…or is it? Perhaps one of the most quoted tenets when matters legal come to the surface, yet does this apply universally or not?
I am moved to comment after both Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks have attempted to use this as some sort of defence in their current trial. I had assumed this to be the case and it was certainly something freely bandied about the court room during my 5 month trial back in 2005. There are a number of websites from the USA and the UK which refer to this belief, yet they all seem to have a particular axe to grind, without addressing the subject in a broader sense. Several seem to draw attention to the, “one rule for them, one rule for us” approach, which can appear very attractive when one perceives oneself to have been wronged by the system and God save me if I resort to such tactics. I will, however, draw attention to this in my forthcoming autobiography as there is no doubt that if one knows where the, “bodies are buried”, one does tend to get off.
I very much hope that the rather spurious claim that they didn’t realise it was against the law to tap ‘phones is totally disregarded by the jury, for even if they didn’t realise it was illegal, for sure they knew it was morally reprehensible.
On a wider note, having spent some considerable time amongst the so-called “criminal classes”, another term I find rather hard to swallow having shared cells and rooms with MPs and city financiers whilst at Her Majesty’s Pleasure-who most certainly belong to that group, it would be wise for politicians to police themselves a little more thoroughly, as they must lead the way in showing a good example to the country. If one behaves without morals and thinks only of power and greed, then one cannot be surprised when those at the bottom of the economic heap adopt the same approach. Sauce, goose, gander.