2018 – 004 Freedom of the press and the Parole Board

Let’s hear it for that secular sacrament, the freedom of the press

The words above are not mine, but from the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, our Hon. Chaplain. He wrote them after the news broke last Wednesday that The Sun and the Daily Mail have jointly written to the Parole Board and the Justice Secretary to say that unless the reasons behind the decision to recommend the rapist, John Worboys’, release from prison are published within seven days, the papers’ lawyers will apply for a full judicial review to have that decision overturned.

The Justice Secretary has decided not to seek a judicial review. No-one in the criminal justice system appears to care that a dangerous rapist is about to be released from prison after serving just nine years behind bars, forcing Worboys’ victims to raise money for a judicial review through crowdfunding. Thank goodness we have a free press in this country. Thank goodness the two biggest selling newspapers put their rivalry to one side to fight for justice. 

As Peter says in his article for us

“…the sorts of people who operate the Parole Board – like the sorts of people who get appointed to the Supreme Court or those members of the House of Lords who, only a fortnight ago, voted further to restrict press freedom – are not as other men. They don’t think and act as we think and act. They are a privileged elite and they consider themselves to be in possession of finer moral sentiments than we ordinary mortals. Shockingly, you and I can do nothing to oblige these tribunes of the people who are really the enemies of the people to come to their senses and change their minds and their policies.”

I am sure Peter speaks for all of us.

Have a fantastic Sunday.

Andrew Allison

Head of Campaigns

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