Twitter Twats Who Abuse Mikaeel Kular And Lord McAlpine Need Mocking Not Arresting
MIKAEEL Kular: police have made second arrest. Mikaeel’s Kular’s mother has been arrested on suspicion of murdering the three year old. Now police have nicked a 26-year-old man from Derbyshire and a 19-year-old from Hampshire on suspicion of committing racially aggravated public order offences.
They tweeted something unpleasant.
They are out on police bail.
And we are left wondering how selective the police are? Is it only allegedly racist tweets they consider to be a crime? What about ones advocating rape and murder? You don’t have to look far on twitter to find someone saying something nasty or baiting the crowd. And when you do find something, should it be a criminal matter? Should you be a nark and tell the police?
Liam Stacey was the Welsh student found guilty of a racially aggravated public-order offence. His racist tweets about footballer Fabrice Muamba earned him a 56-day prison sentence. It’s always worth recalling the words of the judge who sent Stacey down:
“At that moment, not just the footballer’s family, not just the footballing world, but the whole world were literally praying for his life. Your comments aggravated this situation.”
Were we alone in thinking that mad? It wasn’t just what Stacey tweeted to his 300-odd that was wrong – it was: it was obnoxious, childish, ignorant and thick – it was feelings aroused by that tweet that upped his punishment. Upsetting people by making them annoyed can get you a prison sentence. Of the hundreds of millions of tweets made each day, Stacey’s tweets were deemed worthy of censure. So. Today we get news of the man who said the unsayable. Someone go annoyed and he got arrested.
Compare and contrast that arrest to Tweeter @racybaldhero, who has been sharing their views on Lord McAlpine, the Tory grandee who died this week. Lord McAlpine was the victim of false allegations of child abuse made on Twitter. He sued for libel and won. Now that he’s dead, @racybaldhero steps up:
Oh, Lord McAlpine is dead?! Good. Fecking paedo! Sue us all for libel now, y’dead fu*ker! — Rachel (@racybaldhero) January 18, 2014
My being a journalist means I know I can’t libel a Tory that also happens to be dead paedophile. @parkstone9 — Rachel (@racybaldhero) January 18, 2014
Hey, Tories, look! #McAlpine’s friends are waiting for him in Hell. pic.twitter.com/jozm0Bw5AH — Rachel (@racybaldhero) January 18, 2014
@grpointer Of course NUJ don’t endorse this, you muppet. It’s none of their business! @Parlez_me_nTory @NUJofficial — Rachel (@racybaldhero) January 18, 2014
The Tories are trying to get me sacked with some REALLY old information. I offer journalism training, fellas. @Parlez_me_nTory@TheRedRag — Rachel (@racybaldhero) January 18, 2014
Idiotic? Certainly. Offensive? They seem designed to be just that. Illegal? No. Worthy of police action. We hope not. Because one mentally negligible tweeter using the death of a small child to make a point about races and to showcase his monocular view of the world and a vain tweeter calling an innocent dead man a nonce are not an attack on society. They represent nothing more than the views of two people with access to the internet. But you don’t have to do something wrong to be nicked; you just have to say something others think “aggravate the situation”. Behaving like a prat is now a criminal offence.
There are other ways to dealing with a fool than demanding their arrest from a police force keen to look caring and morally correct. You can mock them. You can reply to this playground stuff by repeating the mantra, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’. You can set you mates on them. Or you can ignore them. But don’t call the police. That really will damage our freedom in the long run…