THIS ARTICLE WAS LARGELY WRITTEN BEFORE THE SHEFFIELD UNITED's ANNOUNCEMENT ON CHED EVANS.
Nothing beats jumping on a bandwagon. For a middle aged man like me, it beats exercise. If like me, you dislike exercises you can also try jumping to conclusions, getting furiously worked up, rushing to judgement and so on. You get the drift.
Before I continue. I want to make something perfectly clear. ALL RAPES ARE WRONG - violent, non violent, both parties drunk, both parties mentally incapacitated, statutory etc. No excuse. No question.
Also, I am not writing this to be controversial or to blame the victim. My views are well considered (in my opinion)
For the records, anybody who touches a member of my family in the Ched Evans way will unfortunately not be allowed to answer to the state or the police. There will be another solution. I am sane enough and a believer in a orderly society to know that if we all attempted to procure justice for ourselves, there will be chaos. So my advice to the rapist is "DONT RAPE" so there is no chaos. If however you don't understand this simple advice then you have something else coming your way if you rape.
To the police and to the wider community, i believe we need to look at the law and the process / procedure of dealing with rape. I don't care if we think it is impractical, I believe a crime should fit the punishment. I don't get why a rapist can destroy the life of the victim and be able to get on with their own life.
Your sentence as a rapist should be as long as it takes the victim to get on with their life. If there are relapses and say a victim took her own life because of your rape, you are called back to court and charged with her murder. Impractical I hear you say, then make it practical. It is against the law you say, change the frigging law, make it part of the law.
How would we know if the rape of 10 years ago led to a victim's suicide? Sorry we have some professionals called Psychologists. Did you say something about their profession not been an exact science, i hear you, you mean like the law. the practice of which is not exact either. Yet law practitioners determine whether people should live or die.
This recommendation is not only about rape. It is also about other crimes. As a society we need people to pay for their crimes. Not necessarily by chopping their heads off but actually paying for it (assets, future earnings, inheritance etc)
As a society, we need to change our outlook on a lot of issues. One example is outlined above, criminals should pay not only for their crime by doing time, they should pay for the cost of the judicial process leading to their incaceration, the cost of doing time, the cost of theirs and the victim's rehabilitation.
Another example perhaps a bit more contentious is how we go about protecting ourselves when we have fun. Without sounding sexist, women are disproportionately more the victim of rape or violent sexual / sexual related crimes (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/an-overview-of-sexual-offending-in-england-and-wales) so my advice although relevant to all sexes is predominantly aimed at women.
Please please please. I don't get why there is no chaperone when you go out on a night out. I don't have anything against drinking or wearing beautiful (*cough cough* ) provocative dresses. Nothing. In fact I love to admire beautiful women (I lie I really mean ALL WOMEN) dressed in beautiful clothes. I also like women who drink as a fat middle aged bloke like me is unlikely to be attractive to the ladies if they are not wearing their alcohol googles.
Please ladies, when you go out on a bender, have a chaperone. If you are a group of girls, let one person be the designated chaperone this week and someone else take over the following week. Pay for a family member to be the chaperone. Do something sensible. This is not putting the onus on you, this is asking you to be reasonable. Like me locking my front door because there are bad people out there. This is not meant to be patronising either. I just think its common sense. This also applies to males by the way.
Now to Ched Evans. (that didn't take long did it). He is lucky his victim is not my sister. However given the circumstances in the public domain about the rape, I dare say this is a tough one.
From what I read on blogs, social media etc, casual sex, threesomes, kinky sex, ONS etc are no big deals. So also is getting drunk and inebriated i.e leglesss, not knowing where you are and what you are doing or did. You have probably guessed I am not a fan of these. If a supposedly rich person or someone in the public eye engages in any of these why should he or she be castigated. Do we think these people are any different from you and I? That they have different desires? Or because they are in the public eye, they should not have ONS?
