Did David Bain do it? That's one question. The other one is this: did he get a fair trial? I was gonna write two versions of this. One for Team David. One for Team He Did It.
Short version for Team David: he shoulda got more money, and it shoulda been called compensation. Two reasons: Privy Council. Binnie report. There you go. Miscarriage of justice, unfair trial, 13 years, do the sums.
How suspicious is it, after a conviction's been set aside by the Privy Council, to commission a report from a retired overseas judge - and then, when you don't like the result, to get another? How many builders' reports does this property need?
If (as Team-He-Soooo-Did-It believe) - this was slam-dunk, platinum rewards, here's the video from two angles, guilty-plus-plus - then it's not asking much for the prosecution to show up with iron-clad evidence, is it? Dot the i on the DNA. To require David Bain to come up with evidence 20 years later to prove his innocence beyond reasonable doubt - when evidence has been destroyed in the meantime - doesn't seem fair. It's up to the speed camera to provide the photo. Not for you to provide a stream of photos of you doing the speed limit.
Is it fair to judge a 1990s trial by 21st century standards? We've seen decades of Law and Order. And CSI. It's not the days of Columbo any more, where the cop just smokes a cigar through the crime scene, picking up clues without gloves, and the obvious baddie confesses. It's tougher to be police now. In America, police have to cope with video of them shooting people. Maybe just be grateful for the good old days when it was your word versus the corpse.
Speaking of America, I'm out of outrage.
At this point - and there's months to go before the US election - the question isn't even whether Trump is safe to be President. The question is whether he'd be believable as a TV wrestler.
Someone should just escort him from the premises, blame it on tiredness, jet-lag, medication, and we all (as in planet Earth) move on, relieved that we now only have to deal with climate change. But no, this is happening.
Confession. Part of me (which I'm not proud of) wants Trump to win. If only because I'm curious how the world ends. I'd give it about three weeks from the inauguration. Which would mean the Mayans were only out by five years. (Pretty good for Mexicans, many of whom, as Trump would remind us, are good people, once we subtract the wall-scaling rapists.)
Trump's outbursts are now being queried - charitably - as possible mental illness. He doesn't have policies, he has symptoms. People aren't calling Trump nuts to insult him. They're saying it as a plea in mitigation. If Trump is medically, diagnostically nuts, that's morally more forgivable than him just being the Louis XIV-dash-Kanye of all a-holes. If, one day, a giant tumour is discovered in Trump's skull (which is found to have crowded out all reason, basic primate empathy, storybook-level goodness and 21st century progress, leaving only a pipeline for 18th century slavery-era bile to spurt, via the colon, out the mouth) it well might excuse Trump - but it certainly won't excuse the supposedly cogent adults in the Republican Party who heard his ravings, and filled stadiums to appoint him Fuhrer. Who let this guy drive?
Basil Fawlty has more emotional control. David Brent has more self-awareness. Where is Philip Seymour Hoffman when we need him, to play this monster?
Obviously Hillary is not perfect. America's two-party system is far from perfect. It's more like a hereditary monarchy, or a celebrity-archy. Look how many times the names of Bush and Clinton appear on the list.
Plus, while it's optically a victory for feminism that Hillary is the candidate, the fact is, she had to first be married to a President. Feminism still has a ways to go 'til a woman who hasn't been First Lady runs for President. It didn't matter for Helen Clark, and (shudder) it didn't matter for Thatcher, or (double-shudder) Theresa May. Fair's fair. If creepy evil men can run things, why not creepy evil women?
Even though Hillary voted for war in Iraq, on the false pretext that Saddam had WMDs, she is clearly preferable to Trump. I'm not saying she's Gryffindor, but come on. She only has to be preferable to Donald Trump. This is not a difficult test.