Apparently, Paul Chambers got what he deserved

… or so say several commenters under the Guardian’s report of his case:


It’s satisfying to note that Punkrockhack is wrong in more ways than I’d previously thought possible. Paul did indeed get with his NonIron bird.


I was preparing to write a rebuttal to these people, pointing out that if they think the trauma Paul has undergone, and the collateral destruction of his career (not just a lost job!) is just punishment for an ill-judged but innocent throwaway remark, then they have lost all sense of proportion and I fear for our society of collaborators.

Happily, via Twitter, I see that another bloggist, Graham Linehan has done an excellent and comprehensive job of addressing the attitudes demonstrated above.

What all these people are essentially saying is this:  because this country was made less safe by  the hasty, reckless, duplicitous way in which  Tony Blair took us into war (a war which only yesterday claimed 114 more lives), and because he will never be brought to justice for that, we must live in a state of paranoid readiness, a state of nervous anxiety, a humorless state that cannot tell the difference between a joke and a threat, for the foreseeable future. Because that one, massive crime will go unpunished, we shall all be punished in thousands of interesting ways.

As Robert Harris said, while we stand at airport security with our shoes in our hands, Tony Blair floats unimpeded through another part of the terminal.

As we sit by a ruined Tube station, picking rubble out of our hair, Tony Blair is on his way to a thousand quid a plate dinner in a bulletproof limo.

To those people who put forward the view that Paul is the one at fault here, I’d like to say,  it’s not supposed to be like this. We’re not supposed to be scared of our shadows. We’re not supposed to be torturing people. We’re not supposed to be letting people get away with murder. We’re not supposed to be prosecuting people for offhand jokes.




2 thoughts on “Apparently, Paul Chambers got what he deserved

  1. Also, there is a difference between finding the person who sent the stupid tweet and giving him a good telling off which he will probably remember for the rest of his life and won’t ever do again and actually taking him to court and making a mockery of the legal system.

  2. I wonder what would happen if everyone on Twitter who supports Paul descided to essentially retweet his (bad) joke…

    But everyone has been right so far. A poor joke should not result in a prison sentence.

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