Posts tagged ‘racism’

The Welsh are a race now?

A man was fined for racism after he branded Welsh people “sheep shaggers”

They’ll be fining us for calling the French ‘frogs’ and the Germans ‘krauts’ next…

Freedom of Speech?

Luke O’Donoughoe, a particularly brain-dead specimen of humanity if one is to go by the picture of him in the Daily Fail, has gained himself an (no doubt) unwanted footnote in history by being the first person to be banned from a football ground for life because of remarks he made on twitter.

That ban has now been followed up with a criminal record ‘for sending an offensive message by public communication network under the Communications Act 2003′ and 120 hours of community service.

His crime? In the now deleted tweet (or tweets) he referred to a recent club signing using a word beginning with ‘N’ which is deemed to be offensive. Whether the player that the remarks were about saw them is unknown but what is known is that lots of others took offense on his behalf and it is their anger which has led us to where we are now.

That the word has history is undeniable but for all of that it is still a single word – and such a small word at that, consisting as it does, of only 6 letters and two syllables. Words though convey meanings and some, such as the one O’Donoughoe used, contain a lot more information than others.

Should he be punished though for using it? Indeed should anyone be punished for using words that others may deem to be offensive – especially if the person to whom they were directed didn’t see and/or hear them? Is second-hand offensiveness now as permissable in this country as second-hand smoking?

If we are truely a society that permits freedom of speech then people should be allowed to use the words without fearing that the State will punish them for it.

And before anyone shouts at me, I am not saying that the use of them should be consequence free. As the (I presume) owners of their ground, Norwich City are perfectly within their rights to ban O’Donoughoe from their property for life and, if being banned from the home ground of the team he supports isn’t enough, the internet will undoubtedly make sure that his stupidity – or at least some reference to it – is always there for others to see.

Being ostracised by society is a far more effective punishment for your sins than anything the State can impose.