Tuesday, 18 May 2010

What Is Inappropriate Language?

A magistrate is facing disciplinary action after describing two teenage vandals as 'absolute scum'. He insists he had used 'appropriate language'.

Two 16-year-old boys scribbled racist and sexually abusive graffiti on prayer books and bent a valuable cross out of shape in Blackburn Cathedral, Lancashire.

Sentencing the pair, who were caught after signing their names in the visitors' book, Austin Malloy, chairman of the bench, said: "Normal people would consider you absolute scum." Mr Malloy said his fellow magistrates agreed with him but a court clerk objected to the language, claiming it 'inappropriate'.

The mother of one of the youths, who cannot be identified due to their age, then lodged a complaint and an inquiry into the incident was launched.

Mr Malloy said: "We are trained and told to communicate with young offenders, any offenders for that matter, in language they understand. You have got to use language appropriate to those people so they understand exactly what you are doing.

"We felt we had to discipline the young boys and that's the language we used to make them understand the gravity of the crime they had committed."

He added: "It was a disgraceful crime. We considered it at length in the retiring room and it was the appropriate statement that we agreed on."

Mr Malloy criticised the actions of the clerk, Christine Dean, claiming she had acted 'totally out of her brief'.

Mr Eugenides has also hit his keyboard about this issue and asks, "What is wrong with this country?"

My response is that we've allowed the Righteous to take over and it is our responsibility to regain control of common sense. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Ms Dean has also attended one of these Common Purpose courses - the formal way for the Righteous to learn the ropes.

Scum, in this situation, is very appropriate. Why are 16 year olds protected from being named when young folk can join the army at that age and politicians are keen they also be permitted to vote?


Joe Public said...

But SR, he didn't describe them as scum.

He made the factually correct observation that "Normal people would consider you absolute scum."

Macheath said...

"Normal people would consider you absolute scum."

I wonder if the clerk was objecting primarily to the implication that the boys were not normal - a suggestion that can land the unsuspecting in serious trouble with the thought police.

The use of the word 'scum' might actually be the lesser infraction of the two, since it was a judgement ascribed to hypothetical opinion.

(Sorry about the semantic pedantry, but I do have some experience of how these people work.)

Apogee said...

By her actions the clerk may well think she is being said to be "not a normal person"! Her decision.
Many normal people may make a similar decision.

Indyanhat said...

Scum floats to the top ,theiving bankers and politicians are scum! these are the bottom of the barrel, the dregs of society!!!
Normal, no I disagree these are far from normal, there are thousands on thousands of kids would never dream of doing this sort of thing they are normal, these are abnormal and probably do not care what normal people want or think!!!
People, well only a very loosely applied epithet in their case, people suggests some sort of civilised attitudes as opposed to animal none civilised, these are feral humans perhaps but people certainly not yet , if they ever will attain such dizzy heights!!

JRB said...

I cannot put to paper what I actually feel about this whole debacle for fear that the politically correct thought police inspired by some minor court official might think my comments inappropriate.

Thanks to Ms Dean I have had my freedom of thought and freedom of speech curtailed.

This must surely constitute some offence under some obscure EU Legislation, my international solicitors, that well known firm of Delay, Worry & Expense, will be contacting Ms Deans via the Blackburn Magistrate’s Court to discuss the mater.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

I've been in front of judges who didnt raise their voices nor used any hint of inappropriate language.

But could still instill terror(although you wouldn't show it) as they passed sentence and said take him down.

some where and still are held in awe by some very bad people

JuliaM said...

I'd like to know how the hell a mere clerk of the court felt empowered to stand up and remonstrate with a magistrate in the public eye in the first place!

I guess once again, the servants have got into the habit of considering themselves the masters...

subrosa said...

Very true Joe. I apologise if I've misled you or anyone.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Glad they mentioned Dean's name, it makes a change from the usual anonymous complainant. With any luck, her career is now over.

subrosa said...

Niko, did you read the article? The judge had been given lessons in how to speak in their language. That's the modern way to do it. The way you know is now out of date as it would possibly be regarded as 'threatening'. No?

subrosa said...

Like I said Julia, she's possibly been on one of these Common Purpose courses were everyone is told they're superior to the rest of us.

subrosa said...

Me too Dick although I'm sure someone would have found it out promptly.

What surprises me is that they're 16 and yet not allowed to be named. Why is that? Why are they protected like this?

subrosa said...

Indyan, don't forget the mother now sees £££ signs as compensation. Believe me.

subrosa said...

It is difficult to let your opinion go in this case John. I tried to control mine and be factual but I think we're on the same train.

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