Sunday, July 05, 2009

Mother falsely accused husband of rape because 'she wanted him out of her life'

But this doesn't happen: Any feminist will tell you that

A lying mother who cried rape to get her estranged husband 'removed from her life' was jailed for four months yesterday. Michaela Lodge's 'wicked' allegation against innocent Martin Lodge resulted in him spending 12 hours in a cell. Only after three months did the 45-year-old mother-of-three confess she had made it all up so she could pursue an affair.

Judge Rodger Hayward Smith said her 'calculated' behaviour had done a great disservice to real rape victims'. Sentencing Lodge, who admitted perverting the course of justice, he said: 'It was a wicked allegation that was pre-planned to hasten his departure from your life.' Lodge, of Braintree, Essex, was arrested after finally confessing she had lied in a letter of apology to Mr Lodge begging his forgiveness.

Last night her 54-year-old husband told the Mail being arrested left him 'totally humiliated' but that his wife, who he supported in court, had 'learned her lesson'.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson told Chelmsford Crown Court Mr Lodge's ordeal began last November when his wife claimed he had raped her in the house they continued to share, even though they were estranged. Essex Police started a rape investigation and held Mr Lodge in custody for 12 hours and 49 minutes. He was released on bail after insisting he had gone to bed with his wife, but only at her invitation.

Two months later Lodge made a witness statement in which she said she did not want her husband prosecuted - but continued to maintain he had raped her. However in February she passed a letter to her husband, via her son Daniel, admitting the lie. It had 'a kiss underneath' his name on the envelope, the court heard. The letter read: 'I am so sorry about what I have done to you. My head was and is all over the place. 'I cannot deal with this any more, I need to put it right. When we went to bed we both wanted to make love and the fact is I lied to police about you raping me. 'I will say goodbye and hope one day you will be able to forgive me. I am so sorry.'

When arrested for making the false allegation, Lodge admitted she had lied. Mr Lodge was never charged. Marc Brown, defending, insisted Lodge had not acted out of malice or revenge and claimed she started having regrets almost immediately. He said: 'It was born out of a confused desire to remove him from the picture. She accepts it was an outright lie. She did what she did without thinking of the consequences.'

Lodge, whose three grown-up children are from a previous marriage, boasts on the Friends Reunited website that she loves 'nights in with a nice bottle of wine' and 'going out with my friends dancing'. Elsewhere she describes herself as 'bisexual', and has also posted photographs of herself in a short dress flashing her stocking tops.

She was jailed despite 'a magnanimous appeal for mercy' from her husband, asking the judge to spare her from prison. Last night Mr Lodge, a warehouseman who married his wife in 1994, said: 'When the police turned up I was totally gobsmacked. I couldn't believe what was going on. It was totally humiliating. 'But I really can't hold too much against her. Maybe I'm too soft - that's why I supported her in court. 'I think it's a very lenient sentence but I think maybe she could not have been sent to jail as I think she has learned her lesson.'


An old man with oldfashioned views

I don't at all agree with the views concerned but such views were perfectly normal in the 1930s and there is no doubt that they are still held by some today. I think they have a right to be expressed but I am fairly sure that he will end up in a British court over them. Though the authorities may be deterred by his high public profile

Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, said yesterday that he preferred totalitarian regimes to democracies and praised Adolf Hitler for his ability to “get things done”. In an outspoken interview with The Times, the 78-year-old billionaire chastised contemporary politicians for their weakness and extolled the virtues of strong leadership.

Mr Ecclestone said: “In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done. “In the end he got lost, so he wasn’t a very good dictator because either he had all these things and knew what was going on and insisted, or he just went along with it . . . so either way he wasn’t a dictator.” He also rounded on democracy, claiming that “it hasn’t done a lot of good for many countries — including this one [Britain]”.

Instead, Mr Ecclestone endorsed the concept of a government based on tyranny. “Politicians are too worried about elections,” he said. “We did a terrible thing when we supported the idea of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He was the only one who could control that country. It was the same [with the Taleban]. We move into countries and we have no idea of the culture. The Americans probably thought Bosnia was a town in Miami. There are people starving in Africa and we sit back and do nothing but we get involved in things we should leave alone.”

Mr Ecclestone, who plunged the Blair Government into a row about donations in 1997 after it emerged that he had given the party £1 million, has a reputation for being outspoken. Last month he said that Formula One needed a “black, Jewish woman who, if possible, wins some races”.

