It seems our distant cousins across the Atlantic have lost any sense of how much of their freedom has simply been deleted. Erased. Gone.
Jamie Penny shouted at Eddie Izzard. An example of what Penny shouted to Izzard? OK – “You fucking poofter!” Izzard had had enough and told reporters that he meant to “attack back with words”. Fortunately for Izzard, his words were also backed up by the entire institutional framework of today’s British justice system.
No doubt Penny might be a horrible person. The judge thought so. He also thought he should be locked up for 20 weeks, but suspended the sentence for a year¹. If Penny can’t keep his big mouth shut in the next twelve months no doubt he will go straight to jail.
Context? Equity in justice? The punishment commensurate with the crime? Free speech and expression? Nope. It seems using feelings to measure crime is the new normal for the Anglo-Saxon race. Perfidious Albion has indeed left its people with very little. What next? Putting people straight behind bars for eight months for hurling bacon! Oh yeah, right…I forgot.²
INT: Day. Cell in British jail. Two inmates are talking.
Inmate #1: So, what are you in for?
Inmate #2: Shouting. Well, nothing mental or nothing, just shouting at this homosexual who was across the street.
Inmate #2: Shouting? Oh! You mean you used aggressive, homophobic, abusive language and behaviours, with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress under one of the various provisions of British public order legislation?
Inmate #1: Er, yeah, I guess.
Inmate #2: Well, why didn’t you just say so in the first place? What are you, American or something?
¹ Daily Mail; ‘Autistic man hits out at the comedian after being spared prison for shouting homophobic abuse at him in a London street‘
² Daily Mail, Emma Glanfield; ‘Two Polish men who threw rashers of bacon at London mosque-goers, shouting ‘enjoy f***ers’ as they fled the scene are jailed for eight months‘