In an example of how idiotic Britain’s legal system is becoming, someone who joked online about not being able to visit someone unless they attacked an airport has been convicted for “menace”.
Paul Chambers had posted the following message to a friend, urging them to hurry up before snow closed the airport:
“Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”
All because of that joke went public instead of private on the Twitter network, he has now lost his job and been fined £1,000 under an obscure 1930’s law to protect telephone receptionists against nuisance calls.
An appeal came to court today, with Paul Chamber’s barrister arguing, “What it boils down to is what type of man he is. Is he like the house burglars and others who regularly come before this court, lying their heads off to try to get away with it? Or is he a decent, honest man who is telling the truth?”
And the arresting policeman witnessed in court that there was “no evidence that this was other than a foolish joke”.
However, the judge at Doncaster Crown Court was unmoved and stated that under the existing threat of terrorism, any comments about bombing must be taken seriously.
Which is madness when you think that before 9/11 Britain spent three decades being bombed by Irish nationalists, and we surely weren’t such a stiff-necked people, then?
So now you have it – if John Betjeman had wrote “come friendly bombs and fall on Slough, it isn’t fit for people now” nowadays he would be up on a terrorism charge, instead of being made Poet Laureate.