In 2008 he provoked uproar when he suggested racist comments directed at Lewis Hamilton on websites in the build-up to the Brazilian Grand Prix “started as just a joke”. However, he told The Times yesterday that he was deeply concerned when he saw fans “blacking up” to mock Hamilton, an act he described as racist.

However, his latest comments could prove deeply damaging. Claiming he likes “strong leaders”, such as Margaret Thatcher, Mr Ecclestone suggested that Max Mosley, his close friend, the president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), would make a good Prime Minister. Mr Mosley, the son of Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, was recently accused by Formula One racing teams of being a “dictator”.

Mr Ecclestone said: “I prefer strong leaders. Margaret Thatcher made decisions on the run and got the job done. She was the one who built this country up slowly. We’ve let it go down again. All these guys, Gordon and Tony, are trying to please everybody all the time. “Max would do a super job. He’s a good leader with people. I don’t think his background would be a problem.”

Mr Ecclestone’s remarks last night drew a strong reaction from Jewish groups and politicians. A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “Mr Ecclestone’s comments regarding Hitler, female, black and Jewish racing drivers, and dictatorships are quite bizarre. He says [in the interview], ‘Politics is not for me’, and we are inclined to agree.”

Stephen Pollard, Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, said: “Mr Ecclestone is either an idiot or morally repulsive. Either he has no idea how stupid and offensive his views are or he does and deserves to be held in contempt by all decent people.”

Denis MacShane, the Labour MP and chairman of the all-party inquiry into anti-Semitism, and chairman of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism, condemned Mr Ecclestone’s decision to align himself to a “growing” anti-democracy movement. “Of course democracy and the politicians are imperfect and full of fault,” he said. “But this fashionable contempt for the right of people to elect their own leaders is frankly frightening. “If Mr Ecclestone seriously thinks Hitler had to be persuaded to kill six million Jews, invade every European country and bomb London then he knows neither history and shows a complete lack of judgment.”

John Whittingdale, the Tory chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said: “These are extraordinary views and I’m appalled that anybody could hold them.”


Homophobia claim stokes war of words between the Tories and Labour

Both Left and Right in Britain are competing to support homosexuality

A furious political row over homophobia intensified last night when the Conservatives accused two openly gay ministers of “stirring up hatred and division” after they claimed that many Tory MPs were homophobic. As up to a million people prepared for the Gay Pride march in London today, Ben Bradshaw, the Culture Secretary, sparked outrage by declaring that “a deep strain of homophobia still exists on the Conservative benches”. Chris Bryant, the Foreign Office minister, added: “If gays vote Tory, they will rue the day very soon.” Harriet Harman, the Leader of the Commons, also weighed in, saying that David Cameron’s apology this week for the Conservative attitude on Section 28 was 25 years too late.

Alan Duncan, one of two gay Shadow Cabinet ministers, accused Mr Bryant and Mr Bradshaw of “stirring up hatred and division”. He said: “I have publicly paid tribute to Tony Blair for his achievements, particularly on introducing civil partnerships. David Cameron this week said that on Section 28 we had to admit we got it wrong. The party has changed. I bet in Labour backwaters there are plenty of people who don’t like the fact that Ben Bradshaw is gay.”

The Conservatives are keen to stress that their prospective election candidates include a number of gay people, including the party’s vice-chairman, Margot James, and that the next generation of Tory MPs will be more socially liberal. In a survey of 144 prospective parliamentary candidates in winnable seats for the ConservativeHome website, 62 per cent said that same-sex couples should be given the same benefits as married couples, while 31 per cent disagreed.

Mr Cameron apologised this week for Section 28, the controversial law brought in by the Conservatives in 1988 banning local authorities from portraying homosexuality in a positive light. Mr Cameron, the first Tory leader to speak at a Gay Pride event, said: “I am sorry for Section 28. We got it wrong. It was an emotional issue. I hope you can forgive us.”

His words were described as historic by Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall, the gay rights group, who added that the apology removed a major obstacle that had stopped many gay people voting Tory. However, Mr Bradshaw and Mr Bryant urged gay people to study Conservative voting records on issues such as gay adoption and hate crimes. Ms Harman, whose Equalities Bill would outlaw discrimination on the ground of sexuality, urged people to disregard Mr Cameron’s words.

