Judge claims to be unaware of worldwide web

Their behinds may sit upon the most powerful chairs in the land, but judges’ fingers are very rarely to be found on the pulse of our great country. In fact, they are usually so far off the pulse that they are groping around aimlessly like a drunk teenager having his first sexual experience.

Last week Mr Justice Peter Openshaw took sheltered ignorance to a new level by telling prosecutors he did not know what a website was.

Openshaw prompted open mouths when he announced during the trial of three alleged Muslim cyber-terrorists at Woolwich Crown Court that he did not understand the internet.

At first glance, this sounds ridiculous. On further reflection, however, it sounds even more ridiculous.

How would you feel if the rest of your life was being held in the balance by a man who thinks ‘www’ is a nice picture of some birds in flight?

If he has never double-clicked on the blue Internet Explorer icon, then what else has he missed out on over the past 15 years? Does he know that we have a Labour government? That Princess Diana is dead? That we won – and lost – the Ashes? About global warming? Can he send text messages? Has he heard of David Beckham?

The point is that if he is that out of touch with what normal people are saying, thinking and doing, then how can he possibly preside over a court case to decide whether they have committed crimes or not?

Most importantly of all, if he does not know how to use Google and Wikipedia, how on earth does he do his research? Guru is appalled.

Now Mr Justice Peter Openshaw – one would assume – is more highly qualified than to Level 2, the equivalent of five A to C grades at GCSE and the standard expected under the Leitch Skills Pledge.

It just goes to show that the pledge doesn’t cover every aspect of employee training.


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