13 March, 2011
50% of not a lot
But Emdadur Choudhury was convicted of the least serious of public order crimes and could be fined only 50% of his weekly income, according to the means-testing sentencing rules.
The court had no option after Choudhury's lawyer said the defendent's part-time job paid him only £480 a month.
His monthly benefits of £792 apparently didn't count.
Two things. Firstly there is an interesting example of the "squeezed middle" effect here.
Suppose I have no dependents and receive no state benefits but, like Emdadur, have a total (acknowledged) income of a little over £15,000 a year, then all of that income would presumably be counted in determining a maximum fine of about £280. OK, Emdadur's income includes the subsidy you and I pay him to bring up a brace of sprogs — is that all, man: you are surely failing in your duties to the demographic Jihad here — a brace of sprogs whom he is no doubt assiduously teaching to despise us. But then I too might have inelastic and unavoidable financial commitments. For example, unlike Emdadur, who is living in subsidized social housing, I might have mortgage repayments to make.
I'm open to counterargument here, but it seems to me that the system is skewed in favour of those who are in the position of not giving a shit because the state will pay anyway. Oh I'm sure there are mechanisms in place for taking "my" mortgage commitments, etc, into account. So why do I have this sinking feeling that all of "my" income would end up being classified as disposable anyway?
The second point is this. If the potential punishment is so laughably mild, where was the CPS's famous creativity in inflating charges? A section 5 public order offence is basically at the level of giving somebody the finger. Given the fact that this clown and his oppos contrived to outrage a goodly tranche of the indigenous population to an extent which in more excitable countries would have had them and anybody who looked remotely like them torn limb from limb, surely we could have stretched to a section 4 incitement charge of some kind. Afraid of upsetting the muzzies, are we? Or are they just "our sort of people", as compared with those dreadful White chavs?
After all, if I understand the somewhat confusing reports appearing on the EDL message boards, "They" are still trying to pin something, anything, on Tommy Robinson for his involvement at the same incident.
Update 17 March
Oops! An income of £480+£792 per month equates to something over £292 per week. A maximum fine of 50% of weekly income would work out at £146, not £280 as written above. Well, give us a break. I was doing the sums in my head; it's 45 years since I did my maths 'A' level and the ageing brain is not what it was, innit?
The point still stands, though.
No counterargument from me!
This is typical government newthink: debts are run up all over the place but some don't count.
It's heartening to know that the people fining him don't want to take what is essentially our money off him, as they would only have to find a way for us to give it him back. So I suppose this saves paperwork.