Ex-footballer Stan Collymore, who is better known for assaulting his then Girlfriend, Ulrika Johnson, in 1998 and for indulging in the practice known as “dogging” has now revealed himself as an anti-free speech campaigner too!
In February this year Stan Collymore made a complaint to police regarding racist comments made about him on Twitter. This resulted in a student being brought before City magistrates to defend himself against the charge of sending “grossly offensive” messages. That is an arbitrarily concocted, non-crime allowed into our courts by the appalling Section 5 of the Public Order Act. (Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell details various other abuses of the Act here.)
Unfortunately, Stan appears to have developed a taste for petty litigation. This week he, and others, reported Swansea University student Liam Stacey for making “sick” comments about Francis Muamba on Twitter. After the Bolton Player collapsed during a match Stacey posted Twitter comments such as “LOL, Fuck Muamba. He’s dead” and, “Go suck a nigger’s dick!” amongst other unsavoury Tweets. This prompted Collymore to respond, “Your sick Tweets have been passed on to the Police. Some people believe freedom of speech means you can say anything to anyone. You can’t. The laws of the land regarding hate speech is [sic] quite clear.”
Mr Collymore is quite right. We do not have freedom of speech in Britain, although his pompous pride in the fact is inexcusable. When the courts try people for being offensive, it can no longer be said that we live in a civilized society. Whether or not something is offensive is entirely subjective, therefore it must lie outside the remit of the judiciary, which can only remain impartial in cases where the law is objectively defined. When the judiciary is openly partial then the most important public institution has become corrupted, to the extent that it dangerously undermines the cohesion of the society it purportedly protects. Liam Stacey’s Twitter comments might well be upsetting to some people, and they are certainly moronic and hateful, but to bring him to trial for them is a true evil.
Repeal Section 5 of the Public Order Act!