Far From Being A Delicate Flower ...

Mick Hall is sceptical about the commitment of the British judiciary to equality. Mick Hall is a Marxist blogger @ Organized Rage.

Far From being a delicate flower as Lord Sumption claims, British justice discriminates against women to maintain the male dominated status quo.

Supreme court judge Jonathan Sumption recently implied it could be 50 years before women hold an equal number of senior positions within the British judiciary. This Eton and Oxbridge educated reactionary peddled this misogynist tosh in an interview with the Guardian in which he claimed:

Rushing to put more women in senior judicial positions, could put off talented male candidates and destroy the delicate balance of the legal system. British justice was “a terribly delicate organism.

 Sumption went on to say.

We have got to be very careful not to do things at a speed which will make male candidates feel that the cards are stacked against them. If we do that we will find that male candidates don’t apply in the right numbers.

Jonathan Sumption on way to work

So his justification basically boils down this this sorry excuse; the legal profession is dominated by men and there is nothing which can be done about that, ceasing to discriminate against women would only upset the male dominated status quo.
It's a shocking statement coming from a man who is supposed to administer the law impartially. What he's really saying is it's OK for women to be put off joining the bar due to the discrimination they face, but it must not happen to men, and the only way to stop this is to maintain the status quo. Now where have I heard that type of argument before?

What does Lord Sumption have in common with those who opposed the vote for women, civil rights for black people, equal pay and grading for women in industry, and the ending of child labour, etc? They too claimed ending such gross discrimination was impossible by passing laws, It had to happen naturally and will take at least 50 years. Thankfully they were proven wrong.

As I have written many times on this Blog the British judiciary is one of the most discredited, unequal and class prejudiced in the world. Its history is blood soaked both at home and abroad. In the British Empire it was a weapon of imperial oppression, at home its a very sharp tool in the ruling classes armoury.

At one time there were more than 230 capital crimes on the statute book, theft, was one of the crimes that attracted the death penalty, despite the fact that it was defined as the theft of goods worth more than the paltry sum of 12 pence. Yet these honourable gentlemen were quite happy to administer a law which their class was the only beneficiary of.

Not much has changed really as far as maintaining what Sumption calls the 'delicate balance of the law.' Lord Denning, a so called liberal judge, was at it in the 1980s after a series of miscarriages of justices involving Irishmen being wrongfully convicted said:
It is better that some innocent men remain in jail than that the integrity of the English judicial system be impugned.

To make matters worse he was also an advocate of the death penalty for the type of crimes these people were convicted of. And if it had still been on the Statue book all these innocent men would have been hanged. How he had the cheek to talk about integrity and the law is beyond me.

By their words alone the likes of Sumption and Denning are not fit to sit in judgement on their fellow citizens. Yet in the UK they rise to the very top of the legal profession.

Imagine if it were not a Supreme Court judge but a trade union leader who came out with a statement like Sumption's, he would have been crucified by the media and political elites and rightly so. The difference between the trade unions and the judiciary is the former realised the 'delicate balance' of male domination within trade unions was unacceptable, and both officials and activist fought to strike it out for what it was - an unfair abomination.

It was working class women at Ford's Dagenham Plant who led the way and taught their male brothers there was a better way. Perhaps it is time the middle class women of the judiciary followed in there footsteps

Look at the way the mainstream media tried to castigate Jeremy Corbyn for failing to appoint any women to what they regarded as the top cabinet posts. Can we expect a similar outcry of indignation against Sumption's misogynistic tripe? I will not be holding my breath in anticipation.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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