#resist

— Editorial —

Gideon BenariThere are many lenses through which to view the events of the recent US Supreme Court nomination battle and the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 5 October 2018 of the testimonies of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr Christine Blasey Ford. I want to focus on one. The treatment of those who come forward with allegations of sexual assault.

The accuser’s testimony was credible. It resonated strongly across the political spectrum. Even the White House was said to have been worried by its strength.

The accused responded with anger, vehement and then claimed to be a victim himself (of the whole process). The narrative worked. By most accounts this is what swayed the undecided to press ahead with the nomination.

Dealing with significant and traumatic events that took place in the distant past is problematic. The weight that they carry today, both for the individuals involved and in a highly charged political context amplifies everything.

Taken out of the context of the Supreme Court nomination process you could view this as a situation where a survivor comes forward, and the response of the accused is to go on the attack, to intimidate, to attempt to silence.

Presumption of innocence must be respected. But so must the survivor’s right to be heard in a fair and considerate manner. In the absence of concrete evidence the decision to hold a limited FBI investigation, albeit extremely reluctantly, was the silencing. It was a victory of form over substance. A sad sign of our times.

You could argue that this article is out of place, in a website so narrowly focused on insurance regulation. I would argue that business has a role to play not just in shaping the economic future of society but also its moral future. Insurers are being called on to invest in infrastructure to support the real economy and business cannot and must not operate in a political or moral void. It is part of society and can, and does, shape it. With that power and privilege comes responsibility. A responsibility to society, that must start with a responsibility towards individuals. #resist

Gideon Benari, editor, Solvency II Wire

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  1 comment for “ #resist

  1. Daniel Roberts
    October 9, 2018 at 13:09

    The allegations were never going to rise to the level required for conviction, let alone there even being a formal charge against Kavennaugh. But what was exposed was his disregard for independence, through labelling the accusations a left-wing conspiracy and revenge by the Clintons. In taking that stance he demonstrated that he will not be an impartial judge, and that his first consideration will be the party affiliation of each side of any case brought before the Supreme Court. In demonstrating that, he proved himself to be unqualified to sit on the Court.

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