• Blog Stats

    • 77,564 hits
  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 157 other followers

  • Copyright notice

    This blog entry and all other text on this blog is copyrighted, you are free to read it, discuss it with friends, co-workers and anyone else who will pay attention.

    If you want to cite this blog article or quote from it in a not for profit website or blog then please feel free to do so as long as you provide a link back to this blog article.

    If as a school teacher or university teacher you wish to use content from my blog for the education of students then you may do so as long as the teaching materials produced from my blogged writings are not distributed for profit to others. Also at University level I ask that you provide a link to my blog to the students.

    If you want to quote from this blog in an academic paper published in an academic journal then please contact me before you submit your paper to enable us to discuss the matter.

    If you wish to reuse my text in a way where you will be making a profit (however small) please contact me before you do so, and we can discuss the licensing of the content.

    If you want to contact me then please do so by e-mailing me at Chalmers University of Technology, I am quite easy to find there as I am the only person with the surname “foreman” working at Chalmers. An alternative method of contacting me is to leave a comment on a blog article. If you do not know which one to comment on then just pick one at random, please include your email in the comment so I can contact you.

More on the trial of Anders Behring Breivik

Dear Reader,

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik continues in Norway, I have to commend the people of Norway for their calm way in which they have shown their feelings for Anders Behring Breivik. The public seem to be doing it better than some elements of the UK public would be doing under similar conditions.

I hold the view that trial by media or public opinion is wrong, if a need exists for a trial then a real court with real judges and real lawyers is needed. The court should ignore the fact that 40000 people have protested by singing the song, but if people are going to protest I thinking singing a childrens’ song is far better than some of the things I have seen on the news outside courts.

In the UK when a unpopular criminal such as Roy Whiting  or Ian Kevin Huntley appears in court a modern day lynch mob appears outside the court. Typically the mob tends to attack the prisoner transport van and the police are forced to keep the angry crowd back from the van.

What happened in Norway was after Breivik stated that a childrens’ song was a Marxist brainwashing song that he deeply hated a large crowd of people (circa 40000) appeared near the court house and sang the song.

I feel that the trial has been allowed to turn into a soap box from which Breivik is yelling his nonsense to the world, frankly I think that this stinks to the high heavens. I think that some reporting restrictions should be imposed on the court, rather than holding the case “in camera” a press release should be made each day in which a report on the evidence given and the legal arguments presented to the court will be released.

Some people have said that people (even Breivik) have a “freedom of speech”, I would say that no absolute right to freedom of speech exists. For example I can not say to a shopkeeper “I have a gun, empty the till into a paper bag and then give me the bag” and then use “freedom of speech” as a defence for making this demand for money (Most places call that robbery). Nor do I have a freedom to yell during the showing of a film at the cinema, again I do not have a right to shout down the priest during a service. Shouting down the priest is an interesting one, if I claim a freedom of speech then he could then reply by saying that I interfered with his use of his right to free speech !

I would say also that the setting of where the speech occurred is important, for example if I choose to exercise my “right” to free expression by writing a rude poem about Skatterverket (the Swedish tax authority) on my tax return rather than filling in the form in accordance with the instructions then I am sure that I will get into trouble. I am also sure that attempting to use “freedom of speech” will not allow me to avoid punishment.

In the same way the punk prayer of Pussy Riot in Russia which occurred in a place of worship was wrong because it was in the wrong place. I am sure that had they done their rude song about the church somewhere else then no crime would have occurred. I discussed this case with some students recently, some of these students thought that the time and place of an expression does not matter. I say it does, if Madonna choose to sing a blasphemous song at a concert house where the audience have consented to hearing this song (well they have paid to go and hear her sing, and she is well known for doing songs about sexual matters which might be viewed as blasphemous) then it is one thing. But if she jumped up at the “trooping of the colour” (A key part of the official birthday of the British sovereign) and sang such a song then it could well be an offense. The purpose of the trooping of the colour is to celebrate the birthday of the Queen, not for people to listen to dirty songs.

In the same way a criminal court is a time and place for an enquiry regarding the guilt or innocence of a person to be determined. Also it is a place where a judgement about a person’s sanity, state of mind or sentence should be discussed, it is not a place for show business or political speeches !

Advertisements

Go on, Have your say !

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: