Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been fined £1,000 for making a joke about a black security
guard at a public event.
Gascoigne joked abut Errol Rowe, a security guard, during his An Evening with Gazza show, by asking him: Can you smile please, because I can't see you?
Ordering Gascoigne to pay Rowe £1,000 in compensation, District Judge Graham Wilkinson lectured Gascoigne:
You sought to get a laugh from an audience of over 1,000 people because of the colour of Mr Rowe's skin. Mr Rowe was clearly humiliated on stage, as part of an act.
As a society it is important that we challenge racially aggravated behaviour in all its forms. It is the creeping 'low-level' racism that society still needs to challenge. A message needs to be sent that in the 21st century society that we live in, such
action, such words will not be tolerated.
It is not acceptable to laugh words like this off as some form of joke.
Ordering Gascoigne to pay a £100 victim surcharge and a £500 contribution to the cost of the prosecution. Gascoigne has pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence
Offsite Comment: The state's war on amateur comedians
The LibDems have published a discussion paper to debate policy on the decriminalisation of sex work. It will be debated at the up coming party conference and beyond. The introduction reads:
This consultation paper is presented as the first stage in the development of new Party policy in relation to sex work. It does not represent agreed Party policy. It is designed to stimulate debate and discussion within the Party and outside; based on
the response generated and on the deliberations of the working group a full nuclear weapons policy paper will be drawn up and presented to Conference for debate.
Liberal Democrats champion the human rights, freedom, dignity, safety, and well-being of individuals. We acknowledge and respect individual choice and uphold the principle of a tolerant open society. We work to reduce intersecting forms of discrimination
and structural inequalities domestically and internationally.
The conference motion that formed the basis of this paper, long-standing party policy, and the evidence we have taken so far leads us to the conclusion that we can only propose a regulatory system that is based on full realisation of sex workers' human
rights and underlines the states' obligations to address them. This means one that has decriminalisation at its heart
This consultation, therefore, focuses on the different kinds of sex work, and the problems that currently exist in various parts of the industry. We also want to take ideas on how best to reduce stigma, and how the law should work to best protect people
in the sex industry. Finally, we are keen to hear about how decriminalisation should work In practice.
The Crown Prosecution Service is to review anti-democratic allegations that Nigel Farage incited racial and religious
hatred during the EU referendum campaign.
The move comes after 42,691 people signed an online change.org petition calling for the former Ukip leader to be prosecuted. The petition cited the Breaking Point poster unveiled by Farage which depicted mainly non-white refugees crossing a border
in central Europe, thousands of miles from the UK. The petition stated:
The law states that it is incitement to racial hatred when a person 'intends to stir up racial hatred, or makes it likely that racial hatred will be stirred up. This can include such things as making a speech, displaying a racist poster.'
The law states that it is incitement to religious hatred when a person uses: 'words or behaviour that is intended to stir up religious hatred.'
Nigel Farage, however, told The Independent that he rejected utterly any suggestion that he or any campaign with which he had been involved had incited any sort of hatred. Speaking of those who had asked for him to be prosecuted, he said:
I suggest they all get a life and recognise that this referendum is over. The war is over. So let's get on with building a happy, peaceable multi-racial society.
The call for a prosecution was passed to Westminster Police who initially rejected it, with the investigating detective saying that the Breaking Point poster cannot sensibly be interpreted as incitement or any other offence. However the petition
was passed onto the CPS who for some reason didn't immediately reject it and have decided to review it.
Offsite Comment: Investigating Farage for hate speech would be an act of tyranny.
Three more police forces are considering expanding their definition of hate crime to include misogyny after
an experiment in one city that saw about 20 investigations launched in two months. Devon and Cornwall, Durham and Lincolnshire are reported to be sending officers to Nottingham to discuss the experiment.
Nottingham's action against against supposedly sexist abuse has drawn national interest. The city force introduced specially trained police who targetted behaviour ranging from street harassment to unwanted physical approaches.
Several other forces have confirmed they are sending representatives to Nottingham this month to discuss the introduction of misogyny as a hate crime.
Dave Alton, the 'hate crime manager' for Nottingham police, said:
The number of reports we are receiving is comparable with other, more established, categories of hate crime. We have received numerous reports and have been able to provide a service to women in Nottinghamshire who perhaps wouldn't have approached us six
months ago. The reality is that all of the reports so far have required some form of police action.
Melanie Jeffs, local feminist campaigner said:
Women are groped, or groups of lads shout abuse or very sexualised comments at them. We have incidents of sexual touching, women being grabbed and men trying to get women into a car with them.
We know it's a big issue that happens on a daily basis -- it's part of the everyday wallpaper of women's lives. This is about raising awareness, making women feel that they don't have to put up with it -- and that's very empowering. Already women are
ringing through to the police saying: 'I want this to be recorded as a misogynistic hate crime'.
The Society of Editors have condemned a decision by Liverpool councillors to support a ban on retailers selling
The Sun in the city, calling it a slide towards censorship .
At a meeting of the full council at Liverpool town hall, councillors backed a motion calling on retailers to stop selling the paper. It came after the council heard from Ralph Hadley who called on council members to throw their weight behind his
Total Eclipse of The Sun campaign . He said around 220 shops had also agreed to stop selling the paper.
According to the Echo, Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said he supported Total Eclipse of The Sun 110% and added the newspaper will never, ever, be forgiven .
Speaking to BBC News , Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, said that although he recognised the strength of feeling towards the newspaper in the city, it should be a matter of personal choice whether vendors wish to stock the
paper and the decision of individuals as to whether they wish to buy it. He said:
I think the issue is beginning to stretch towards censorship. No public organisation should be seeking to restrict a perfectly legitimate newspaper.
Strong feelings towards The Sun stem from its coverage following the Hillsborough stadium disaster on 15 April, 1989. The Sun angered Liverpool supporters when it claimed in a front page story after the disaster that fans of the club had behaved
despicably. 23 years later following an independent report into the disaster, the paper apologised for getting it wrong with the headline The Real Truth .
If you're confused about porn laws, you aren't the only one. Technological developments and changing societal attitudes have left UK legislation dated, contradictory and just plain confusing. By Kink Craft
The UK's premium rate services regulator, PhonepayPlus , is changing its name to the Phone-paid Services Authority , and adopting a new statement of purpose:
The UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.
The name change will be implemented in autumn 2016.
Also PhonepayPlus' new 14th Code of Practice for premium rate services comes into force, providing increased transparency and fairness and streamlining of our investigations, adjudications and appeals procedures.
David Edmonds CBE, Chairman of PhonepayPlus, said:
As we introduce the latest edition of our Code of Practice, I'm pleased to announce PhonepayPlus' new name: the Phone-paid Services Authority.
We've worked closely with industry stakeholders, consumers and our staff on this project, listening to them on how we can explain our role clearly for consumers while reflecting and supporting competition, innovation and investment in the market that we
As the Phone-paid Services Authority, we will continue to put consumers and the industry at the heart of our work as UK's regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.