Friday 12 November 2010

Joking aside

It’s not been a very good week has it? Paul Chambers had his conviction upheld for a bit of nonsense written on Twitter, and on the same day councillor Gareth Compton was arrested for posting the following:
Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really. #R5L
I smiled when I read this because I guessed the context in which the statement had been made. Without context it’s incitement, ‘with’ and you have something we call a joke. It’s not very nice but, you know what, sometimes jokes can be a little bit nasty. For example there’s this from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown herself when questioning our former Prime Minister:
Are they not children, Mr Brown? You still cry for your own baby, who died so young.
Oh no wait, that’s just nasty.

Compton’s post was in response to an interview on the radio (he even tags his tweet to indicate this) in which Alibhai-Brown said that British politicians had no right to comment on human rights abuses in countries such as China and Iran; this apparently includes the stoning to death of women. Such a ludicrous position deserves to be lampooned but I’d suggest politicians leave the task to more accomplished satirists. Chris Morris made a film about four suicide bombers not so long ago and I don’t think they’ve locked him up... yet.


  1. I came, I read the links, I envied. You guys across the pond are giving us some stiff competition these days.

    And if it gets much worse, even the "more accomplished satirists" will give up the task in frustration.

  2. Well-balanced info and comment. "I'd suggest politicians leave the task to more accomplished satirists."
    ("I'd suggest" is a good phrase. Think I tend to cry [write] passionately, "I think - !" or "Why don't they... -- ??!" "I suggest" is better. More sedate. Will work on this.

    Is it possible -- that with the advent of the Internet, everyone now thinks they're a comedian? I read somewhere that with the internet, we are all poets.
    Everyone can be a writer.
    Everyone can have a blog.
    Everyone can post stuff, say stuff, tell truths, tell lies, put their picture up, be "famous," after a fashion.
    Maybe now British politicians think they're comedians (ours -- U.S. -- are rather tediously, self-importantly serious, it seems) -- and ironically sometimes we can get better info about politics from the comedians. The actual ones.