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Singapore court holds British writer guilty of contempt

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Wind In My Hair
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 08 Nov 2010 5:55 pm

When a thread on contempt of court itself shows contempt for other posters, is that ironic / delicious / delirious / refined / cultured / humorous? :-k

1. Anyone who thinks a hangman is jolly has probably never met one in the flesh and so writes from limited first-hand experience with limited value to offer readers.

2. Spreading rumour without bothering to verify it strikes me as weak-minded and irresponsible, whether in private or published life. This is essentially Shadrake's defence: "Oh, I heard people saying the courts are prejudiced so I wrote that in my book."

3. I personally think the courts are over-reacting. If an individual or organisation of international standing and credibility made the accusation, go ahead and sue them. I don't see the point of going after an individual whom nobody has heard of until now. The "contempt of court" card seems to me over-used.

anneteoh

Postby anneteoh » Mon, 08 Nov 2010 6:11 pm

JR8 wrote:
anneteoh wrote:
JR8 wrote:What is about the title that you find 'repulsive'? :o


A 'jolly' hangman? It's creepy and exudes bad taste.
Made to sound like a nursery song - this topic for children of 2-8 years?
Come on, JR8, you're a sensitive guy. Free yourself of any prejudice in thinking one system's better than another.
We know that in the lovely liberal system of the UK, no one except the innocent suffer as there're no clear cut rules to protect them.
When a country pays strict adherence to its laws to build a relatively safe and sound system, some people slander it and want to heckle it down to pieces - there're many worse case scenarios he could really and truly find fault with.
Only bullies pick on smart or peaceful people.



Well I'm not sure bad taste equates to repulsiveness. Unless of course you are one of the Mitford sisters :)

I don't see anything wrong with the idea (i.e. I have not read it) of the subject of his book. But I do wonder why he showed up in court to try and defend himself. Surely if you believe the courts are partial, you would expect to get whacked for suggesting that. Odd!


It is utterly repulsive. Hangmen normally wear a mask as they have a truly grisly job on their hands. It's in fact, an insult to trivialize the gravitas they feel about their job.
I wouldn't buy it but I might want to read it to test the case. Basically, I don't think the SG govt will bother anyone who doesn't deliberately want to trip them. It's accountable for him to show up - so he can't be fined for contempt of court.
Nothing's as simple as it seems. The issue is about capital punishment and drugs, but in this case, the writer is probably slanderous.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 08 Nov 2010 6:43 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:When a thread on contempt of court itself shows contempt for other posters, is that ironic / delicious / delirious / refined / cultured / humorous? :-k

1. Anyone who thinks a hangman is jolly has probably never met one in the flesh and so writes from limited first-hand experience with limited value to offer readers.

From Wiki: 'In 2005, Shadrake interviewed and wrote about Darshan Singh, Singapore's executioner for nearly 50 years, in The Australian, causing a minor controversy as it was shortly before the execution of Van Tuong Nguyen. Details from further interviews with Singh were included in Once a Jolly Hangman.


2. Spreading rumour without bothering to verify it strikes me as weak-minded and irresponsible, whether in private or published life. This is essentially Shadrake's defence: "Oh, I heard people saying the courts are prejudiced so I wrote that in my book."

But why do you believe the courts (gahmen) care what he says?

3. I personally think the courts are over-reacting. If an individual or organisation of international standing and credibility made the accusation, go ahead and sue them. I don't see the point of going after an individual whom nobody has heard of until now. The "contempt of court" card seems to me over-used.


Yep, it does rather smack of the Emporers New Clothes to me...

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 08 Nov 2010 10:57 pm

JR8 wrote:From Wiki: 'In 2005, Shadrake interviewed and wrote about Darshan Singh, Singapore's executioner for nearly 50 years, in The Australian, causing a minor controversy as it was shortly before the execution of Van Tuong Nguyen. Details from further interviews with Singh were included in Once a Jolly Hangman.

