Giving testimony took an act of sheer heroism for the poor victim, still deeply traumatised even after 24 years.
Addressing London’s Southwark Crown Court, she said: “I was a naive and trusting 22-year-old when I was subjected to an unprovoked and terrifying physical assault at my place of work.”
“I was too paralysed with fear,” she added, “to confront my assailant.”
But she felt “lucky” that she was “physically resilient” enough to get on with her life “thanks largely to my colleagues”.
Just the colleagues? A lesser person would have had years of therapy and possibly a lifelong course of antidepressants, but this brave girl showed that the spirit of the Blitz still hasn’t evaporated.
And there she was, agreeing to act as witness for the prosecution even though the trial made her relive the ordeal, taking her back to “feeling like a scared, vulnerable young woman”.
My faith in the English character restored (and it was badly in need of restoring), I was so moved that I felt the urge to stand up and sing “God save our gracious Queen…”.
At the very last moment, however, I went back to the beginning of the news bulletin to find out what sort of heinous crime has tapped such deep reservoirs of the victim’s courage.
Was she savagely beaten? Robbed at gunpoint? Raped within an inch of her life? Crippled? All four?
Er… not quite. Not even close actually. Twenty-four years ago she worked at a TV studio. The DJ Dave Lee Travis saw her smoking in the corridor, said something about her “poor little lungs” and squeezed her breasts. That’s all, honest to God.
Methinks the poor dear just might have overreacted a bit, wouldn’t you say? I’ve spent a great deal of my life in TV studios and take my word: no 22-year-old women working there would still be traumatised 24 years after being groped by a celebrity – however unpleasant she found the experience at the time.
This one wasn’t either. She just knows she has to say what the surrogate morality of modernity demands. She’s the dummy, modernity the ventriloquist.
Don’t get me wrong: a man who does that sort of thing is a vulgar oik, but then that’s what a DJ is almost by definition. Being a vulgar oik is a job requirement that must have been written into Travis’s contract.
Still, women shouldn’t be felt up at work unless they want to be. All sexual activity, no matter how innocuous, should be consensual, and a gentleman would never act in such a boorish manner.
But there is, or at least should be, a long distance between someone who’s not a gentleman and a criminal.
Dave Cameron, for example, proved he’s no gentleman by divulging the details of his private conversation with our gracious Queen. But he’s not a criminal, at least not by any technically accurate interpretation of the law.
Neither is a chap who feels a girl up without permission. It’s utterly ridiculous to bring such a case to court and then to convict the groper.
The prosecution demanded a custodial sentence, but Travis got away with a suspended. Afterwards, he was right to fume about the “millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, thousands of hours of police resources” wasted.
But neither he nor even the law interests me nearly as much as our country, and what has become of it.
What happened to the restrained, understated, diffident, self-deprecatory, humorous, stoic British character that has always been admired by those not lucky enough to be born English, winning what Cecil Rhodes called “first prize in the lottery of life”?
It’s gone, vanished, trampled underfoot by victorious modernity. Young people are taught to wear their heart on the sleeve, ignoring the fact that it’s likely to be caked in grime as a result.
They are also taught they’re all victims of something, either society in general or some of its particular aspects. And if they do feel wronged, no sense of proportion is there to moderate the response. Hence a girl whose breast got squeezed is conditioned to regard herself as a victim of a “terrifying physical assault”.
The fact that she’s taken seriously does untold harm by trivialising real terrifying assaults, such as a brutal rape with a knife at the victim’s throat. How should that be described, considering that ‘terrifying’ has already been claimed by a quick feel?
We are all so sensitive now, except this sensitivity is phoney, thrust down our throats by the same people who insist that a public official be sacked for using the word ‘niggardly’. As such, it deadens real sensitivity – just as regularly listening to pop excretions makes youngsters deaf to real music.
Today’s lot, weaned on an abundance of information available at the push of a button, are unable to make the effort necessary to obtain real education, real taste, real refinement. At best they slide along the surface.
The same goes for their moral sense. They’ve learned the lesson of modernity well: everything real must be replaced with a virtual-world surrogate.
Hence the widespread belief, largely influenced by Transatlantic perversions, that everything one doesn’t like should have a legal restitution.
So what if the Crown has to spend millions prosecuting a drunk who patted a co-worker’s behind at an office party? Our printing presses are in order, we can always run off a few more millions.
While the state, egged on by the diktats of modern faux morality, is thus occupied, real crimes go unpunished. Burglary, for example, has been to all intents and purposes decriminalised – an average burglar commits 50 burglaries before he’s caught, three times as many before he’s convicted, and twice as many again before he goes to prison.
This stands to reason. A burglar who steals an old woman’s savings commits a crime against a person. Someone who violates the diktats of modernity commits a crime against its very ethos.
Which crime is graver? At a time when the last vestiges of our civilisation are being uprooted, there can only be one answer.
Hence I’m surprised Travis got such a derisory sentence. Next time he as much as brushes against a woman on a train he may get a tenner with no tariff and no statute of limitations.