We deserve better...

Do you remember when you could trust? When you could take things for granted? When if you looked at things they seemed solid, defined, unwavering and true?
There was a time when the pillars of Great Britain held up the country like great English oaks, sturdy, squat, warm to the touch and everlasting. Reassuringly un-bowing in the winds of change they stood for centuries, and would stand fast for centuries more.
If a criminal or a terrorist was released on appeal we would shake our heads and talk about "Some bad apples" or even worse "no smoke without fire" and the people wronged would get some compensation (minus the rent the Home Office took for their incarceration, which always struck me like Terry Waite paying council tax to the owner of the radiator he was handcuffed too) and go off and be bitter for the rest of their all to short lives.
I used to drink in a bar where Charles Connolly was a bouncer. Charlie had been convicted and served time for robbery in the fifties after being implicated in the notorious Cameo Cinema murders in Liverpool. This big bear of a man would once propped up a bar with me for a night telling how he had been forced by the police, by his barrister and by the prosecuting barrister to admit to something he hadn't done on pain of death. He told us how the police and prison services had abused him, worn him down and broke him on the broken wheels of justice to lie in court. And how those lies had snatched his neck from a tightening noose that claimed his co-accused, a man he'd never even met before.
That night it was hard not to believe Charlie, he rung his big bruiser hands and positively ached with honesty, but I'm afraid my doubts still remained. I'm afraid as we walked home I thought "Well you would say that wouldn't you? They wouldn't have arrested him for nothing."
Charlie died a long time ago now, I hardly knew him at all, but I wish I'd believed him that night, because now I've no doubt he was telling the truth.
I'm sorry Charlie.
Then there is Ricky Tomlinson, Jim Royle, who appears to have been abused royally by the Queens's government and judiciary. Tomlinson, convicted along with Des Warren on charges of conspiracy to intimidate. Both men were incarcerated almost as freedom fighters, wanting only the right to a fair wage and safe conditions in which to earn it, both men languished in jail, often held in solitary confinement, naked, wrapped in blankets with women folk camped outside the jail protesting their innocence. As Warren told the judge on the day of his sentencing:
 "The conspiracy was between the government, the employers and the police. When was the decision taken to proceed? What instructions were issued to the police, and by whom? There was your conspiracy."
It now appears Warren was right, for his were the only honest words spoken under oath that day.
Like some banana republic our great offices of state have conspired to cover up, both for themselves and for others, be they greedy bankers, claiming MP's, fiddling Lords, kiddie fiddling priests and corrupt top cops they lived in a hall of mirrors and we trusted them, like fools.
Even the BBC was drawing a shell suited veil over the disgusting deeds of one of its stars, allowing him, and possibly many others, to roll like pigs in their own filth safe in the knowledge that while Auntie spoke peace unto nations, she wouldn't say squeak to Lady Justice.
How about the church? I'm almost loath to give mention to an organisation whose founder said "suffer the children".
Because suffer they did, and suffer they do, while their abusers live out pensioned retirements surrounded by a warm cocoon of conspiracy. While one walks out the door it appears one of his cardinals has fell out the closet, who'd have guessed?
So we find ourselves unable to trust that and those which we held dear, George Dixon was a lie, Horace Rumpole was a lie, George Mainwaring was a lie even Hugh Grant in Love Actually was a lie.
Justice is a word heard a lot around Liverpool of late, it's a small simple word, easy to understand, easier to implement. Truth and justice are often mentioned together like bangers and mash, fish and chips and war and peace. But unlike the others, they can't be had separately, you can't have justice without truth.
I was a policeman, I've seen people lie, seen, I once gave evidence in court about an offence I'd witnessed with my own eyes, the defendant beat his breast, frothed and flustered, rolled his eyes and sighed and the jury acquitted.
A guilty man walked, justice opened the door for him and let him pass, he was one who got away and lived to fight another day and I was upset and saddened. I couldn't look the victim in the eyes afterwards, I was ashamed and felt like a failure and I still do.
But had I lied to Lady Justice to secure a conviction, had I exaggerated and bended my story to fit onto her scales and then tipped them when she wasn't looking, I wouldn't have been able to look at myself in the eye, and I would have been more ashamed and felt more of a failure than I do.
This country, its institutions, its leaders and enforcers should feel that shame, Lady Justice should lift up her blindfold and level her sword at ones we once trusted and now doubt, lest we should start to doubt her.
We need to start again, we need truth, we need justice, we need honesty and we need to believe in it, because if we don't, we will come to expect, and accept, exactly the opposite.
And we deserve better.
Don't we?