The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

My Photo
Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's Been A Good Few Years For The Greeks

Not your modern Greeks, oh no - lumbered as they are with the overhang of an unaffordable spending spree with other people's money - but their ancient forbears, whose analysis of the human condition has been proved right over thousands of years.

Hubris, Nemesis and Catharsis underlie Greek tragedy, and the tragedy of humanity is that every generation has to learn all over again, the hard way, that the Greeks had it spot on.

Take as a forinstance the newly-incarcerated Charlie Gilmour. A scion of the rock aristocracy, a pretty boy who had tried his hand at modelling, a beneficiary of his dad's U-turn on whether 'we don't need no edukayshun' to the extent that he attended Lancing and Cambridge. He is (was?) reading history, but it looks as if he missed the ancient Greek bit that might have helped warn him of the dangers ahead.

He will have been an undergraduate A-lister, with the money the looks and the contacts to lead a massively privileged life; invited to the best parties, fawned over by the prettiest and most accommodating girls. He must have felt like a young master of the universe - until the sky fell in.

He went to the big London student demo, his not-specially-coherent political views supercharged by the usual chemical enhancers, and he must have been exhilarated by the heady atmosphere of the day as he yelled his secondhand agitprop slogans. The Cenotaph flag business was a big mistake, but he won't have realised that until the cold light of morning. A half-hearted attempt to set light to the Supreme Court with scrunched-up newspaper was thwarted by a policeman's Size Nines, and then came the ruckus around Prince Charles' limo, with its police escort.

So there was hubris all right, and nemesis arrived this week in the shape of a prison sentence. It was a tricky one for the judge to balance, but I think he got it about right. I hope that young Gilmour's brief experience of prison will teach him some useful things about life end his fellow man, as la jeunesse dorée meets the underclass. Call it catharsis if you like.