But all Clarke actually did was to make a modest factual error – not the most heinous offence in an extensive live radio interview – in suggesting that there were grades of rape. In practice, judges make distinctions about degrees of seriousness every day in their sentencing, while upholding the law that defines rape as rape. The two are not incompatible.There are certain areas in public life that certain groups have made no-go areas for general discussion let alone dissent, and Dejevsky is critical of the extreme feminists in this instance. She follows the above with:
As crimes go, of course, rape is surrounded by a singular mystique. But mystique does not belong in a court of law. And the outcry, such as it was, about Clarke's words was itself based on a misconception about rape cases and British courts. Recent figures show that convictions in rape cases are now on a par with those for most other crimes – at just short of 60 per cent. Yet the old, old statistic – that only 6 per cent of reported rapes result in a conviction – is routinely wheeled out to "prove" that rape is different.For once I can commend the Independent for an an extremely informative and balanced article, dare I say a must read to those who have been foaming at the mouth over Clarke's comments. Miliband Jr might find it especially informative after his foam flecked, hysterical rant in the House of Commons this week .