Opinion: At the Michael Laws debate I heard Karam say it again: "The police investigation was an absolute shambles" or words to that effect. This is the same old argument being wheeled out again and again, yet we know that the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) found insufficient evidence to suggest that description is even remotely valid. Of course, as we know, Karam writes the PCA off because they are biased and have vested interests and are not really independent at all. But it would appear that Karam has vested interests himself in his support for David Bain and we have seen that manifest itself remuneration-wise in the form of legal aid payments and royalties from sales of books.
We can, of course, create our own spin about Karam's book, David and Goliath. Instead of saying it is an absolute shambles we can say that is a "book of errors". We can say that, on the basis of the PCA Report, knowing that the average reasonable person is not going to have as cynical perspective on the PCA as Karam does. We can go further and agree with what Rosemary Mcleod said in her article in the North and South magazine some time ago, that Karam's investigative methods leave a lot to be desired. We could phrase that in a highly inflammatory and confrontational form such that Karam does when describing the police investigation into the Bain case, but we will refrain from such extremes because that seems unreasonable. In his appraisal of the evidence in the Bain case, Karam is
- jumps to conclusions
- exhibits fixed thinking and
- fails to test hypotheses he has made
1. Karam's approach to the evidence is imbalanced in that he only thinks about things which will provide support for his previously reached conclusions. There is no attempt to get into the other side of the argument and see how it looks from there.
2. Karam jumps to conclusions about hearsay evidence and about small evidential details. With regards to hearsay he promotes hearsay testimony as if it is fact. With regards to evidential details, he concocts elaborate scenarios around small items of evidence, even when that scenario might contradict other closely related evidential details.
3. Karam is gripped by the characteristic known in scientific circles as idee fixe. He cannot shake off his prejudices and beliefs. He has little concept of objectivity and good scientific research.
4. Karam makes no attempt to test his hypotheses with alternative scenarios. All good researchers should use the evidence to create as many competing scenarios as possible and then sit down with an impartial mind and try and sort out which has the greatest likelihood. Science has some good instruments to help with this such as the rule of parsimony. In Karam's case it would appear that he doesn't form hypotheses at all but goes right to the conclusion even if that conclusion is so complex as to defy belief.
It seems apparent from communication that I have been getting, that Karam will find this article to be defamatory. If it is OK for him to describe the police investigation into the Bain case as a complete shambles, then it seems to me that it is OK for me to describe the book David and Goliath as a "book of errors". If I like I can promote this idea to the world on National TV and in every instance in which someone approaches me about the Bain case. My opinion is not only supported by a government sanctioned report but I can also demonstrate it from my own investigation of it. The fact that Rosemary Mcleod did not defend her article in court when Karam sued her for defamation, and instead, settled out of court, does not necessarily mean that she capitulated and that Karam "won". It could simply mean that North and South chose not to undertake the huge expense of a civil trial. I understand from the case that the supposed infringements were minor and maybe did not warrant such attention. Unlike Rosemary McLeod, in the defamation proceedings against us, the allegations we are defending go to the core of everything that Karam has done and I am prepared to defend what I am saying to the ends of the earth.