Saturday, 27 October 2007
Proceedings Of The Court Of Decency
Session 2006-07 - CoD 43
The Liberal Intelligentsia vs. Manning
The plaintiff held that the defendant, Bernard Manning (deceased) was guilty of the crime of racism. Supporting its case, the plaintiff presented documentary evidence showing the defendant engaged in racist behaviours, video evidence of same and anecdotal evidence from numerous eye-witnesses.
The defendant offered no rebuttal, having recently died.
Justice Brown, presiding, found against the plaintiff and declared the defendant not racist based upon mitigation.
Firstly, Justice Brown held that the defendant's extensive charity work should be counted in his favour.
Secondly, he held that Mr. Manning's alleged racism was mitigated by his British origin. Justice Brown clarified that he would not have applied such leniency had Mr. Manning lived in the American deep South during the 1950's.
He also exempted the defendant from blame on grounds of his profession, holding that comedians should benefit from a wide margin of appreciation not afforded to politicians.
Finally, in summing up, Justice Brown found Mr. Manning prima facie working class, and admonished the Liberal Intelligentsia for it's braying, snobbish condescension of an honest, hard working man.
Case dismissed, all costs to be paid by the plaintiff.
Analysis - The judgement is unusual for it's stark departure from established practice - several aspects of the decision seemed contradictory to previously accepted case law, in particular Justice Brown's advice that the plaintiff should "...turn off (its) racist antennae".
Experts were nonplussed by the verdict of not racist, since the court saw video evidence in which the defendant answered the question "Are you racist?" with the word "Yes."
Additionally, the notion that defendants can claim protection from charges of racism on the grounds of "not being a politician" is highly inconsistent with previous rulings.
It remains to be seen whether this judgement has established the precedent of Homo Laborum Intactum, which could grant immunity from prosecution to any person capable of carrying off a convincingly proletarian accent.
Full transcript of the judgement.