Friday, 13 April 2012

FREE SPEECH and OUTRAGE (1)

This three part series is about speech (however egregious) not about actions.

On March 18th 2012 the Zaire born football player 24 year old Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the soccer pitch as he suffered from a heart attack. He was playing for a team known as Bolton Wanderers in a match versus Tottenham Hotspurs.

Mr Muamba was rushed to the hospital,(he is now making a slow recovery) and the game was abandoned.

At the time of Mr Muamba’s collapse, down in south Wales, 21 year old student Liam Stacey tweeted some crude and cruel racist comments about the footballer.  Stacey (by his own admission) was very drunk when he did this.

(In my experience drunk people often say things out loud which they have thought whilst sober -  editorial comment from jmp).


Liam Stacy was arrested and tried for inciting racial hatred.  He has since been jailed with a 55 day sentence.

( Stacey’s words were vile and nasty. But it is hard for me to understand how jailing him serves a greater purpose. Such a jail sentence could be grist for the mill for U.K. racists – feeding into their mistaken sense of being aggrieved in a multi-racial country.


Wouldn’t a greater purpose have been served had Mr. Stacy be sentenced to 55 days of community service in (say) a black church in South Wales, or (say) providing services for a disabled black veteran of  WWII or Korea).


See the following article from the left leaning British newspaper The Guardian for more insights on this case.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/08/victoria-coren-liam-stacey-tweets

(You will probably have to cut and paste this link from the Guardian)

And please pray for Mr. Muamba’s continuing recovery.

2 comments:

  1. You have some inaccuracies in your blog.

    Liam Stacey tweeted a remark about Muamba (it was not racist) and then others responded to it.

    Some of the responses were abusive and racist towards the Welsh, and Liam Stacey responded in kind with racist and offensive remarks (some of them were clearly meant to be offensively humorous).

    He was not charged with inciting racial hatred. He was charged with a public order offence that was racially aggravated.

    Jailing him for such a minor offence was outrageous and was criticised by the European Commissioner for Human Rights.

    I'm ashamed that Britain has been criticised in this way.
    Our judiciary are usually very lenient, but there has been a recent scandal about racism in the police, and football is likewise rife with racism, so Liam Stacey, in my opinion, has been scapegoated.

    Nobody serves the full jail term, by the way.
    The term is always halved, but that is bad enough.

    Yes, pray for Muamba, but also pray for Liam Stacey and his family.

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  2. Hi Anonymous

    I regret any inaccuracies - I could only write based on what I read in the British Press (see the Guardian article re the confusion as to the offences with which Liam was charge). I hope that you noted my belief that his jailing was not the nest way to respond to hos offence.

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