Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Free speech and foolishness

Once again our passionate little nation is in thrall to the Bain case (see my comments posted 8 June 2009). Last night a television documentary tried to persuade us that the acquitted David Bain should not receive compensation. At least that was its import; ostensibly it merely suggested that there was no case to be made against one of the five murdered victims, Robin Bain. At trial the defence had suggested that Robin was the killer.

There will always be differences of opinion over who was the murderer. People who were not at the trial and who did not hear all the witnesses and see all the evidence cannot possibly have worthwhile opinions on that issue. Even people who sat through the whole case disagree on its outcome. If people can't agree on whether there was a reasonable doubt, how can they agree on whether on the balance of probabilities the acquitted David Bain should receive compensation?

The case has almost left the law behind. It is now a form of entertainment, as is the expression of all ill-informed opinion. My own views are just as likely to be silly as those of anyone else who was not at the trial. I can argue either side, and in fact do, depending on who I wish to irritate. The tragedy has become a farce.