convicted, what kind of sentence are they likely to receive? Five years? Out in two-and-a-half?
When my mother-in-law lay dying in hospital, two thugs broke into her house, stole thousands of pounds’ worth of stuff, then tried to set the house on fire. Amazingly, they were arrested, and the police officer told me he thought the Muslim practice of chopping off thieves’ hands had a lot going for it. In that case, he would have happily administered the procedure himself.
After year-long proceedings, they were sentenced to time served and walked free. Was Maxwell’s crime 20 times as bad as theirs? Or four times as bad as manslaughter with such mitigating circumstances as the defendant’s tough childhood and a deficit of parental hugs?
I hope you realise I’m not trying to justify what she and Epstein did. If their constantly repopulated harem included underage girls, then a custodian sentence would certainly be just. And flying girls for illicit purposes all over the world breaks all sorts of US laws.
The Mann Act, for example, made it a felony to transport women across state lines “for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery”. Now, unlike the definition of sex crimes, the definition of debauchery gets narrower and narrower in our permissive times. These days the Act applies strictly to prostitution or other illicit sexual acts.
I’m sure that, even if Miss Maxwell didn’t violate the Mann act, she must have broken other similar laws. She deserved to be punished. But let’s keep things in perspective, shall we?
To make sure the perspective isn’t distorted, let’s discuss the issue without resorting to psychobabble, that capital crime perpetrated on language by the zeitgeist. Let’s forget about the lifelong trauma suffered by the young ladies Miss Maxwell steered into Epstein’s bed and her own, along with the beds of their friends.
We all have traumatic experiences going through life, and many of us, even those who have never been exploited for sexual purposes, can match those girls ten to one. And let’s not forget that, for all the talk about coercion, they acted of their own free will.
One could argue that any man wooing a woman seduces her with whatever tools he has at his disposal. It could be charm, sex appeal, dazzling conversation, easy access to cocaine, expensive gifts, cash, wining and dining, first-class travel to exotic places, lies, promise of career advancement – you name it. If the man’s aim is to get the woman into bed, he’d rummage through his bag of tricks and select one he knows will get him there more quickly.
How is that different from the way Ghislaine recruited Epstein’s harem? From what I’ve read, she didn’t use any physical force.
She might have misrepresented the situation, but then many men and women talk themselves up when out to seduce. Once Epstein and she had their jollies, they routinely passed the women on, but the women acquiesced.
They, including Lord Macpherson’s daughter, weren’t kept in a dungeon under lock and key. They could leave at any time, and they certainly didn’t have to keep going back for more, in some cases for years.
They did so because they loved the chance to live high on the hog in spectacular palaces, with private jets carrying them from one to another. Most of them also got paid handsome amounts, and some have since monetised their misfortune to the tune of millions. I’m sure there’s a valid moral difference between that and prostitution, but it escapes me at the moment.
That the Ghislaine and Jeffrey act was sleazy is beyond question. I wouldn’t even argue against its being criminal. I will, however, argue that a court that sentenced Miss Maxwell to 20 years was in its own, milder way as politicised as the Soviet kangaroo courts of my childhood.
At a time when morality came from God, rather than febrile political propaganda and books by mountebank shrinks, Miss Maxwell would have been fined and possibly banished from the capital for a few years. Now she stands a good chance of rotting in prison until she dies.
Then again, we all believe in progress, don’t we? Everything new is by definition better than anything old, including morality.
It’s our mission to fill in the rubrics left blank in the scriptural foundations of our civilisation, such as homosexual marriage, abortion on demand and the right to choose from the menu of 76 sexes. It’s only against this backdrop that Ghislaine Maxwell’s sentence makes sense.