She told Pink News: “I don’t think anyone should be fooled by the apology, which is already 25 years too late. It is not the view of the Tory party. They have voted against the Equality Bill. If they were sincere, they would support it.”

A survey by Jake, a networking group for gay professionals, found that 38 per cent of gay people questioned would vote Conservative, even though just 4 per cent said that the Tories were gay-friendly.


The modern world needs God

By Michael Duffy, writing from Australia

Although I am myself an atheist, I think there is much truth in the article below -- JR

At an iQ2 debate on the merits of private schools, sponsored by the Herald, one speaker got a lot of laughs by reading out the marketing spiel for some faith-based schools. These included such attractions as "horse-riding in a Christian environment". A significant section of the audience found the combination of Christianity and brash, American-style touting pretty funny.

They might not have found it so amusing, or at least surprising, if they had read God Is Back, a recent book by John Micklethwait, the editor of The Economist, and Adrian Wooldridge, the magazine's Washington bureau chief. It is a rebuttal of the idea, still powerful after two centuries, that religion is incompatible with modernity and the future will be secular. And it argues that one of the most successful types of religion at the moment is market-influenced, American-style Protestantism.

When we talk of the return of religion, it actually means very different things in the West and in the rest of the world. Outside the West, religion has come back as a matter of sheer numbers, because the many efforts to suppress it during the 20th century have collapsed. The most important of these was communism but many non-communist leaders, in nations such as Turkey and Iran, also believed the path to prosperity lay in a modernisation that could be achieved only by reducing the role of religion. Most of these efforts have stopped. In China, God Is Back says, there are now more church-going Christians than members of the Communist Party.

Added to these political changes has been the demographic escalator provided by the fact that poor countries usually have higher birth rates than rich ones. As the inhabitants of poor countries are also more likely to be religious, this means the proportion of the world's population that is religious is increasing, anyway.

When we turn to the West, the authors of God Is Back do not base their case on numbers. (This is just as well, because the fastest-growing belief category in America is actually non-believers: from 1990 to 2001 their numbers increased from 14 million to 29 million.) Instead, they make a different claim, which is that religion has returned to the "public space", where people such as intellectuals, politicians and journalists debate and are influenced by the intellectual fashions of the day.

The authors themselves inhabit this space, which has been hostile to God for a long time. They note that, following World War II, the focus of intellectual life moved away from religion "to technocratic social science in the 1950s, to the counterculture in the 1960s, to the debate about the relationship between the market and the state in the 1980s". In the 1970s Harvard University designed a core curriculum to broaden undergraduates' minds before they went on to specialise. Religion was ignored.

Indeed, for decades religion was a subject best avoided in most well-educated company. Often it was mocked. Faced with this hostility, many Christians withdrew from the public space, sometimes embracing dogma and raw emotion. In its millennium edition in 2000, The Economist newspaper handed God the ultimate indignity: it published His obituary.

But that has all changed. The change began a long time ago but, as the authors note, it was "supercharged" by September 11, 2001. University courses on religion flourish, and God can be discussed in the public space once more. Believers can admit they believe, and even non-believers have realised God matters.

Micklethwait and Wooldridge are interested to find that the form of Christianity having a lot of success around the world now is American Protestantism, often known as evangelism. They believe this is because it is particularly suited to the opportunities offered by globalisation - it is, if you like, a fine export product. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, the publication for which our authors work has been called the bible of the free market and of globalisation).

Because church and state have been separate in America since the revolution, churches have had to compete for adherents. This has led many to embrace marketing techniques (such as advertising and market research) and technology to a far greater extent than churches in countries that have some degree of state support. As a result, they are far more competitive and entrepreneurial, and the consumers respond accordingly: 44 per cent of Americans embrace a brand of Christianity different to the one they were brought up in.

The result of this process, according to our authors, is a superior product, which is now making huge inroads into the market share of the Catholic and other churches in South America, Africa and Asia.

This is interesting, and might provide one answer to the great puzzle of why Christianity has remained more popular in America than in Europe and Australia. Maybe American churches are just better at their job.

Another possible reason, implied rather than articulated in the book, is that religion is appealing (as a social and emotional prop) to people whose economic lives have been made more lonely and fraught because of deregulation, free trade and globalisation. If, as many believe, these economic changes are aspects of modernity, it might turn out that modernity, far from killing religion, will need it to survive.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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