Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

Your chance to ask what you want

I have to interview Steve Donaldson on Monday about Vol 1 of the last Covenant quartet - it's more overtkt a PR thing than my usual journalistic gigs. It occurs to me that there are probably some people out there who are huger fans of Donaldson than I am, and who have questions that they would love to be asked of him.

So here's your chance.

In other news, I really will start posting regularly soon, but this ongoing summer cold, and constant cough, have sort of distracted me.

The TLS published the I Robot piece, but cut the line about Will Smith flexing his physique and his attitude. Those people never ever let you get away with jokes, particularly ones which involve non-standard verbal usage, dammit.

The only other thing that is bugging me right now is the whole 'convicted rapist wins lottery' thing. I mean, the guy has served the fifteen years of hard time he so richly deserved and happens, entirely legally, to have bought himself a lottery ticket and won seven million. One would hope that he would consider giving some of it to his victims, but you can't make people be virtuous - and the point about lotteries is that they are supposed to be, well, not unfair, but not concerned with rewarding virtue.

If they want to make it illegal for people in jail to buy lottery tickets, that's perfectly all right, but the odds are that this will never happen again anyway. It really is one of those occasions when the government should tell the newspapers that there are some aspects of life which are not under the jurisdiction of law - things happen and there is no immediate reason to suppose anything needs to be done about them.

I have no sympathy for the guy, let us be clear, but I detest the idea that laws get made because a journalist writes a headline. Specifically, what would happen if one of the press's hate figures - Maxine Carr (semi-inadvertent accomplice of child killer Huntley who served a short sentence for obstruction ), say, or Mary Bell (long rehabilitated murderess who was eight at the time and may have been abused) - were to win the lottery? Would the government then announce that people the Sun dislikes cannot win it?

Proper compensation for victims should be automatic, and be dependent on the question of fact, not the conviction of criminals, or the criminals' subsequent good fortune. ( You should get compensated for what happened to you even if it happens that your case does not get used in the indictment because they have a better case over what was done to someone else, for example.) Compensation is not just about punishing the perp, but about society making up for its own failures.
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