05 November, 2013
Saying boo to a goose ... is a vile, life-threatening hate crime
I am always wary of drawing conclusions from the news reports of criminal prosecutions. Newspapers have agendas and journalists are often lazy or cowardly, but you can't always be present yourself in the court to hear the whole story, so in general you have to depend on the news media.
Taken at face value, then, this case merits attention.
and banned from football for 52 years
after 'Stephen Lawrence chants' on train
Ignoring the Mail's hyperbolic and numerically misleading headline, the meat of the case is that
Seven Charlton fans who chanted songs that 'glorify and idolise' the murderer of Stephen Lawrence have been jailed and banned from football for a total of 52 years.Such as?
The supporters, who had been at an FA Cup match against Fulham on January 7 last year were jailed for their abusive behaviour on a train from Putney to Waterloo.
The men, aged between 22 and 31, were convicted of causing racially aggravated fear of violence after witnesses complained of sexual and racially motivated abuse.
British Transport Police said the group chanted in support of Gary Dobson, three days after he was convicted of murdering Stephen LawrenceOh right then.
Speaking after the sentencing at Blackfriars Crown Court, Baljit Ubhey, CPS London Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: 'These men were singing and chanting racist abuse in praise of the convicted murderers of Stephen Lawrence. To glorify and idolise these men was disturbing and upsetting.
And what was this intimidatory racist abuse that put other passengers in fear of their lives? Was it perhaps,
"Stephen Lawrence was a dirty nigger and deserved to die. And we're going to kill any coon on this train who says different."followed up (crucially) by getting up and physically assaulting any Blacks who had the misfortune to be present, which behaviour might indeed justifiably have attracted custodial sanction.
Or did they, as local rumour suggests, simply sit there and chant,
"There's only one Gary Dobson."which is just rather uncouth and might reasonably attract an informal ticking off from the authorities, urging the fans to greater discretion and "sensitivity", or at most, absent the racial element, a section 5 public order offence and a small fine.
And "absent the racial element" is significant here. It is difficult to avoid the reading that these men were being made an example of. To put it brutally, "to teach Whitey to know his place". For much of the last 40 years, legislation and public policy have been directed towards suppressing a barely-contained White mob eternally on the point of rising up to exterminate the Black and Brown invader. Either that or to make jolly hurtful allusions to a fancied similarity of "yer Darkies" to monkeys and to exclude them from joining the local Working Men's Club.
OK, I'm being facetious and sarcastic. It would be ridiculous to suggest that White hostility to and violence against Black and Brown immigrants has not occurred in the 65 years since the symbolic docking of the Windrush at Tilbury, not that Browns and Blacks have not retaliated in kind. It would be equally foolish, however, to suggest that the levels of mutual intolerance are permanently at fever pitch, necessitating recourse to desperate measures to contain them. Such is, frankly, the thinking of ignorant blinkered Righteous White liberals and opportunist Black victimists. The ordinary geezer on the Woolwich omnibus has a more nuanced view. We remain perfectly civil to Nigerians, even after the provocation of the Lee Rigby atrocity, but we still think rather too many of them are crooked cunts you wouldn't trust any further than you could throw a full-grown African bull elephant. Crude as it sounds, that is pragmatic and realistic race relations, as practised by the plebs who actually have to deal with it in the real world.
I think if there is a serious point to be made about the reporting by the Mail, and indeed other media, of the trial of the Charlton Seven, it is this: I am willing to believe that there is more to this than meets the eye. If the behaviour of the Charlton fans did extend to more than a bit of unsavoury chanting, to an extent that actually does justify banging these lads up, then this needs to be made explicit. Otherwise the whole process looks like Whitey-bashing in the name of Saint Stephen, the eventual reaction to which will indeed be the unleashing of the White mob of your imagination. Have a care.
At the bottom of the Mail piece we find,
Sorry we are unable to accept comments for legal reasons.What legal reasons might those be? The usual, and perfectly sensible reason for closing down reader comments is the danger of comments slipping through that might breach the sub judice restrictions protecting a case being tried. The present case is done, sentenced and dusted. Shurely shome mishtake here. Answers on a postcard, please.
Declaration of personal racist eviltude
In the context of the above post, I feel morally obliged to add the following:
On the Saturdays when Charlton is playing at home, large groups of fans can be seen travelling on Greenwich line trains to and from the Valley. Addicks fans are, by and large, pussycats who wouldn't say "boo" to a cheezburger, never mind a goose, and these threatening crowds consist of grandads, mums and dads often with preteen sprogs in tow, quietly minding their own business in what must seem to the unfamiliar observer a thoroughly intimidatory manner.
Recently arrived Africans, of which there is a steady flow round here, who have not encountered this phenomenon before, can often be seen huddled in frightened groups on station platforms, looking jolly nervous.
I have to admit, to my shame, that I find all this quite amusing.
Alright, ossifer, no need for the cuffs; I'll come quietly.
Being too lazy, stupid and inebriated to blog myself, I am gratified someone has picked up on this abominable travesty of justice.
Should Dobson's conviction be quashed on appeal at some stage, I won't be holding my breath for these convictions to follow in turn.
Also, given that at the time The Pogues wrote "Birmingham Six" said blameless gentlemen stood convicted of having murdered 21 rather pasty-skinned individuals, one can only wonder at the apparent disparity...
What would they do in anm Irish club?
"Roddy Mc Cauly," "The outlaw Jim Pierce."