Sunday, 26 June 2011

On the Dowlers

Without ignoring their pain, the power of which I can't begin to feel, or speaking about the court room ordeal that must have added to it, was it right for the Dowler family's understandably vengeful comments about Levi Bellfield to be broadcast so widely and enthusiastically?

Playing over and over again their request that Bellfield be treated as brutally as their murdered daughter - comments that would surely be portrayed as incitement if the context were different, for there are many people inside who will happily do just that - could equally make the media complicit in anything that does happen to him, were we so inclined to view it.

I can't blame the Dowlers for having such thoughts, although I hope they will be able to moderate them over time. True, they expressed them in front of the media, so should have known (and have been advised) what would happen with their words, but they weren't entirely responsible for the rest of us knowing about them. It's a tricky one, self-censorship.

On a loosely connected subject, can we have a stop to police spokesmen and -women standing outside court houses condemning those who have been found guilty? Their job is to catch offenders, not to discourse on how evil they are.

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