Thanks for that nugget, JR8. I just did some reading up on Darshan Singh's account of his job. Given the gravity, professionalism and compassion he brought to it, and the fact that two people chosen to take over simply could not bring themselves to do it, I would then agree with anneteoh that Shadrake's choice of epithet is distasteful.

Having said that, I do wonder what 50 years of such a gruesome job does to a person's psyche...

JR8 wrote:But why do you believe the courts (gahmen) care what he says?

They've always been hung up about public perception. I wish they would spend taxpayers money on more meaningful cases.

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Postby nakatago » Mon, 08 Nov 2010 11:04 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:They've always been hung up about public perception. I wish they would spend taxpayers money on more meaningful cases.


Isn't that what all these defamation and contempt cases are all about? I'm broadly generalizing, of course.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 08 Nov 2010 11:17 pm

nakatago wrote:
Wind In My Hair wrote:They've always been hung up about public perception. I wish they would spend taxpayers money on more meaningful cases.


Isn't that what all these defamation and contempt cases are all about? I'm broadly generalizing, of course.


It smacks of a rather deep level of paranoia. As if one court judgement found against them might bring down the whole dynasty.


[edit: some things are better not being broadcast from the rooftops ;)]
Last edited by JR8 on Tue, 09 Nov 2010 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 08 Nov 2010 11:25 pm

nakatago wrote:Isn't that what all these defamation and contempt cases are all about?

Yes. Perception affects electoral votes and the ruling party likes to win by a large margin. Our economy is also highly dependent on foreign investment and business decisions are affected by perceptions of the rule of law.

Another factor could be that our judicial system (since independence from the British) is still young and trying to prove itself, and it already has a chip on its shoulder from the constant criticism by foreigners so it doesn't take much to set them off. Kind of a vicious cycle: the more others criticise, the more it defends itself; the more it defends itself, the more others criticise...

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Postby nakatago » Tue, 09 Nov 2010 8:27 am

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Postby ksl » Fri, 12 Nov 2010 10:32 pm

Actually my point of view is "Once a Jolly Hangman" and "Once a Jolly Swagman" may have the same fundamental irony. It is probably written in a specific manner of the word Irony: writing which is intended to communicate a meaning contrary to its literal sense; contrast between what is expected or desired and reality

Without reading both books one cannot call it plagerism, though i can identify with the British irony, which can be pretty damn funny at times and not so funny at other times.

Many people around the world wouldn't really understand, as it is native to the roots and environment. In my old City of Lancaster the hangings took place at hangmans corner a part of Lancaster Castle.

Hanging in UK stopped in 1965, the last hanging was in 1964 I think. He should have toed the line, or walk the tightrope, without falling off, but he didn't, he was the pillock that got caught for a reason. :lol:

http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/hanging1.html

British sense of humour can be very uncouth, and i can imagine that many UK people would buy this book, just for the title, it's a little like nosey neighbours, when someone gets run over outside the house, they are not really interested in helping and could be very sarcastic for the crack....typical working class language, they could also burst out laughing because the person wasn't quick enough to get out of the way, their emotions are not touched so it doesn't really effect them.

Of course the choice of Title was chosen for the controversial response, many people would see the humour of it and others would be shocked by it.

I have no idea how one can find the balance of sarcasm without taking it to a vote, and to be fair, it would have to be a vote from a selected jury of Brits.

Singapore he's lost his case, the cane will not be used, he gets a great deal of publicity back in the UK with a population of 61 million,...he will not apologise as this will be just forgotten, he knows he will not be caned because of his age, the only place to hit him is financially, though how, as the money will be abroad. If he's jailed and his health suffers and he dies, he becomes quite famous.

My only suggestion would be humiliation by making him walk around with an advertising board, saying what a pillock he's been. :lol: Then the historians also have a laugh at him. The British would remember him as "The Stupid Pillock" that wrote a book about Singapore he should have known better. I see a lot of $$$$$ in this book because of this publicity stunt which i believe it is, to a certain extent


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