There will always be editors who want the mothers of fallen Servicemen to comment on whether we should be in Afghanistan or who want Doreen Lawrence to be the final arbiter of the government’s policy on race. Still, here is a hard thing that needs saying: victims deserve our sympathy and our respect, but they are no more qualified than anyone else to determine what the law should be.
Most of those brandishing the ‘victims test’ in response to Leveson would be horrified at the suggestion that, say, the parents of a murdered child should decide whether the killer deserved the death penalty. They would point out, correctly, that such parents are emotionally involved, and can’t make a disinterested assessment of what constitutes justice.
An excellent illustration was provided on BBC Breakfast this morning by Jane Sherriff of Bottle Stop.
Following her husband's murder, she has called for all glasses and glass bottles to be BANNED in pubs and clubs after 9pm.
|Safer than a pint glass|
Personally, I think we should go further. Fights can break out in restaurants too, so it would be much safer if we were all required to use plastic cutlery, just like in cattle class on aeroplanes.