Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 11/10/12

Don't Say It!

As the bonkers judiciary are at it again, showing themselves total strangers to proportion or even sense when it comes to freedom of speech issues, you might expect me to have something to say.

I have, but my spare time being at something of a premium at the moment, I don't have the capacity to explain in detail what my position is. I can only say that - in regard to freedom of speech - speech containing clear incitement or actual threat should be open to prosecution (subject to a basic rule of thumb regarding proportionate and disproportionate response); speech which is 'offensive' should not except in very rare circumstances be subject to the kindly attention of police, prosecution, judges or magistrates; and simply making so-called 'sick' jokes should never be a matter for legal intervention.

I would have expanded mightily on this theme but for the reasons I gave at the beginning, so will have to content myself for now with saying that we appear to have turned into a society of professional ninnies where the slightest thing will set 'decent people' (indecent people are more interesting, I find) clutching at their imaginary pearls, pursing their virtual lips and exclaiming "It shouldn't be allowed!" like some old woman (Note: by this, I mean 'old women' of either sex).

And, of course, these people always seem to be 'offended' on behalf of others, others whom they don't even know.

And please spare the bulk of your condemnation for the mob which gathered outside of the home of the perpetrator of the latest horrendous outrage against curtain-twitching morality, and who cheered as their victim was thrown in prison for three months (with much typical half-cock moralising bullshit from the magistrate); and for Lancashire Police, who arrested the victim 'for his own safety' (sic) and decided to prosecute in the first place, whilst doing nothing - but fuck all - about the baying mob itself.

That's all I have time for on this, but I'm glad to say that someone has said all of what I would have said. And it is gratifying that Starmer, the Director of Public Persecutions (still smarting from having his fingers and other extremities burned in the infamous Chambers Twitter trial) is now looking for improved guidelines on prosecuting such cases, although not before the stupid and ill-framed laws in question have been routinely abused to destroy the lives of the victims of them.

(Tip of the wig to The Heresiarch for the link)

Addendum (12/10/12): Good piece here too, by Charlie Skelton in the Guardian.

Addendumdum (13/10/12): A good piece by Septicisle at Liberal Conspiracy, too (to which I have - as you would expect - added my tenpenn'orth). It's gratifying to see also that comments on the news article at the Grundiad, the Torygraph and even the Daily Heil have been overwhelmingly of the opinion that the sentences - even the prosecutions - in these cases have been dangerously bonkers.