So, thanks to some annoyed opinions on Tuesday’s The Wright Stuff, and e-mailed invective on Wednesday’s Metro letters page, I found out about the £50 fine given to Emdadur Choudhury for his Armistice Day poppy-burning…
…and, then, I got a little annoyed myself.
The general consensus seems to be that not only was his anti-poppy pyromania “disgusting”, but that his fifty quid fine constituted “a kick in the teeth” to Our Brave BoysTM in the forces, past and present. Everyone, from Prime Minister Davy Cameron, to Metro reader Dave Reardon, deems the fine “pathetic” and a gross leniency.
According to Reardon,
It should have been set at £1,000 and he should have been jailed for a minimum of one year.
So much for that hallowed freedom of expression Our Brave BoysTM supposedly bled, bombed, and bayoneted for!
Were I holding the gavel in the trial of Cheeky Choudhury, I’d not only have laughed the case out of court, but fined whoever saw fit to arrest the East End chancer in the first place. Section 5 of the Public Order Act be damned! I’d happily send that piece of creeping draconianism straight to the shredder, where it belongs.
Whatever one’s thoughts on Choudhury and Co.’s performance, can it be said that the ayatollah-wannabes inflicted bodily harm by burning their poppies and shouting their little slogans? If not, then what exactly was being penalized with this court case? Reading about the story from the perspective of the veteran-descended Tony Kibble, it seems to amount to seeking recourse for feeling “sick inside”, for suffering “tears of anger and rage at the disrespect in my eyes”.
In other words, Kibble’s feelings got hurt.
It would appear that this case wasn’t so much about civic justice as civic therapy; District Judge Howard Riddle being reportedly impressed by Kibble’s “typical feelings” about Armistice seems to bear out my analysis. Who knows: maybe they plan to stick a black leather couch in every British courtroom, in anticipation of similar cases?
Seriously, strip away the self-righteous pomp ‘n’ ceremony about the “disrespect” toward this “significant event”, and it becomes clear that this whole sorry fiasco amounts to little more than political correctness for the majority; this time, instead of the abstract ‘ethnic minority member’, ‘Muslim’, or ‘gay’, it’s the “typical” (read: the archetypal Brit) that requires special pandering. These words uttered by prosecutor Simon Ray sound all too familiar:
Pretty much the typical cry of those who support free-speech-so-long-as-it-doesn’t-offend-them, a.k.a. the pro-censorship lobby. You know a nation’s “freedom of expression” is on shaky ground when those who claim to defend it call for bans and penalties against words that offend their precious sensibilities (I’m looking at you, Jon Gaunt! You too, Shami Chakrabarti!).
Incidentally, I once again roll my eyes at the veritable shitstorm that arises whenever a state functionary or institution fails to garner a desired amount of reverence. Often, such shitstorms throw up some interesting double standards: ever notice how some folk will deride officially recognized PC in one breath, yet castigate anyone who has a bad word for Our Brave BoysTM and the Boys in BlueTM with the next?
I guess it ain’t “political correctness gone mad”, so long as they’re the ones doing the correcting, eh?
Speaking of Our Brave BoysTM , I really can’t let this utterance by Gulf War veteran Shaun Rusling pass without comment:
If the noise and fury he contributes to doesn’t constitute an uproar, I really dunno what does!
Personally, if someone wants to set their own stuff alight, I really couldn’t give a fuck, whether said stuff be a poppy, a Koran, or a national flag—feel free to blaze it up! If nothing else, it can make for great performance art, and much better therapy than a court of law.
Anyone got a light?