Tag Archives: twitterjoketrial

Permission to speak freely…

I don’t normally post on current affairs, but there’s a first time for everything… There have been many examples of restrictions on liberty recently. Those examples are all specifically related to Christian beliefs but there are many other examples of liberty threatened, none has created quite such a strong response as Twitter Joke Trial as it’s become known. Whatever you may think of what Paul Chambers said in his now infamous tweet (a direct message to a friend BTW, not a public posting) it’s clear that he said what he did in frustration rather than with any intent to follow up on his threat against Robin Hood Airport. Yet our legal system has decreed that his statement wasn’t just stupid but was in fact a criminal act, worthy of a fine and conviction.

Quite how the public interest is served by the prosecution of Mr. Chambers is not clear, what is clear though is Criminal acts and behaviour have been joined by a new kind of crime; speech. Saying things that insult and offend others may not be wise, but should it be criminal?