What now seems many years ago, I flirted with the idea of going into Law. (A degree in English Literature qualifies you for ... well, ...).
I dutifully sat in on a few days at Oxford Magistrates to get a 'feel' for the business & found what I saw more then enough to confirm my initial suspicions.
One morning, in particular, sticks in the memory. Two cases. The first was an unemployed man down from the Midlands, in search of work, who had been caught stealing a Boots sandwich (price about £1.50). His Defence said that it should be taken into consideration that he had not eaten a proper meal in over a week. He was found guilty - a fact he did not deny - & was handed a 6 month jail sentence.
The very next case involved a group of undergraduates who had caused wilful damage to college & public property (estimated at several thousand pounds) after a night of general drunkenness & debauchery. Their Defence read out testaments from their respective tutors of good behaviour plus - & this I remember with particular clarity - a request that it be taken into consideration that they were to leave on a skiing trip in a couple of days.
They were found guilty but issued a caution.
Today's allegations by Lord Ashcroft concerning David Cameron occasions such recollections. It is abundantly clear that there is one law for the rich & another for everyone else. Cameron's misbehaviour - should it be proven true - will be consigned to youthful misdemeanours. In any case, if what you get up to takes place on private estates who's to know? (& there's always a fat cheque from Daddy to right the wrongs). It's also worth adding that anyone who attended Public School in the 70s will have been aware of parties which got seriously out of hand. Either you were there or heard about it after. Occasionally someone was expelled. Halcyon days of 'experiment' is the euphemistic term.
As Zizek has pinpointed time & again, notice how the outcry masquerades astonishment. Did anyone seriously not know that such things went on? Really?
Naturally the Press will swoop upon the salacious allegations. Of far more damage is the Ashcroft non-Dom knowledge.
There's a pig in a poke.