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Amol Rajan: Justice to the victims

Posted by Eagle Eye
  • Monday, 15 March 2010 at 05:32 pm
I got into a bit of trouble in conference this morning for making the point - not as sensitively as I should have, perhaps - that the spectacle of grieving mothers may feed the tabloid beast, but is irreconcilable with the demands of post-modern law.

I made the point, when tabloid journalists at The Sun and Sky News exploited Jacqui Janes - a mother who had lost her son to war, and who was on sedatives, for the benefit of themselves and their political benefactors - that though I cannot imagine what a grieving mother is going through, I know tabloid exploitation when I see it.

I think it's a pretty good definition of tabloid values, actually: championing the right of grieving mothers to shape public policy, by bestowing them with moral authority on the grounds that they are victims.

Jacqui Janes and Denise Fergus are hugely, hugely deserving of sympathy, both public and private.

But their suffering is not a good guide to the direction our laws should take. Tomorrow's Big Question in The Independent, by Mark Hughes, our Crime Correspondent, makes this clear.

I genuinely cannot believe the number of literate people in British journalism who are prepared to endorse victim's justice in their professional lives. 


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