A columnist writes (edited extract)
So, just 10 days after tweeting vile racist abuse about footballer Fabrice Muamba, student Liam Stacey has been jailed. A victory, and instant justice, in the fight against racism. A sign of how Britain has changed in this new post-racial nation we live in. "Tweet justice," says the Sun newspaper headline. "LOL Ha-Ha!"Seems fair comment to me.
Well, hold on. Am I the only one to think that 56 days in jail for a drunken rant, despicable though it was – so noxious, in fact, that no newspaper has the stomach to publish it – is a bit severe? Yes, punish him; but if he is to change his behaviour, which we all want to see, he hardly needs a sentence of this length. I'd be happy to see him do some community work, where he might come into contact with some of those he currently dehumanises.
And whether you give drunken tweeters 56 days, or five years, or a life behind bars, it doesn't address the fact that the real racial abuses, the real peddlers of hate in this country, are going about their business with no fear of being held to account.
The Guidelines are at page 42 of this PDF. It's hard to square them with this sentence.