More’s the Pity

Several stories appeared yesterday recording Black’s submission to St. Eve to continue his bail pending appeal. Failing that, they’ve asked that his bail be extended through to June 15th, by which time oral arguments will have been heard before the appellate court.

In the meantime, word from Palm Beach has it that Lord Black accepted an invitation to brunch with Hal Jackman last Saturday. Hatchets were buried and a fine time was had by all.

On a more somber note, I carried on an email exchange with Miriam Gross (now Lady Owen), an old ally of the Blacks and a former colleague of Barbara Amiel. I asked her whether Black’s standing in Britain might improve with time, especially given the growing discomfit with which Britons view the American justice system in light of Guantanamo and the general erosion of civil liberties under the auspices of the war on terror (a subject I’ve treated here before). Her reply:

I’m afraid that most people in Britain don’t know or much care about America’s punitive puritan ethic. They have been led to believe that Conrad defrauded the company. If he comes back here after 5 and a bit years I doubt that his standing will be much changed, though with any luck the press may be slightly more friendly and respectful. But don’t bank on it—the media in this country is very nasty, envious, prejudiced and unforgiving.

That’s my pessimistic view.

Then, from another e-mail:

I don’t think there is any connection or parallel whatever between the prosecution of Black and the erosion of civil liberties. I don’t personally feel as shocked or perturbed by the Guantanamo detentions as many people in Britain, where, yes, it was given huge coverage. Of course it was deplorable, but then the circumstances which led to it were unique and even more deplorable. I don’t think the treatment of detainees is part of a general trend. I think the US will learn from its mistakes. I suspect that Conrad Black would agree with me.

More, perhaps, is the pity.

Black asks to remain free on bail during appeal: Source [Globe and Mail]


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