£3.80 versus £3.8bn: you decide on the justice of this.

Earlier today (and many times previously) I have commented on the grossly socially unfair (almost quasi-Victorian) style of much justice in the UK. My piece first thing today I opined:

‘…..the legal system operates to bully the vulnerable (Newscorp) protect the powerful (Met Police) ignore the wind-sailors (Jeremy Hunt) arrest the politically incorrect (Stonewall) control the media (Andrew Marr) and recognise fewer and fewer financial crimes as worthy of their attention (Barclays and RBS). In 2012, the main thing the legal system needs protection from is the lawyers running it.’

Harsh but fair. I’m indebted to David Archibald on Twitter but drawing my attention to this Torygraph piece which makes my case better than any oped might. Referring to the nights of rioting in London, the article is from August 2011. It reads:

‘Nicolas Robinson, 23, of Borough, south-east London, carried out the “opportunistic” theft [of a bottle of water] at a Lidl supermarket in Brixton as he walked home from his girlfriend’s house.

Robinson threw away the water and ran when he was confronted by police but was arrested and quickly admitted what he had done.

His solicitor told Camberwell Magistrates’ Court had “got caught up in the moment” and was “incredibly ashamed”. But District Judge Alan Baldwin said the background of “serious public disorder” was an aggravating feature.’

Members of this dangerous criminal’s family in the public gallery gasped with disbelief as the judge told him he would be going to prison….for six months.

Well Judge Baldwin, you are a hypotwit. A hypocrite because you know full well the real bad guys would’ve evaded prison by simple not turning up at the hearing. And a twit because you send an otherwise respectable young man to a place of incarceration whose generic track-record as a reformatory institution is utterly hopeless.

Nicolas Robinson had no criminal record. Robert E. Diamond Jr, however, has form going back to at least 2003 as a man who (as one New York District Judge declared in 2010), “Is evasive, unbelievable, and clearly in need of a tight leash”.

But Diamond Bob is a rich,powerful banker; and so crook or not, the question has not even been raised thus far by anyone in authority as to what charges (if any) he might face.

David Archibald holds, I’d imagine, many views miles across the spectrum of polemics from mine. But this isn’t left v right, it’s right v wrong. It is a stain upon British Justice and a disgrace of which we should all – regardless of political affiliation or social class – be ashamed.

53 thoughts on “£3.80 versus £3.8bn: you decide on the justice of this.

  1. We are in a position were the only ones that respect the law & justice is ordinary folk,probably because we are the only ones ever likely to face it
    That gives the meek the moral ground, maybe it is time for the meek to inherit the earth


  2. D.L – are you really trying to say that zionists (anti.semite’s word for Jews – bribed the justice system to ensure that Jewish property does not get stolen? May the world jewish conspiracy provide your nasty empty head with a few of its spare brain cells!


  3. JW – you rightly highlight:
    His solicitor told Camberwell Magistrates’ Court had “got caught up in the moment” and was “incredibly ashamed”. But District Judge Alan Baldwin said the background of “serious public disorder” was an aggravating feature.’
    And the District Judge wasn’t caught up in the moment? Along with Cameron et al and their supporters who demand lock-em-up-throw-away the key-take-away-their-council-houses-end-their-families’-benefits?
    Yes, such cases are vomit-inducing.


  4. The secret family courts threw the book at me for being a victim of crime. They spent a huge amount of money, (huge for me that is, for people like Bob Diamond it would be peanuts) at least £100,000 making mine and my son’s life as miserable as they possibly could over a seven year period. I just cannot understand why no-one has been arrested over this massive fraud yet. Sorry if I am like a broken record but surely, surely there must be some real cops somewhere? Because I always thought the police were there to arrest thieves, swindlers and other miscreants?


  5. Sickening-I shall live in fear of the water bottle gangs that roam the streets ,but ,tell you what ,a thousand times less than I fear what the robbing barstewards have done to our country our savings and national integrity.Now thats real crime by real powerful people .who should know better.


