A man who posted “despicable” comments on his Facebook page about missing youngster April Jones has been jailed for 12 weeks.
I don’t suppose anyone will readily leap to the defence of Matthew Woods’ comments. Clearly he has a problem with taste – but then, who hasn’t made a tasteless remark at some point in their lives? I can certainly recall making dark comments about the dismembered body of a suicide at my feet while waiting for the coroner’s folks to come along and declare that the body parts were, indeed, deceased. The difference here is that while my remarks may have been tasteless and insensitive, they weren’t plastered all over the Internet, so no one was likely to gaol me – not even the BT Police who were joining in.
You either believe in free speech or you do not. There are no inbetweens. If you do – and I do – then you have to take an absolute position, which means defending scrotes like Matthew Woods when they make obnoxious remarks that may well offend the eagerly offended. After all, those people who queued up to be offended could have just ignored it, couldn’t they? The magistrate could have told the CPS to grow the fuck up and dismissed the case as not worthy of being brought in the first place. Come to that, the police could and should have told the professionally offended to grow a pair. They could, they should, but in the land of free speech, free speech died and over at Cats, we see why:
October 9, 2012 at 5:29 am
What is most outrageous is that someone here could be so willing to defend a person capable of making such cruel and appalling statements on the basis of “freedom of speech”. I think the Jones’ should be given far more consideration and “freedom” to be left to deal with the horrifying situation that they face without having to be subjected to comments which are so amazingly insensitive. I would in fact argue that this was far more than a ‘crappy joke’. He didn’t just say it, he posted it online for the world to read. I would say this is worse than treason. If any of you have children and could begin to understand the pain inflicted under circumstances like this I would suggest you should be ashamed of yourselves for suggesting Matthew Woods’ actions were anything short of criminal. For those of you who don’t, maybe one day you will understand the true ignorance displayed in what you have written above.
Sden is clearly a totalitarian who does not believe in free speech, let alone understand the principle. He or she is such a cretin they cannot grasp where their stance will take us – indeed is already taking us – to the realms of thought crime. No, I am not ashamed to defend Woods’ right to free speech, for the defenders of free speech will sometimes have to defend those they find abhorrent, to defend speech that is abhorrent, for their speech today is my speech tomorrow. A lesson Sden should be taking seriously and the only ignorance here is that displayed in his or her comment. Worse than treason, FFS! What a jerk.
Thing is, Sden is probably in the majority in this brave new world of the Twitter and Facebook generation… We are the ones who are out of step.