The advice from the Senior Presiding Judge about blogging by J.P.s was quite rightly criticised in many places. One paragraph of said document was quite interesting, “ They must also avoid expressing opinions which, were it to become known that they hold judicial office, could damage public confidence in their own impartiality or in the judiciary in general”. Compare that blogging guidance with the remarks, albeit reported in the Daily Mail, of a crown court judge with regard to a previous hearing of the defendant who was before him recently at the Old Bailey. Besides having his terminology arguably wrong it was quite clear that he was being critical of the previous outcome. “On the face of it something has gone terribly wrong. I cannot know what the Crown Court knew, and I’m not criticising them, but something has gone wrong in some way”. IMHO he is indeed making a critical comment then covering himself from any self inflcted repercussions. H.H. Judge Charles Wide QC should not fear criticism from his judicial superiors. He deserves our praise for his almost plain speaking. It is a lack of such candour from the mouths of this country`s elite that has brought us to where we are now. Instead of the mealy mouthed platitudes to openness the secretive attitude that pervades higher levels in many parts of the professional classes, governmental and civil service employees, business leaders and royal letter writing to cabinet ministers is eroding public confidence of the governed. Retired generals, chief constables, cabinet ministers and BBC chiefs in recent days have all had the spotlight of truth shone upon their shoddy dealings. Even I, a simple blogger, knew of J.Savile`s criminality over 30 years ago. A good friend in the BBC make up department at that time told me then it was common knowledge. So much for the denials of the last week from those who were closely involved in his programme making.
So I doff my virtual hat to the good judge. May any of his future remarks be equally or even more direct.