For now, the record is very clear, Ched Evans is a convicted rapist. A jury of his peers found him guilty. The people representing us (Jury) found him guilty. So far so good. What then happen is another person (representing us / the Judge) sentenced him to prison using another set of rules made by another of our representatives (parliament). Now Ched has been released from prison by yet another of our representative (the probation service).
He is now seeking future employment in a profession where the law made by you and I through our representatives (parliament) allows him to be gainfully employed. And some people are saying no he shouldn't be allowed to. I am sorry I don't get that. We made the rules remember (yes through our representatives). The rules that specified punishment for crimes, how long a prisoner needs to serve and what jobs such a prisoner can aspire to.
Ched Evans disobeyed the law and he was punished and now he wants to follow the same laws and we say No. What happened to equality? All men been equal in front of the law blah blah blah. As many people have said, if Ched was a bricky, nobody will bat an eyelid what he returns to as long as it is legal. This leads me to conclude that majority of the people who are opposed to Ched's return to football are jealous and are driven by envy of the life he could return to as a professional footballer.
I just don't get the "he is a role model to kids so he was wrong to do what he did". I'm sorry I would have failed in my life if Ched Evans was a role model to my kids. Are we are aware that some people look up to Peter Sutcliffe (the murderer) as a role model same with the murderer of the Birmingham teacher. For me, if you are worried about your relative, child or sibling looking up to Ched Evans as a role model, I suspect you have bigger issues to deal with teaching that relative or child how to learn the difference between right and wrong.
For me, our focus should be on the law that made Ched's return possible? Shouldn't we be bombarding our MPs with social media messages etc asking them to change the law? Isn't that what a democratic society is all about? I don't get the reason why people believe their personal preference should trump the law. Is this society a "mobocracy" where the outraged decide what society should do at every turn and we make it up as we go (Shame on Nick Clegg for jumping on this particular bandwagon, as a law maker and a professed democrat, he should know better) Is there a chance that some of the people looking unto Peter Sutcliffe as a role model are also on this bandwagon, trying to prevent Ched from going back to been a professional footballer? Should we be listening to them?
Yes Ched is a convicted rapist but for his victim to be so drunk that she couldn't even remember the event let alone whether she consented or not is unfortunate. I recently overhead a police officer type saying that "on saturday and sunday mornings. Several girls turn up claiming they think they have been raped and asking the police to look into". Ordinarily this should be a good thing. If there is a rape epidemic in our land, we want to root it out. But please realise that if we had our wits about us, we would be able to help the police nail these rapist bastards.
The accusation that Ched is not contrite has also been thrown out there. Please hands up one person who thinks it is ok for any human to douse himself in petrol with a lit matchstick around. Who doesn't get the fact that while Ched is appealing for wrongful conviction he can't then go on to say, "I am sorry I am a rapist". Why is that so difficult to understand? until he exhausts his appeal, it is unlikely he will own up to this rape and in my opinion rightfully so. The man believes he is not guilty. Again please change the law, don't stop Ched Evans using the law. When the appeals process is exhausted and the courts find against him and he refuses to accept then you can rightfully come to the conclusion that he genuinely is non repentant, you can then decide to humiliate him in accordance with the law and principle of free speech.
As for Sheffield United, it is my opinion that people should leave them well alone to make their decision on this matter as long as they are not doing anything illegal. Sheffield United is a top club and the directors should live and die by the decision they make on behalf of the business & club. I expect them to make hard nosed decisions for the benefit of the club and deciding whether Ched should come back or not is one of those decisions. This must however be balanced with thier sponsors and key stakeholders corporate & personal values. If they lose sponsorship deals or the support of influential members of the football community, then that is their problem. Trying to force Sheffield United not to sign up Ched Evans by social media blackmail is wrong. Let his club decide and let the sponsors decide and if you feel strongly about it, lead a campaign to change the law, boycott the club and the sponsors. (added comments - and this is why Sheffield United decided not to invite Ched back to train, it risked derailing the club, not because we said they shouldn't do it. Because their sponsors said so)