Thursday, November 11, 2010
Normally on November 11, I put up a short poem from one of the War Poets, in Remembrance of those who gave their lives for this country and for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Today, in a change from the scheduled programming, I intend instead to be Threatening and Menacing.
Because as well as the services at the Cenotaph, the memorials and the Silences across the country, in Doncaster Crown Court one of those very freedoms for which The Fallen stood was taken away from us.
Freedom to say something idiotic.
Paul Chambers - sensationally and inaccurately described by Pravda as 'Twitter Bomb Hoaxer' - did exactly that last year. For his 140 character moment of idiocy, in which he 'threatened' to 'blow Robin Hood Airport sky-high' he was fined and given a criminal record under Section 127 of the newly-implemented Communications Act 2003, which essentially means that you can't say anything which anybody may consider offensive, threatening, inciteful or slightly naughty in any way, shape, form or format.
Today a judge, defying the very term, showed absolutely no judgement whatsoever and rejected Paul's appeal against his sentence.
Think about that for a moment, Dear Reader. Consider the number of times you've said, "I'll kill him/her", or words to that effect, or joked that you'd like to set fire to your office, or any of the myriad other things British people joke about, in that slightly dark way that has for so many years defined our sense of humour. You haven't done any of it, of course - but congratulations, you're a criminal.
Even the Police officer who interviewed Mr Chambers - and bear in mind, Plod aren't normally a species known these days for their intellect or reasoning capabilities - was satisfied in himself that this was a joking comment made for friends, with no intent, malice or threat. Yet Mr Chambers was still charged. And convicted. And that conviction was upheld. A life destroyed in a sentence by those who would destroy all our lives, by denying us the ability to make a tactless joke.
I gave serious thought today to retiring completely, and deleting this blog from the Internet. After all, over the last few years I've impaled, flayed, immolated and generally threatened and abused whichever sub-order of Humanity had that day incurred The Wrath Of Dungeekin. And that includes Greater Manchester Police. I haven't done any of it, of course - but I might have done. And it only takes one humourless troll in that septic tank of humourless trolls - the Crown Prosecution Service - to decide that I might do it, or that it was Threatening and Menacing, to land me in front of some moronic, out-of-touch beak trying desperately to defend my words.
Then I thought. And I decided. NO, I will not delete this blog because the previous Government wanted to stifle freedom of expression and the current Government is too spineless to repeal a dangerous and overly-prescriptive law. No, I will not stop putting people on spikes, setting them on fire and dismembering them in interesting ways to satisfy their desire to sanitise and homogenise society until nobody can take offence at anything, ever. Most of all, I will NOT stop having a sense of humour, and saying extreme things that make people with a brain laugh.
The Fallen died for the right to Freedom of Expression. Who are the Government and the Judiciary to take that away from us, and replace it with nothing?
I believe, in fact, that the people I'd like to blow sky-high the most right now are in the Crown Prosecution Service. I'd also like to set fire to the humourless fuckwits in Greater Manchester Police who even put a file forward to the CPS, and I have special plans involving boiling oil and a half-dozen rabid weasels for the moron so-called Judge who upheld the 'conviction' today.
Am I joking?
And if you're a Blogger and you're reading this - firstly I hope you've donated to the #twitterjoketrial fund, and secondly I hope you'll join me in being as Threatening and Menacing as possible to the senseless, gormless cretins who drafted, imposed and enforced this travesty of law. Let's blog as many threats as we can, and blow the whole fucking thing sky-high.
Posted by Dungeekin at 6:27 pm