Clive James begins his latest stint as presenter of BBC Radio 4’s A Point of View with his take on the downfall of the 70 year old Australian Federal Court judge and a champion of human rights, Marcus Einfeld,whose perjury over a $75 speeding fine landed him with a three-year jail sentence.
BBC Radio 4
A Point of View
27 March 2009
Regular Radio 4 listeners –and indeed anyone who might have thought of listening to this programme – might have wondered why Clive James prattling on about the fall from grace of a judge most of us in the northern hemisphere had probably never heard of should interest them. James broadcast reminds us that what actually happened to this judge can in fact happen to anyone, or at least anyone who forgets, even in a momentary lapse, what they may be sacrificing when they lie.
He doesn’t need me or anyone else to tell him that a judge who commits perjury, over no matter how trivial a matter, has sinned against the spirit of his profession.
That’s why his case really is a tragedy, and not just a farce. It’s a tragedy because he not only fell from high degree, there really was a tragic flaw: a capacity to forget, at the critical moment, the central ethical precept of the calling to which he had given his life.