I have been following the latest machinations over rape allegations with some interest, as they have serious consequences for all involved in casual sex.  For the past ten years or more, a politically driven agenda has been thrust down the throats of  court users about the deplorably low percentage of rape allegations that lead to conviction, and successive governments have sought to do something about it.

My considerable experience tells me that there are basically two defences to an allegation of rape: “it wasn’t me, guv”, or “she was gagging for it”.  It is also correct in my own experience that most of those accused of rape are acquitted, not simply as a result of the brilliance of my advocacy, but  because the jury did not believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim did not consent, and that, at the end of the day, is the proper and only test to be applied.

Into this squirming sack of grubby emotions steps Ms. Alison Saunders, who is the Director of Public Prosecutions, so she should know better.  And is it just me, or are women taking over the world?  And is it just me, or do you share my dislike for the prefix ‘Ms’?  It’s all to do with political correctness, or so they say, but speaking for my wife, and I suspect millions of other wives, when she agreed to marry me, convention dictated that she took my name and became Mrs. Osborne.  She does not wish to be referred to as Ms. Osborne, nor does she wish to be known as my partner.  It’s absurd!

But I digress. Back to Ms. Saunders and her camp followers.  She has decided, or rather it has been decided for her, that anybody who makes an allegation of rape must be believed, and everything possible in the trial process must be bent towards the conviction of the accused.  Rape trials from now on are no longer to be prosecution led, but conviction led, and when you add into the mix that prison sentences for rape are getting longer and longer, the opportunities for a serious miscarriage of justice are self-evident.  Or should that be ‘ms.carriage’?

Sarah Vine, or more properly Ms. Sarah Vine the journalist, summed up the feelings of the legions of fair minded people.  Like me, she deplores the so-called ‘vagenda’ (her word not mine), the all-men-are-rapists brigade advanced by vocal feministas like Harriet Harman and the ‘femi-fascist’ twitter mob who increasingly seem to hold sway in public policy. Predictably, Ms. Harman, and I use that form of address advisedly, replied to Ms. Vine’s comments with the usual ‘feminista’ clichés, defending Ms. Saunders for trying to ensure that victims of rape get justice.

I have always found it distasteful and unattractive the suggestion that as the victim was blind drunk she was therefore unable to give her consent to sex, or more to the point, she gave her consent which she would not have given had she been sober.  In my book, consent is consent, blind drunk or otherwise, and regret after the event cannot make it rape as Ms. Saunders and Ms. Harman seem to be advocating.  It is also right to add that the converse is true, namely that if a woman does not consent, blind drunk or otherwise, it would be rape if sexual intercourse takes place.  That is what the offence of rape is all about.

PS.  It seems that my timely intervention in the casual sex and consent debate is already reaping dividends.  Teenage pregnancies have fallen to their lowest rate since records began more than four decades ago.



When asked what is the most addictive and destructive drug in circulation today, most people would put heroin or crack cocaine at the top of their list. In reality, it is alcohol, freely available, and the more so since the Licensing Act 2003 came into force.

You may remember the controversy surrounding the Act, which brought the prospect of 24 hour drinking to tippling millions. The thinking behind the Act, as outlined by the government, was twofold: firstly, or so it was argued, abolishing licensing hours would persuade drinkers to ‘pace’ themselves when drinking in public, and secondly, it would avoid the dangers associated with bladdered drinkers being ‘tipped out’ onto the street, all at the same time, and looking for alcohol fuelled trouble. On both counts, the Act has failed miserably. Alcohol is responsible for more violence, in the street and in the home, more diseases, more lost days at work, and a greater drain on the precious resources of the NHS and the emergency services, than all the so-called hard drugs put together. And sadly, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, as alcohol remains freely available, not just in pubs and clubs, but in every supermarket and corner shop in the country. Half hearted attempts are made to persuade retailers not to sell to under age kids, but profit is profit regardless of who’s paying.

And not content with drinking and driving, the Brits are now drinking and flying. Incidents of drunken behaviour on planes have increased by 30% over the past year alone.

As Boris Johnson will tell you, it all started with Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine, and Bacchus, his Roman counterpart. Both were credited with inspiring ritual madness and ecstasy through wine, freeing the drinker from his normal self by releasing his inhibitions. Not much has changed in the intervening two thousand years.

And now word reaches me from across the Channel that binge drinking, thought until recently to be the sole preserve of the British, is now afflicting our French adolescent cousins. Le Binge-Drinking est arrivé! As an aside, it has always struck me as strange that when raising a glass of alcohol, the French say bonne santé, as if drinking and good health are synonymous, and as Boris Johnson will tell you, ‘cheers’ comes from the French bonne chère, meaning good demeanour! Surely a better epithet would be à la mort lent. I knew you’d be interested.

So what’s to be done, here and abroad? It’s tempting to blame it all on Gary Glitter, but you can’t blame him for everything. The Licensing Act should be repealed, with rigorously enforced and much shorter opening hours for pubs and clubs. Licensees must take greater responsibility for their clientele and stop serving alcohol to inebriates, preferably before they become inebriated. If they don’t, they should be closed down and prosecuted. Happy hours and all you can drink for a fiver should also be abolished. The tax on alcohol should be doubled overnight. After all, the government are pleading poverty and empty coffers, so what better way to fill them? And those who have budgeted for twelve pints of mine host’s Old Peculiar will find they can only afford six.

The specific gravity of popular beverages should be reduced dramatically. Get rid of ‘extra strong’ lagers and beers. Old and New World wines are also increasing in SG, something to do with global warming, so add water. Stop serving wine in balloon glasses, which in some cases amount to a third of a bottle, and go back to pub measures. Supermarkets and corner shops should be prohibited from ‘in your face’ displays, and stop promoting BOGOFs. They should also be subjected to the same rigorous selling hours as pubs and clubs.

All this may be a drop in the ocean, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Short of prohibition, it has to be worth a try!