In the rush for equality, some are more equal than others...
The sight of Dominique Strauss-Kahn being hauled by American police into a New York courtroom for an alleged sex crime would have been met with dismay by the countries of the eurozone who rely on his steady hand on the tiller, not least of which Angela Merkel, who he was due to meet with on the day of his arrest. The charges will certainly have a profound effect on the course of the financial crisis that blights the eurozone, and could lead to the election of a nationalist conservative - and Eurosceptic - party in France. They could, depending on the nature of his successor, if Mr. Strauss-Kahn is forced to leave his post, have far-reaching consequences across the world.
It's no surprise that in all the attention devoted to the stories of the alleged incident and how it might alter the course of French politics, the issue of anonymity for those accused of sex offences has been largely ignored. But there can be no better demonstration of the damaging consequences of an allegation than this: the world's most powerful banker and economist, one of the most influential men in the world, now stands staring into the abyss of social disaster. He had a rather controversial history with women, with a number of alleged incidents stretching back almost a decade, from all quarters of French politics and media. But suppose he hadn't - suppose he was your average bloke. His reputation would lie in tatters, as would his family and social life. His job, like that of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, would be on the rocks. And he wouldn't have the excuse of having to save the world economy to fall back on, either. In short, an allegation of a sex crime could ruin a man.
Why, then, isn't protection of the names of those accused of sex offences not a top priority of the courts? Now, personally, I think that rapists are the scum of the earth. It's a crime that is worse than murder, in most, not some, instances, in my humble opinion, and should be punishable by chemical castration. But a man or woman accused of sex offenders that has not stood trial is not a rapist in the eyes of the law. They're just a man or woman who may well be innocent. Why should the press be allowed to publish their name and end their career and ruin their relationships when they are still legally innocent?