Friday, 3 February 2012

Innocent until proven guilty, but...

Two stories of interest in similar ways in two completely different fields, both accused of crimes, both not yet proven guilty, both stepping down from a position of responsibility (one walked, one pushed).

Chris Huhne

You would have to have no interest in politics not to know that Chris has been having a rough time of it for a while, now it is official that he will be charged with perverting the course of justice for allegedly having his then wife (Vicky Pryce) take penalty points on her driving license that were actually incurred by Chris.  As such Chris has made the decision to stand down from the cabinet. 

I am a firm believer in innocence until someone's guilt has been proven, I hate the media hounding suspects and delving into people's lives to dig up the tiniest bit of dirt to help pin the image of guilt on a person that is a suspect for anything - I have blogged about this in the past, it should be up to a court to determine a persons guilt or innocence, anything the media digs up should be handed to the police if relevant to the case.  Anyway, I digress...  

In the case of Mr Huhne, I think he has made the correct decision to stand down.  He has always claimed his innocence and as such, before a charge was actually brought he was well within his right to stay in his job.  Now however I feel that there is enough of a mark on him that it would be impractical for him to remain in such a high profile position.  He must know whether or not he is guilty, if he is then he should have stood down at the very start rather than dragging it out, damaging his own reputation further.  I worry however that he didn't do so in order to not look like a guilty man or just that he thought it would go away.  

It's a shame that this hasn't given the opportunity for another woman to be placed in the cabinet, I'm sure Ed Davey will do a great job, however I'd have preferred to see Lynne Featherstone get a chance to step up - she is great as equalities minister but I'd give her an even more prominent position.  It is good to see Jo Swinson become one of Nick's closest advisors, but she could also have been more prominent.

John Terry

John Terry on the other hand, rather than jumping, has been pushed from his position as England captain.  Again, despite believing a person should remain presumed innocent until a judgement rules otherwise I think that this is the correct decision.

Given his previous scandals I don't feel that he is in the position to command the respect or authority that the position requires.  If his form is still good then I don't see why he shouldn't be in the squad, however I don't feel that it would be appropriate given the charge levied against him for him to be leading England.  The FA have shown with their punishment of Louis Suarez that they take any race incident seriously and I think that it is good that they have taken a similar stance with John Terry.  

What did dismay me was the fact that this trial isn't until after the Euro 2012 championships, almost as if it was scheduled to fit into John Terry's diary.  As an English fan I'd like this to be out of the way, either he's guilty and should be punished or isn't and should be free to go about his business, last thing I want is for him to be distracted whilst playing for his country this summer.  

We'll find out eventually what the future for both of these men holds, however I think it is best for both of them that they aren't in the limelight as much.

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