THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Out of purdah soon?
Betrayal?

The Devine Comedy

Except it isn't really funny, is it? This trade unionist and stalwart of the workers' party chose (partly) to defend himself by blaming an innocent employee. He may claim he did not understand he was doing wrong in filing forged expense claims, but what kind of a man cannot see the wrong in false witness?

This is the hypocrite who claimed he could not name another employee because she was working while on benefits. He told the police "My dad was a miner. We don't grass." The jury seems to have concluded that the woman he so nobly "protected" was as fictional as the one he freely, falsely "grassed" was real.

Even forgetting about his paltry fraud for the moment, this is the kind of bullying, selfish behaviour one might expect from a "filthy capitalist" (if indoctrinated by the British education system, balanced coverage from the BBC and liberal insight from Guardian). Never underestimate a socialist in these fields of endeavour though.

From the moment he was interviewed on Channel 4 news, it was clear that Devine's only defence was that which is famously unavailable to us all; ignorance of the law. That's no defence (often sadly) even if it is ignorance of complex and technical issues. It's still less so if it is ignorance of the basic concepts of law. It is the very opposite of a defence when it is ignorance of the morality on which good law is founded.

Jim Devine is a petty thief, but that's the very least of it. He abused the trust of his electors, and of all taxpayers. He tried to blame innocents for his own crimes. Confronted with his crimes, he lied, lied and lied again. Sentencing guidelines recommend a premium on criminals who abuse positions of trust (e.g. accountants stealing from their employers). Devine certainly merits such a premium. He has also earned an extra dose of jail time for his failure to plead guilty (as I am confident his lawyers must have advised him to do, given the evidence). I hope his wronged ex-secretary can raise the funds (there's no legal aid for defamation cases) to bankrupt the wretch for his slander.

But then, to men like him, property is theft and people are mere ingredients for Socialism's great omelette. Perhaps, as he heads to gaol, this degenerate will tell himself that, in one way at least, he lived up to his principles.

Labour has renounced him of course. Councillor Terry Kelly once more proudly bears the heavily-contested dunce's cap of the Scottish Party. Fair play to him though. Crackpot he may be, but he is a better man than Jim Devine.

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