We’re Going to Need A Bigger Cake

EYEconsider Labour peer Jean Corston’s claim that there is indisputable evidence that the justice system treats women more harshly.


Recently EYEreflected on the Guardian’s painfully obvious ad hominem attack on Tory MP Phillip Davies.

Whatever you think of Phillip Davies or the Tories, the only thing more cringe inducing than the overt political bias of Jamie Grieson’s premeditated puff piece was the inevitable fact that not one person rushing to outrage on social media was remotely interested in discussing why they thought Davies was on the wrong side of a debate about inequalities in criminal justice outcomes.

Two days after his initial assault, Grieson belatedly published a second piece clarifying that Philip Davies’ claim that courts favour women was ‘not backed by evidence’.

This may have been in response to various comments posted below the line of his original article pointing out that Davies’ 45 minute lecture it referenced actually appeared to outline quite a lot of supporting evidence.

Or perhaps someone was catching on to the possibility that a relatively small number of predominately white middle class, well connected #feministzelots posting pictures of themselves smugly having their cake and eating it (in an effort to ‘speak truth to power) might be be coming across as a tad smug and ironic (outside of their immediate echo chamber obviously).

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Either way Labour peer Jean Corston was rolled out to confirm that there is indisputable evidence that the justice system treats women more harshly’.

“I know Philip Davies and obviously he’s entitled to his opinion, but I just want some evidence. If his evidence is there’s only 4,000 women in prison and 80,000 men, that doesn’t tell you that the courts are soft on women. Baroness Corston

In order to support this preferred patriarchal perspective, the former chair of the parliamentary Labour party provided one anecdotal example, involving a life sentence for a first offense.

Confusingly she then attempted to undermine the reams of quantitative data available from the Ministry Of Justice by pointing out  that ‘when a judge or magistrate hands down sentence they must consider a range of factors including harm caused, culpability and factors increasing or decreasing the seriousness of the crime‘.

Presumably she wasn’t referring to the specific circumstances behind her one isolated example but rather guidance from the Judicial Studies Board and outlined in the Equal Treatment Bench Book which directs judges to treat female criminals more leniently than men when deciding sentences.

Sentencers must be made aware of the differential impact sentencing decisions have on women and men including the impact of imprisonment on mental and emotional well being; and the disproportionate impact that incarceration has on offenders who have caring responsibilities if they are imprisoned a long distance from home. Equal Treatment Bench Book

And as various people have been pointing out you don’t have to go further than the pages of the Guardian to find the evidence that Baroness  Corston seems to be overwhelmingly determined to ignore in her very one sided assessment.

And that’s before you even look at familiy court outcomes which is one of the headline issues of those ‘knuckle dragging’ men’s right’s activists.

Meanwhile Davies remained unapologetic for his perspective and 97% of Express Readers seem to agree with him which might explain why over in the Guardian,  Julie Bindel arguing against Jury trials in rape cases.

My only misgiving in wholly supporting doing away with jurors in rape cases is that it might give leverage to those who wish to abolish the jury system altogether.  Julie Bindel

And a member of a rival political party to Phillips who isn’t one of his constituents has started a petition on behalf  of them to get him to step down…

EYEthink we’re going to need a bigger cake…


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