This is not the post I was planning to write. Firstly Happy New Year and I hope 2015 is a joyous and prosperous year for you all. I would have then liked to undertake an assault on all things detox in a fun way. Yes, I'm not detoxing. When did detoxing become such a multi million pound business, oh and juicing. Juicing is the new Snickers. Anyway there's not a whiff of kale being pulverised on my patch, however there's not a drop of alcohol coming near me this month in support of Dry January. No alcohol is probably the cheapest and best detox you can undertake.
Alcohol is under examination on all fronts, from it potential benefits or on the other hand its lack of benefits to health. Then there is it's impact on society and the NHS. It has been ever thus. Read Chaucer and you will find a modern take on our modern life. And in Chaucer's day they had a fair few choice words for people such as....Ched Evans. The base knave who is dominating our media. (Technically 'base knave' is Shakespearian and therefore early modern English, Chaucer was Middle English fyi)
It is a fact that we are besieged by a tale of a maid who was most unholy abused in a state of inebriation. In plain very modern English, the young woman was pissed out of her mind. To her bad fortune she chanced upon Clayton McDonald and went with him to his hotel room. Later on Ched Evans turned up. I won't go into the details of the case as you can read about it everywhere. Suffice it to say the victim awoke naked and asleep in her own urine. Ched Evans was convicted of rape.
What is of consequence are the English words - consent and rehabilitation. There is no doubt that the victim was in no position to consent to any sexual act. McDonald was cleared on the basis the victim 'willingly' went to the hotel room with him. Now a drunk woman eating a pizza at 3am is a 'catch' huh. McDonald even texted Evans to say 'I've got a bird'.
It doesn't take much to understand that a very drunk 19 year old woman (or girl) is immature and vulnerable. Equally the defendants were undoubtedly immature but they were not in a vulnerable position. Yet Mr Evans seems hell bent on returning to his 'profession' namely football under the guise of 'having served his time'. Hence the reason for the timing of this post because we seemed to be a nation divided, the division is between those who are appalled by the attempts of Oldham Athletic FC to employ Evans as a striker. A lot of us cannot accept the notion of 'rehabilitation' applies in this case. Most convicted rapists are unable to return to their jobs on the basis of either not being allowed to by law i.e. teachers, barred from working abroad, banned from being a director of a football club, police and so on, plus actually the probation service has to give permission to sex offenders on licence to take up new jobs. Countless private companies do not allow people back into their previous jobs or would employ a convicted rapist, certainly not without due process taking place.
The fact is a footballer is in the public eye and has become, as most sports people, deemed to be a 'role model'. Actually the profile and nature of this case means clubs are flaunting something very unpalatable in the face of football supporters who are women, children and men who find the whole case abhorrent. Even if on appeal in the unlikely event he is found not guilty of rape, he is certainly guilty of very bad behaviour and choosing to do something most human beings wouldn't, in Rhyl, in the early hours of a Sunday morning. He showed a grave lack of judgement and a self serving nature. He hasn't apologised, shown remorse and has failed to silence his army of supporters who have set about abusing the victim.
The case is no longer about Ched Evans - it is about decency, standards and the ability of businesses including football to set a moral benchmark in society; which sends a clear message to all that rape or taking advantage of your position in any form is unacceptable and we - includes all of us who are tweeting, speaking and writing alongside notable people like @PollyVernon and @henrywinter who have written far more eloquently than me- are standing up to stop future Ched's.