Are you losing any faith you have in our legal system,s people like Lord Jonathan Sumption in it? I am.*
On a BBC debate show, The Big Questions, discussing the cost of lockdown, he argued that he believed his children’s and grandchildren’s lives were worth more than his ‘because they’ve got a lot more of it ahead’.
It created considerable controversy when podcaster Deborah James, who has Stage 4 metastatic bowel cancer, said – well, see for yourself:
Deborah(stage 4 bowel cancer) Lord Sumption, I'm the person that you say whose life is not valuable.
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) January 17, 2021
Sumption tried to justify himself:
He said: ‘I object extremely strongly to any suggestion that I was inferring that Miss James’s life was less valuable because she had cancer.
‘I thought she was responding to my earlier comments about older people being protected by a total lockdown which is causing immense harm to the young who are unaffected.
‘That harm can be to their mental health or through cooping undergraduates up at university or through the loss of jobs.
‘I was saying this should not be inflicted on the young to protect old people like me.
‘If Miss James has misinterpreted that then I can only apologise to her as it was not my intention to suggest she was less valuable. Sometimes on videolinks it can be difficult to hear what the other person is saying.’
But he did say she was less valuable.
Is this the kind of judgement he made in the Supreme Court?
Were cases decided on whether a person was “more valuable” than another – to society, perhaps? On what would that have been based? Money? Societal position?
And what does that mean for justice? That those of us who are poor, or don’t have a role that Lord Sumption considers “valuable” could not rely on a fair judgement in our court cases?
Don’t ask me for an answer because I honestly don’t know.
Members of the public have formed their own opinions (apologies for the fact that so many of them are attached to the same video):
Today on BBC1, Lord Sumption said to a woman with stage 4 cancer:
'I didn't say your life wasn't valuable, I said it was less valuable.'
I've faced this nonsense all my life – that a person is less worthy if they are physically 'deficient'.
Well, Sumption is morally deficient.
— Francesca Martinez (@chessmartinez) January 17, 2021
..I didn't say your life wasn't valuable
..I said it was less valuable
With friends like Lord Sumption, who needs enemies pic.twitter.com/YbsAYGShUw
— UK is with EU (@ukiswitheu) January 17, 2021
This is what Lord Sumption and the ruling class think of us plebs. pic.twitter.com/FhnpGK2Iau
— JackJazz (@JayJay08752584) January 17, 2021
Lord Sumption – “I didn't say it wasn't valuable, I said it was less valuable” 😯
When she claims her life was devalued, he comes in and clarifies what he said, he does not deny he is happy to make either life or death decisions on just his view of worth
— Donal (@GrumpyOldDoc) January 17, 2021
Yes. And did he make similar decisions, on the basis of his own view of worth, while he was a judge?
If so, bang goes British justice.
*And it’s a huge concern for me, because I am involved in court proceedings at the time of writing.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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