Media luvvie and promoter of expensive Apple gear Stephen Fry has said he is “prepared to go to prison” to help defend a bloke who is appealing against his conviction for sending a” menacing communication”.
Paul Chambers had tweeted: “Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week… otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!” According to the Beeb, Fry thinks that is an example of Britain’s tradition of self-deprecating humour and banter and you should not be locked up by a bunch of humourless idiots who see terrorists and weapons of mass destruction when there are none.
Fry said this verdict must not be allowed to stand in law and he would continue to repeat Chambers’ message and face prison “if that’s what it takes”.
Others who have signed up to a “blow Robin Hood Airport sky high” campaign are Al Murray, Rufus Hound, Katy Brand and Father Ted writer Graham Linehan, who held a benefit gig at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre, aimed to raise funds for Chambers’ appeal.
Linehan told the audience that the internet was an incredible tool and we should fight any attempt to take it out of our hands. We assume he was talking about the internet and not Fry.
Apparently the money will mean that Chambers will not have to drop his case because of the possibility he would have to pay the prosecution’s legal costs were he to lose.
Of course few people thought Chambers’ one liner would get him a gig at the comedy store. He was subjected to plenty of good-natured ribbing from those on stage and was variously described as a knucklehead, a nerd and a “doughnut”.
Al Murray said the gig was officially a “Save Paul Chambers from his own stupid destiny event”.
But everyone seems to think it was more important to protect freedom of speech or at least the ability to recognise the difference between jokes and menacing terrorist threats.