It has been an interesting week for news: the Mosley verdict, and the Glasgow East byelection result, even the "Canoe Man" verdict.
Courts and elections make real news. Both take matters - just for a short time - out of the hands of the those on the ongoing march of the dishonest, the cynical, the intrusive, and the power-greedy.
Without trials and elections, there would be no block whatsoever on the selfish and the careerists, the exploitative and manipulative. They would just take over, and we would all be barged under. This depressing prospect is just in the nature of things.
It is no wonder that elections and trials are the first thing to go in a totalitarian system. Even in a typical (ie unequal) society, those in power will always seek to minimise the scope of any disruption caused by elections or trials.
The powerful, usually consisting of the "state", media, and big business, really just want it all their own way, though "public interest" rhetoric will often cloak their dominance.
Take the European Union - there really is no electoral and judicial way to check the push towards "ever-closer union". Even referendums have to be repeated until the right answer is given, as the Irish will see. The project cannot be put at risk.
Or look at the police. It is now almost impossible to seek any redress against the exercise of any police power, either in policing demonstrations or in stopping and searching, or in any kind of their intrusions. The citizen is, effectively, electorally and legally impotent against increasing police power. The "war against terror" cannot be put at risk.
(As for the mainstream media, they would love to be as intrusive into the private realm as the police can be, under the slogans "freedom of the press" and the "public's right to know". But they are more stupid than the police, and have less good lawyers, and so their intrusions can be more easily blocked.)
There are still things which elections and trials can still do. The dishonest and the power-hungry hate them, but the upsets caused are genuine, and they are crucial to our civilisation.
It is a happy week, therefore, when the news tells of the dishonest, the intrusive, and the power-greedy, all losing trials and elections, where decisions are outside of their control.
And I hope I never end up bemoaning trials and elections as "distractions" - for then I will have completely fallen in with the humdrum and the grasping too.