Guido Escapes Burning At Stake (revised)

David T adds: Ha! That’s the last time I believe anything I read on the so-called Ministry of “Truth” blog!

Well, that’s a slight exaggeration. Paul Staines – the Tory blogger who runs Guido Fawkes – has just been sentenced to three months in prison curfew, for drink driving.

I like Paul. He wrote a lovely pamphlet for the Libertarian Alliance, back in 1991, about acid house and drug taking – “Acid House Parties Against The Lifestyle Police and Safety Nazis – that ended with the following sentiment:

“[U]ptight Conservatives are probably the people who would benefit most from taking drugs, particularly Thatcherites, with their machine-like obsession with efficiency and abstract attachment to the freedom to make money. I’m as much of a believer in Capitalism as the most earnest of Young Conservatives, but couldn’t we put acid in the punch at the YC ball and then really have a party?”

Paul’s piece was the first time I’d come across the phenomenon of Tory economic liberals, who were also social liberals.

Still, the law is the law. Drink driving can kill. Imprisonment is sometimes an appropriate punishment for creating a risk of significant harm to others. I imagine that Paul will be delighted to have escaped a doubt whether Paul will be surprised at his spell in chokey: his barrister will have told him to bring a toothbrush.

There are many bloggers in prison all over the world, who are being punished merely for speaking their minds. My sympathy is primarily with them. Still, as anybody who has visited a prison, or been imprisoned themselves, gaol is an awful place to be. It is particularly difficult for an imprisoned person’s family, and Paul has two young children. So I wish him well during his spell “inside” am delighted that Paul managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the dozy beak.

Paul avoided this horrible fate