Insert ‘Charlie’ Pun Here

It seems that every well-heeled, over-paid, can’t-write-for-toffee journo has given their two bob’s worth on Charlie Gilmour’s 16 month prison sentence. It’s no wonder I’ve felt left out. Until now!

CG done a bad. It went to trial, he went to prison, columnists went into a froth of ecstasy. CG did something stupid, said something stupider (though having breakfasted on Pete Doherty-flattening quantities of whisky, Valium and LSD, it is just possible that the Cenotaph didn’t look its usual self that day), and is now doing time inside. Pointless, expensive, time inside.

Those who think 16 months isn’t long enough (they’re so angry its as if he got away with murder, rather than got a massive over-reaction for a punishment) are also the ones who call CG spoilt, over-privileged, over-indulged. And yet we don’t even know what whisky he was drinking. I’ll bet it was Jack Daniels, the amateur. Everyone knows that only a Highland single malt combines the lightness of body with complexity on the nose requisite for a day of mayhem. In any case, if you want to really punish a [insert sublimated term of envy here] like CG, then community service, just in time for the summer vac’ seems more appropriate. I see orange jump suits and toilets featuring strongly, a look CG could pull off. A stint in the slammer is going to make it less likely that he’ll finish his degree and put it to use, and more likely that he’ll a) live off his parents’ wealth or b) find gainful employment in modelling, a career unhindered by notoriety and not generally known for an abiding push towards abstention. Is that really the better option?

As for the argument about making an example of him… Well really. I don’t think you should give an unduly harsh punishment based on the crimes another person may or may not commit in the future. That doesn’t sound right. The death penalty is often dubbed ‘the ultimate deterrent’ – wrongly. It doesn’t deter anyone. In fact, if you look at the US states with the death penalty, they are also by far the states with the highest murder rate. I don’t agree with the death penalty, not so much because I worry about miscarriages of justice, or because I am a hand-wringing leftie, but because the death penalty would not prevent a single murder. There used to be 120 capital offences in this country, and it didn’t stop anyone from stealing sheep. Oh, and it’s more expensive than prison, but hey, everyone likes giving money to lawyers, don’t they?

Call the death penalty what it is: revenge, pure and simple, no more, no less. If you want revenge, at least be honest, and don’t insult my intelligence by calling it a anything else. CG’s sentence is revenge, though not quite the death penalty that uncertainly-hinged Daily Mail readers would push for, simply because one monied society Charlie (G) was outranked by another monied society Charlie (W) in the back of a Rolls. And I thought Justice wore a blindfold. Not this time. If this case sets any example, it is this: don’t hand yourself in, don’t plead guilty and don’t cooperate with the authorities. CG did all three, and it didn’t do him any apparent good.

One last thing: CG’s antics on the Cenotaph were not part of the charges that were brought against him. Nice though the pic is (you have to admire the dynamism, focus and framing – you don’t get that with an iPhone 3G in natural daylight I can tell you), could it please not be used to illustrate EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE? Because that does seem a little misleading, almost as though there is a deliberate attempt there to cloud the argument with appeals to emotion. If I ask too much, could perhaps every single journalist’s name be followed by the phrase ‘Alleged phone hacker’ until their innocence is proved?

Sillymrhawkins has, unbelievably, a degree in criminology.

Celebrate the release of CG, the phone hacking scandal reaching the Daily Mail (I’ve no evidence but I’d love to see it happen) or indeed, the timely arrival of your transport to a protest with this sillymrhawkins cocktail:

2 parts Absinthe
2 parts white rum
1 part crème de menthe

Shaken over ice, served in a frosted martini glass or decanted into a thermos. This is warming, with a fresh minty finish, and served short – just in case you’re kettled overnight.


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