  6. Punish the ones to whom it matters. It’s no good trying to punish the ones to whom it does not matter.
    It the only way they know. Have I said this before? Scum.


  7. Did the home office or any other government department issue any guidelines to be applied on sentencing for otherwise minor crimes related to the riots?

    If so, who, and what were the new guidelines and how did they differ from guidelines that were in force at the time?


  8. £3.80 versus £3.8bn. Yes that´s about the same relation as between Barclays´ Libor rate manipulation and the regulators interest rates manipulations done by mean of capital requirements based on perceived risk… and yet!


  9. I’ve just been reading a book about the Norman Conquest and what the robber barons did to the indigenous people. From that date nearly a thousand years ago there has been one law for the rich and another for the poor.
    (And the Normans were originally Norse so please don’t start frog-bashing :)


  10. woe

    Look out your window, baby, there’s a scene you’d like to catch The band is playing “Dixie,” a man got his hand outstretched Could be the fuhrer, could be the local priest You know, sometimes Satan, you know, he come as a man of peace
    He got sweet gift of gab, he got harmonious tongue He know every song of love that ever has been sung Good intentions can be evil, both hands can be full of grease You know that sometimes Satan come as a man of peace
    Well, first he’s in the background, then he’s in the front Both eyes are lookin’ like they’re on a rabbit hunt Nobody can see through him, no, not even the chief of police You know that sometimes Satan come as a man of peace
    Well, he catch you when you’re hopin’ for a glimpse of the sun Catch you when your trouble feel like they weigh a ton He could be standin’ next to you, the person that you’d notice least I hear that sometimes Satan come as a man of peace
    Well, he can be fascinating, he can be dull He can ride down Niagara Falls in the barrels of your skull I can smell somethin’ cookin’, I can tell there’s goin’ to be a feast You know that sometimes Satan come as a man of peace
    He’s a great humanitarian, he’s a great philanthropist He knows just where to touch you, honey and how you like to be kissed He’ll put both his arms around you You can feel that tender touch of the beast You know, sometimes Satan come as a man of peace
    Well, the howlin’ wolf will howl tonight, the king snake will crawl Trees that’ve stood for a thousand years, suddenly will fall Wanna get married? Do it now, tomorrow all activity will cease You know, sometimes Satan come as a man of peace


  11. What an absolute disgrace. 6 months for a bottle of water? They’ll be cutting off his hands next!

    While our Bob can swindle and cheat the nation out of millions if not billions and just has to pick and choose his bonus.


  12. @InTeleGent: Zionist is not an anti-semite’s word for Jews at all.
    I grant you that some people might abuse it in that way (including many Jews themselves in the way you just have), but Zionism was – and is – a well known movement among (mostly Ashkenazi) Jewish people and was instrumental in creating the State of Israel.


  13. As if further proof were needed to the innumeracy of the Human Species….

    Same can be said about the morals of the Judiciary, Bankers and the Politicians of course who all would rather take the easy route against the weak than attempt to match their own…. All comes down to Fear in the end.

    Until it doesn’t….


  14. But it has always been that way here. In the old days you were hanged for stealing a shilling, for sixpence you were sent to America or Australia. And is it really any different anywhere else? The US is far worse.


  15. no, mr robinson was dragged-up in a highly respectable family and being drugged-up was no excuse, he should have known better, but i agree that a custodial sentence could well have proved counterproductive – six lashes for the water-thief, six billion lashes for the fake-diamond-fraudster and that will put an end to all this nonsense for good.

    yes, prison is a universality of crime – and i note that robinson did his time behind the gates of number ten, i saw him pratting around in the front car-park every damn evening, god knows what kind of miscreants he befriended in there…


  16. “(And the Normans were originally Norse so please don’t start frog-bashing :)”

    oh come on…be a sport.


  17. i heard that the norsemen were real hardcore muesli-eating tree-hugging sandal-shod liberal do-gooding peace-pipe-puffing flower-people until they went on a day-trip to boulogne (to stock up on duty-free organic camembert) an’ the frogs spiked their lentil soup with class-a garlic. the rest is history.


