"As a Labour Party member he would say that." Well, no. As someone interested in justice being seen to be done, I am saying that. Anyone following the Janner case will have their opinion about his guilt or otherwise. I certainly have my views, and they're not a million miles away from the sentiment that's been gushing like a torrent on Twitter all afternoon. Yet we still - just - have the right to innocence until proven otherwise, and that applies to those accused of the most disgusting crimes. So where the evidence is concerned, let's just say there is a compelling case to answer. And on this point the CPS agrees.
Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is this. When Thatcher died, the truth was the woman who inspired admiration and hatred in equal measure had been killed by her dementia many years previously. All that was left was a flailing body scarcely aware of the passage of the day, let alone knowledge of who she once was. The same goes for Janner too. I haven't got access to his medical records, and neither has anyone else. Though one fully expects the CPS have, and took the trouble to examine them thoroughly. I think we can be reasonably confident that Janner's legal team haven't pulled an Ernest Saunders, who secured an early release from prison after being diagnosed with senile dementia, only to make a remarkable recovery after several months of freedom. Though, of course, the concealment of these records from public view are likely to fuel the notion this is the establishment covering for one of their own.
Ultimately, the question comes down to this. Ideally, should Janner have his day in court? Most certainly, and it is appalling that allegations made previously were brushed under the carpet and ignored. But what justice can possibly seen to be done by putting a dribbling invalid on the stand who is incapable of answering the charges and following proceedings? We do not hold trials in abstentia for defendants who no longer possess the capacity to understand what's happening to them, which is the only possible "equitable" solution under these circumstances.
It is awful that Janner's accusers can never confront him. But his figure is tainted, his reputation trashed, and trial by media well underway. Justice wasn't done, but Greville Janner has been crucified before the public all the same.