Thursday, 11 November 2010

Mind what you say (or Tweet)

The original Twitter idiot has had his appeal against conviction for sending threatening messages rejected.

Paul Chambers, frustrated by repeated airport closures, Tweeted something unfunny about blowing up Leeds airport unless it reopened. Only his few Twitter followers received the message, and everyone knew it was a joke. Certainly Leeds Airport authorities didn't pay any attention.

But someone reported it to the police, and he was convicted. His appeal was based on the fact that it's obviously a joke. The judiciary disagrees and upheld the conviction (he hasn't tweeted it yet).

In solidarity, here are the words of another notorious terrorist and threat to national security.

'Come friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
It isn't fit for humans now'.

(John Betjeman, poet laureate).

This is ridiculous: it wasn't a bomb threat, and the authorities should be able to distinguish between terrorism and weak humour. When I say 'I could murder an Indian', I'd hope passing Plod can work out that I mean could eat a curry and not kill a human being. Apparently not. I really don't see how the medium through which Chambers' message was distributed made a difference.

Anyway, my day is improving. Not getting enough work done, but I have received another big stack of books: the Moomins novels I didn't have (Moominland Winter, Moominsummer Madness, Moominvalley in November, Tales from Moominvalley and The Exploits of Moominpapa; the other two beautiful big illustrated Moomin poetry books (Who Will Comfort Toffle? and The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My, Paul Mason's Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global (also out of solidarity: he manned a picket line at the BBC and deserves support, and his reports from Gary, Indiana on Newsnight and in the New Statesman were exemplary), and the hard-sf novel du jour, Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief.

(Thanks to Adam for correcting 'nuclear' to 'friendly' - I did know that really).

1 comment:

Adam said...

Come *friendly* bombs...