Another in our series featuring men who just can't stop sounding off on subjects when a period of silent reflection might arguably be wiser. A few days ago we had Richard Dawkins on Islam; today, Eddie Shah treats the world to his views on sex with underage girls. Shah was cleared of raping a girl in her early teens last month - a verdict I respect, though his comment after the trial ("I was brought to trial with no real evidence at all - all they had was the word of a girl") means that I certainly don't respect him. Speaking in more general terms he has now invoked what we may call the Goldberg Variation - citing the difference between rape of the innocent kind that businessmen and Oscar-winning film directors indulge in to relieve the stress of their hectic lives, and "'rape' rape", which is the preserve of nameless thugs who hide in dark alleys. According to Shah: "If we're talking about girls who just go out and have a good time, then they are to blame. If we talk about people who go out and actually get 'raped' raped, then I feel no - and everything should be done against that."
So there you are - straight from the mouth of Eddie Shah, tycoon, author, and now, jurist.
- The Goldberg Variation