When anyone sticks their neck out and challenges conventional wisdom on a number of subjects they have to be prepared for a torrent of abuse. I'm not really that surprised by the abuse I have received. In fact it is probably a sign that I am doing something right. Look back at those who challenged the accepted wisdom of their time and how they were ridiculued and personally attacked, only for their ideas to eventually become accepted wisdom itself, the list is endless.
I am an amateur just voicing an opinion, I'm not the cleverest in debate I'll admit and some of my arguments have been clumsily put to say the least. I'm also plainly not brains of Britain, I sometimes get things wrong and even perhaps contradict myself, (though in my defence I would say that is relatively rare).
But saying all that, I have been open and honest and I think there are a lot of opinions here, on this site, that needed to be said.
There are very few people out there pointing out the absurdity of religion (A lot of people think it but won't speak up). Dawkins's Channel 4 show that concluded yesterday, is probably the first time that direct criticism of religion has been shown on peaktime television. Why is that?
A massive number of those people that oppose abortion and homosexuality or stem cell research, oppose these things because of their religious views. I don't think this is right, religion is not a sensible reason for making a judgement on anything. This needs to be pointed out, and I'm not going to be held back by consensus or some strange respect for religion that is totally undeserved. There is this view amongst a lot of people (not just religious people) that religion is beyond criticism. This view is not good for our democracy.
Then there are the civil liberties intelligentsia. They ridicule anyone who questions their holier than though principles. There is in particular a very lazy blanket criticism of New Labour and Tony Blair that misses the crucial point that the other parties are worse.
Innocent until proven guilty is of the upmost importance. This is a principle that should always be aimed towards. But saying that, it has to be recognised with any principle that there are practical considerations.
When it comes to dealing with low level anti-social behaviour, the expensive inefficient criminal justice system is failing us.
The obvious answer is that it is the inefficiency and expensive nature of this system that needs fixing. And this is part of the answer but not all. The proper due legal process is necessarily expensive and time consuming. It is also debatable whether this added expense makes all that much difference in getting the judgement right. But I would defend vigorously the need for this due process in making sure the innocent are protected as much as possible in serious cases. But there are always going to be errors, no system is perfect and for low level prosecution the practical considerations of cost and time need to be taken into account. This to me seems obvious.