Paul Chambers #twitterjoketrial update – half time at the appeal court
September 26, 2010 2 Comments
Friday saw the opening of Paul Chambers’ appeal against his conviction under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, which he was adorned with after sending a silly, but harmless and hyperbolic, tweet relating to an airport.
Initial expectations were that the hearing would be wrapped up on the day, with a verdict either in favour of common sense and reason, or in favour of the cruel and arbitrary whims of the state.
However, not only has this not come to pass – the hearing was adjourned late on Friday afternoon – but the matter is likely not to be resolved this side of November. So Paul Chambers, and his nearest and dearest, are to be left in further agonising suspense by a callous, arbitrary and inhuman system.
All the coverage you need on the current state of play is provided by the distinctly uneffable @DavidAllenGreen.
I’m writing this new post because Paul’s appeal was heard and then adjourned yesterday in Doncaster Crown Court and because the prosecution has, in my opinion, not only failed to strengthen its case since May but has offered evidence that actually weakens it to a never before seen level of farce.
Caroline Wiggin, for the prosecution, said Chambers had earlier sent direct messages to the woman in Northern Ireland as it appeared possible that the airport might close. In one he wrote: “I was thinking if it does I have decided to resort to terrorism.” She argued that the context provided by such messages strengthened the case that Chambers intended to cause menace. “If a man in prison were to send a message to his wife that he was going to come and beat her up, the court might consider that were menacing, albeit the man himself may have difficulty in putting it into effect,” she said.
He does a simply masterful job of demonstrating the monumental incoherence of the argument put forward by Caroline Wiggin, which you should read.
What really irked me about it, though, and what Matt does not address, is the implied gender politics informing the CPS’ argument.
It’s like something from chapter one of the “Harriet Harman Manual of Righteous Misandry” and my piss has been gently simmering ever since I read it yesterday.
Look at it again.
In one he wrote: “I was thinking if it does I have decided to resort to terrorism.” She argued that the context provided by such messages strengthened the case that Chambers intended to cause menace.
ORLY? How so? After all, this is a chap messaging the girly he’s on his way to see. Part of a running gag, perhaps?
Anyway, what possible motive, in the minds of the righteous, could a horny, hairy Yorkshire MAN have to make such a journey?
“If a man in prison were to send a message to his wife that he was going to come and beat her up, the court might consider that were menacing, albeit the man himself may have difficulty in putting it into effect,” she said.
So, err… once more for the cameras…
If a man in prison were to send a message to his wife that he was going to come and beat her up
Permit me to pose a question. Do you think, for one minute, that if it were Paul’s young lady in the dock for her part in the same series of messages, Ms Wiggin would have posited that…
“If a woman in prison were to send a message to her husband that she was going to come and beat him up, the court might consider that were menacing, albeit the woman herself may have difficulty in putting it into effect,”
Well, do you?
There are plenty enough objective, rational reasons why Caroline Wiggin’s argument is fatuous, non-sensical, prejudiced and fallacious.
But none of these approaches, as effectively as they make this woman look like a fool, satisfies my ire.
The implied, and lazy, feminist premise that all men are brutes and all women are victims, which seems to underpin this argument is breathtaking.
Matt, though – a man who is reasonable to the point of being fucking infuriating sometimes – insisted that Ms Wiggin was only putting forward the arguments cooked up by the CPS, and that it was unfair of me to level accusations of stupidity at her.
If anything, Matt’s assertion makes things look even worse.
In the conclusion I’d provisionally drawn, perhaps one of shooting the messenger, what we had was one woman who could be dismissed as a lazy, spiteful, man-hating, feminist idiot.
In Matt’s scenario though, the only conclusion we can draw is that the CPS is, institutionally, running a prosecutorial policy of lazy, spiteful, feminist, man-hating idiocy.
I was happier when I was just pinning the blame on Caroline Wiggin.
Now the whole house of cunts has to fall. Kier Starmer’s head needs to be on a platter by Christmas if Chambers is not cleared.
UPDATE: Matt has now gone one better and garnered the opinion of a linguistics expert, who has deconstructed the tweet that got Paul into so much bother. Must read blogging.