Ass-covering and Re-writing History #poppycock
Right about now – or probably a couple of hours ago – the Kent Police are feeling a little less sure of themselves for arresting an ignorant prat for posting a picture of an insulting comment and a picture of a Remembrance Day Poppy being burned.
The young man was held over-night and questioned. Bet that shook him up some. Nonetheless is was a remarkably heavy-handed way to deal with a perfectly legal, if obnoxious and insulting Facebook post.
At first, it was all about the burning poppy. I was so shocked by this (since paper poppies are neither a flag nor legal tender and therefore there is no law against destroying them) that I looked into it further and heard that a comment, posted alongside the picture was also offensive. You can see both here: http://muslamicrayguns.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/poppy-burning-muppet-gets-nicked-casualsunited-edl-evf-poppyburner-elvington-aylesham/ if you wish. I won’t repost it because it IS indeed offensive.
But it’s not a threat and it’s just a picture of an idiot boy setting light to a paper poppy.
More interesting by far is the Kent Police website that first reported the arrest. Over the course of Monday, November 12, the content of the post was reworded a few times. The first time I saw it, at about 12 noon, it reported the poppy burning in the first paragraph – as if that was the ‘offense’ for which the kid had been arrested, and mentioned the offensive comment in the second paragraph.
Now, it looks like this:
What is interesting to me is that the emphasis has shifted from the burning poppy to the offensive comment. I guess they’re going to try and make a case that this is a threatening speech act now.
But what I’d like you to consider is this: power entities that believe themselves to be acting fairly and in good faith do not feel the need to massage their facts or re-spin things to cover their asses and stop themselves from looking foolish.
This is evidence of a mindset and a culture within an organisation that requires serious reconsideration. It’s evidence of people who act and post before they think and follow up. It is the outward manifestation of an organisation that is not sure who it is serving and answering to. And that’s not a good thing.