And lo it came to pass that the fatuous airhead Sally Bercow has been found guilty of a tweet which insinuated in the most brazen of ways that an elderly Tory peer was serial child rapist. Now it needs to be said that the peer is utterly innocent. Was known before she tweeted to be innocent, and that the source the BBC used in their story, who, with his fellow care home residents, was subject to horrific assaults by people who need to be held to account for their vile crimes, freely says is innocent of any such obscenity.
The second point is that the Tweet wasn't subtle, and she actually named him.
Saying all that I am surprised that she was found guilty as the political elite, even her who has never been elected to anything, done anything of note, and is only famous because she is married to a iffy political, get off which most things.
As a person I am keen on free speech. There is no reason that what people say is nice. Free speech protects the idiot and the cruel not just us. But there are limits. If you use your speech to whip up hate, racism, or violence it is illegal. The fact that some seem able to use their words to incite murder and not be prosecuted is another point.
With the social media we've seen the idiotic spectacle of people being arrested for a joke they posted on social media sites which I condemn most strongly. But this is different. This is a totally innocent person being labeled a person who raped children. That's not a joke. That's not harmless. I can think of nothing worse than to be innocent and to have some cosseted member of the political elite destroy your name and open to up to violent attack. If I was so smeared, and I could afford it, I'd take legal action in the same way this peer did. Freedom of speech is not the freedom of break the law or to smear innocent people.
So I'm glad Sally lost.