Thursday, November 10, 2011

twitterjoketrial in Westminister Skeptics

My 2nd visit to the old Monk exchange near Victoria for one of these meetings. When in London anyway .....

The twitter joke trail is well known among the more hardened UK internet users and I won't discuss the detail here, interesting as the discussion were about what happened and when, is. The big take away's for me were

  • The CPS and legal system feel at liberty  ignore experts (such as the interviewing office or security coordinator at Nottingham airport) when it suits them and can use the word "terrorism" as an excuse to suspend common sense.
  • A judge can weigh their own opinion over expert evidence, even in areas they have little knowledge.
  • The CPS can go searching a large body of unrelated law if the whim takes them and will find something to prosecute almost any action.
  • Being a knowledgeable user of the internet makes the accused more guilty because they know about the medium. If a 1st time internet twitter user had written what Paul wrote, the judge implied they would not be guilty
  • Skeptic groups do make a difference to policy
  • It is highly amusing to watch that various people in this area play the room, find out who is who and who they need to build relationships with. One gentleman introduced himself to me, found out I lived in Aberystwyth, am not active in this area and lacking in connections and walked off to  find someone else better connected, very funny indeed.
  • 20 years ago there was no twitter, boys said the same things to their girlfriends either on the phone, in letter to email which could not be searched by off duty airport security offices. We have all said similar things, just not where others can search for it. 
So in summary, the police and airport did not care, it was just process. The CPS went muck raking through out of date and inappropriate law till they found something. The judge did not take expert opinion into account during in the appeal.

I found out that Aberystwyth Skeptics exists seems to have past me by is probably shameful on my part for expecting one not to exist so I did not look, but also suggests they have not been well promoted.

I also bumped into Alec Muffet and Tom Crick which meant 2 extra pints, but was good to catch up.

I do hope Dave Allen Green had the mother of all hangovers, he looked like he should by the end of the night.

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