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HAS Twitter really empowered us to free speech, or has it just empowered humans to believe that they can get away with saying anything without fear of legal or political retribution.
Diane Abbott’s comments, while not exactly helpful to the whole race relations debate, have taught us two things.
· A) With free speech comes responsibility. The rise of social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, has not only emboldened people to speak out, and give their views, but it has also given people the false security that they can say anything without a potential comeback.
· B) Last year I heard someone say that if you pour enough booze down someone, or, indeed, they get drugged to capacity, their real views on life will shine through. This spat with Abbott has taught that you don’t have to be drunk, or drugged to say something slightly out of kilt – or indeed for it to be taken out of context. Unfortunately, in our nw politically correct society, we have to apologise for everything we do, say, and hope that is the last of it.
As it happens, I agree with the editor of The-Latest.com Marc Wadsworth, who was quizzed on Sky News today over Abbott’s comments. He told Surly Kay Burley that this whole storm in a tea cup shouldn’t detract from the Met’s finest tracking down the other culprits who brutally and unjustifiably murdered Stephen Lawrence in cold blood on that horrific day in April 1993.
In fact the real issue in all of this is the fact that Norris and Dobson have gotten off scot free, and, really, should have got “life” for their sickening racial crime. But that is another issue altogether.
Nor should this spat detract from the real issue, trying to balance gender/racial equality in this country.
While the comments probably were stupid and crass, as Deputy PM Nick Clegg said they were, I can’t say I was offended that much, particularly as they were indeed taken out of context. That is why I hate Twitter.
In 140 characters, it is impossible to say what you mean, and mean what you say.
Abbott fell into that trap of not meaning what she said, and not being able to explain what she meant or said. She will not be the last to fall into the social media false of security. Everything people say on there is mostly taken as Gospel.
I’m no fan of Diane Abbott, believe me, but!
One word of advice to newbie twits, don’t fall for it….Don’t be a tweeting twit…