Sunday, November 20, 2011

Section 5 Again - Sticks And Stones

The eminently sensible Mr. Justice Bean has ruled on the vexed question of whether a police officer is likely to be caused 'harassment alarm and distress' by hearing the word 'fuck'. I have been on drinking terms with police officers for a very long time, and I have never yet had to call for smelling salts to revive one who suffered a fit of the vapours upon hearing the now ubiquitous f-word.
I am not disputing that it is rude and horrid to use that word; I myself only use it in extreme circumstances, such as stubbing my toe or hearing the price of a double gin and tonic in a Thames Valley pub, and even then I try to keep it sotto voce. But really - if a copper is such a delicate flower that he comes over all unnecessary at a bit of Gordon Ramsay profanity, isn't he in the wrong job?
His Lordship properly looked at the wording of Section 5 of the Public Order Act and applied common sense. For what it's worth, I think that M'Lud got it spot on.

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