Sunday, 22 November 2015

The 300

Spartans that is, not the alleged 300 vip suspects
Popular myth has it that 300 Spartans held a narrow pass at Thermopylae about 480BC  & inflicted enough damage on an infinitely larger advancing Persian army, that somehow they just gave up, & went home
Current academic evidence suggests that actually isn't quite what happened. There were about 7,000 'Greeks' at the start of the battle, ending with about 1,000 ( including the survivors of the original  300 or so Spartans ) when the position was finally over run by the Persians
The position itself probably wasn't that vital.The Persian Navy, would have sailed by unhindered and landed troops further down the coast, had it not been for the Athenian Navy- itself the result of one Athenians belief the Persians would return one day, & a Navy was crucial in defence of the city states. But that doesn't  capture the  public imagination in quite the same way.

But popular media interest is fairly narrow and will focus on events which it believes will sell newspapers or generate subscriptions
Celebrity, in whatever form is what sells, so abuse cases involving them become 'important'
The rest, which are the vast majority, aren't deemed to be important, because unless there is some particularly lurid or salacious aspect to the abuse, it isn't generally considered newsworthy and will remain largely outside the public arena

The public opinion barometer is sited  squarely within those 'newsworthy' celebrity cases, for better or worse
If they fail in some very notable aspect, or are seen to be brought without sufficient cause, & some of the complainants  to be less than honest in their claims, the outlook for the non-newsworthy majority will be accordingly blighted

All cases should be looked at on the same basis and to the same standard. In practice that's unlikely to happen, but currently the disparity seems to have widened. It's difficult not to conclude that had 'janes' case allegedly involved someone unknown,rather than an ex cabinet minister,  it would have attracted considerably less time and resources, in coming to its conclusion

The second review appears to have been largely for the comfort of senior MPS command in that however unsubstantiated the claim appeared to be, unless every 't' was crossed, every 'i' dotted
however inconsequential, there would remain a remote chance that at some future date, with some future hindsight,  the case may publicly return and claim scalps.
This isn't the case with non vip abuse
Could one trade up to equalize standards? - if you had infinite resources and deemed it necessary to allot  large numbers of detectives for every single case, but the reality is you don't, & it's probably not. What you give to one, you take from another. That's the reality.  A fair test is less likely for all, if one small sections diverts disproportionate resources from another - and a fair test for all should be the aim at least

But the press & public are interested in 'names' and stories. The senior police command officers are interested in keeping their careers & positions, & would rather not be sacrificed on the fickle alter of public opinion for somehow getting it 'wrong', or more importantly being seen to get it 'wrong' with the wisdom of  hindsight, however fair or unfairly that wisdom is applied
Consequently as long as that  situation remains, so will the desire to spend large resources and manpower in order to ensure senior police officers own heads don't end up on the chopping block.

And the Persians? - it's difficult to know their precise aim, but it appears to have been prompted in part at least by the Athenians supporting rebels in Persian territory & a desire therefore for some kind of retribution, which it could be said they achieved by burning Athens.
The Spartans themselves achieved some lasting 'fame', the others who died with them were just forgotten casualties of a culture which concentrates on the few at the expense of the many

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