One “Ffion.firstname.lastname@example.org” wrote me disagreeing with my take on the Jeremy Forrest-Megan Stammers tragedy. S/he adopts a wooden (or actually, quite concrete, as in “Concrete Lampost”) pro-government regulatory stance that reminds me of the Goon Show episode of 17-March-58) called “the Evils of Bushey Spon.” (http://www.myoldradio.com/old-radio-episodes/the-goon-show-the-evils-of-bushey-spon/7) I responded to Mr. or Ms. Bushey in interlinear fashion below. Ffion Busheys comments are all in plain print like this paragraph (whether bold or non-bold).
My instincts tell me that you’re either a robotic spokesman for the Police or you’re a complete idiot with no human feelings whatsoever. I can’t tell which, so I’ll test your response and see what happens:
Forrest groomed the 15 year old over a period of several months and commenced a sexual relationship with her despite already being married.
There is no question but that Jeremy Forrest’s behavior lands him in, at the very least, in one of those top upper two circles of Dante’s inferno reserved for virtuous pagans on the one hand and those irresponsible in love on the other (i.e., no one is saying he is candidate for Christian Sainthood here), but I am willing to listen to reasonable argument and be persuaded: to what evidence (testimonial or photographic, verbal or non-verbal) would you assert in support of calling Forrest’s behavior towards Megan “grooming”? The word “grooming” suggests he deprived her of free will and rational judgment—which 14-15 year old girls DO possess….I hate to tell you that, but it’s true.
This was not a grand passion between the two, it’s a straightforward case of a paedophile who was in a position of trust and authority, who groomed
Oh dear, there you use that ugly inflammatory word “groomed” again, trying align or compare Jeremy boy with the Muslim groomers, I see your slant—once again, please point out a single fact, or any series of facts, that justifies smearing Jeremy Forrest as a “Paedophile” or that he USED his “position of authority and trust” to seduce poor little innocent Megan Stammers.
a vulnerable, suicidal
Was Megan more vulnerable than other girls? Was Megan suicidal before she thought she might lose her lover?
child for sex and then ran away with her instead of facing his wife and his employers, the girl’s parents and the police.
You know, lots of Jews ran away from Nazi Germany to avoid facing the police, and a lot of slaves ran away from Plantation owners in the American South to avoid facing their “employers” and the police also. Given what happened, I think France should have refused extradition and I hope they will in the future. The right of young people to run away from home and make their own mistakes in life is or ought to be recognized as one of the most fundamental rights known to man.
Whether you agree with our (UK) age of consent or not, it’s 16 and Forrest knew that perfectly well.
I wonder whether you are familiar with the concept in Anglo-American Law of “Malum Prohibitum” and “Malum In Se” (or “Malum Per Se“)? This concept distinguishes between “bad because the law says so” and “bad in itself.” The age of consent is like a traffic sign or a speed limit. There are rational reasons for age of consent laws even if they’re wrongly set in the UK (and elsewhere). I’m willing to bet any amount of money you want that you’ve gone faster than the speed limit on the M1 North or the M4 West more than once in your life (possibly even more than once in the past week, assuming you’ve ever driven or traveled at all). I don’t dispute the age of consent laws as a good normative guideline that any society is entitled to enact. I dispute that it is a heinous crime to violate this law in light of the clear hypersexualization of society and media these days. If they wanted to fine Jeremy Forrest or Jail him for a few days or even a month or so I’d yawn and say, OK, they can do that, although I would strongly suggest that it is JUST as unjust as any law punishing Homosexuals or actually quite a bit more so, and all those laws have been cast upon the rubbish heap of history. But to destroy a man’s life and paint him as a paedofile as you yourself are echoing the Crown Ponces as doing….well that’s just EVIL in its own right the way I look at things.
A hundred years ago, they might have married (assuming Forrest could have obtained a divorce from his wife, which is much less certain). A hundred years ago, relationships based on a fundamental imbalance of power may have been more acceptable to our legislature. Now, we strive to protect the vulnerable and not abandon them to a forced marriage to a paedophile. If you think that’s a “Nanny State”, then you are ignorant not just of the facts of this particular case, but of the culture and legislative framework of the UK.