(Image: AAP/Daniel Pockett)

The essence of conservative philosophy is the preservation of things that aren’t broken: the societal institutions and traditions that have endured and served, more or less, well. Of these, none is more important than the rule of law. So it comes as a surprise (not really) that, in the aftermath of the conviction of George Pell, the most dramatic consequence has been a full-scale assault on the rule of law by self-described conservatives.

Andrew Bolt was first out of the gate, declaring that Pell had been “falsely convicted”; this was his “opinion, based on the overwhelming evidence”. He doubled down on Sky: “I just can’t accept it".