Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Jon Venables - Public Interest?

At long last Jack Straw and the government have put a stop to this media frenzy by not issuing different statements contradicting each other, but being clear about what's happening. This situation was so poorly managed by Downing Street. It was inevitable that given public interest the media will be seeking information. It was also inevitable that the family of James Bulger would be pushed into the spot light. Just saying you have nothing to say wasn't going to do anything under these circumstances.

All this media speculation was far worse than just providing some information. If becoming public knowledge that Venables had been arrested again, couldn't have just been suppressed. They should have managed the situation by giving a public statement from the onset, being clear that he was facing an investigation, thus until definite charges and a conviction are brought no information should be released.

What happened to James Bulger was an appalling crime, yet either everyone is entitled to a fair trial or we're left with that statement having a caveat. It is not in the public interest at large for the rule of law to be bent by politicians or newspapers selling papers. We cannot have trial by media. Jack Straw is right to stand his ground.

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