  18. Here we go again.

    Robinson didn’t steal a bottle of water. He was stealing an entire case of water when he was disturbed by police in the shop whilst looking around for other stuff worth nicking.

    He was actually sent down for playing a part in the rioting, because being part of a riot is a criminal offence in itself. Maybe he didn’t know that rioting was a crime, but ignorance of the law is never a defence. The theft of a case of water was the icing on the cake.

    Please stick to the bloody facts!!!! You’re just repeating the tripe the MSM come up with! They only write bullshit like this to make the uncontraversial seem contraversial.

    By the way, if you have reason to believe that Bob Diamond commited a crime then have the balls to put it in writing what the crime is, rather than pussy-footing around.


  19. Forging the will sounds just like the establishment again
    Give them hope,fairness & they will follow & many will shine


  20. No it was an entire case of water weighing I would estimate 6 kilos which he cast aside in order to make a run for it. I assume that, because at Lidl you can get at least a 12 x 500ml pack for £3.80. The Judge simply saw through the load of baloney given by his defence lawyer and threw the book at him, because he realised that Mr Robinson was playing a full part in the riot and intended to steal not just a case of water but anything else he could get his hands on. His defence lawyer’s attempt to create a narrative whereby Mr Robinson felt thirsty on walking home from his girlfriend’s house and then entered LIDL entirely oblivious to the rioting going on around him apparently fell on deaf ears. The Judge furthermore didn’t believe that Mr Robinson cast the water aside having realised the full horror of his appalling wrongdoing just at the moment the police turned up. No, the Judge was of the opinion that Mr Robinson cast the water aside simply because it is difficult to run away from two bobbies when you are holding in two hands an entire case of water weighing more than a bag of potatoes. The judge was impressed that Mr Robinson entered a plea of guilty, but for most of us the fact he was caught red-handed by two policemen would have made that rather superfluous. I suppose it made the paperwork less arduous.

    I have to hand it to his lawyer. ““Got caught up in the moment” gives the impression that Mr Robinson had never intended to be part of the riot, despite…. being part of the riot. Perhaps all of us, seeing a riot, might “get caught up in the moment” and start looting, rather than running away as one might first suspect. Apparently Mr Robinson was also “incredibly ashamed” – although it is not clear whether Mr Robinson was incredibly ashamed for being part of a riot and then thieving or whether he was just ashamed for being caught.

    A closer look at the facts shows that the district judge was indeed correct to consider Mr Robinson’s story a complete fabrication created in part by his lawyer in order to avoid those serious charges associated with looting and riotous assembly and instead focussing on a minor shoplifting 1st offence. Mr Robinson got 6 months and a criminal record because he was playing his full part in a serious riot and was looting – everything else he said was a lie (including, I suspect, his claims that he was studying to be an electrician, had a girlfriend and was otherwise “respectable”).


  21. I would write out Bob Diamonds crimes myself, but I am still busy puzzling over what my crime was, to have been dragged through the secret courts over 7 years at great expense. I didn’t steal any water or take part in any riot, all I seemed to do that caused offence is be a victim of crime!


  22. Happily that is easily remedied, remove your cash, if you haven’t already done so. Are there people who haven’t, still?


  23. Should be quite interesting as the banks don’t actually hold all of the cash, only a fraction of it.


  24. “Please stick to the bloody facts!!!! You’re just repeating the tripe the MSM come up with! They only write bullshit like this to make the uncontraversial seem contraversial.

    By the way, if you have reason to believe that Bob Diamond commited a crime then have the balls to put it in writing what the crime is, rather than pussy-footing around.”

    That’s a pity, just as I was beginning to think there was some hope that you might be learning to present an argument without getting insulting and aggressive, you blow it.

    I happen to think your view has merit on this issue, but you seem unable still to avoid presenting yourself as an arrogant twerp in the way you set it out. Like it or not, that’ll undermine the credibility of the message every time.

