(satire – I think)
Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens sparked outrage yesterday after he called for ‘uneducated’ and ‘unintelligent’ people – such as Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday readers – to be excluded from serving on juries.
Hitchen’s comments, made on BBC Question Time last night, were immediately condemned by Tory Grandee Lord Heseltine who said every citizen had the right to be judged by a panel of their own peers, even if some of them turned out to be as thick and half-witted as Daily Mail readers or Tories.
To gasps of horror from some members of the Question Time audience, Mr Hitchens said:
Since they abolished the property qualification and brought the age limit down to 18 (it may soon be 16), the chances of having your case heard by educated or experienced people such as Guardian or Times readers have shrivelled and as a result juries – like Daily Mail readers – are often feeble and too easily led.
And since the disgraceful introduction of majority verdicts, one or two wise jurors cannot hold out for long against a lazy, bored majority of Mail readers who think there’s no smoke without fire, and want to go home.
That is why we should move to exclude mindless, narrow-minded simpletons – such as the kind who read my column – from serving on juries. And by the way, there should also be stringent checks to ensure everyone serving on a jury can speak English properly – which would exclude just about everyone who reads the Sun and the Daily Express too.
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