Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne (C) leaves Dudley Magistartes Court in Dudley, central England, on September 19, 2016. Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been fined £1,000 ($1,305, 1,168 euros) and ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation by a court on Monday for making a racist comment to a black security guard at his 'An Evening With Gazza show' last year. / AFP / PAUL ELLIS        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Gazza’s 21st-century show trial should worry us all

Is it a crime now to tell rubbish jokes? The bizarre and frankly cruel treatment of Paul Gascoigne suggests it might be. Yesterday, at Dudley Magistrates Court, Gazza was found guilty of using ‘threatening or abusive words’ and fined £2,000. His crime was to say the following about a black security guard who had been assigned to look after him during his show An Evening With Gazza at Wolverhampton Civic Hall last year: ‘Can you smile please, because I can’t see you?’ Some people might find that funny; I, personally, don’t. But a court case? A criminal record? A fine? For cracking a joke? The precedent set by this case is terrifying.

  • Jim Horne

    How far down the toilet has Britain gone? Well, Winston Churchill may be next.

    “Churchill topped a poll of history’s funniest insults with a famous jibe directed at either the socialist MP Bessie Braddock or the Conservative Lady Astor, the first female MP, depending on which version of the story you hear.

    When accused by one of them of being ‘disgustingly drunk’ the Conservative Prime Minister responded: ‘My dear, you are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.’”

    Winston Churchill tops poll of history’s funniest insults

  • SDMatt

    The U.K. is not a free society. They more than anyone need a 2nd amendment for just this very thing.