Pubdate: Sun, 09 Jan 2000
Date: 01/09/2000
Source: Observer, The (UK)
Author: Robert Merkin
Authors: Robert Merkin

The imprisonment of Ruth Wyner and John Brock is a perversion. As a
volunteer manager with a church-alliance emergency winter homeless
shelter in the United States, any of my colleagues could easily have
landed in precisely the same predicament at the bizarre but
commonplace whims of our nation's police and prosecutors.

What Judge Jonathan Haworth, police and prosecutors have done is fully
the moral equivalent of Nazi justice. Every process that led to it -
Acts of Parliament and government, methods of appointing judges, the
'tough on drugs/wrong message to our children' posturing for which we
robotically re-elect our politicians - is a symptom of a profoundly
disturbed society whose most educated have chosen to abandon moral

The universal prelude to the American, French, Russian, or the
just-accomplished Eastern European revolutions is a regime whose elite
systematically manufactures injustice and rigidly enobles it as
policy. When our most committed neighbours find themselves enemies of
the state, things change abruptly, and those who were Judge Haworths
are escorted from the bench to the dock.

Robert Merkin