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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Conservative Councillor Gareth Compton calls for stoning of Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on twitter

Another example of alleged wry humour gone wrong on twitter.

This is an awful tweet to have sent out.  Gareth claims it was a humorous response to something on Radio 5, the problem is if you don't explain the connection the tweet comes over as nothing more than a disgusting personal attack on someone.

When will elected representatives realise that whether in jest or not their words are a matter of public record.

I have had the great privilege of meeting Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and was truly impressed.  Although Yasmin will often offend with her words, she fights racism hard and comes down on those who incite it harder.

So, Conservative Councillor Gareth Compton should not be surprised that Yasmin is reporting him to the police and will pursue this message on twitter.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown said;
"You just don't do this. I have a lot of threats on my life. It's incitement. I'm going to the police – I want them to know that a law's been broken."

She added that she regarded Compton's remarks as racially motivated because he mentioned stoning.

"If I as a Muslim woman had tweeted that it would be a blessing if Gareth Compton was stoned to death I'd be arrested immediately. I don't think the nasty Tories went away."

The Guardian has also picked the story up;
The columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has said she will report a Conservative councillor to the police after he posted a message on Twitter saying it would be a "blessing" if she was stoned to death.
 Councillor Compton has now profusely apologised, many times.
Compton, the Conservative councillor for Erdington, said he was writing in response to comments made by Alibhai-Brown on Radio 5 Live.

The councillor claimed she had said, with reference to David Cameron's trip to China, that no politician was morally qualified to speak out about human rights abuses, including the stoning of women, bar the likes of Nelson Mandela.

Compton, who later apologised on Twitter, added: "Twitter is a forum for glib comment of the moment. It was a glib comment. Who could possibly think it was serious?

"Obviously I apologise. No offence was intended."
Councillor Compton may well have not intended any offence but Yasmin has taken it.  Gareth may come to regret ever listening to that debate on Radio 5 and he will certainly regret going on to tweet about it.

Other politicians who have made major mistakes on twitter have found a quiet life after, especially those who have then been forced to resign after, will Councillor Compton be one of them?


Anonymous said...

You were truly impressed by her. You are obviously easily swayed.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the fact that he IS an elected representative mean that he had (has?) the support if the people who put him there. Bad jokes and all? I found the activists attitude on Radio 5 to be sanctimonious and irritating as well, but though I had no wish to tweet a bad joke about it, I can see the whole thing in context. Common sense people!

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