Friday, 20 January 2012

Making The World A Better Place

There are times when we question whether we would intervene in an action when something is going wrong. A couple of years ago Boris Johnson made headlines because he helped in a mugging (in a good way) and there was a debate as to whether members of the public should get involved in crime prevention. The answer will vary from person to person. Some may think it is better to cross the road and look the other way. Others may think that something should be done if there is a reasonable chance of success. There will be others who would try to stop a crime even if they have a slim chance of success. Do you remember last year when a woman attacked armed robbers with her handbag? Alright she did think that one of the gang was being attacked but she didn't hesitate to defend this person and she didn't stop when she realised her mistake.

Yesterday we heard about a man who celebrated after leaving course with a suspended sentence. He was found guilty of being part of a serious assault in Manchester. The victim felt that justice had not been done but it would not stop him acting as a good Samaritan in the future. I don't know if justice was done but it is quite possible that celebrations are relevant and the sentence appropriate.

I did start this blog with the opinion that the public, like the victim, should get involved if they see something going wrong. If we don't then anarchy will rule. However the more I read the more I saw prejudice. It seems that if you have tattoos or if you publicly celebrate a non-custodial sentence then you should be locked up. The authors of the comments that I read felt it was appropriate to call the celebrant a thug and as an unemployed member of the public this somehow related to evil acts. How do we allow this standard of journalism?

The man who celebrated may not be a pleasant person, I don't know, but the only thing he has been convicted of is assault, and he has been sentenced for that. If the sentence was inappropriate, that wasn't his fault. Punching the air afterwards may have been inappropriate, but I think it's understandable under the circumstances, and it isn't a crime. Neither is getting tattoos, or drinking, or wearing a costume at Halloween, or eating a burger, or any of the other things he's shown doing.

My intention was to write about how everyone can act to make the world a better place and we should get involved if something is going wrong, but journalists need to take a lead.

Change the world

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