    Perhaps you are very young and haven’t grasped that yet.


  25. @Just Sayin’: Far from being harsh, but fair, the sentence imposed on Nicholas Robinson simply looks expensive and unnecessary. A high level community order would have been more appropriate and within current sentencing guidelines. By slurring Robinson with your ‘suspicions’ in your final sentence, and elsewhere, you undermine your own argument which seeks to accuse others of misrepresenting the facts.


  26. @ WFD
    If you reread the article, the Danes have done this because a lot of money as entered the Danish Banking System.

    The NSI did this some time ago when it scrapped NSI Inflation Linked Bonds and reduced its %rates on deposit a/c’s.

    Hence the property bubble in London and South East.

    The short/long term answer is to scrap Council Tax and bring in a property tax of 1% on ALL property [empty or not] KTS&F= Keep Tax Simple & Fair.



  27. I don’t agree on a fixed Council/property tax. An ability to pay local tax, would be my choice.


  28. Yes Wfd, agreed. Alternatively a local Income Tax.

    Flat rate property tax based on value (what else?) is pernicious. Just as people are coming to an age at which they have paid off their mortgage, have less ability to command an income and resign themselves to living out their old age frugally, some social engineering fanatic decides to rob them of their only asset or force them to sell up and move (good luck with that at the moment) just in case they don’t end up robbing them via an old age targeted institutional home.

    It’s either ageism or the politics of envy, little to separate the two. Any tax based on a formulae which takes no account of ability to pay is theft, plain and simple.


  29. “Hence the property bubble in London and South East.”

    Nothing to do with supply and demand then?

    The two are related surely?


  30. I was joking, saw the words & with corruption so rampant could not resist,but that is exactly what corruption breeds


  31. JS
    I notice that you, rather conveniently, completely ignored the comparative nature of my piece.
    But can I assume that, in that context, you think a 600 million year jail sentence with no remission would also be justice for R. E. Diamond Jr.
    Or not?


  32. JS
    An entire case of water worth…..£3.80.
    He could’ve stolen an entire bottle of wine worth £5.63.
    The ‘case’ dimension is irrelevant: £3.80 versus £3.8 billion, 6 months versus a prime-time TV gig.
    Get real, man.


  33. Oh, fer god’s sake J Saying, do you really think a “hard core crim” as you seem bent on portraying this poor schlub, would go into a store, look around and say, hmmm there’s a fine thing to nick, a case of water? Perhaps you aren’t aware that water is one of the heavier things around and being pretty common hasn’t really got the value/weight thing going for it like silver, gold or steak. Perhaps Robinson was caught because he was looking for a skid of bricks to purloin as well.


  34. Good story John, sadly there’s a million of them. Since the beginning of civilization we’ve had legal systems, sometimes erroneously called “justice systems.” The civics lesson rationale is that otherwise we’d all be running amok pretty much all the time (despite evidence to the contrary).

    These systems have always had the underlying motive of codifying behaviour that protects the rich and powerful from any consequences of their plundering of the rest of their fellow humans. And the corollary is the punishment of anyone stepping outside these proscriptions to advance their own interests. It is a con.

    The progress of the law such as the Magna Carta and other “milestones” has come about through groups within society gaining enough power to push through reforms. Justice has never prevailed as a good in and of itself. An old American union slogan went, “take it easy boys, but take it!”
    That bespeaks an understanding that it was (and is) about power.

    So now we’ve reached a stage–late stage capitalism actually–where the elite have overreached to such an extent that greater numbers of people are waking up to the reality of our system(s)–the 1% and the 99%. Although it really is more like the .0001% and the rest of us.

    So Just Saying, I hope for your sake you’re in that small elite group ’cause otherwise you’re jes shuckin’ for d’ man!


  35. Well I too am making a comparison, between a man seen committing a known felony in the middle of a riot and found guilty in a court of law after admitting he had commited a crime, and a man as yet uncharged with anything and therefore innocent until proven guilty. Perhaps I should go on a make comparisons between those bloggers prepared to make accusations of all kinds without putting anything into writing that might be construed as libel, and those bloggers that are happy to put their balls on the line when they know they have evidence of wrongdoing.

