The sentences being given to those who have looted are offensive. I’m delighted so many are saying so.
I do, of course, agree that crime must be punished, but what we’re seeing is a rash of sentencing that reflects what might be called ‘moral outrage’ – and very candidly, politically directed moral outrage at that.
But it’s curious - because it least it shows that judges (for many of the magistrates courts handing out these sentences are in fact being staffed by judges at present) can and do use moral judgment.
There is however complete reticence to do so in the case of tax avoidance. Then it is argued that such moral judgement would be wrong.
Why the dual standard?
Because we have this thing called “the law”. And in this terribly complicated system we make the difference between what is legal and what is illegal.
Judges only get to sentence people when they are found to have done something illegal. You know, broken the law as laid down by Parliament sorta stuff?
And looting is against the law. Tax avoidance is not against the law. In fact, the very definition of tax avoidance is that it is not against the law. Thus no judge ever gets to express their moral outrage about tax avoidance while sentencing simply because no one is ever found guilty under the law of tax avoidance and thus no one is ever sentenced for tax avoidance.
For the very definition of tax avoidance is that it is legal.
What is it about this reality shit that Ritchie has such a hard time grasping?