Monday, 6 December 2010

Garrow's Law

It's only fair for me to acknowledge when the BBC produces a programme that I enjoy. Garrow's Law is one.

William Garrow, as portrayed, is the sort of hero that libertarians can cheer. He practised law at a time when slavery was legal, and sodomy was punishable by death. He defended the genuine rights of individuals against a corrupt establishment.

According to Wikipedia, it was Garrow who coined the phrase "innocent until proven guilty", in 1791.

Predictably, the real life Garrow did not always live up to the high principles shown in the BBC drama. He was willing to reach parliament as an MP for the rotten borough of Gatton in 1805.

Still, he seems like a decent chap, and I'm glad that the BBC has highlighted this part of our history. Even so, I'm with Alex Deane when he calls for an end to the licence fee.

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