    By all means accuse Mr Diamond of a felony if you know exactly what that felony is and have evidence to back it up, but so far you have only made vague accusations of wrongdoing whilst misreporting much of what has been going on. That don’t impress me much. That sounds like lynch-mob justice. I don’t like lynch-mobs. If political blogging is all about organising lynch mobs it seems it doesn’t have much to offer.


  36. Do you have trouble reading??? He was sent down for being part of a riot. That is a serious crime in the UK in itself. The water didn’t really come into it. That was just the way the Torygraph reported it, because they are in the business of selling penny dreadfuls in a declining market and they know contraversy sells, so they made a simple case as contraversial as possible by failing to present the prosecution case in their story. The just presented the defence case which the judge (who was actually there) regarded as a complete fabrication. You fell for it hook line and sinker.


  37. As I said, he was sent down for rioting. This is a serious crime in the UK. The water had little to do with it.

    If you were part of a mob that ran around town smashing windows, setting fire to buildings and looting you would not be able to get away with it by saying you personally didn’t actually smash any windows or set fire to any buildings, you only stole a cheap crate of water. No, you would get sent down for being part of the gang and contributing to the atmosphere of violence and criminality, rather than walking away. The Torygraph attempted to present it another way because they are in the business of selling newspapers, not in the business of reporting the truth. The truth is there in what they have written, but obscured by the way it is presented. They wanted to present it as a controversy of right vs wrong, justice vs injustice to incite their readers to powerful emotions. Actually it was an open and shut case and there was no controversy – but that’s a bit dull isn’t it? If you went through the newspapers and crossed out all the stories that were sexed up you’d be left with the football results.


  38. Look, if you did a Guido Fawkes and presented me with the documentary evidence showing just how Bob Diamond is guilty of fraud then go ahead and make sure he is charged! I promise to cheer you on! So far nobody has spelt out what actual laws have been broken, let alone provided any evidence. Is making false submissions of a banks perception of its borrowing rates from other banks illegal? I have no idea – nobody has shown me any evidence that it is and I’d love to know for sure. I think, however, that it might be no more illegal than making the false claim that England is the best football team in the world (a claim that nets the FA millions every year). They just don’t like Bob Diamond and the way he makes money, in the way I don’t like Simon Cowell. I’d love to see Simon Cowell in gaol, but I can’t see it happening on the basis that his claim to know something useful about music is a pack of lies.

    This is England, not France. You are innocent until proven guilty here. End of. Please try and remember that. It is part of the common law which you so proudly refer to in your comment.


  39. When the bankers are brought to book I hope they pay big time, arrested and charged followed by confiscations of assets.
    But I disagree with your defence of this Nicolas Robinson, he took the opportunity to loot, it is immaterial what the goods were valued, he took part in the rioting as soon as he walked into that shop and stole from it.
    and that is what he was charged with.


  40. Tax should be based on three things.
    1] Earnings or income
    2] Consumption &
    3] Fixed or immovable Assetts.
    Regarding the comment below
    * It’s either ageism or the politics of envy, little to separate the two. Any tax based on a formulae which takes no account of ability to pay is theft, plain and simple.
    a] certain people declare little taxed income, hence pay little tax. Yet live in very expensive property, or are non-resident.
    b] regarding older people who are property rich, but cash poor. answer is simple you just roll over the 1% tax and claim it off their estate. Simpler then means tested benefits, plus it puts a stop on the,”can’t pay, won’t pay brigade.”
    * For info, i am not an ageist, i am an old grey haired pensioner who as benefited from House inflation, a good final salary pension and am now in receipt of my state pension having paid all my NI contributions. Apart from State Pension, Bus Pass & Winter Fuel Allowance and the occasional use of the NHS. Have never claimed a penny, means tested or otherwise.


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