Matthew Reddin

The Pell case revealed far more than his crimes

The Pell case was much more than vindication for his victims, it also highlighted the depths the rest of the country can stoop to. 

 

 

That joke about lawyers tied together at the bottom of the ocean used to be a joke, but it’s probably a good bellwether right now.

Convicted paedophile George Pell hired a lawyer at great expense, by the name of Richter, who at the former cardinal’s sentencing said that Pell’s offences were “no more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating…no aggravating circumstances.”

Thankfully, the judge wasn’t having a bar of that balloon juice. But let’s just unpack it for a tick, shall we?

What is plain vanilla sexual penetration? And why is what Pell did apparently “no more” than it? Would it have been of greater or less consequence had the child been actively participating, and what, pre tell Mr Richter, does active participation involve when it’s a child being made to participate? Not for nothing, would aggravating circumstances make matters worse? And, what does it feel like to not have a soul?

I read once lawyers charge in billable units of six minutes. It makes me wonder how many billable units went into constructing the sentence: “No more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child…”

I’d ask Andrew Bolt as much, but he’s many things, and quite mercifully a lawyer is not one of them. A columnist and commentator, sadly he is though. And he just put words to air wherein he defended George Pell. Despite his conviction. Of child sex offences.

The mind boggles. You’d wonder why he, and Miranda Devine, would still be going in to bat now that the paedophile horse has bolted.

The brutal truth of this modern hard-line conservative is that there is seemingly nothing that is a deal-breaker. A room full of 6-year olds is gunned down the week before Christmas in the US, and the conservative right do nothing about gun laws, because apparently dead children isn’t a deal-breaker when it comes to gun ownership. Once they’re in, they’re in for life. And it’s not the findings of a jury, the legal process, due process, the rule of law that will stop them. Nothing can make them back down, retreat or change course. They cannot admit being wrong, because in a Trump world, doing so is a sign of weakness, and the worst thing in the world is kowtowing to the smug left who are smugly braying about being right all along about this issue.

The left, with their compassion and social justice, ethics and notions of equality under the law, and disdain for prejudice, and wanting people to be treated with respect, and abhorrence of social imbalance, and their understanding of history, and their ladies in long trousers. Pfft. It’s all a choice, you’re responsible for your own success, etc.

They are literally defending a convicted paedophile so they don’t have to admit the left were right.

There’s nothing worse to them. I mean, to the average, apolitical soul, there is something worse. Child abuse. Sexual predation of children is, you’d think, worse than having to say “Clementine Ford got this one right.”

Not to Andrew Bolt, though. Not to Miranda Devine. Justice isn’t blind, it’s constantly watching the polls and social media feeds and wondering if they need to be more open-minded about matters, especially in the #MeToo era. Apparently. According to these feckless, soulless ghouls.

You’d think that a high ranking official of the church being convicted of something literally hundreds of others in the same line of work have been convicted of wouldn’t come as a surprise. That they’d respect the rule of law. That law and order is something that needs to be upheld. That even people who in closed circles were nice fellows and supported your ideological notions, could in fact be criminals. That they supped from the same wine glasses at meetings of the IPA so their shared, staunchly conservative viewpoints could be made into public policy.

But the preconceived narrative they’ve been embracing is never to be abandoned. They have to be right at every turn. It’s a level of manic, disturbed fundamentalism rivalling flat-earthers or creationists. There is demonstrable evidence that they are wrong, but still, it’s not enough.

Suffer the children, indeed.

 

Matthew Reddin

Matt Reddin has been writing nonsense about film, TV, books, music and live theatre for a touch over 20 years. He’s gone from the halcyon days of street press in Perth, to regional dailies, national magazines and major metropolitan newspapers. Now, in between bouts of sporadically yelling at clouds, he vents his creative spleen at www.lessercolumn.com.au

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