SHEDNOTES 85: Separating sex and politics

The Shed has reluctantly accepted that it should comment on the business of inappropriate sexual behaviour, which is driving a lot of politics and civil service effort without dissent from any direction.
Theresa May said in a recent article that a victim had warned her years ago that once the stone was turned over, it would become clear that exploitation and assault were everyday practice everywhere, and she was probably right to say that that case has now been dramatically made. The Shed is less sure, however, that the answer is more state intervention.
The prosecutions of elderly men for the way they used to behave have a reasonable political purpose and The Shed shrugs acceptance of most of them. But there have been signs of over-zealousness by a Crown Prosecution Service feeling guilty about all the times it refused, with some good reasons, to try to arbitrate in the murky business of regrets and revengefulness arising from unforced sexual encounters between adults.
Lately, we have all been reminded what we thought was acceptable in the 1970s. We did not all necessarily like or agree with all of it but to some extent, if you were there, you probably reflected the language and assumptions of the time. Even The Shed has moved on a bit since 1978, however, and we are a little uneasy about the political drive to lay down new rules for today by judging another age.
Even in our new condition of enlightenment, we should be hesitant about asking the police to interfere more. It remains as difficult as it always was to know who has been exploited and who is looking for attention or justification or compensation.
Parents and churches and the media and schools and social services will ensure that our children grow up more suspicious than we did. The Shed is not sure there is a lot more to be done and requests permission to go back to talking about Rawlplugs.

morelater …

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