THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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Berlioz meets Tatchell

Sticks and stones - again

BBC News - Football fans jailed for abusive Stephen Lawrence chants.

Some thick young men have been given sentences of twelve and eighteen months for uttering bad words. They now block six prison places that could more usefully have been occupied by people convicted of violent crimes or even such crimes against property as our socialist police force can be bothered to detect.

Do I really need to say that I disapprove of the words uttered? I would certainly never invite such people to dinner. However, now that criminal records render them even less employable, we will probably be buying their dinners for a long time after they have finished their porridge. Perhaps even when they are no longer young idiots with poor taste and worse judgement and could have been useful members of society.

Man the trains with burly bouncers and chuck people off if they make a nuisance - even in ways less odious than this. If someone is provoked to violence by nasty words, let him use that provocation as a defence or mitigation when charged with assault. But let's get the criminal law out of speech please.

Comments

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Cascadian

One assumes that a rendition of "Onward Christian Soldiers" outside the local pub, by the Salvation Army, could result in their incarceration if a devil worshipper had his/her ears assaulted by the hymn, and the said devil worshipper lodged a complaint with the dim-witted plod.

Younger readers may not be acquainted with the reference to the Salvation Army singing outside pubs, it was common in my day (when dinosaurs roamed the streets of the East End). Perhaps that quaint method of fund-raising still exists-I doubt it.

Dr Evil

I read this with utter disbelief in an online rag this morning. Sent to jail for chanting stuff about the murderers of Stephen Lawrence. Despicable certainly, criminal no. Apparently some other passengers feared violence. Apparently there was no violence, just abusive chanting/singing. I cannot understand why freedom of speech, protected under the dreaded Human Rights Act wasn't used in defence of these idiots. You can steal and get a caution. you can steal lots of times and not go to jail. These idiots got quite long stretches compared with a certain ex MP who perverted the course of justice. I am appalled by our judiciary and court system at times.

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