Sunday, October 11, 2015

Nick Cohen on Labour's new Deputy Leader

All credible evidence that someone has been abusing children should be carefully investigated, whoever the alleged culprit may be.

But it is also the invaluable tradition of this country that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty and therefore the greatest care should be taken not to trash the reputation of innocent people by publicising claims which have not been proved.

If anyone has evidence of child abuse or any other horrible crime, they have only one prudent course of action, and that course is NOT to publicise it through the press. It is to take it to the police to be investigated.

And yes, the police are mortal human beings who will sometimes get it wrong. But they are more likely to pursue the guilty and drop charges against the innocent than any amateur.

Nick Cohen has an excellent column in the Guardian here about one politician who would have been wise to pay more attention to this principle.

Postscript:

Here is a link to the recent Panorama programme, which in my opinion made every effort to argue that we should listen to those who come forward saying they are victims without trampling on the rights of accused people who have not yet been proved guilty.

http://bbc.in/1KYIAer

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